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Wisconsin Republicans Celebrate Recall Anniversary

It was one year ago, that Gov. Walker survived the historic recall against him. Republicans gathered Wednesday evening in Pewaukee to celebrate the anniversary of his victory.

UW-La Crosse Political Scientist Joe Heim says there have been ups-and-downs for both parties at the ballot box since last June. The GOP briefly lost the state Senate in recalls, but then climbed back on top of state government in November’s elections. Democrats, meanwhile, won the races here for President and U.S. Senate.

Heim says the results prove Wisconsin remains a purple state, although some GOP legislative wins could be attributable to the way Republicans redistricted the state in 2011.

According to Heim, Gov. Walker's budget proposal for 2013-15 is more moderate than his plan in 2011 that slashed school and local government spending; he also ended most public union rights that year. The professor says that's because Walker is thinking about re-election in 2014.

However, Heim says the GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee is less concerned about re-election, with the new political districts, and felt empowered to shift the budget plan to the right. It does remains to be seen thought, how the full Legislature and Gov. Walker act, when the proposal reaches their hands.

Heim predicts the rightward shift in public policy will continue in Wisconsin, for at least 10 years. He says, in order for a move back to the left, Democrats would have to gain control of state government, and he does not foresee such prospects, in the near term.