Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
A Republican effort to stall recall elections by forcing Democratic primaries to be held will cost taxpayers at least tens of thousands of dollars, a check of local election clerks shows.
Meanwhile, the top Senate Republican said Tuesday that all GOP recall targets were familiar with the plan to delay the recall elections by fielding fake Democrats in primaries. Earlier, some of those recall targets claimed they didn't know about the plan.
So here's the point; Republicans are playing fast and loose with taxpayer money for political gain. Here's Greg Sargent's take on it.
This is not huge money on the state level. But this story is nonetheless very revealing. Keep in mind that the number one justification Wisconsin Republicans offered for taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employees -- the proposal that got this whole fight started -- has been that it's necessary to protect Wisconsin taxpayers! In his February address at the height of the crisis, Walker claimed he was pursuing the rollback of bargaining rights in order to protect the "millions of taxpayers from all across this state who know we're doing the right thing."
Now that Wisconsin GOP state senators are staring into the recall abyss, however, Wisconsin Republicans are willing to waste the money of those very same taxpayers on a scheme to tamper with Dem primary politics in a last-ditch effort to push back the recall elections in hopes of saving their hides.
What really gets me here is that this is the sort of thing that's been sinking Republicans all along. Voters saw the Assembly lie about the scheduling of a vote, in order to pass it while Democrats were out of the chamber. We saw the Senate ignore an open meetings law for the same reason. GOP efforts throughout all this have been characterized by dirty tricks. People don't like that. And now, here they are, pulling yet another dishonest tactic.
If Republicans are being recalled for reasons in addition to union-busting -- and they are -- these would be those reasons. And these would be the reasons that Democrats have been enjoying more success in their recall efforts. And now they're willing to waste taxpayer money to save their butts.
They may think it's a brilliant maneuver, but I really doubt it's helping them any.
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