Watch Ed Schultz interview a very happy Dave Hansen, who crushed his opponent last night in the first of nine Wisconsin recall elections. We like what Dave had to say:
People believe in what we're doing, standing up for working men and women, seniors, veterans.Hansen, a Teamster, had way more money than his opponent, a deadbeat tax-evader with an arrest record. But some of the candidates for the next eight recall elections may not be so easy for the Teamster-endorsed candidates to beat. Writes the Associated Press,
The state Republican party has hinted that it might dip into its own cash reserves to help candidates who emerge from the primaries. The party had $479,000 in the bank as of June 30, more than double the $193,000 reported by the Democrats.
VanderLeest was vulnerable not only because of Hansen's major cash advantage, but because of a criminal record that included convictions in 2006 on two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct. After the election, VanderLeest said he was heartened by the outcome despite the loss, noting that he won 34 percent of the vote even though he ran on a shoestring budget.But as John Nichols points out on The Ed Show, Hansen was thought to be vulnerable because Green Bay had gotten more Republican lately. Said Nichols,
The Democrats appear to be incredibly energized, the Republicans not so much.Numbers from the primary elections tell the story. There were two Republican primaries last night to pick challengers for the other two Democratic state senators facing recall. Writes Beyond Chron,
But the bigger story is to compare the turnout in last night’s two Republican primaries – with the turnout in last week’s six Democratic primaries. In the Republican contests, only 9,000 people voted in one contest – and about 19,000 in the other. Meanwhile, the average turnout in the Democratic primaries (where six real Democrats crushed “fake” Democrats who were there to prolong the process), turnout averaged about 35,000 voters.And as @ImaFredHead tweeted,
GOP got 15,540 "valid" signatures to recall Dave Hansen, but only 10,604 showed up to vote against him. #flipthesenate #wirecall #wiunionThe Republicans who won last night are, well, vulnerable. We'll get to them later.
blue cheddar, as usual, has a perceptive take on what has been happening in Wisconsin:
The Wisconsin movement has a lot of pent up steam after watching popular press completely ignore it for weeks at a time. At this point, when Ed Schultz shows seconds of video of people booing Scott Walker I guarantee you that glee erupts in hundreds of thousands of households in Wisconsin. These gleeful watchers are not long-time political junkies that have some kind of dignified game face to keep. These are untold numbers of regular Joes who started to use facebook and twitter for the first time in February only so they could get information on Wisconsin politics that wasn’t available from corporate news. They wear the “Recall Walker” game jersey, throw protest signs in cars “just in case”, and devote hours of their summer days to recalling Republican senators: the weakness in the Walker administration they can effectively attack. They have a lot of “skin in the game” and if you don’t know it yet, it is NOT just collective bargaining rights that is at stake. In this game, they are rabid fans that consider all of Wisconsin home turf – probably for the first time in their lives. As Russ Feingold said at Walkerville “The game’s not over until we win.”
Wisconsin’s now a stadium. With Hansen’s win, the roar of the stadium’s crowd just got louder.