Republican Party

Tom Barrett To Face Scott Walker in Rematch to Right the Great Wisconsin Wrong

Last updated on February 8th, 2013 at 01:15 pm

Chaos via fake Democrats and delays in printing ballots; it’s another election in Wisconsin thrown into disarray by Republican tactics. Go, Democracy. Today’s race involved seven recall primary races, including the gubernatorial primaries.

With 31% of the vote in Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has been declared the winner of the Democratic primary. Barrett’s lead had been expanding throughout the evening, and he currently leads Kathleen Falk, 54.8%-36.9%. In the race for the Democratic Lt. Governor slot Mahlon Mitchell easily cruised past his competition, 50.9%-27.1% over Isaac Weix.

In the gubernatorial Democratic primary to select Scott Walker’s recall election challenger, Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett faced off against Democratic former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk along with six fake Democrats planted by the Republicans. As predicted by the polls, Tom Barrett won.

There were delays in printing ballots for today’s unprecedented statewide primary recall election because the Republicans insisted on running fake candidates as Democrats, which meant that absentee ballots had to be redone on election night. Republicans were also planning on crossing over (Operation Chaos style) in the open primary to vote for the Democratic candidate they think Walker can beat.

Tom Barrett previously ran against Walker in 2010, and lost to the now embattled Governor in that race 52 to 47 percent.

However, 800,000 Wisconsinites voted in the 2008 campaign who did not vote in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Party leaders know that Democrats stayed home in 2010, and they think that Barrett has a best chance of beating Walker in the upcoming recall.

Barrett was predicted to win tonight’s primary with a recent Marquette University poll showing him leading 17 points over Falk. Barrett also polled better against Walker than Falk did.

Labor unions threw their support to Falk, including the Wisconsin AFL-CIO and SEIU, but party leaders feared Falk was seen as “too liberal” to beat Walker.

Let us not belabor the outdated notion that liberal extremism is bad but Tea Party extremism is palatable. Falk is a strong union supporter, but Democrats are facing a Governor with endless Koch coffers in a tight recall. They need a candidate with the broadest appeal to the majority of Wisconsinites and polls suggested that candidate is Barrett, which is why Republicans were voting for Falk.

Democrats contending to be the gubernatorial candidate were forced to go through a tough primary in anticipation of the June 5 recall election, including facing Republican activists running as Democrats. Fake Democrats also ran in the state Senate recall and lieutenant governor primaries.

These fake candidates were the cause of ballot chaos:

Delays in printing ballots for Tuesday’s primary recall elections caused by challenges from protest or “fake” candidates means some absentee voters’ ballots must be redone on election night in order to be counted, election officials said Monday.

Why do Republicans feel like they have to run fake candidates in order to weaken the Democrats? Probably because their platform (see the Ryan budget) isn’t exactly appealing to real humans, especially given Wisconsin’s infamous new record in the nation’s worst job losses.

So much for the Republican “job creation” theory of trickle down prosperity magically appearing after they spend millions on corporate welfare. They know their version of “shared sacrifices” (aka; tax the poor and middle class, defund all social services and give corporations subsidies for being successful) doesn’t work for the people, but they keep pushing it because it’s corporate crack for conservatives. They just can’t say no.

Republicans are facing an historic recall of their Governor, and yet Republicans still manage to presume that it can’t be them. It’s never them.

The conservative group that helped Republicans’ 2010 takeover of the House of Representatives, Americans for Prosperity (read: Koch Brothers Corporate Shills), projected the Republican problem onto the Democrats with a statement suggesting that Falk’s poor polling is a referendum liberal ideology, specifically unions and liberalism in general.

Politico reported:

Walker’s supporters say a Falk loss would send a signal that labor groups are struggling to keep their members in line.

“One reason they’ve been losing a lot lately is — not only can they not win independent households, but they have trouble keeping a lot of their own members,” said Americans For Prosperity President Tim Phillips, whose group is supporting Walker in the recall.

“At first blush, it tells you how out-of-touch ideologically they are with the state of Wisconsin when they think Mayor Barrett is somehow too moderate for them,” Phillips said.

According to Republicans in Wisconsin, Democrats are too ideologically extreme and are out of step with the people. It’s called projection and it’s wildly obtuse.

Here’s the real deal. This recall was initiated before Wisconsinites knew about the John Doe criminal investigation circling around Governor Scott Walker. The people didn’t approve of Walker’s union busting long before they knew his polices would fail and long before they knew that his top aides would end up pleading guilty to felonies for violating campaign laws.

It’s pretty clear what the recall is about, and it’s not a failure of unions; it’s a referendum on Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Republicans. Watch an ad aimed at Walker here to see how easy it is:

Hey, Wisconsin Republicans, this is what democracy looks like. It’s called a recall; it’s humiliating, it’s happening, and it’s definitely a referendum on Republican rule. No matter how many or much fake candidates, Koch money or chaos Republicans throw at the problem of their failed policies and systemic corruption, the voters are not going to forget.

Sarah Jones

Listen to Sarah on the PoliticusUSA Pod on The Daily newsletter podcast here. Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump. Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Connect with Sarah on Post,  Mastodon @PoliticusSarah@Journa.Host, & Twitter.

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