Hipparchia at Corrente:

Even if you don’t live in Wisconsin, you can help with their recall elections

What were your family’s summer vacation plans? Why not visit Wisconsin? It’s a lovely state, with lots to do, and you can help spread democracy while you’re there.

I have two problems with this idea.

The first is that I generally don’t think non-residents have any business intruding into the internal affairs of another state. We’re not talking about a civil rights issue like segregation or same-sex marriage. If you want to get involved in what happens in Wisconsin then MOVE there.

The second problem has to do with the “spreading democracy” meme. I’ve been following what’s been going on in Wisconsin. The Republicans won the last election and are trying to implement their ideas into law. That IS democracy.

You don’t have to like what the Cheesehead GOPers are doing, but they have the legal right to do it.

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39 Responses to MYOB

  1. yttik says:

    Ha! I tend to agree, If you want to be involved in an area’s politics, you should be forced to live there. My BIL lived for years in Wisconsin. He used to say, when you’re up to your eyeballs in mustard and cheese, than you can talk about our politics.

  2. crawdad says:


    Cost savings from worker contributions to health care and retirement, taking effect today as part of the new collective bargaining laws, will swing the Kaukauna School District from a $400,000 budget deficit to an estimated $1.5 million surplus, the Post-Crescent in Appleton reports. The district tells the Post-Crescent that it plans to hire teachers and reduce class size.

  3. Valhalla says:

    Well, recalls are part of the democratic system too. One of the few recourses voters have in between election cycles. They’re a legit part of the WI state system. I don’t see how it’s wrong to advocate using them. It’s not like, say, gaming the caucuses or perverting primaries through intimidation sneaky tricks.

    I disagree that this is all that different from civil rights issues. WI is one of many union-busting efforts that the Republicans are employed in (and Democrats are giving their usual tacit approval of, by reaching for the fainting couch as if they give a crap of).

    • angienc says:

      Your points are valid, but still I tend to think that it should be WI residents alone being the ones that get a recall done without interference from foreign residents. If you are not a resident of that state/paying taxes to that state, you really don’t have *standing* to tell that state how to operate.

    • WMCB says:

      These recalls are legal, but I still think they are dirty pool. The legislature did exactly what the citizens elected them to do. Most of them ran on it. And got elected. It’s not like they did something after being in office that was unexpectedly bad and shocking, which I think is the real purpose of recalls.

      Mounting a recall because an elected official did precisely what the people elected her/him to do is cynically partisan, IMO.

      • myiq2xu says:

        The recall was intended to be used like a voters’ impeachment – for malfeasance, misfeasance and/or nonfeasance, not policy disagreements.

        Policy disagreements are what elections are for

        • WMCB says:


        • WMCB says:

          I wonder how some cheering this in WI would feel if some out-of-state Republicans with deep pockets came into their community and started mounting recall elections on every pro-choice democrat? And did it repeatedly – basically forcing them to run for re-election constantly, even if they’d just won one?

        • votermom says:


        • Valhalla says:

          Well, yes and no. Mostly no. Recalls aren’t limited to malfeasance or anything remotely like that. Actually, I’m not sure where you’re getting that. In WI, anyone can circulate a recall petition who is 18 and not disqualified from voting in WI. Plus voters are free to change their minds about what policies they want, or change their minds about whether the people they elected are actually carrying out the policies the way they want them, because they no longer have confidence in the politician.

          And it’s a bit of a stretch to say, in almost any election, that voters elected any one politician for one particular policy. People vote for a million different reasons — party loyalty, hostility toward the other side, because they like some OTHER policy of the politician, because their feet hurt on election day,whatever. Politicians are supposed to represent the people. If enough people decide they’re not being represented, they’re out. The duty to represent the people doesn’t magically turn off when the polls close on election day.

          On Angie’s point, I mostly agree with you, but it’s not as if the rest of WI politics is some sort of untrammeled model of in-state political purity. The other side had muy influences coming from the outside as well. Not to mention, there’s big money on the Republicans’ side coming from the lovely Koch family. Btw, I lived in WI for a few years, and while some parts of the government is squeaky, and I do mean squeaky, clean, the Governor’s office is not one of them. Of course, the pay to play stuff and the PAC influences don’t rise to the Olympics-level corruption of say, Illinois, but the idea that WI politics is some sort of unsullied paradise of democracy, marred only by (for the first time!) some out-of-staters working for these recalls is just factually wrong.

          And esp. so if you’re going to carve out exceptions like civil rights. Sure, when 8 gazillion issue groups were pouring money into my state over gay marriage, plus bussing groups in from across the country (and the world in some cases), I would gladly have kicked the out of state pro-equality groups out if I could have gotten rid of all the religious and “family values” groups. But you can’t say it’s ok for one side to pull in out of state money or people, but not the other. Or that it’s democracy for some big money corporate asshats to essentially buy the politicians and legislation they want, even if they are home-grown evil, but no one else can add resources to the other side. This isn’t any kind of truly local issue, like zoning laws or whatever.

        • angienc says:

          Valhalla — you have a good point about outside interests effecting elections. I totally despise that they are allowed to do that. The same way I think it should only be WI residents deciding about recall, I think it should only be WI residents (and WI residents’ $$) deciding elections. (Not just for WI, but for all states). It truly does corrupt the entire process, IMO.

        • Valhalla, on July 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm

          Honk, and honk, and honk.

          Honk to all.

      • JeanLouise says:

        The Republicans in Wisconsin were not elected to bust the unions and every poll I’ve seen since they did it have attested to that.

    • myiq2xu says:

      The GOP financed a recall campaign against our last Democratic governor (Gray Davis) which is how we ended up with Arnold.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      But that’s not what this blog post is about. It’s about interference in those recall elections by outsiders. And actually, Democratic governors are doing as bad as if not worse than Walker in some states and there’s nary been a peep about it from “pro-union” forces.

      • 1539days says:

        If it’s being done by a Democratic govenor, like Andrew Cuomo, you won’t hear much about it.

      • ralphb says:

        These protest are almost completely tribal in nature. It’s only a problem when it’s the “other” party doing it.

        That leaves true independents like myself cold.

  4. WMCB says:

    I tend to agree, myiq. These are in-state issues, and not really anyone’s business except Wisconsonites. Many are interested in the events there and the outcome, and that’s fine. But to travel there and stick your nose in, to be a part of the “voice” that affects their state politics when you are not from there, just sits wrong with me.

  5. 1539days says:

    Union members from many states will certainly be in Wisconsin for the recall parties. Democrats, especially the ones who skipped town, will also be up for recall. Considering 2008, if the carpetbaggers will confine themselves to getting support, rather than illegally voting or signing petitions, it’s a start.

    The problem with drawing a line between civil rights and states rights is that it’s an arbitrary definition. The 10th Amendment and DOMA say that gay marriage is a state issue. It takes federal intervention (or a Constitutional Amendment) to change that.

  6. votermom says:

    “spreading democracy” … isn’t that what we do in Iraq & Libya?

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