Walker committed no crimes; unfair to recall over one law

Story by Tim Duffy

Current efforts are in the works by the Democrat Party of Wisconsin and other opponents to recall Governor Walker. The recall campaign is supposed to officially kick off on November 15th. In order to successfully foster a recall election, Walker skeptics need to collect 540,000 (25% of votes cast in the election) valid signatures in a matter of 60 days. This is according to Article XIII – Section 12 of the Wisconsin Constitution, in which incumbents are allowed to be recalled after one year of holding office. It does not mention specific criteria under what circumstances any office-holder within the state can be recalled.


Essentially, this means that Governor Walker can be theoretically recalled as long as there’s enough intent and enough credibility behind the movement. The recall efforts may include the former, but certainly not the latter. Historically, removal from public office is usually correlated with misconduct in office or misuse of authority. Yes, Governor Walker proposed successful changes to collective bargaining law, but did he commit a crime? Other than hurting sensitive feelings, Governor Walker certainly did not commit crimes or misconduct worthy of his removal from office. The last time I checked, proposing legislation was not a crime and neither is partisan politics that accompanies both parties.


Even I am not the only one who thinks this. According to an article published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on November 7, Governor Walker’s opponents, primarily Democrats and labor unions, have not made a credible or “compelling case to recall the governor.” The article clearly states that the majority of voters who elected Governor Walker deserve to see him complete his term. Even though opponents argue that Governor Walker never campaigned to end collective bargaining, his record as Milwaukee County Executive should have made it clear to Wisconsin voters that some kind of cuts to labor costs would ensue.


The following quote from the article, I think, clearly reiterates my point and suggests that the recall efforts are a waste of time and resources. “Unless an officeholder commits some egregious sin, swinging the recall hammer because you disagree with the officeholder over a single issue is a misuse of the tool. And make no mistake, the recall is proceeding over one issue: Walker’s decision to sharply limit collective bargaining for most public workers.”


It has not even been a full year since the implementation of the new collective bargaining law, and we have not had ample time to see its full consequences, good and bad. Recall organizers and their potential supporters need to recognize that no outrageous crime was committed and that Governor Walker should live out the remainder of his official term. If voters do not see any tangible benefits of Governor Walker’s polices they will have the opportunity to vote him out of office in 2014, after we have all seen the four-year outcome of his complete term in office. It seems fair to me that we allow Governor Walker his complete term, since the previous Governor Doyle served two complete terms; during which I’m sure he angered conservatives numerous times. Did they recall him?


One may make the argument that Governor Walker contributed dirty political tactics, which are worthy of recall. Historically, dirty political tactics have been seen under several governors from both the Democratic and Republican Parties (and for other public offices for that matter). If typical dirty politics and partisan politics were seen as credible reasons to recall governors, we certainly should have seen previous recalls and officially establish such precedent.


When you are faced with recall petitions in the upcoming months, whether you agree or disagree with Governor Walker, ask yourself if Governor Walker committed a high crime worth his removal from office. Don’t abuse the system that is in place to protect Wisconsinites from true crimes. Instead, voice your opinion at the ballot box in the next election.