Apr 7, 2011
Good news for progressives: Kloppenburg win and Beck demise
In a preview of the 2012 election, JoAnne Kloppenburg was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday over the incumbent in a backlash to the union-busting attempt by teabagger Governor Scott Walker.
In a usually slow March election, voter turnout was very high, and Kloppenburg unseated incumbent David Prosser, a Walker pal who made it very clear how he will vote when the hastily passed union busting bill makes its way to the court.
The election was a clear referendum on the union busting efforts by Republicans in the Midwest states, and it was the first election since last November; allowing people to turn protest into action.
Going into the race after the primary election in February, incumbent David Prosser was the hands on favorite, having pulled in 55 percent of the vote over Kloppenburg, his second highest leading opponent, who received just 25 percent of the vote. After Walker’s union-busting legislation that would kill collective bargaining rights for state workers, the race became a focus for the energized Democratic base. However, A recount is expected.
The Wisconsin State Journal is reporting that the high voter turnout, double for a normal March election, has been a boon for the recall attempt of eight Republican Senators. The Journal is reporting that recall leaders got plenty of signatures outside of polling places on Tuesday, so much so that they have enough signatures to put them over the top for a second Republican recall.
The close vote indicates that not all eight will be successful, but it can change the makeup of the body, as well as keep the energy going until next year’s election. A recall of two Michigan Senators for a tax vote in 1983 gave Republicans control of the Senate they have never lost, despite more people voting for Democratic Senators in 2006 than Republicans.
I am not normally a fan of recalls for a single vote, but when that vote required you violate the law, sneak in and out of the Capitol under armed guard to make the vote and lock people out of their Capitol to do it then I would make an exception.
There is also recall attempt against a couple of the heroic Wisconsin 14 Democratic Senators who left the Capitol to deny a quorum, but it does not appear to be much of a threat. In fact, the recall against Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, has only two signatures so far; the organizer and his wife, and the 60-day window to gather signatures runs out April 25.
I can’t wait for next year’s election, and we only need to limit the damage Republicans can do in the next 16 months.
Yesterday saw even more good news. Faux “news” madman Glenn Beck announced he leaving his show; a victim of falling ratings and disgusted advertisers. It’s unclear if it is voluntary.
The ratings for the first quarter of 2011 showed Beck's show had lost close to a third of its audience, especially among advertiser-prized viewers ages 25 to 54, where he was down almost 40 percent. But, it was the advertisers that really did him in, and they were leaving in droves because they did not want to be associated with his crazy end-of-world conspiracy theories and racist rants.
I expect his ratings to make a surge for next couple of days and maybe weeks because people want to see what conspiracy theory he whips up and who he blames for this.