|Governor Scott Walker celebrates his victory (AP Photo by Morry Gash|
As an interested outsider, I was concerned about the amount of money Governor Scott Walker had received from outside the State, about the John Doe investigation, about the indictment of two of his aides, about his attack on the public service unions, about reports of robocalls telling people that if they signed the Walker Recall Petition that there was no need for them to vote in the election, and about Walker's repeated misrepresentations of the facts (about the "balanced budget," for example, and about job creation).
I had written two highly respected friends of mine who live in Wisconsin to express my views and to get their take on the situation. Both of them expressed their concern about the divisiveness of this election, but one was more was more favorable to the recall than the other, who had this to say:
I don't believe in recalls unless an elected official has broken the law, or done something
"impeachable" (i.e. high crimes and misdemeanors). I am not a big fan of Scott Walker's.
I think his methods have been quite divisive, but rather than resorting to mid-term recalls
(Lord help us if these become common) I think the solution is to "vote the bums out" at the
Exit polls indicted that the majority of voters agreed with my friend, and that could well have been a main reason Walker survived this election. If so, he may be in for a rough time when his term is up two years from now.
Another reason, however, was the fact that he outspent his opponent by more than 7 to 1, and that does not bode well for the Democrats, who can never match the spending of the Republican corporate superPACs. The political scene has drastically changed as the result of the Supreme Court’s overturning the ban on corporate campaign spending. Walker’s victory proves that with rare exceptions big bucks determine elections. Sad but true.
Oh well, the people of Wisconsin have made their choice. The Republicans are gloating, the Democrats are spinning, and we concerned on-lookers are scratching our heads.