Recall Elections

Theodore Roosevelt 163rd Anniversary Of His Birth At Time Of Destruction Of His Reform Efforts

Theodore Roosevelt, the second greatest Republican President (after Abraham Lincoln), born on this day in 1858, represented progressive reform, the use of the federal government to promote and monitor political and economic reform.

He saw the danger of unbridled capitalism, and the need to recognize labor rights.

He saw the need for political reforms, bringing government closer to its citizens, through the utilization of direct primaries, initiatives, referendums, the recall method, women’s suffrage, and proposals to modify the powers of the Supreme Court and the life term of its membership.

He wanted limits on outside groups spending on political campaigns, which he saw as undermining American democracy.

He was the heroic promoter of the environment, regarded as the greatest President on conservation of natural resources, and the promotion of the expansion of national parks and monuments.

He was the first President to suggest the need for a national health care program, and so much of his agenda on social and economic reform came about with the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, and now, Joe Biden wishes to extend what TR first promoted more than a century ago!

His 1912 Progressive (Bull Moose) Party had a platform that makes it seem more like 2012, and he still represents the Republican Party at its best since the time of Abraham Lincoln, and particularly as compared to now. The Republicans have become a Fascist authoritarian party that is undermining American democracy, and working to limit the right to vote despite the various constitutional amendments (15, 19, 23, 24, 26) to insure that right, along with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

TR was certainly imperfect, as he promoted white supremacy typical of his time, and was imperialistic in his treatment of Latin America, as well as his promotion of an expansion of the military, but it is clear he would repudiate the Republican Party of the 2020s.

And notice how the Republican Party glorifies Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, NOT Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt!

California Recall System A Total Mockery Of Democracy

In ten days, California, the largest state in population, and a strongly Democratic state since the mid 1990s, faces the possibility of a right wing talk show host, Larry Elder, potentially becoming Governor with less than 20 percent of the vote, kicking out first term Governor Gavin Newsom, if Newsom fails to get 50.01 percent of the vote in the upcoming recall election.

This is the second time this disastrous recall system has occurred in the 21st century, after Governor Gray Davis lost his control of the state of California to Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003.

But Larry Elder is no Arnold Schwarzenegger, and represents an extremist right wing agenda, defying the views of a vast majority of Californians!

The recall system was set up under Governor Hiram Johnson of California in the early 20th century, but it is a mockery of democracy, despite the fact that it was thought to be otherwise a century ago.

Only two governors in American history have been successfully recalled, Davis; and North Dakota Governor Lynn Frazier in 1921, who lost the recall election by about 4,000 votes.

Nineteen states have a recall mechanism in their state constitutions, and 30 states allow local recall of office holders.

Cleveland, Ohio had a recall election of its mayor, Dennis Kucinich, in 1978, with Kucinich retaining his seat by a margin of 236 votes; and Wisconsin had a recall election of its Governor, Scott Walker, in 2012, with Walker retaining his seat by a margin of 170,000 votes.

Right now, polls seem to indicate that Newsom is likely to retain the governorship of California, but if he loses, it would have broad implications for the political future of the state and the nation!

The Biggest Winner From Republican Victories In Midterm Elections: Governor Scott Walker Of Wisconsin

Now that the dust has settled on the Midterm Elections of 2014, it is clear, at least for now, that the biggest winner from the results is Republican Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Walker has now won the Governorship twice, in 2010 and 2014, along with a forced recall election in 2012, after he convinced the Republican controlled legislature to end collective bargaining with public employee unions, including teachers.

Despite his record of cutting education funding dramatically, and of refusal to accept Medicaid expansion for the poor of his state, Walker was able to overcome progressive forces who organized against him twice in two years.

Walker became linked with the Koch Brothers, and with voter suppression efforts, and became regarded by many on the progressive side, as the worst Tea Party Governor bar none, but still he won, and he now hints that he will seek the GOP Presidential nomination.

The question is whether he has enough clout and influence to mount a serious campaign, but it is clear that, in theory, he COULD win Wisconsin, if he ended up as the Republican Presidential nominee.

But to assume that he would have a real chance of winning the Presidency seems like an extremely long shot at this point!

President Obama: Why Are You MIA, When We Need You To Demonstrate Courage And Conviction For The Middle Class And The Poor?

As anyone who reads this blog knows, the author is a great fan and supporter of President Barack Obama.

The author is very pleased with a lot of the reforms that President Obama has helped to bring about in his two and a half years as President, but it is disturbing that he seems to be MIA (Missing In Action) at a crucial time like now, when the stock market is going awry after the Debt Ceiling Controversy, and the decision of Standard and Poor’s to lower the credit rating of the US government from Triple A to Double A Plus.

President Obama, you are rapidly losing the faith and support of many labor union members; blacks; Hispanics and Latinos; the young; the progressive base in the media, the universities, and Hollywood; Independents; suburban voters; the unemployed; those losing their homes; and all others who were inspired and motivated to vote for this passionate, seemingly committed progressive, when he ran for President in 2008.

What has happened to this man? He is not out there fighting against the Republicans like Harry Truman would. He is not committing himself to help the Democrats in the recall elections going on this week and next in Wisconsin, where if he had intervened in the past week, we might have seen THREE Democrats or more win, instead of two, leaving the State Senate in the hands of the Republicans who are loyal to Governor Scott Walker. Obama always said he believed in labor rights, but has done nothing this whole year to step into the battles in Wisconsin or in other states, such as Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, and Maine. What is he afraid of? That he might be attacked for speaking his mind and showing his principles and beliefs regarding the middle class and the poor?

It would be far better for Barack Obama to fight tooth and nail than to seem ineffective, seem wimpy, seem scared of a challenge from the extreme Right, seem defeatist!

How can he expect us who want to support him to back him if he will not openly back us and give the opposition HELL as Truman did, or welcome the attack of his critics as Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression!

Mr. President, respectfully, it is time to get out of the White House and show the fighting spirit we expected from you, and have not seen occur!

It is time to fight for the American people, and even if you lose the Presidency in 2012 for some reason, you would go down as a statesman who did his best, rather than go down in history as a loser in every respect!

Mr. President, IMMEDIATE ACTION for a jobs program proposal and fighting openly for the people in Wisconsin and elsewhere is REQUIRED NOW!

The Wisconsin Recall Elections: Good Sign For The Future

In the past 100 years before yesterday, there were only 20 state recall elections, and only 13 officeholders were removed.

Yesterday, in Wisconsin, in reaction to Republican Governor Scott Walker’s anti labor, anti education, and anti public worker legislation forced through the legislature, we saw six Republican state legislators in the state Senate face a recall, and two were defeated, narrowing the Republican edge to one vote, 17-16.

While it was disappointing that the Democrats failed to win control of the state Senate by one vote, needing three seats, and only winning two, one must recognize the massive amounts of money brought in by corporate interests, including the Koch Brothers, and the fact that the six state Senate districts had been solidly Republican for years, in some cases more than a century.

So winning two seats was close to a miracle, and it shows that the labor and progressive movement in Wisconsin begun more than a century ago by Robert La Follette, Sr. is alive and well.

It is a sign that when people organize and fight, progress can be made, and the hope is that the recall movement can lead to an election to attempt to force Governor Scott Walker out of office next year, instead of completing his term at the beginning of 2015.

It is also a warning to John Kasich in Ohio, Rick Scott in Florida, Rick Snyder in Michigan, and Paul LePage in Maine, as well as Chris Christie in New Jersey, that the middle and working class will fight their reactionary, fascist like attack on ordinary citizens and workers!

Threats Of National Guard Use Against State Workers Unions In Wisconsin: Deplorable! :(

As written about by this author a few days ago, Republican Governors and state legislatures are declaring war on government workers–teachers, prison guards, police officers, firefighters, nurses, paramedics, social workers, sanitation workers, librarians and office workers–and setting out to destroy the rights of dedicated workers to have union representation and collective bargaining rights! 🙁

The imposition of pension and health care payments in large amounts on all these workers, plus cutting or freezing of wages, will throw many of these public servants out of the middle class, and in Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker has threatened to call out the National Guard to use force against protesting workers and their demonstrations! 🙁

Is this threat of use of force against state workers to be seen as anything less than imposing dictatorial control over the labor force, and setting out to destroy all labor rights won over the past century in Wisconsin and nationwide? 🙁

Wisconsin, the center of progressivism, the home of Governor Robert LaFollette, Sr, one of the great leaders of the progressive reform movement, now is faced with a leader who is nothing less than a fascist in his approach to labor rights, by threatening violence against the right of assembly! 🙁

Wisconsin is only one of many states with Governors who are “bullies” against labor rights and freedom of expression, including Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, Governor Rick Scott of Florida, and Governor John Kasich of Ohio, all of whom are threatening and imposing similar crackdowns on labor, although none yet have threatened the National Guard use that Scott Walker has suggested in Wisconsin.

Recall elections are allowed in Wisconsin and New Jersey, and action should be taken immediately to implement such an election.

Altogether, 18 states allow recall of state government officials, but sadly, not Florida and Ohio. 🙁

This is a sad, tragic situation that will only have the effect of undermining loyalty and commitment of state workers all around the country, and the American people will see the deleterious effect over time of what the Republican Governors are doing all over the country! 🙁