The recall elections for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, his Lt. Governor, and 4 state Senators is now officially on:
The recall election ordered Friday for embattled first-term Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker quickly turned into a possible rematch when the Democrat he narrowly defeated in 2010 announced he was jumping into the race.
Walker expressed confidence he would hold on to his seat shortly after the Government Accountability Board ordered the election, after more than 900,000 signatures were collected supporting a recall in the wake of Walker’s push against union bargaining rights. It marks only the third recall of a governor in U.S. history.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced hours later he would challenge Walker, shaking up a Democratic primary race that had been led by union-backed candidate Kathleen Falk. Barrett has publically clashed with unions who were urging him not to get into the race.
In an email to supporters, Barrett said he would begin campaigning immediately to win the primary that looms just 39 days away on May 8. The general election is June 5.
What’s More, a federal court, invalidated significant portions of his union busting bill today as well:
A federal judge in Madison on Friday ruled that portions of Act 10 – which removed most collective bargaining for most public employees – are unconstitutional.
Though critics of the law welcomed the decision as a major victory, backers seemed unconcerned since it preserved a main limit on bargaining, and suggested broader restrictions would pass muster if applied to all state workers.
Seven major public employee unions had challenged the fact that Act 10 dramatically narrowed what could be bargained by general employee unions, an required those unions to recertify every year, by an absolute majority union while denying the same unions voluntary union dues deductions for payrolls.
The court sided with state officials in upholding limitations on what can be bargained, but found the two other provisions violated the union members’ equal protection and First Amendment rights, considering that the same rules did not apply to unions for public safety workers such as police and firefighters.
I’m not sure how the election is going to go, though my guess is that it will flip the state senate, since it’s now a one senator margin.
In a very real way, the recall against Scott Walker may be the most important election of this cycle, because if he loses, it will create a bright line in the political process.
Of course, if he wins, the Republicans will take it as carte blanche, even if they lose the Senate.