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Recall is the “Wisconsin Way”

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 in Our View

vote-buttonGREEN BAY - I see even Scott Walker is running ads to “stop the recall madness”, saying there is a “right way and a wrong way” to do it and the current effort to recall him is not the “Wisconsin Way”. The ads appeal to the basic fairness of the people of Wisconsin.

Funny that I remember the same plea, “stop the recall madness”, being made against Scott Walker and his pals in the Citizens for Responsible Government (CRG), as they pushed the recall “madness” to new heights down in Milwaukee County in 2002. Scott Walker got the job of Milwaukee County Executive and, eventually, Governor because of the “recall madness” and Walker's pals liked the act so well that they spread it throughout the county and state, ending the careers of many politicians along the way.

I helped in the recall movement, first lending aid to six Milwaukee County Supervisors who were the targets of recalls and then helping the Citizens for Responsible Leadership in the City of Franklin, a splinter group, replace five of the city's six aldermen and eventually its mayor. Those were heady times.

I have told many people over the the years that the current recall movement is a “dangerous thing”, and that “once you take it out of the box, it's pretty hard to put it back in”. Maybe it's run full circle now, coming back around to bite Scott Walker and his pals, who helped start it.

There is nothing wrong with the recall, and it is the essence of the “Wisconsin Way”. It is not impeachment, like the one against President Clinton, that most people are familiar with. Wisconsin's Constitution does not offer that option.

A recall is like a grand jury indictment, with the largest grand jury of all, all the people, getting to sign a petition to call a special election. The election itself is like the trial, with the largest jury of all, all the voters, getting to decide whether to remove the politician from office. It is the ultimate expression of “popular democracy”, with every citizen who shows up to vote getting an equal voice in the outcome, regardless of wealth or station.

The election next Tuesday, June 5th, is about Scott Walker and how he has chosen to represent us, nothing else. Don't let all the big money ads from his out of state donors confuse the issue. Scott Walker has been called to stand before all of us, down in the figurative city square, to be judged on his actions. We all get one vote in the verdict.

The only thing that is not the “Wisconsin Way”, is not to vote.

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Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive. Before moving to Green Bay in 2008, he was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Milwaukee County. A graduate of UWM in 1971, he moved to Madison, where he was Executive Personnel Officer and Technology Manager for the State Department of Employment Relations. He is a former Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County, Director at the Human Resources Management Association of S.E. Wisconsin (now SHRM), and Technology Commission Chair for the City of Franklin. Bob is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force (1965-1971).

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