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Tom Barrett
  • Tom Barrett Gets Slapped

    We really shouldn't have to remind people of this. It should kind of just be common knowledge, I would think. But apparently not.

    People, please do not assault losing gubernatorial candidates. Particularly not just after they've just suffered painfully decisive losses and delivered stunningly morale-crippling defeats to their political causes.

    Take my word for it. They feel bad enough already.

    (via Political Wire)

    Tags: Recall, Tom Barrett, Wisconsin
  • Scott Walker Wins Wisconsin Recall Election

    You know how sometimes you receive a notice from a manufacturer indicating that the fuel injector on your model 2001 Chevy Crapmobile could develop small cracks, which could lead to fuel leakage and in the presence of an ignition source may lead to fire, so please take it to the nearest dealer for servicing? And you're like, screw this recall, it's an hour's drive and there's a 16 and Pregnant marathon on TV, I'll just take my chances dying in a fiery wreck?

    Basically, that's what happened last night in Wisconsin. Except instead of a notice from the car company describing the problem, the recall was preceded by millions of dollars in advertising explaining how the fuel leak was a feature that made the car go faster — in fact, it was a job-creating fuel leak — and the replacement part was even more defective, because it was soft on crime and would raise your taxes.

    So it's no wonder that with 99% of precincts reporting, Republican incumbent Scott Walker took 53.2% of the vote  to Democratic challenger's Tom Barrett 46.3%. The exit polls revealed some glimmers of hope for Democrats. The same electorate that chose not to recall Walker also said, by 51% to 44%, that they favored Barack Obama for president over Mitt Romney. Obama received the support of 17% of Walker voters, while only 6% of Barrett voters favored Romney. And a narrow majority of voters, 51%, said they had a favorable opinion of public-employee unions, while 45% said they had an unfavorable opinion.

    Such results were an indication that Walker and his Republican allies were able to make a procedural case against the recall, with 70% of voters saying that recalls should never be used or be reserved for cases of official misconduct. Sure, the thinking goes, this defective fuel injector is somewhat disconcerting, but don't I have a regularly scheduled maintenance appointment every four years? If the vehicle to go through a recall every time something goes awry, it would never take any trips except to the dealer.

    Still, Democrats were a little too quick to spin a 7% defeat into a moral victory. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's statement was typical, "Despite the disappointing outcome of tonight's election, there is no question that over the past year this recall effort sent a message to Scott Walker that his brand of divisive politics is offensive and wrong." It makes you wish Napoleon had a Democratic spokesman at his side: "Despite the disappointing outcome of today's battle, there is no question that over the past year this war effort sent a message to Wellington." We need a clearer system for sending messages.

    Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Recall, Scott Walker, Tom Barrett, Wisconsin
  • Reports of Misleading Robo-Calls in Wisconsin Because of Course

    Scott WalkerCan one imagine a mountain without a snow-capped peak? Or a cool spring morn without a dew-laced wildflower? Can one conceive of a cloud that has not lightness? Or a butterfly that has not grace?

    Yes, I say unto thee, yes. Yes! A thousandfold easier than one can imagine a tight political race without allegations of misleading robo-calls from a Republican campaign

    Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said his campaign is contacting Wisconsin residents to counter reports of a robo-call that says anyone who signed a petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker doesn't have to vote in Tuesday's election…

    Walker's campaign pushed back against the allegation, issuing a statement strongly denying any connection with the reported calls.

    "Any accusation that our campaign is making those calls is categorically false and unfounded. Once again Mayor Barrett and his campaign are trying to falsely attack Governor Walker with absolutely no evidence. This is a desperate move by Mayor Barrett to avoid addressing his lack of a plan to create jobs in Wisconsin," the campaign stated.

    And, thus, the world continues its dizzying spin and life continues apace.

    Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Recall, Scott Walker, Tom Barrett, Wisconsin
  • Scott Walker v. Tom Barrett, a Wisconsin Recall Primer

    Today over two million Wisconsinites are expected to head to the polls to forever alter the course of their ship of state. And by forever, I mean until 5 months from now, when the state legislature will be up for re-election. Polls close at 8pm Central Time, which means that if the race is close, we'll know the results by sometime in November, when Waukesha County finally reports. In the mean time, here's what you need to know…

    What do the latest polls say?
    All polls show Walker ahead. The latest Public Policy Polling survey has Walker up over Tom Barrett 50-47%. That lead is down from 50-45% in a PPP poll conducted three weeks ago and it's also down from a 52-45 lead that Walker  posted in a Marquette Law poll released last week, but it's at odds with another recent survey, conducted by We Ask America, that has Walker leading by 12%.

    Just how full of shit are Democrats when they claim turnout will make up for their lagging survey numbers?
    In their defense, a lot will depend on the makeup of the electorate. When Democrats won statewide in 2006 and 2008, self-identified conservatives made up only 30% of those who showed up. In 2010, when Republicans swept the state, self-identified conservatives made up 37% of the vote. If Democrats can increase turnout among minorities and young people, they have a shot.

    On the other hand, "it will all come down to turnout" are usually the famous last words spoken by the party before they're melodramatically quoting the end of Gatsby — "tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther" and maybe not lose quite so badly in the Milwaukee suburbs.

    On the bright side for liberals, future generations of Democrats will not have have to read about this potentially painful defeat, since budget cuts will have eliminated schoolbooks and English teachers.

    Read More »

    Tags: Polls, Recall, Scott Walker, Tom Barrett, Wisconsin