Blissfully short and incredibly expensive
The recall primary is but days away, and many of you can't wait until this whole process is over come early June.
Election-weary Wisconsin is going through it's first gubernatorial recall ever. There are rules, of course, but there's a lot that's being made up along the way.
And, history is being made, too, when it comes to the millions of dollars being spent to convince you that Scott Walker is either send from the gods or the spawn of Satan, depending on your politics or the last special interest TV spot you watched.
If nothing else, what we're seeing is remarkably compressed compared to a "normal" election where the campaigning begins months if not years (in the case of the presidency) out. While we've known for months that Kathleen Falk would be running on the Democratic side, a move that her labor backers hoped would spook Tom Barrett from entering the race, Barrett himself waited until after winning another term as Milwaukee Mayor to hop into the recall fray. In politics, that's a relative nanno-second.
The newest Marquette University poll shows Barrett with a sizeable lead over Falk with just days to go before the primary. It also has Walker and Barrett running virtually even. And, it says jobs are the voters' number one concern, with collective bargaining last out of the four listed. Strange, isn't it, that the issue that started all this recall mess is so far down?
We get a few answers next Tuesday, and this whole drama should end June 5th unless, of course, we get recounts, challenges, ballot box issues or vote-counting mayhem (Waukesha County IS still in Wisconsin, after all, and they still have the same County Clerk at the helm).
You may think that what we're going through isn't what the state's recall law was designed for. Or, you may agree that this is exactly how the statute is meant to be employed. I can't imagine anyone who likes how much it's going to cost municipalities (read that "we taxpayers) to execute these two rounds of balloting, and there can't be many of you who enjoy the fact that Wisconsin now has three seasons: winter, construction, and election.
I think we're all glad that the recall process is relatively compressed with about a month between the primary and the final. That's plenty of time to convince the undecideds and to energize various bases. It's more than enough to make one's eyes glaze over at the volume of political ads filling the airwaves. It may even drive some folks into their holes and away from the ballot box, the commercials so distorting reality that otherwise rational voters become convinced that neither side deserves to hold the helm.
It's historic. It's ground-breaking. It's expensive. And soon, it'll be over.