In general, it is not good citizenship to launch a recall campaign only one year after a candidate has been elected to office. There will almost always be twenty-five percent of the voters who supported an opposing candidate. That could be enough to circulate petitions and run a recall election. But it probably won’t change the outcome. If fifty-three percent of the electorate voted for a woman or man a year ago, chances are, fifty-two or fifty-four percent will do so again. Therefore, a recall is often a waste of time and money.
The reasons to recall Scott Walker begin with the many signs that appeared in the massive protests around the state capitol in Madison last February, reading “I voted for Walker, and I’m sorry,” or “I voted for Walker, and he spit on me.” In a close election – and most statewide elections in Wisconsin are close – if five percent of voters decide, OOPS, I voted for the wrong person, that could easily be enough to shift the results.
Scott Walker did NOT run for office promising “Vote for me, and I will cancel public employee collective bargaining, slash transit budgets, give away billions of dollars in tax breaks to large businesses, take away local communities right to vote on local government authorities, and centralize unprecedented power in the hands of the executive.”
He campaigned on two themes: I take my lunch to work in a brown paper bag, and we have to create 250,000 new jobs. He didn’t say how he was going to create them. Perhaps he had them hidden away in his brown paper bag. He railed about the outgoing governor, Jim Doyle – always a popular theme, but irrelevant, since Doyle wasn’t running for re-election.
Many people out circulating recall petitions are people who did, in fact, vote for Walker in November 2010. That is the surest sign that a recall election is a proper thing to ask for. The fact that people who did NOT vote for him would like him out doesn’t count for much. They lost. But the fact that people who DID vote for him feel betrayed by his performance in office, is solid grounds for a recall.