Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorses Walker in recall race

posted at 5:01 pm on May 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Same two candidates.  Same newspaper.  Same outcome.  In the 2010 gubernatorial election in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorsed Scott Walker over the mayor of the city the newspaper serves, Tom Barrett.  Yesterday, the paper praised and scolded both candidates, but wrote that nothing over the last two years gives the editors any reason to change their minds, and give plenty of criticism to the recall effort that forced the issue again (via Ann Althouse and Instapundit):

Walker’s rematch with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was prompted by one issue: Walker’s tough stance with the state’s public-employee unions. It’s inconceivable that the recall election would be occurring absent that. And a disagreement over a single policy is simply not enough to justify a vote against the governor.

A Marquette Law School Poll in January showed that many people in the Badger State agree. In that poll, 72% of Republicans, 44% of independents and 17% of Democrats said recalls should be limited to criminal wrongdoing. Republican state Rep. Robin Vos has proposed tightening the recall mechanism; he should continue to push for that after the election, regardless of who wins.

Even if you disagree with Walker’s policies, does that justify cutting short his term as governor? And if so, where does such logic lead? To more recall elections? More turmoil?

It’s time to end the bickering and get back to the business of the state. We’ve had our differences with the governor, but he deserves a chance to complete his term. We recommended him in 2010. We see no reason to change that recommendation. We urge voters to support Walker in the June 5 recall election.

The editorial gives a balanced look at both candidates.  The MJS editorial scolds Walker for his divisive approach to public-employee union reform, but notes that Walker has agreed that he should have spent more time building support for Act 10.  However, they also take note of the fact that Walker and the Republicans produced a balanced budget rather than the biennial debacle that had taken place for the last 15 years when Democrats controlled the legislature, and did so without raising taxes.  Job growth hasn’t met Walker’s promised 250,000 new jobs, but we are still less than halfway through Walker’s term, and that there are factors outside of Walker’s control in achieving that number.

As for Barrett, the MSJ considers him a “capable” executive.  They write that circumstances forced Barrett to raise taxes and fees, but that delivery of services remains “solid.”  The editorial scolds him for lacking boldness and initiative, however, calling him “risk-averse to a fault.”  It’s not a compelling picture of a candidate to rescue Wisconsin from the clutches of Scott Walker, even if one thinks Wisconsin needs rescuing, which the MSJ clearly does not.

The editorial makes clear that this recall election is a joke, a completely unnecessary and expensive exercise.  Barrett and the Democrats are no longer featuring the very issue that prompted the unions to pour millions of dollars into the state for the recall in the first place.  Why?  Because Act 10 worked and allowed counties and cities to get control over skyrocketing benefits packages to PEUs.  The one sure way to teach a lesson to the monied interests (mainly Big Labor) who tried to buy a recall election is to make sure that they lose their shirts in the transaction.

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Well, that sounds like good news.

Night Owl on May 20, 2012 at 5:08 PM

I agree, there should not be recall elections over policy differences, unless of course, we could do it to the President as well.

Night Owl on May 20, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I hope the unions don’t have any money left for Obama.

Night Owl on May 20, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I think the unions should have to pay for the total cost of the recall election if they lose. They shouldn’t be allowed to squander the people’s money for their agenda goals.

Night Owl on May 20, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Tom Barrett just had a terrible weekend. How about you?

englishqueen01 on May 20, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Dicky Trumka hardest hit.

Dack Thrombosis on May 20, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Has the paper been saying this all along? I can’t get over what a huge waste of time and money and effort this has been.

Cindy Munford on May 20, 2012 at 5:12 PM

I bet it’s nice in Wisconsin this time of year.

Night Owl on May 20, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Oh, Thank God. I thought I was going to have to carry this whole topic on my own there for a minute.

Night Owl on May 20, 2012 at 5:15 PM

I think the unions should have to pay for the total cost of the recall election if they lose. They shouldn’t be allowed to squander the people’s money for their agenda goals.

Night Owl on May 20, 2012 at 5:12 PM

….DITTO!
…it’s ok to carry the topic for a while…till you panic and can’t think…it happens!

KOOLAID2 on May 20, 2012 at 5:19 PM

I hope Walker wins big. Hopefully the people of Wisconsin will read this article and realize the paper is correct. Unless they all want an endless number of recalls.

dogsoldier on May 20, 2012 at 5:22 PM

KOOLAID2 on May 20, 2012 at 5:19 PM

I know, right? I wasn’t very happy with the sentence structure of this sentence, but I felt pressured to “Submit”:

They shouldn’t be allowed to squander the people’s money for their agenda goals.

Night Owl on May 20, 2012 at 5:22 PM

I think the unions should have to pay for the total cost of the recall election if they lose. They shouldn’t be allowed to squander the people’s money for their agenda goals.

Night Owl on May 20, 2012 at 5:12 PM

So only very well funded recall efforts would be attempted? Would it be better to constrain recalls to criminal convictions?

dogsoldier on May 20, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Since they always endorse conservatives, I’d be surprised if they didn’t.

stingray9813 on May 20, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Walker can’t ease up. Just gave him a donation.

http://www.Scottwalker.org

Public Name on May 20, 2012 at 5:28 PM

So only very well funded recall efforts would be attempted? Would it be better to constrain recalls to criminal convictions?

dogsoldier on May 20, 2012 at 5:24 PM

You make a good point, but if it weren’t limited to criminal convictions or something like that, the people with the money can just ruin a duly elected person’s term by distracting them from doing the job they were elected to do. Also, how much of that union money is from out of state? I just think this was wrong.

Night Owl on May 20, 2012 at 5:28 PM

I bet it’s nice in Wisconsin this time of year.

Night Owl on May 20, 2012 at 5:13 PM

85 degrees and sunny..:)

idesign on May 20, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Oh, Thank God. I thought I was going to have to carry this whole topic on my own there for a minute.

Night Owl on May 20, 2012 at 5:15 PM

..don’t worry, old son. It is a noble effort. Somewhere Bishop and KOOLAID are smug and content and you are negotiating the moguls deftly — kinda like that last scene in Downhill Racer where the unknown skier almost overtakes Redford in the last run of the day while Redford’s prattling away with his adoring press.

New gun in town, I’m thinkin’.

The War Planner on May 20, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Uh-oh. There really is a tsunami coming. You can always tell when the natives start heading to higher ground for no apparent reason.

platypus on May 20, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Wow. A main-stream media outlet making sense, endorsing a Repub, and oh, did I say, making sense? In Milwaukee, no less. Against their own mayor!

Things must really be bad in Milwaukee.

IrishEyes on May 20, 2012 at 5:41 PM

You make a good point, but if it weren’t limited to criminal convictions or something like that, the people with the money can just ruin a duly elected person’s term by distracting them from doing the job they were elected to do. Also, how much of that union money is from out of state? I just think this was wrong.

Night Owl on May 20, 2012 at 5:28 PM

That’s my thinking. By forcing the union to pay the state would set a precedent that would have unintended consequences. I agree, the recall was wrong for several reasons and future recalls should be constrained to limited and justifiable reasons. Those reasons should be enumerated and carefully and thoroughly defined.

dogsoldier on May 20, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Since they always endorse conservatives, I’d be surprised if they didn’t.

stingray9813 on May 20, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Really? Care to provide proof?

bs4948800 on May 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Even if you disagree with Walker’s policies, does that justify cutting short his term as governor? And if so, where does such logic lead? To more recall elections? More turmoil?

More recalls?…not from the right side…conservatives in Wisconsin have tolerated years of Dem control that almost brought the state to its knees and there was never any mention of “recall”. I wouldn’t expect to see any in the future…we tend to take a grown-up approach to differences in opinion and prefer to use the specified office terms and voting booth. And we realize that the $18 mil projected cost to state/local units would have been better spent on some of the items that the left say got cut.

More turmoil? IMHO it will always exist here (witness the pretty much 50/50 split in current opinion). You’ve got the Milwaukee welfare state/Madison PEU freeloaders and a few other outposts vs. the rest of the state. Walker was not the cause, he was the result.

teejk on May 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Do you think Walker would be interested in moving to California? That ‘balanced and realistic’ budget passed by Jerry and the Democratic Clowns last July now has a $16 BILLION hole in it.

GarandFan on May 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM

I posted this earlier on the MJS regarding this story. Didn’t take very long for the boo-birds to come out.

IMHO those who are opposed to having a recall election (like myself) should not have to have their tax dollars used for it. On the other hand, I feel that those who really want a recall should be willing to stand behind it by helping fund it. I would like to see everyone who signs a recall petition be required to pay $50 towards the cost. They would get a receipt for which the one handing out the petitions would keep along with the money. This would have to be done in controlled situations, not just going door to door. But, here again, if someone felt strongly about having a recall election they should feel strongly enough about it to go to the place where signatures were being collected and not need someone to go to their door begging for their signature. At the end of the collection period if there was less money than signatures, the one in charge of that collection area would be responsible for paying the difference. If, after all are collected, there weren’t enough signatures to call a recall election, the money would be refunded.

This would cut down on frivolous recalls like this one, it would mean those who signed the petition were REAL people, people who were willing to put their money where their signature was, and would keep those against the recall from having to fund it. I’d be very surprised if this method had been done for this recall signature gathering that there wouldn’t even have been 10,000 signatures, much less a million.

Of course, after I posted that on the newspaper page I got blasted for making people pay for their democratic rights. Yeah, they are ALREADY paying via their tax money; and I am too. I would very much like to only have those who seriously want this done paying for it.

Between this recall, and the one that took place last year, the costs are in the 6 figures…. money that we can not only ill afford to lose, but also almost impossible to replace during this economic period.

PackerFan4Life on May 20, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Still, vote! vote! vote!

SouthernGent on May 20, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Walker might make a good President in 2016.

Steveangell on May 20, 2012 at 6:00 PM

If he wins the best part will be all the wasted money and effort the unions spent trying to recall him.

Re-bleepin’-jected.

NeoKong on May 20, 2012 at 6:00 PM

I bit OT:

Drudge is on fire.

I’m thinking it’ll be like this from now until Election Day.

Key West Reader on May 20, 2012 at 6:05 PM

The one sure way to teach a lesson to the monied interests (mainly Big Labor) who tried to buy a recall election is to make sure that they lose their shirts in the transaction.

They need to spend more! Pull out the stops, pony up and throw everything they have at this election. Everything!

At that point, they will be broke, and maybe (just maybe) the union members will realize that their “leaders” are blowing their dues on pointless crap, and de-certify the unions.

iurockhead on May 20, 2012 at 6:10 PM

When he wins the recall and retains his position I hope it sends a loud a clear message to the unions…

OmahaConservative on May 20, 2012 at 6:17 PM

I wouldn’t be surprised if the MJS building burned down tonight.They can blame the OWS’ers.

docflash on May 20, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Between this recall, and the one that took place last year, the costs are in the 6 figures….

PackerFan4Life on May 20, 2012 at 5:57 PM

cost to the taxpayers for this one pegged at $18,000,000 so 8 figures not 6. add in the “non-partisan” supreme court mess last year plus the fall recalls, add in the amount of money spent by both sides in attacking/defending so let’s just say low 9 figures.

teejk on May 20, 2012 at 7:01 PM

I hope Walker doubles down on all the programs he didn’t get done the first time and uses all the political capital he has. Make the dems and unions pay for this totally unnecessary recall.

Kissmygrits on May 20, 2012 at 7:11 PM

If things hold and Walker wins – he should run a full page ad in every newspaper in Wisconsin showing the cost of this recall.

That should wrap up the state for Romney come November.

gophergirl on May 20, 2012 at 7:26 PM

I hope this newspaper and it’s employees are prepared for reprisals by Union Thugs.

That’s what Union thuggery is all about.

listens2glenn on May 20, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Has the paper been saying this all along? I can’t get over what a huge waste of time and money and effort this has been.

Cindy Munford on May 20, 2012 at 5:12 PM

No it hasn’t Cindy, the opposite. They were very hard on Walker, and continue to publish all kinds of articles of the John Doe investigation. Which have to be leaks from the DA’s office. Many on staff at MJS were found to have signed the recall petitions. This is a complete about face.

wi farmgirl on May 20, 2012 at 7:37 PM

The one sure way to teach a lesson to the monied interests (mainly Big Labor) who tried to buy a recall election is to make sure that they lose their shirts in the transaction.

Actually the voters lost bigger. A year of hell, and way too much money spent on something that was so unnecessary. If only we could give them the tab of the recall costs.

wi farmgirl on May 20, 2012 at 7:40 PM

The editorial makes clear that this recall election is a joke, a completely unnecessary and expensive exercise.

As if we didn’t know that. Seriously recall elections should be limited to instances where an elected official is corrupt or incompetent (Gray Davis in California was both). Scott Walker’s only crime was to take on the unions. How much money has been wasted just because flacid Milwaulkee teachers now have to pay for that little blue bill?

Happy Nomad on May 20, 2012 at 7:48 PM

If things hold and Walker wins – he should run a full page ad in every newspaper in Wisconsin showing the cost of this recall.

That should wrap up the state for Romney come November.

gophergirl on May 20, 2012 at 7:26 PM

That is brilliant! Yes, run full page ads for weeks. Or better yet air time.

wi farmgirl on May 20, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Do you think Walker would be interested in moving to California? That ‘balanced and realistic’ budget passed by Jerry and the Democratic Clowns last July now has a $16 BILLION hole in it.

GarandFan on May 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Some things are beyond repair. I submit the “California bullet train” as exhibit A.

msupertas on May 20, 2012 at 7:55 PM

No it hasn’t Cindy, the opposite. They were very hard on Walker, and continue to publish all kinds of articles of the John Doe investigation. Which have to be leaks from the DA’s office. Many on staff at MJS were found to have signed the recall petitions. This is a complete about face.

wi farmgirl on May 20, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Yea, something tells me if Walker didn’t have a nearly double digit lead, the MJS would either be on the fence or pushing the Dem.

msupertas on May 20, 2012 at 7:58 PM

I think recall elections are fine. Go for it. Particularly if the policys are constitutionally questionable. I say that because if and or when some liberal schmoe tries to push through their weird fasco-marxist tyrannical crap, I’d like to maintain the mechanism to give them hell and cripple them politically.

WashingtonsWake on May 20, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Don’t take a thing for granted and celebrate after the votes are counted.

Wisconsin is the barricade of 2012.

As goes Wisconsin so goes the nation on Nov. 2012.

Schadenfreude on May 20, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Another example of the lamestream media being divorced from reality.

Time Lord on May 20, 2012 at 11:39 PM

No it hasn’t Cindy, the opposite. They were very hard on Walker, and continue to publish all kinds of articles of the John Doe investigation. Which have to be leaks from the DA’s office. Many on staff at MJS were found to have signed the recall petitions. This is a complete about face.

wi farmgirl on May 20, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Yea, something tells me if Walker didn’t have a nearly double digit lead, the MJS would either be on the fence or pushing the Dem.

msupertas on May 20, 2012 at 7:58 PM

I disagree. Remember it was the MJS who printed an article not long after Walker’s policies were implemented, that talked about how much better a lot of the school districts were doing.

I went out and bought a MJS today. It is nice to be able to buy a newspaper again. I can’t even buy my own little town’s left-wing slanted rag(they slant everything against Walker).
Did they glorify Walker and slam Barrett maliciously? No. They realized that Walker’s reforms are working and that Walker should be given the chance to see them work even more by allowing him to serve out the rest of his term.
It is nice to see a newspaper actually be impartial and objective again.

Sterling Holobyte on May 21, 2012 at 2:34 AM

Madison “occupiers” set to boycott MSJ in 5… 4… 3…

Khun Joe on May 21, 2012 at 3:05 AM

Even if you disagree with Walker’s policies, does that justify cutting short his term as governor? And if so, where does such logic lead? To more recall elections? More turmoil?

The Journal-Sentinel is either naive or definitely withholding the obvious: If Tom Barrett wins this election and the Democrats take over the state government again, the FIRST thing they are going to do is make sure conservatives are not able to recall them by changing the recall laws.

Tools like this should only be used by them, after all.

englishqueen01 on May 21, 2012 at 7:03 AM

Republican state Rep. Robin Vos has proposed tightening the recall mechanism; he should continue to push for that after the election, regardless of who wins

Cute. Special elections will tend to favor Republicans over Democrats because it’s harder to cheat and get the riff raff to the polls. We need to expand recall laws, not get rid of them. Not to mention that there are good reasons to get rid of Democrat governors ( it could save your state from destruction ), and you wouldn’t want to sacrifice your good motives to negate their bad motives. I think there would usually be a popular motive for getting rid of the Democrat as opposed to a special interest motive to get rid of the Republican.

Buddahpundit on May 21, 2012 at 7:35 AM

The MJS is often referred to as a “centrist” newspaper, by that it is meant that they are all over the board. As I understand it the treatment of Walker reflects that. Walker was endorsed by this paper last time around, the paper joined in the Walker bashing when it served their purpose and now they are endorsing Walker again. They did get one thing right tough, the cost of a recall election and the massive distraction it creates over one relatively minor issue is insane. Recall’s shouldn’t be used to turn republican governments into European style parliaments and never-ending votes of confidence.

There is also some finger-in-the-wind to this endorsement. When the DNC pulls out of leaves the unions to flounder on their own you know all the internal tea leaves are not looking good for the Democrats.

And the poster suggesting the cost of this waste of time should be run this fall is spot on, make it a hard-hitting quick rundown of what a complete waste of time and money it was and ram it down the Democrats throat and lets see if Obama and other Dem candidates can survive the wrath of the voters.

insidiator on May 21, 2012 at 7:58 AM

The JS has been hammered lately by conservatives pointing out factual errors in their paper. Most anti-Walker articles have been commented on – with links to real data, real press releases, etc.

The new “purple” project (editorials from folks all over the political spectrum) got outed for having an elected Democrat Party member (no Republican) who wrote an entire article quoting another article from Forbes, that was not even on the right topic. He lacked both math skills and reading comprehension.

I personally have called them on their lack of journalistic integrity and intellectual curiousity. They’ve been hammered enough that they’re starting to see, if not the light, then where their bread is buttered.

Daisy_WI on May 21, 2012 at 10:35 AM

No it hasn’t Cindy, the opposite. They were very hard on Walker, and continue to publish all kinds of articles of the John Doe investigation. Which have to be leaks from the DA’s office. Many on staff at MJS were found to have signed the recall petitions. This is a complete about face.
wi farmgirl on May 20, 2012 at 7:37 PM
Yea, something tells me if Walker didn’t have a nearly double digit lead, the MJS would either be on the fence or pushing the Dem.
msupertas on May 20, 2012 at 7:58 PM

I read somewhere a couple months ago that the way the unions were getting the amount of signatures they needed was by force. It didn’t matter if ya wanted to sign or not, if ya wanted your family, home, job, etc to be safe, you were gonna sign the recall petition. Then, you’d be able to vote for Walker again in the election. I have no doubt what so ever that he’s ahead in the polls, even after they came up with that many signatures. Now all they gotta do is protect the voting booths so they can actually vote, instead of being intimidated there, also.

momof5shortstuff on May 21, 2012 at 8:51 PM