The Scott Walker recall was promoted as an effort to change his radical rightwing agenda. The problem is that there will be very little change even if a Democrat beats him in the recall and becomes governor.
The Democrats will almost certainly win control of the state Senate in the June recalls. But even if they also win the governor’s race, the Republicans will still control the state Assembly by a significant margin, so none of Walker’s policies will be reversed.
The people who truly want change need to help Democrats take over the state Assembly. They can do that by starting recall petitions against about 15 vulnerable Republicans in the Assembly. It is definitely not too late to initiate these recalls, but it soon will be. Even if these recall elections are in September or October, the change takes place immediately. The winner of a recall election takes office within days of the election. If there are Assembly recalls and if enough Democrats win to constitute a majority in that house, there would be a window of time between the September or October recall election and January 2013—when a new legislative session begins, following the November election—to bring Wisconsin back to the center and away from the extremist Republican agenda.
Will it be difficult? Of course. But if the Democrats can win control of both houses and the governor’s office, they could draw a more balanced redistricting plan and create competitive legislative districts. Competitive legislative districts are the best solution to curbing the extremism in government. If this isn’t done, the next 10 years will be dominated by a highly partisan Republican majority in the Legislature because the districts are not competitive. Once every 10 years the Legislature can redistrict its own body. The redistricting plan passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature was overturned by the courts, so there is still another chance to redo the legislative map in a more fair and balanced manner.