It's wingtips on the tarmac as the Battle for Wisconsin enters its fourth phase -- the recount of Tuesday's state supreme court election. (The first three being the November 2 election, the February-March Siege of the Capitol, and Tuesday's Supreme Court balloting.)
A squeaker but the good guy wins thanks to out-state disgust over bully-boy tactics: David Prosser 50.5% over JoAnne Kloppenburg. But boy, this will be close.
At mid-day today, Prosser trailed by 206 votes. That is 0.014% of the total cast. As a comparison, the difference between Bush and Gore in Florida 2000 was 0.009%.
Wisconsin is in for an Al Franken recount. It will take months and millions. New ballots will be discovered, depositions will be taken, motions will be filed, argued and appealed. Joe McCarthy will be dug out of his grave and mirandized. O.J.'s dream team will be reassembled, David Boies subbing for the deceased Johnny Cochran. Charlie Sheen will moderate a panel discussion on Pay Per View between Ed Schultz and Rush Limbaugh. Jesse Jackson will take a condo at Nolen Shores.
No question this revivifies the Left, coming off their takeover of the State Capitol. Still, even if Nurse Kloppenburg ultimately is sworn in, it is hard to see these results as a statewide spanking for Gov. Walker. But it will hearten the recall efforts -- on both sides.
What Tuesday's spring election shows is this state is still up for grabs, ideologically. Had this race been run in, say, September, results would have been different. Emotions would have cooled down somewhat and the state would not have slid into Lake Michigan. But timing can be everything and American elections are a binary system -- ones and zeroes, on or off, win or lose.
UW-Madison law bloggress Althouse says, "First, let's dispose of the 'referendum on Walker' notion."
Yesterday's voting did not produce anything that can be translated into a renouncement of last November's election. We can see that the people of Wisconsin are pretty evenly divided between conservatives and liberals, so we can't say that Walker and the GOP legislature have somehow lost their legitimacy. We've taken the temperature of Wisconsin and there is no fever. Normal politics should continue with the results of the last election intact.
Althouse thinks the high court's impact will be minimal. On collective bargaining, the Senate can just re-notice the vote -- take 24 hours or 24 days, for that matter, and call the roll and, sergeants at arms, block the exits.
I tend to think the Left will do what it does best -- litigate, not legislate. They will ask the unaccountable courts to second-guess the will of the people as expressed through their policy-making legislators and governor. (I use "unaccountable" in the sense that Comrade John Nichols uses it, meaning that with which he disagrees.)
Weapons of mass prediction
How do my predictions match with the results?
Means right on!
says I blew it.
? State Supreme Court is too close to call. But the results as I write this shows challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg with a paper-thin lead over incumbent Dave Prosser. We're not going to know the final verdict for weeks but my predictive report card is due today.
Madison Mayor. It was a little tighter than I had it but I correctly called Paul Soglin the winner. I had him up 52% over incumbent Dave Cieslewicz at 47%. Final count is more like 50% to 49%. Close enough for government work, as we used to say.
Dane County Exec. Joe Parisi steamrolled my friend Eileen Bruskewitz 70% to 30%. I had it 60-40 -- not close enough. I count this as a miss.
Madison alders. Not a good evening for Progressive Dane. Their four incumbents won, including Verveer (who was uncontested), Solomon, Rhodes-Conway and Rummel - as I predicted. But no pick-ups in three seats challenged by the Wobblies.
In the most-watched race, Bridget Maniaci defeated Progressive Dane on the north side of the Isthmus for the second time, this time in the person of Sam Stevenson, who was standing in for Madame Brenda. She may be a force.
The rest were open seats:
In the campus precinct, standard-issue college Democrat Scott Resnick beat PD fellow traveler Kyle Szarcynski.
Sue Ellingsen beat the PD's Thomas Mertz in District 13.
I got all the others correct, too. Lisa Subeck on the over Brian Driscoll on the far SW side. Jill Johnson in District 16, Anita Weir on the north side, and Matt Phair over Dave Glomp in my backyard.
Referenda: Two referenda on emasculating the First Amendment. The countywide job won 78% to 22% The city of Madison version was 84% to 16%. I predicted both would win by 70%. Not close enough for Blaska Research Center standards. Is it time to buy new tubes for the Univac?
The final tally on Blaska's amazing predictions depends on how one counts the 20 Madison aldermanic seats. I singled out 7 for analysis and was right on all 7. But I also said "All other incumbents win their races," which they did. For now, I'll call it:
Blaska 21 or 22
Forces of evil 2 or 3
How do I do it? I buy right! And So can you with Blaska's Blog (Blogge in the U.K.) Ask for it wherever good blogging is sold.
Platinum subscriber goodies
Congratulations to new Fitchburg alderman Denise Solie, a friend of long standing, a winner by 13 votes!
Sorry to see another friend, Jeff Wiswell, lose for mayor of Monona.
Retiring Alderman Michael Schumacher had a good line on Stu Levitan's CitiCable election night program. "It's not enough that it's all been said. In Madison, everyone has to say it."
Scott Walker did the right thing in ordering the demotion of the 27-year-old division administrator. The governor did not make the appointment but he intervened to preserve the appearance as well as the reality of propriety. The lad still has one helluva good job.