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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/12/11

Democracy in Wisconsin: Four Scenarios for Tuesday's Recall Election Primaries

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Cross-posted from The Nation

From the start of the fight against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's assault on labor rights, local democracy, public schools and social services, the political strategy has been to recall at least three Republican state senators and flip control of that legislative chamber to the Democrats.

That would create a legislative check and balance on Walker and radically shift the political dynamic in the state that has become ground-zero in the fight not just to defend unions in Wisconsin but to challenge the GOP austerity push nationwide.

The six Democratic primaries being held Tuesday in Wisconsin state Senate districts begin the recall voting process that will play out on four separate election dates. The schedule starts with Tuesday's primaries to nominate Democratic challengers to Republican senators who backed Republican Governor Scott Walker's anti-labor agenda. Next week, Republican challengers will be chosen for two Democratic senators who have been forced into recall fights; and a third Democratic senator (Dave Hansen of Green Bay) will face a partisan runoff with a weak Republican challenger. On August 9, there will be partisan runoffs for the six Republican held seats. On August 16, there will be partisan runoffs for the two Democratic seats.

It all adds up to one of the most remarkable tests of a sitting governor's agenda -- and political staying power -- ever initiated in the first year of the executive's four-year term.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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