Last night was Wisconsin’s “Super Recall Tuesday” and the whole country watched with baited breath. Six Republicans faced Democrat challengers in race to control the state Senate. Public employee unions and other Democrat voters had hoped to win at least three seats, flip the Senate and wrest control away from the GOP with the ultimate goal of blocking Governor Scott Walker’s controversial budget slashing efforts. Of the six Republicans up for recall, four survived their challenges: Sens.Rob Cowles of Allouez , Sheila Harsdorf of River Falls, and Luther Olsen of Ripon. Senator Alberta Darling of River Hills won over Rep.Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish) in a tight race that was originally called by the press for Pasch, but had to be amended as late night returns came in from traditional Republican strongholds.
With unions reportedly spending over $30,000,000 on the recall efforts, many in Wisconsin and around the country were concerned that the grassroots efforts that began in that state in 2010 – and ultimately made WI one of the more prosperous states in the union, currently – would be overturned, and the state might return to its fiscally unsustainable ways. However, the voters were undeterred. In one county, more voters turned out for the recall than did the Governor’s election. Moral, financial, and new media support poured in from all areas of the country. Americans seemed to realize that as Wisconsin goes, so may the rest of the Republic.
The battle for the Wisconsin senate has captured the entire country. It has become a symbol of the national battle between big government and individualism – a battle that many fear has consequences that will spell doom or success for the very future of the nation. With four of the six seats by the GOP, Wisconsin has officially beaten back this latest challenge to democracy. Next Tuesday brings another recall election, however the incumbents are Democrats. The results at that time will have no affect on control of Senate, but do represent an opportunity for Republicans to recover their losses from last night. Sources report polling is close and it could be another tight race.
Wisconsinites and others around the country are breathing a sigh of relief today, but the battle is most certainly not over yet. The amount of money and labor that poured in to Democrats from outside public employee unions and groups, including President Obama’s Organizing for America, is a sure sign that public employee unions are committed whole-heartedly to maintaining the status quo in the fiscal health of this nation. There are still challenges and accusations to be made, and even if Wisconsin finally puts this latest round of political maneuvering behind them, the front will only move to other states who are facing the same situations. Vigilance is key. The battle for Wisconsin may be coming to a close, but the war for the future of America rages on.