What began for Wisconsin liberals as a promising attempt to reverse their democratic defeat in an election that occurred less than one year before the start of recall efforts last August, looks to be fizzling out. Recent polling shows Republican Gov. Scott Walker breaking ahead of his Democrat challenger Tom Barrett and POLITICO reports that voters have become fatigued by the recall effort as "seething" local Democratic Party leaders scramble to land blows against Walker:
Democrats are unloading everything in their arsenal against Walker. The attacks extend far beyond their vehement opposition to the governor’s rollback of collective-bargaining rights that initially spurred the signature-gathering process six months ago.
On Monday, as the Wisconsin Democratic Party distributed a memo purporting to outline alleged felonies during Walker’s tenure as county executive, Barrett held a press conference to call on his opponent to release thousands of emails that are at the center of a criminal probe into whether his former employees conducted campaign business on government time.
Aside from being vastly outspent, Barrett is also running against recall fatigue, observers on both sides say.
Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach acknowledged he’s heard complaints from voters who’ve simply had it with a process that began shortly after a slate of state Senate recall elections in August.
Further infuriating Wisconsin Democrats, the editorial board of the state's largest newspaper announced over the weekend that they will support the governor in the upcoming recall, and urge readers to do the same. While Walker's policies are controversial, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that arguments over them are not a reason to end the governor's term.
Walker's rematch with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was prompted by one issue: Walker's tough stance with the state's public-employee unions. It's inconceivable that the recall election would be occurring absent that. And a disagreement over a single policy is simply not enough to justify a vote against the governor.
Even if you disagree with Walker's policies, does that justify cutting short his term as governor? And if so, where does such logic lead? To more recall elections? More turmoil?
It's time to end the bickering and get back to the business of the state."
Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate exploded in a press release following the endorsement, writing "It saddens, but does not surprise, that the state's largest newspaper would continue to support the most divisive, and possibly most corrupt, governor in Wisconsin history."
Going on to add "One need only read the Milwaukee Sentinel editorials AGAINST the Civil Rights Movement and FOR Joe McCarthy to remember how silly and reactionary a news organization can look in the hindsight of the ages."
In addition to attacking the paper's editorial board, Tate called into question the journalistic ethics of the paper's news operation.
"Scott Walker not only owns the back editorial pages of the paper — he also owns the front pages of the paper with what is is supposed to remain a neutral forum for actual news," the statement reads.
The recall election is schedule for June 5. Earlier in the month, "Real News From The Blaze" aired a special report "Showdown Wisconsin" on the political forces at play and possible implications of the recall.