Saturday, January 7, 2012

GOPs have only themselves to blame for Walker recall cost

I see the media has fallen for the latest GOP talking point about how recalling this corrupt Administration and the senators who went along with their thuggery is somehow "too expensive". This arises from a politically-motivated request from ALEC cabin boy Robin Vos to ask the GAB how much a "statewide recall election" would cost, and the GAB estimated the cost to local governments at around $9 million statewide.

Of course, that $9 million needs a bit more explanation past the face-value whining you'll get from right-wing media. First, there's no explanation in the GAB's estimate to whether this shows 1 statewide recall election, or a recall primary AND a full-scale general election. Because if that's the cost of both of those elections, there's an easy way for Republicans to lower the cost of this to taxpayers - stop pulling every trick in the book to extend this inevitable election and stop challenging the 800-900 thousand signatures that will come in to make Gov. Walker face the voters for what he has done. If the GOP just would step aside, accept the will of the people using their rights as outlined in the Wisconsin Constitution, and allow for 30 days for the GAB to check and tally the signatures, this would be sped up at a much lower cost.

If that scenario would play out, then you'd have a Dem Governor recall primary on April 3- the same day as the statewide GOP primary for president and numerous local elections. Elections officials are already staffed up and set for that day, so any extra cost would be minimal. Then you'd only have the recall general elections on May 1 or so, and you'd be done, at a much smaller cost.

But of course, having the recall election as soon as possible at lowest cost is NOT what the GOP is looking for. Witness the cynical judgment in a Walkershaw County court this week from a former GOP legislator that demanded the GAB take steps on their own to flag and remove unacceptable signatures, despite the fact that there is no law demanding the GAB do so and no money allocated to have them do it with any kind of effectiveness. In fact, in the GAB's own response to Vos on the costs of the recalls they say that it'll cost at least $100,000 to put in the software and materials necessary to carry out this unfunded (and unfounded) mandate, and that it would also require the hiring of 50 full-time workers for 8 weeks. So instead of the GOP paying for what they were previously required to do, they have now gotten a hack judge to pass that cost off to the taxpayers...and then the GOP has the nerve to turn around and blame the recall petitioners for the "unnecessary cost!" ARE THEY FUCKING KIDDING?

And of all the people to be concerned over the extra costs to local governments, the last guy I want to hear from is Robin Vos. If Wee Wittle Wobbin was so concerned with the extra costs and burdens on localities, why did he funnel hundreds of millions to his and Walker's buddies in the road builder lobby, including $147 million (If Robin Vos is so concerned with the extra costs, why did he funnel hundreds of millions to his and Walker's buddies in the road builder lobby, including $147 million (or 16 of these recall elections, Robby) raided out of schools and local government aids? Why did he ban local governments from working together on road projects, forcing the work to be privatized, EVEN IF PRIVATIZING COSTS TAXPAYERS MORE MOENY? Because alleged fiscal conservatives like Robin Vos are not serious about saving taxpayer money, only steering it to who pays their bills.

And especially after 2011, when the GOP cost taxpayers $400,000 for running fake Democrats in last summer's Senate recalls, and were the first groups to file recall petitions against 8 Wisconsin Dem Senators (eventually ending up with only 3 elections that the Dems all won handily) I don't want to hear a damn word from them about this. They seem to have no issues with wasting taxpayer dollars on recalls when it suits their needs, but when the other side give them the same treatment, now they get all concerned over the costs? Spare me, you hypocritical bastards.

Lastly, the biggest reason GOPs have no business whining about recall costs is that it was their own actions that made us do this. Scott Walker lied his way into office, then called hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin workers "haves" and "dropped the bomb" without any discussions with those workers. Bad enough, but then Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald admitted the move was about hurting Dems in 2012 instead of any type of fiscal reason that would help Wisconsinites, and it became obvious that the move was a political one made by Koch and ALEC-affiliated groups from outside of our state, we had a duty to fight back against it in Wisconsin. When the GOP-run Legislature rubber-stamped billions in cuts to schools, local governments, and other services while funneling hundreds of millions in tax breaks to corporate contributors, then we deserve to have our say before the damage becomes permanent. When Wisconsin has the worst economy in the lower 48 and the largest job losses in America, we deserve a chance to end this disaster.

Especially when you have an Administration that is wracked with favortism and play-to-play corruption, From the latest Walkergate examples of money laundering and influence peddling, to the Michael Gableman, Michael Best, and WisGOP triangle, to the incompetent booobs hired as a result of campaign kickbacks and the GOP spoils' system, to the lying to the public about Medicaid data and the lifting of the Family Care cap, this state's tradition of clean governmnet has been damaged nearly beyond repair. Because WisGOP lacks the balls or integrity to call their own people into account, and instead thinking they can wave their little red pom-poms to score political points, the clean-up job has to be left to us.

At a cost of less than $3 a Wisconsin adult, that clean-up job will be an absolute BARGAIN.

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