Wis. Voters Give Thumbs-Down to Walker’s Union-Busting Antics

April 6, 2011

(ChattahBox Political News)—Spring judicial elections rarely register with voters, but that was not the case in yesterday’s Wisconsin elections that drew nearly 1.5 million Wisconsinites to the polls. The local elections became a referendum on the unpopular union-busting overreach of right-wing extremist Gov. Scott Walker’s administration, especially the contests for the state Supreme Court and Milwaukee County Executive, a post formerly held by Walker. With the legality of the union-busting bill destined to be decided by the state Supreme Court, suddenly the little known judicial candidate, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg gained momentum against the conservative partisan incumbent and Walker supporter, Justice David Prosser. As of this morning, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting, the race is too close to call, with Prosser clinging to a slim lead of a few hundred votes. An automatic recount is likely. But the race for Milwaukee County Executive was much more decisive, and a big poke in the eye to Walker’s anti-middle class and pro-Koch brothers policies. Democrat Chris Abele beat Republican State Assemblyman Jeff Stone by a landslide. Stone is a clone of Walker’s. He voted for the union-stripping bill and now he is history. Wisconsin has spoken and it doesn’t look good for Walker’s future and the eight Republican state senators facing recall elections. Take this as a lesson people. Despite big money interests and Koch Industries money flooding the airwaves, ordinary people can make a difference and change the course of history at the ballot box.

Even if Prosser ultimately prevails, the people of Wisconsin delivered a clear message to Walker yesterday. The message being; he doesn’t have a mandate to bust public unions and destroy the middle class.

The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports that a recount and a possible legal challenge is likely.

“That close margin had political insiders from both sides talking about the possibility of a recount, which Wisconsin has avoided in statewide races in recent decades. Any recount could be followed by lawsuits – litigation that potentially would be decided by the high court.” […]

“From the start, the campaign has been a proxy war, driven by strong feelings about people who aren’t on the ballot, issues that may come before the court and, above all, control of a court narrowly split between conservatives and liberals.”

Last night, Kloppenburg told her supporters, “it’s not over yet.”

Whatever the final outcome, yesterday’s elections will surely further energize the ongoing Democratic efforts to recall eight Republican lawmakers who voted for the union-busting bill. The Democrats just need to recall three state senators to overtake the majority from Republicans.

(Update: With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Kloppenburg now leads Prosser by 334 votes. Prosser is preparing for a recount, by “assembling” a legal team, according to WisPolitics.

(Further Update: Kloppenburg’s final lead was whittled down to 204 votes. She is now the unofficial winner. This is a huge accomplishment for anti-Walker, anti union-busting Wisconsinites.  It’s very, very rare for an incumbent to be knocked out of a judicial race in Wisconsin.

Photo Source: Madison, Wisconsin protest/Jessie Reeder’s Flickr/ Creative Commons Attribution.


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