Upcoming Gubernatorial Recall Election
Posted: May 11, 2012
Now that voters have made it official to have Governor Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett square off again in the recall election next month, I started to reflect on how crazy the political scene in the Badger State has been over the past year. Aside from potentially having a governor kicked out of office for only the third time in the nation's history, Wisconsinites turned out to the voting booths in record numbers this week.
I am no closer to selecting a winner in the upcoming gubernatorial recall election that I was last November when Walker won by a slim, five percent margin over Barrett. As I've stated in a previous editorial, I was not a big fan of the way Walker has handled the first two years of his term. On top of that, my two personal meetings with Governor Walker were memorable mostly because I thought our esteemed leader came off as arrogant.
Walker's prediction that 250,000 jobs would be created during his four years in office is coming up way short at the halfway point. Yet, despite the negative publicity about the governor's push to defray the power of unions and strip them of their bargaining rights, Walker's tenure as governor has provided some relief for small businesses. Just this past week, CEO Magazine ranked Wisconsin four places higher in its annual business listing of the most competitive states. At least Walker has that going for him.
On the other hand, Barrett's record is the same as it was last fall. Milwaukee still has a higher-than-average crime rate, its budget is in miserable condition and the city has one of the country's highest unemployment rates. It's hard to get excited about Barrett leading the entire state. He didn't even have the support from the unions in this week's primary since he waited until the 11th hour to join the race.
It's kind of cool that Wiscsonsin's gubernatorial recall election is being watched by the rest of the country. But it's obviously not so cool that at least two of every three commercials during the local evening television newscasts are being purchased by a politician or some lobby group that wants to help get someone elected.
The only positive about this ordeal is that more Wisconsinites are engaging in the political discussion and making their voices heard by voting. I suppose if the state rids itself of voter apathy as a result of this debacle, then maybe it's worth it in the long run.
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