Wisconsin Senate Recall Election 7/19/11

On November 2, 2010, the Republican Party shocked the United States of America with massive gains not just in the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate, but by winning governorships and statehouse races. Wisconsin was no exception. Prior to the election, the Democrats controlled the Governor's Mansion, both United States Senate seats, a 5-3 majority in the United States House of Representatives, and both chambers of the Wisconsin Legislature. Afterward, the Republicans gained the Governor's Mansion, one of the United States Senate Senates, a 5-3 majority in the United States House of Representatives, and both chambers of the Wisconsin Legislature.

Since winning control of the Wisconsin government, the Republicans have taken advantage of their majorities by passing anti labor union legislation in order to weaken not only teachers unions but collective bargaining. They have also passed laws requiring voters to bring IDs to the polls under the false guise of preventing "voter fraud." Such a policy was and is intentionally designed to weaken the Democratic Party as adults who don't have IDs are generally urban residents and poor, people who generally vote Democratic. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is fighting back.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin announced plans to recall six Republican State Senators in order to stop the Republican abuse of power.  On July 12, the Democrats put up six challengers against incumbent Republican State Senators in the Badger State. In each of the six situations, the Democratic candidates won in spite of Republican Party efforts to sabotage their efforts by not only running fake Democrats in opposition but also encouraging Wisconsin Republicans and Wisconsin Republican leaning Independents to vote in the primaries. It is not only Democrats, however who are trying to recall  opponents.

The Republicans are trying to recall three Democratic incumbent State Senators. Two Republicans will be facing a primary today. The other Republican is facing a general election that same day. The incumbent Democrat, Dave Hansen is currently leading the Republican candidate David VanderLeest 62% to 34% according to the most recent PPP poll. The Republicans had wanted to get Wisconsin State Representative John Nygren as their candidate, but he failed to obtain the necessary 400 signatures in his district before the deadline was up.

David VanderLeest has a history of poor behavior. He has pleaded no contest-twice- on disorderly conduct against his wife and has had issues with finances. He has an approval rating of 23% and a disapproval rating of 63%. In contrast, the incumbent Dave Hansen has an approval rating of 59% and a disapproval rating of 38%. He is heavily favored to win the July 19 election and thus keep the balance of the Wisconsin State Senate at 19 Republicans and 14 Democrats.

Although Hansen is heavily favored to win the election and has huge leads in the polls, it is important to keep in mind that the only poll that matters is the poll on election day. Regardless of party affiliation, if you are not happy with the direction that Wisconsin is headed in, you should go vote because it will send a message to the Republican Party of Wisconsin that their policies are not acceptable and must be stopped.


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