Wisconsin Republicans racing to pass agenda before recall elections

“There has been not even a pretense of trying to find a bipartisan agreement on important issues,” said Senator Mark Miller, the Democratic leader, who added that some measures were introduced and passed through committees in just a week’s time — a warp-speed timetable for any state government. “It’s the Republican agenda, and that’s it. The only negotiations now are among themselves.”…

Republican leaders are clearly worried about what the recall elections may bring. Stephan Thompson, executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, acknowledged on Monday that Republicans were encouraging “protest candidates” (who he describes as conservative activists) to run as Democrats in the recall contests. The intent is to force Democratic Party challengers to the threatened Republican senators to compete in invented primary elections, and to buy the Republicans more time to make their cases to voters before a general contest…

“You want to make sure there aren’t things undone,” said Senator Scott L. Fitzgerald, the Republican leader, who called the recall elections a battle of the two bases — firm Republican voters against firm Democrats. “If some major issue hasn’t been taken care of, voters wouldn’t be as motivated.”