Endless recalls hurt Wisconsin

2012-05-20T06:15:00Z Endless recalls hurt WisconsinA Wisconsin State Journal editorial madison.com

The Wisconsin State Journal editorial board has opposed all of the attempts over the last year to recall state senators of both major political parties and the governor.

It's not that we agree with everything these politicians have said and done. Far from it.

It's that all of these leaders were elected to four-year terms and shouldn't be targeted for recall because of public policy decisions. The recall process is designed to quickly purge politicians for illicit behavior, not to punish those who take controversial stands on single issues.

Yes, the recall organizers targeting Republican Gov. Scott Walker have a long list of complaints. But the critics of any governor of any political party always can cite many faults.

Here's reality: This gubernatorial recall wouldn't be happening now if not for Walker's strict limits on collective bargaining for hundreds of thousands of public workers. That, at its core, is what this is about. And that can and should be a big part of the debate during regular legislative races this fall and the next regular gubernatorial election in 2014.

Many states and the federal government have stricter limits on collective bargaining for their workers than Wisconsin does under Walker. Good points can be made for and against such policy. And when Wisconsin debated the issue last year, the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board didn't side with the unions or Walker. We touted a reasonable compromise by Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, that his Democratic and Republican colleagues stubbornly rejected.

But that's the past. Here comes the future, with another recall election that all of Wisconsin should hope is the last one for a very long time.

Tens of millions of more dollars are being spent during tight times on misleading and divisive political ads. Our leaders are distracted by and obsessed with opinion polls and raising piles of campaign cash, rather than tackling Wisconsin's many pressing challenges.

Wisconsin will vote — again — for governor June 5. Some 900,000 citizens signed petitions to make that happen.

All of Wisconsin should accept the result. Then the recall circus should end.

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