Today’s output from Blogistan Polytechnic Institute’s state-of-the-art HEMMED (High-Energy Meta Mojo Elucidation Detector) machine is another update on the status of rebuilding our states after the unfortunate Midterm 2010 Shellacking.

In late May, the HEMMED lab took a look at the various citizen initiatives working to mitigate the damage from the low-turnout election of November 2010. We updated the status in mid-June and it is time for another update.

To recap, in Wisconsin, citizens can recall elected officials who have been in office for a year. That opened up the possibility of recalling state senators, elected in 2008, as early as Summer 2011 and Governor Scott Walker in January 2012.

In Michigan, citizens can recall elected officials after 6 months in office. After Gov. Rick Synder put in place a draconian plan to dismantle local governments, cancel union agreements and other contracts and turn the management of municipalities over to private businesses he became a target for recall.

In Ohio, there is a special procedure that allows for citizens to override a bill via a referendum process. The referendum process requires a majority of voters to approve a bill before it can become law. Ohioans targetted Senate Bill 5 (SB 5), their union busting bill, for citizen veto.

Here is an update on the status.

In Wisconsin the legislature wrapped up it’s current session after passing a 2012-2013 budget that takes huge amounts of cash from education and social services and hands it over to corporate interests. In addition, the state Supreme Court ruled that laws passed by previous legislatures cannot bind present legislators and the so-called budget repair bill that had been the subject of litigation was subsequently published and is now the law. (Note: A suit was filed in federal court over the union busting bill because it exempted certain classes of state employees and as such may be unconstitional).

Starting immediately, union dues will not be taken out of state employees paychecks thus drying up important funds that the unions will need to fight back against the bill and the assaults on working people in the budget.

The good news is that the awful budget has energized people for the recall.

The Government Accountability Board (GAB) is Wisconsin’s non-partisan elections board and is handling the recalls.

One bit of good news this past week is that the candidate the Republican Party of Wisconsin preferred to run against Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) came up two signatures short in his nomination papers. State Rep. John Nygren turned in 424 signatures (the law allows double the needed 400 signatures, or 800, to be collected). After the signatures were verified, he ended up with 398 valid signatures. He challenged it in court and lost. Please note that his hubris not only did not make him think that it might be a good idea to have more than 24 extra signatures in case of errors but that he did not even sign his own nominating papers. The only candidate left is David VanderLeest who is somewhat imperfect.

The first recall election will be July 19th for Dave Hansen’s seat (Senate District 30) since there is now no Republican primary.

The dates for the elections as of right now are:
July 12th – Primaries for recalls involving Republican state senators (for Democrats but in Wisconsin it is an Open Primary)
July 19th – Primaries for recalls involving Democratic state senators in two races and the General election in District 30.
August 9th – General election for recalls involving Republican state senators
August 16th – General election for recalls involving two Democratic state senators

Here are the races and the current polling:

Jennifer Shilling vs Dan Kapanke in Senate District 32. Latest polls show her up by 14%
Jessica King vs Randy Hopper in Senate District 18. Polls show her up by 3% which is within the margin of error.
Fred Clark vs Luther Olson in Senate District 14.
Sandy Pasch vs Alberta Darling in Senate District 8.
Nancy Nusbaum vs Robert Cowles in Senate District 2.
Shelly Moore vs Sheila Harsdorf in Senate District 10. Polls show her trailing by 5% which is the margin of error.

Democrats will be defending their seats in three districts:
Jim Holperin in Senate District 12
Bob Wirch in Senate District 22
Dave Hansen in Senate District 30

Here is a link to a chart with information on the electoral chances in those senate districts.

The current breakdown is 19 R, 14 D. Democrats need to take a net of 3 to flip the senate and create a firewall to the worst that Scott Walker can do.

There is no new news on the recall of Governor Scott Walker. Petitions cannot be turned in before January 3rd, 2012 and the petition drive cannot start until 90 days before that date.

No news from Michigan on the drive to recall Gov. Rick Snyder as petitions continue to be gathered. They need 806,522 valid signatures by August 15th to get the governor’s recall on the ballot in November 2011.

The group Fire Rick Snyder is also working to recall 7 state senators and representatives, most notably Michigan House Speaker James (Jase) Bolger . A hearing on that recall petition is scheduled for this week.

The web site indicates that they are no longer releasing counts of how many signatures they have gathered because they want to make sure that the information is accurate.

Here is the current countdown clock as of this morning:

04 weeks
02 days
13 hours
18 minutes
20 seconds

The only governors recalled have been California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003 and North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier in 1921.

The big news last week was the delivery of the signatures needed to put the citizens veto of Senate Bill 5 on the November ballot.

The group We Are Ohio only needed 231,149 signatures. On June 29th, they delivered 1,298,301 signatures in an 18-wheeler with a parade that included 6,200 people.

These numbers ensure that the initiative will appear on the November 2011 ballot. The vote requires a simple majority of Ohioans to reject the union busting bill so the next step will be getting voters registered (a voter id law was passed making it more difficult to vote) and energized for November.

In November 2010, tea party Republican John Kasich received 1,889,186 votes and defeated incumbent Democratic Governor Ted Strickland by 77,127. Turnout was 3,956,045 out of 8,037,806 registered (about 49%). In an I Wish That Hadn’t Happened Poll, Kasich would lose to Strickland by 15 points, 55% to 40%.

Good luck, Ohio!

National Implications – One more time

While these processes directly affect the citizens in these three states, they also affect the rest of the country in several ways:
1. It keeps the issue of Republican overreach in the news
2. The success of people-powered politics can energize the electorate

The reports of the very unpopular GOP freshmen governors in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Maine, Iowa, Pennsylvania and New Jersey being a major drag on the GOP presidential ticket in 2012 should encourage us to keep this in the news. The unpopular governors account for 117 electoral votes in states that went to Obama in 2008.

Recall the overreaching Republicans, Repeal the bad laws they passed despite public opinion and Rebuild our states and our country … sweeping the tea party movement into the dustbin of history.

Happy Tuesday to everyone and fist bumps!

The BPI Campus Progressive agenda:
1. People matter more than profits.
2. The earth is our home, not our trash can.
3. We need good government for both #1 and #2.

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