We reached out to several prominent Wisconsin conservatives and asked them to offer a few words on the one year anniversary of Scott Walker's recall victory.

We told them to be serious, or humorous, but to be succinct, We sent them the following direction:

 

It's been a year since Scott Walker thwarted Big Labor's attempt to recall him.

  • What do you have to say about this anniversary?
  • How significant was the win?
  • What has the movement accomplished since?
  • What more needs to happen?
  • What could the present look like if the results a year ago were different?
  • What are you doing to commemorate the occasion?
  • What/who do you miss from those quaint days of the permaprotests?

     

James Wigderson, Wigderson Library & Pub


The night of Governor Scott Walker’s victory I was in press row at the victory party. Every politician wanted to be seen there, regardless if they helped Walker or not. My wife, the Lovely Doreen from Waukesha, was also there. She was on the phone with her friend Bob from Georgia who wanted to share the moment from across the country.

We tend to think of Walker’s victory in terms of what it means in Wisconsin, but it meant "hope" nationally to the conservative movement. November’s elections would cruelly crush some of that hope, but the dream lives on in Michigan, Indiana, Louisiana, and elsewhere, that limited government can stand up to the forces of Leviathan.

He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages


Rose Fernandez, Parent, Education Reform Advocate

WEAC - What's That?

When I went to Madison in 2008 to find lawmakers who would support me and other parents fighting back against WEAC, I was told I was on a mission impossible.  If WEAC wants your school to disappear, it will disappear.  

WEAC held sway over the Capitol.  Together WEAC and DPI had partnered to close a popular, successful public school leaving WEAC dues-paying teachers out of a job and over 800 children without a school mid-year.  WEAC sat on a mountain of money & DPI threw in taxpayer funds to finance the four year vendetta.  

The bully was in our schoolyard and we didn't have much of a chance.

Now that WEAC has to earn its members, the bully has been put in its place.  More and more, WEAC is shrinking. Union overreach has given way to empowerment of our local school boards and school administrators.  

And that is very good for the little guys – the boys and girls in Wisconsin schools.

 

Steve Prestegard, StevePrestegard.com

After the November 2010 elections, Wisconsin had a Republican governor,  Republicans controlled both houses of the state Legislature, the state had one  Democratic senator and one Republican senator (elect), and five of the state’s House of Representatives were held by Republicans.

After Recallarama’s 2011 and 2012 editions, including the recall election one year ago today, and the November 2012 elections, Wisconsin had a Republican governor, Republicans controlled both houses of the state Legislature, the state had one Democratic senator (elect) and one Republican senator, and five of the state’s House of Representatives were held by Republicans.

So what was accomplished? Legislatively, not much beyond Act 10 and causing  a dramatic drop in public employee union membership. Republicans maintained what  they had, Democrats failed to gain anything between the legitimate 2010 and 2012 elections, and Wisconsinites with sense learned to hate politics and politicians.

More at http://steveprestegard.com/2013/06/05/one-year-ago-and-one-yearlater/

 

Jerry Bader, Radio Talk Show Host

Candidly, my first emotion when looking back to June 5, 2012 is disappointment. Conservatives had such wild-eyed optimism after Governor Walker's victory; it would embolden other reform-minded conservatives. Certainly this had to help Republican prospects in November. Neither happened. It would be easy to wallow. It would also be a tremendous mistake. Wisconsin’s Big Labor gambled everything and lost. Republicans still own all levers of power. The question is not in what direction Wisconsin will now go; it’s at what speed it will travel toward smaller government, at least for the foreseeable future. Imagine what Wisconsin would like look had things gone the other way and it’s easy to understand that this anniversary is reason to celebrate. And it left me with one of my all-time favorite video memories.
 

 

Brian Sikma, Media Trackers

The recall of Governor Scott Walker had exactly the opposite effect of what was intend by the Democrats and liberal groups who started it. Instead of battering Walker, it strengthened him and enhanced his political capital both inside and outside of Wisconsin. The recall turned Scott Walker from just another up-and-coming GOP governor into a much-talked-about national conservative figure armed with solutions and a history of taking on the Left. Liberals will no doubt continue to regret their decision to ever push for Walker's recall.

 

David Blaska, Renaissance Man

I'm trying to decide whom I miss most: Pink Slip Guy, Crying Man ("Democracy ended tonight."), Segway Boy, Ms. Hippie Bongstocking, Michael Moore, Jesse and the Teamsters, the Assembly Democrats in their shocking orange T-shirts, the drum circle ashram in the rotunda, or the Flee-baggers. I've decided it's Comrade John Nichols and Mr. Ed on the MSNBC set election night on Monona Terrace. They looked like they'd just swallowed a package of Ex-Lax when the network called the recall for Scott Walker less than an hour after polls closed. A cherished memory. It’s no small irony that state Democrats are meeting for annual convention this Friday and Saturday, still nursing their recall hangover — minus Graeme Zielinski, poster boy for Tourette Syndrome, the Baghdad Bob of babble. (Special notice to senators: They’re meeting in Oconomowoc, not at Rockford’s Clock Tower Inn.) They have no challenger for Governor Walker. They have no program -- other than to oppose tax cuts, mining jobs, and education reform. If the Democrats have a strategy to get to 50 seats in the Assembly, it’s as secret as party chairman Mike Tate’s salary. The next supreme court justice up for election is a liberal. The budget is balanced, we're getting a tax cut, the teachers unions have been defunded, and Walker is giving speeches in Iowa. Thank you Democrats and unionistas for making our guy a political rock star. 

 

Luke Hilgemann, AFP Wisconsin

Last year, politicians got the message that if your policies get results, the people will have your back.  nd more often than not, its conservative principles that get results.  Now conservatives in Wisconsin have to decide if they want to return to the old days of hedging bets or continue to push for bold reforms.  I think it’s a positive step that we are looking at a budget that will have $600+ million in tax cuts, expanded school choice and rejection of the federal Medicaid expansion.  In any other year, we would be happy with the results and go home.  But this time we know what is possible and we’re expecting more out of our elected officials.

 

Ethan Hollenberger, Conservative Activist

A year ago, conservatives all over the country were watching Wisconsin. I've talked to active conservatives from California to North Carolina, many of whom were watching results at parties. To them the feel was similar to a night watching Presidential returns. It is hard for us in Wisconsin to realize how motivational the Walker win was nationwide.

Wisconsin was at a fork in the road. To continue down a path of large spending increases with new taxes at every turn or one of fiscal discipline.

Many thought the hard work was over on June 5, 2012; however, initiatives like tax and education reform are still on the table. We can take a nostalgic look back over the last year; nonetheless, the vote on June 5th was simply a vote of confidence. There are many miles ahead to complete our goals.

 

Tamra Varebrook, Tea Party Activist

The recall victory anniversary is worth a mention, nothing more.  The current budget increasing government/spending 6% is shameful and that should be the focus of all conservatives right now.  We should be standing bythe REAL11 Wisconsin Conservatives trying to fight for spending cuts and less government! Conservatives kept Governor Walker in office last year because of the BOLDNESS of Act 10.  This is NOT a bold conservative budget so contrary to some messaging, I personally do NOT think this will help 2014 re-election.

 

Matt Batzel

"Happy Anniversary, Big Labor, on your colossal failure! You made history by helping the first Governor in US history to defeat a recall election. He couldn't have done it without your toddler like whining, Special Olympics protesting, taxpayer money wasting efforts. To commemorate the occasion, I'll be sure to watch the MSNBC recall night montage meltdown and remember how you have made conservative reform look so good!"

 

Kevin Binversie, Lakeshore Laments

Maybe I'm overly too cautious on things, but I'm not exactly sure why the state GOP is even holding its big anniversary event over at the Country Springs. If the governor is going to use it as a launching pad for his 2014 re-election, that's one thing.  If it is nothing more than a celebration of the events of last year, I'll pass.

For starters, no one likes bragging.  It can be a real turn off to independent voters who may have been voting in the recall election last year just to end the madness started by the other side.  They just wanted their state out of the limelight.

Secondly, if things don't go well for the base on Tuesday before the Joint Finance Committee on school choice and tax reform, it could get awkward there very quickly. There's a growing feeling among the base that they didn't save squishes like Luther Olson and Robert Cowles from recall in 2011 just for them to return to form come budget time.

Why exactly would one want to celebrate that?" 

 

Rachel Campos Duffy, Author, Media Personality

The most important thing Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Republican Party can do since the incredible recall victory is to courageously champion parental choice in education and lead the nation in giving all children equal access to the best schools their parent's can find.  It's a basic civil right.  

In America, the choice to access a great education shouldn't be the exclusive privilege of the rich and powerful.  Middle class families, the poor, and millions of minorities want the same thing the President and First Lady Michelle Obama want for their daughters - the opportunity to give their child the best shot in life.  Despite sending their own daughters to private institutions (even when they lived in Chicago), President Obama's administration has shut down voucher programs that once offered Washington DC parents a lifeline for their children to escape failed and dangerous schools.  The hypocrisy is mind-boggling and Americans ought to be outraged.

Scott Walker now has the chance to prove that Conservatives and the state of Wisconsin are on the side of equal access to the American Dream by putting forth policies that will expand parental choice and ensure that it is adequately funded and accessible to all parents.  

So, let's not shrink in the face of opposition - even (and especially!) from within our party.  Let's act! Call your state legislators and ask them to:
  1.  lift the caps from the proposed state-wide school expansion
  2.  strengthen the current program with fairer funding
  3.  put back the special needs bill into the budget

Just as importantly, don't forget to call State Representatives Mike Ellis, Luther Olsen, and Dale Schultz and ask them to support parental choice in education. This issue is a not only a winner for us electorally with demographics we need to attract (Hispanics, African-Americans, the working poor), but more importantly, it's the right thing to do!