Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Ground War Begins

What can we take away from the Supreme Court vote? I think it suggests that the recalls will fail and there is no groundswell of opposition to Governor Walker. The "backlash" is largely a Dane County phenomenon and that is not surprising. Challenge the prerogatives of the company town and the regulars get mad. Dane County had a disproportionate effect because it turned out like crazy in what was still a low turnout election.

I did an interview for Channel 12 tonight in which they shared some numbers in the districts of GOP Senators who are facing recall petitions. You play four quarters but I don't see the GOP losing Senate seats in our part of the state - and probably no where in the state. Whether the Democrats will lose seats is another issue. My best guess is no change.

As far as recalling the Governor, not a chance.

As for the Supreme Court itself, I have no idea what will happen in the recount and neither does anyone else. A shift of over 205 votes out of almost 1.5 million is not only possible, it may even be likely. In the last statewide recall, on a much less salient issue, the tally shifted by over twice that on a vote that was a little over half of what we had here. The question is which way they will shift. Given that the Kloppenburg margin is driven almost entirely by votes in a county that had become an ideological fever swamp (something that is very likely to create issues), I think predicting the outcome is a fool's game.

If Kloppenburg does win, the conventional wisdom has been that the Court will have a 4-3 liberal majority. Maybe but maybe not. The one thing I am pretty sure won't happen is that the divisions on the Court will go away. For a variety of reasons, I think they will be worse and given some things that happened in this race I think the gloves will be off in a way that they have not been to date. That's too bad for a variety of reasons but it seems inevitable.


Dad29 said...

Yah. That SCOWI divide will look more like the Grand Canyon.

Anonymous said...

Move along. Nothing to see here. An obscure Assistant Attorney General with no plank except she promises to be civil and impartial has just defeated a well-regarded incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice, and there is no groundswell of opposition to Governor Walker? Are you channeling Baghdad Bob, or what?

Dan Kapanke is toast. Randy Hopper is toast. Polls show both are opposed by majorities in their respective districts. Heck, Randy Hopper's wife and maid are signing the recall petitions, though there is another factor involved in that. Those two seats alone, plus Dale Schulz's swishiness, change the effective balance of power in the Senate. And there may be other successful recalls of Republicans beside those two.

Had Walker just waited until after the election to do his public employee union busting, as in retrospect certainly appears more prudent, Kloppenburg would be going back to her desk at Van Hollen's office right now. Had he just given a little more notice and not railroaded the conference committee, same result. It's not all Walker's fault, of course; Prosser could have saved himself even without any change on Walker's part had Prosser just bit his tongue and not called the Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court a "total b****."

A little bit of compromise, diplomacy, politeness on either Walker's or Prosser's part would have saved Prosser's hide. Let this be a lesson.

Display Name said...

For a variety of reasons, Esenberg is working long hours to insure he is available for interviews on television and radio, which, for a variety of reasons, is his own little contribution to the larger Koch/Walker effort to make things worse, for a variety of reasons.

Let's say the anti-Walker crowd only scrapes together 300,000 signatures. Think that'll help FitzWalkerStan in the long run?

Anonymous said...

"The gloves will be off in a way that they have not been to date"? What's next? Fisticuffs in the Supreme Court chamber? "Total bitch" will sound like a compliment by comparison?

Anonymous said...

Umm... at best the WI Sup. Ct. race was a bad proxy for the state's "approval" of Scott Walker and yet it resulted in a significant shift in voting. What's more, this occurred in a very short period of time. To add to this point, this is an off election cycle involving an incumbent justice and no other statewide race and only mildly interesting local elections.

Also, looking at the returns, I think you could say the support for "Prosser" was primarily focused on three-suburban MKE counties with Waukesha and Washington counties being outliers as a percentage going for Prosser.

I have no comment regarding the political divisions on the court. I actually think that you are probably correct on that point.

Rongstad said...

From personal experience, it is a very bad thing when courts decide cases from a partisan perspective. Shirley Abrahamson is cackling today because she now has her majority back to do just that. Is this really what any of us want to see for the long-run at any level of the courts? You cannot judge fairly as an advocate for a team -- Sumi proved it in Dane County and Abrahamson proves it every day in the management of her court.

Anonymous said...

Objection! Professor Esenberg is out of order. Get past the partisan jibes, and here are some clear-cut facts.


Anonymous said...

Kapanke is in trouble in the La Crosse area but he might be the only one to go unless Republicans statewide rally to support him. He's always been a bit of an anomoly in La Crosse and with La Crosse being government-heavy he is quite vulnerable.

What do you make of La Follette's move today?

Dad29 said...

Also, looking at the returns, I think you could say the support for "Prosser" was primarily focused on three-suburban MKE counties with Waukesha and Washington counties being outliers as a percentage going for Prosser.

Not really. That "red belt" shown in the JSOnline includes all of E. Wisconsin and most of N. Wisconsin.

Yes, the W-O-W vote was heavily Prosser, but he was into the high 50/low 60 % range in almost all the "red" counties.

Anonymous said...

This just in: The Waukesha County clerk has located 7500 more votes for Prosser. Where's the extra Prosser ballot bin, Bertha?

Dad29 said...

Where's the extra Prosser ballot bin, Bertha?

Callista's Xeroxing K'burg ballots in Madison as we speak. Needs about 9,000 before tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

You buy into the Walker/Sykes mantra that we have a divide between Madison and the rest of the state. That's poppycock, and let me tell you why.

The three bat-crap-crazy Republican counties (Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha) provided a greater plurality for Prosser than Dane County did for Kloppenburg even before Prosser picked up the extra 7500 votes today.

So, you could just as easily -- and just as accurately -- say that it is the rest of the state vs. the wingnut Republican counties!

Folks enjoy picking on Dane County, but it is the high-tech engine for the state. There isn't much pure scientific research done in Milwaukee (or any of the other 70 counties in the state) and the folks in Madison are doing a great job of taking the discoveries from the lab to business.