Wisconsin Democrats turned in more than a million signatures yesterday to force a recall election for Republican Gov. Scott Walker. That’s far more than the 540,000 signatures required by law.
State officials will now check the signatures and, barring tremendous irregularities, will set an election six to ten weeks after that, depending on whether a primary is needed to determine the Democrats’ candidate. Some recall processes require an up-or-down vote on the official being recalled, but Wisconsin simply holds a new election.
Only two state governors have been successfully recalled in the nation’s entire history: California’s Gray Davis (2003) and North Dakota’s Lynn Frazier (1921). Both deserved it.
Yet, while I applaud the recall as a good process and a fundamental right of citizens — not only did I personally work on the recall of the mayor of Omaha, Nebraska, in 2010, I wholeheartedly cheered the recall of Davis — I hope the people of Badger Nation will vote to keep their gutsy governor.
Walker’s reform, making public employees pay more toward their hefty healthcare and pension benefits and restricting collective bargaining by public employee unions, understandably angered the state’s labor unions. But the reform has already saved overburdened taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, a report released by the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators shows that districts across the state are financially more secure and have been able to hire more teachers.
The right to recall is essential, but replacing Gov. Walker would punish him for doing what’s right.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.