Monday, March 19, 2012

Prepare but Don't Fear CRG Bluster

It must be a combination of recall-envy and a prolonged lack of attention. Or maybe it is just a group of longtime Scott Walker zealots trying to exact revenge. In any case the odd right wing club, Citizen's for Responsible Government (CRG) is threatening to launch a recall of Senators Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) and Bob Jauch (D-Poplar). They are reportedly talking about it because of only one issue: the senators refused to support mining legislation written by and for one mining company. As far as I can tell the senators were not against a mining bill entirely but were against this free pass legislation pushed by Walker and the Republican mafia in Madison. So given the roots and history of CRG, it is no surprise that they are once again surfacing to make threats.

For those that may not know, CRG has been a Walker-loving club since he was pushing for a recall of Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament in 2002. There was broad based outrage over the pension scandal at that time and a legitimate group of citizens organized as a result. However it didn't take long for right wing talk radio and their various allies to totally hijack that effort. Suddenly it became about promoting Scott Walker and the CRG that we know today was formed. During his train wreck tenure in Milwaukee County, CRG continued to blindly promote Scott Walker's political career.

CRG was successful in pushing Tom Ament out of office in 2002, they were successful in recalling several Milwaukee County supervisors and they were successful in getting Scott Walker elected. But that was Milwaukee County in 2002, it was fresh off the pension scandal and I can't think of a successful recall effort from them since. Oh, they have made many recall threats since then but most if not all of them were total failures. They've threatened recalls against more recently elected Milwaukee County supervisors, at least one Milwaukee Alderman, and other local officials in Wauwatosa, Cudahy and elsewhere. Not to mention the embarrassing effort to recall Governor Doyle.

So before the Senators get too worried about this threat, I hope that they take a moment to examine CRG's historic role of Walker zealotry. I hope that they look at their actual recall-to-threat ratio. Frankly, since their zenith in the early 2000's they haven't been very successful at recalls. That doesn't mean that the senators shouldn't prepare for the possibility, because one sugar daddy could finance such an effort, but they shouldn't fear CRG. Most of what they have been doing over the last decade has been bluster and Walker boosting but little else.

Afterthought: CRG and knee-jerk Republicans might want to fully consider the possible ramifications of recalling Schultz. Given the make-up of that district, it could very well backfire on you if you are successful. What you may end up doing is simply flipping the seat to Democrat.

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