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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/2/11

Summer shocker for GOP in Wisconsin recall battle

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Brent Budowsky
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The first nationally important election since November 2010 will be almost certainly occur this summer in multiple recall votes for Wisconsin state senators. The first petition with the required signatures will be filed imminently, probably today (Friday), for a recall vote to replace Republican state Sen. Dan Kapanke.

Multiple Democratic sources in Wisconsin tell me that all of the recall petitions are gathering significant support, ahead of schedule, and multiple petitions with the required signatures will filed in the coming days and weeks.

The signatures will first have to be formally verified. Of the eight Republican senators being targeted for recall by Democrats, if three of them are defeated in recall elections the Wisconsin Senate will shift from Republican to Democratic.

There are several Democratic state senators that Republicans are targeting for recall; time will tell whether any of them achieve the required signatures. If public opinion is a guide, the Democratic senators will probably win their battles while the Republican senators face great peril from the voters.

Get ready for a battle royale that will galvanize the attention of the nation as well as the voters of Wisconsin. Get ready for the first real referendum to reverse the move to the radical right, led by Wisconsin Republicans, followed by other extreme actions by GOP officials in other states that will give voters an opportunity to "throw the bums out" and repudiate the move to the extreme right.

In Ohio, where Republican Gov. John Kasich faces collapsing poll numbers, the Republicans are including courageous firefighters and police in their attacks. Democrats treat firefighters and police as American heroes who ran into burning buildings, risking their lives, to save their neighbors after terrorist attacks. Ohio Republicans attack their collective bargaining rights and their basic livelihoods in their crusade against unions.

In Michigan, one of the hardest-hit states, Republicans attack jobless workers with aggressive and shameful cutbacks in unemployment compensation.

In New Jersey, the Republican governor who remains a darling of the cable news shows, continues his attacks against countless workers and programs supported even by many moderate Republicans.

In Washington, the Tea Party members of the House continue to push for cuts that many economists warn would destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs while they continue their obsessive wars against National Public Radio, Planned Parenthood, the Environmental Protection Agency and even, shamefully, AARP, which represents tens of millions of retired persons.

The Tea Party movement nationally now suffers from collapsing public support as suggested by recent polling. Many of these statewide Republicans similarly suffer from major declines in support.

This summer the recall battle in Wisconsin will bring a great national drama, with the potential to lead to a resounding defeat for the forces of extreme Republicanism.

Minnesota's Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) may not know the state in which the original Lexington and Concord battle was fought, but I will tell you the state where the next Lexington and Concord will be fought. Wisconsin. This summer.

If current polls are correct, the Wisconsin Democrats will likely win a resounding triumph and the far right of the Republican party will suffer a resounding defeat that would return control of the Wisconsin Senate to Democrats, and send an earthquake political message that will reverberate throughout the nation.

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Brent Budowsky is a regular columnist on thehill.com. He served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served (more...)

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