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The Times
  • Editorial: Wisconsin recall effort should not have happened

  • By a healthy margin, Wisconsin voters affirmed their support for Gov. Scott Walker, who had been their choice for governor in 2010. This was a recall effort that never should have happened.

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  • By a healthy margin, Wisconsin voters affirmed their support for Gov. Scott Walker, who had been their choice for governor in 2010. This was a recall effort that never should have happened.
    Many people in Wisconsin and nationwide did not like Walker’s blanket curtailment on some collective bargaining rights for public employee unions in Wisconsin. Some people who essentially agreed with the result didn’t like the my-way-or-the-highway approach Walker used to achieve it. (In fact, the Wisconsin Democratic Senate contingent chose the highway, hitting the road to Illinois in an effort to stop a vote on Walker’s plan.)
    But, at its foundation, Walker’s act was a controversial and difficult political decision. Voters who first elected him knew that he intended to attack the state’s budget deficit in a decisive and possibly controversial manner. That’s what he did.
    It’s one thing to attempt to recall a governor when there is evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Or perhaps even when there is personal behavior — a sex scandal, for example — that doesn’t rise to the level of criminality but diminishes his or her ability to execute the duties of the office.
    It’s something else entirely to attempt to throw a governor out of office for making a political decision that a significant portion of the population doesn’t like. By this standard, no elected official ever would make the hard decisions they are elected to make.
    We never were crazy about Walker’s sledgehammer approach with public employee unions in Wisconsin. In fact, we questioned the wisdom of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce making Walker its keynote speaker at its annual meeting here in April.
    We much prefer negotiated compromise to winner-take-all politics, but we don’t live or vote in Wisconsin.
    What we saw in Wisconsin over recent months exemplifies precisely why we oppose recall laws. Outside money flooded into Wisconsin as the pro- and anti-union sides sought to advance their agendas using Wisconsin as their proxy.
    Really, there was only one agenda here, and that was decided by the voters of Wisconsin in 2010. Those who didn’t like that result have a year and a half now to change it on Election Day 2014.
    The State Journal-Register of Springfield, Ill.
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