The Wisconsin recall elections are tentatively scheduled for July 12. Faced with the potential of losing the ability to pass far-right legislation after that date, Wisconsin Republicans are looking to pass a conservative legislative wish list as quickly as they can. Story
Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker and GOP leaders have launched a push to ram several years' worth of conservative agenda items through the Legislature this spring before recall elections threaten to end the party's control of state government.
Republicans, in a rapid sequence of votes over the next eight weeks, plan to legalize concealed weapons, deregulate the telephone industry, require voters to show photo identification at the polls, expand school vouchers and undo an early release for prisoners.
Lawmakers may also act again on Walker's controversial plan stripping public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights. An earlier version, which led to massive protest demonstrations at the Capitol, has been left in limbo by legal challenges.
"Everything's been accelerated," said Republican Rep. Gary Tauchen, who is working on the photo ID bill. "We've got a lot of big bills we're trying to get done."
Later in the same article, Governor Scott Walker argues that there isn't actually any acceleration of his agenda, and this torrid pace is simply continuing his pattern of aggression:
Walker said his plan to move his agenda is unchanged. "From our standpoint, it's really been about being aggressive from the beginning," he said in an interview.
Walker might actually have a point here, as the new Republican trifecta in Wisconsin has never seemed interested in caution, public debate, or compromise. Thus, the causality proposed by the article could be backward. Maybe this isn't about Republicans speeding up their extreme agenda because of the recall, but rather that the speed with which they are continuing to pursue their extreme agenda is yet another example of why the recall elections are taking place.
No matter whether the recalls are the chicken or the egg in this latest round of legislative intensity, it's clear that the only way to stop the current government of Wisconsin is to defeat it at the ballot box. The Republican trifecta has been unmoved by low polling numbers, unprecented protests, and even the largest recall drive in the history of the state. There is simply no grassroots pressure which is causing them to change course. As such, having voters remove them from office on July 12 is the only remaining option.