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Wed Jun 6, 2012, 02:08 PM

My take on June 5

So what happened in the recall election yesterday? I think it was a number of things.

First, Money works. It allowed Walker's spin to be repeated so many times that it had to sink in.. even if it wasn't true. $30MM is a lot of cash and buys a lot of access.

Second, (and I have to credit my spouse for this insight) It was a "rematch"...Walker vs Barrett and nobody really wanted to see a rematch. ..a "do-over"...an instant replay...as much as I like and respect Tom, I think another candidate would have done better.

Third, "Divide and Conquer" works. The entire popular support for Walker's Union bashing legislation was jealousy and envy of the have-nots against the (percieved) "haves". Teachers salaries were held up to scorn and ridicule. Public workers salaries and benefits were played against the un-employed and under-employed. I personally know of people who voted for Walker because they thought "Walker gave the teachers union what they deserved!". Jealousy ...pure and simple...divide and conquer.

And finally...it was a referendum against recalls themselves. There has been a steady diet of recalls in the last 16 months. ..a steady diet of petitions, signature drives and elections...people (some people anyway) were just sick of it.

I am disappointed. That's for sure. I never have been a fan of Scott Walker and probably never will be. I am proud of the progressives of Wisconsin for the remarkable thing they did in bringing it to the election.....

I am also royally pissed at the Supreme Court for "Citizens United" which allows 15-16 Billionaires to buy a state government for the bargain basement price of $30MM.

I will "go to the mountain-top" and think this through. Then I will decide what path I will follow.

12 replies, 1918 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply My take on June 5 (Original post)
ewagner Jun 2012 OP
Walk away Jun 2012 #1
Scuba Jun 2012 #2
Jackpine Radical Jun 2012 #3
EC Jun 2012 #4
ewagner Jun 2012 #6
HelenWheels Jun 2012 #12
zeemike Jun 2012 #5
snacker Jun 2012 #10
zeemike Jun 2012 #11
HereSince1628 Jun 2012 #7
undeterred Jun 2012 #8
ginnyinWI Jun 2012 #9

Response to ewagner (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 02:13 PM

1. I'm so sorry. nt

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Response to ewagner (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 02:17 PM

2. Excellent analysis. Your third point is disheartening, but true. Stay strong.

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Response to ewagner (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 02:32 PM

3. I think you're pretty much on target.

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Response to ewagner (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 02:44 PM

4. Walker also hired

his ground troops. He paid people to get out the vote and will likely count them as jobs created in this quarter.

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Response to EC (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 04:08 PM

6. Forgot to mention that...

but it's all part of the $30MM pricetag for buying Wisconsin...


thanks for bringing that detail out!

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Response to EC (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 8, 2012, 01:20 PM

12. Out of state protesters

There were three people with pro-Walker signs outside of our polling place. They readily admitted they were from Illinois.

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Response to ewagner (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 03:37 PM

5. But you leave out one tiny little thing.

And it is the one thing that is so cheep and easy to do...and leaves no evidence behind so you can't talk about it.
A simple program on the computer that counts the votes...simple really...it just tells the computer to flip the count if Walker is less than Bradly and is only active on election day and disappears afterwords.

But there is a record in most cases...that is the written ballot...but in order to be able to look at them it has to be close and even if it is close you can only see 10%...and they get to select the 10%...
If done it is the perfect crime and no one dares look at that...or they face ridicule by both sides.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 7, 2012, 11:32 AM

10. People really need to be educated about this.

Forty-six Wisconsin counties and 3,000 voting machines are being controlled by a two-person company operating out of a strip mall in Minnesota

http://wcmcoop.com/members/meet-command-central-the-people-in-charge-of-wisconsin-voting-machines/

Tonight, I was just randomly looking at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel voting results map. I thought it was a bit of a coincidence that three adjoining lakeshore counties--Sheboygan, Manitowoc, and Kewaunee---all had the exact same percentage (64%-34% Walker) while on the western side of the state, three adjoining counties--Burnett, Polk, and St. Croix--all the very similar percentages (60-61% Walker to 39% Barrett). Maybe I'm reaching...

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/152346265.html

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Response to snacker (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 7, 2012, 01:25 PM

11. I don't think you are reaching.

But the only way to know the truth is to count the ballots...and no one is allowed to do that.
So we are left with clues that if used will invite ridicule as a CT...ant that ridicule will come from both sides because one side intimidates the other into it.
So the truth can never be known until someone actually counts the ballots to verify the machines.

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Response to ewagner (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 05:32 PM

7. Walker knew he'd be running by May 2011, the dems new they'd be running a dem

but they didn't know which dem until April of 2012. I think the leadership gap in the recall was critical.

1) Re money
The money imbalance really didn't make as big a difference as we might have expected. Ignoring the insignificant 3rd party candidate, it was a 2 person race, Considering the the degrees of freedom in a 2 category analysis, every vote that went from the dems to the rs. actually created a 2 vote difference. -1 for the dems and +1 for the r's. The ~8% difference actually hinged on 4% conversion. All that money and the race came down to 4%. Four percent isn't really unsurmountable. It's a pretty traditional level of difference. So considering the money invested, the r's really got under performance. If I were a republican campaign funder I'd be thinking much of the money as spent for no good effect, and I'd be looking to not do that again.


2) Re rematch
Another great asymmetry, and it hasn't been discussed, was how long each candidate had to organize. Walker and the WI ALEC-republicans knew he'd be running in a recall by May 2011 as the first round of senate recalls gathered steam. That was not only time to raise unlimted money from all over the world, it was also time to strategize and do trial runs on messaging, The r's had time to really use their money advantage in a targeted way.

The dems might have thought there were recalls coming, but they didn't have a clue who the candidate would be. And the message really must be sized to fit the candidate as well as the campaign. Dems and recall supporters didn't really know that for with any confidence until mid-March and it wasn't settled formally until the first week in April. That really got in the way of targeting a message.

One could say the r's also had a 12 month to 1 month advantage in really shaping and pushing a resonant message fit to Barrett.

Barrett spent the first two weeks of the recall campaign doing generic stuff like his previous campaign, that made the recall seem a lot like a rematch. And Barretts stuff was pointless in light of the reality that minds were already made up. There were no undecideds to educate or convert. What was needed was rekindling recall fever. That really failed to happen, although I will admit that I thought I saw hopeful signes toward the end of week 3 of Barrett's recall campaign.

Re: divide and conquer
The stuff from the ABC heiress was priceless and it wasn't used. Maybe because of a lack of money, maybe because of a lack of campaign good consulting, maybe because Barrett is too nice a guy...I can't say cuz, hey, I'm just a little guy like most everyone else.

What's clear is the bad economy in WI scared people. Scared people are conservative people. Conservative people respond to messaging that plays to self-interest (not selfish, but self) and folks like that accept messages that promise relief from social responsibility for education, environment, elderly, equal rights, etc. Scared people love the message, "I've got mine and it's austerity for you." It's a formula for dividing the state into the have's and the you-can't-have-any-of-mine's.



All this was sort of foreseeable to DUers who could step back and get perspective. Why wasn't it foreseeable to Tate and the DNC?

The inability of the WI Dems to get in touch with the anger resulting from ALEC-Fitz-Walker's heavy handed union busting under the smoke screen of budget repair is an obvious factor that hasn't recieved enough analysis.

I honestly think Tate, and others hoped for and wrongly expected guidance and resources from the national party.

I strongly suspect that the messaging conflicts between the recall needs and the National were never resolved. Consequently WI never enjoyed overwhelming Dem celebrity support. What Wisconsin needed to get behind to support the recall was what the National Party didn't wanted to get labelled as supporting.


I suspect that when the analysis nears completion we be finding complex causes to the recall failure.

It's quite likely that there was too little brain-trust, too little money, not enough message, too much recession and too much division between WI-Dems and the National to construct and implement a coordinated winning campaign that involved nation-wide players.






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Response to ewagner (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 07:57 PM

8. Good analysis.

I hated being so negative on Barrett because he's such a nice guy, but somehow I always felt like a rematch was a really bad idea. I wish somebody else - like Obey or Kohl or Feingold - would have stepped up to it. I believe the voters would have reacted differently if our candidate was an established figure who wasn't going to run again for the seat, but just finish the term.

Why should money make so much of a difference? I don't make up my mind by watching television ads. But this is where the campaign money goes and this is what influences people. Very few people read the newspapers or blogs. Relatively few watch the debates. For most people voting is just another consumer choice, like buying a car or a grill. That's what kind of society we have.

Edit: This morning between 6:30am and 7am I saw an ad from Hovde, putting his teenaged daughters in front of the camera. This guys got money for television ads a couple of months ahead of the primary! I'm sick of him already.

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Response to undeterred (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 7, 2012, 10:04 AM

9. I think that although I think Barrett is a really, really good guy,

I have been voting for him every time he's run, ever since he first ran against Jim Doyle in a gubernatorial primary some years back.

The political tactic they used left something to be desired. I mean, it was always about Walker and what's wrong with him. Hardly anything about Barrett and what he would bring to the state. The debates were all about Walker, with everything Barrett said being about why Walker should go. So people were left with a kind of void rather than a vision.


The other factor was money, of course. Money for signs, money for ads, money for lots of things. The state seems to be trending conservative anyway. Remember, they threw Russ Feingold out for no apparent reason!

And what Barrett had was, "I'm not Scott Walker".

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