April 15, 2012

Dressing like Abe Lincoln and kissing a baby — it's Scott Walker's challenger for the Republican slot in the recall election.

It's Arthur Kohl-Riggs, whom we encountered at yesterday's Tax Day rally:

Untitled

You may recognize him from many of the videos Meade and I made during last year's protests, though I didn't identify him by name back then. Here are 2. Here's an article about how he got on the primary ballot and why he's doing it:

Arthur Kohl-Riggs, a scruffy-haired 23-year-old political activist who used to serve pizza at the Children’s Museum in Madison until a few weeks ago, says he is not a "fake Republican."...

He describes himself as a “progressive Republican,” following the political lines of former Wisconsin Sen. Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette and Abraham Lincoln....

And the reason Kohl-Riggs wants his name on the GOP ballot is because he wants to force Republicans to vote for Gov. Scott Walker in the primary instead of meddling in the Democratic primary, he said.
I find it hard to believe that Walker has to win a primary and become a party nominee. I would have thought he'd be on the recall election ballot as the incumbent. I can see in the state constitution (PDF) that the incumbent is "deemed to have filed for the recall election," and:
For any partisan office, a recall primary shall be held for each political party which is by law entitled to a separate ballot and from which more than one candidate competes for the party’s nomination in the recall election. The person receiving the highest number of votes in the recall primary for each political party shall be that party’s candidate in the recall election. Independent candidates and candidates representing political parties not entitled by law to a separate ballot shall be shown on the ballot for the recall election only.
Here's the relevant statute (PDF):
(e) For any partisan office, a recall primary shall be held for each political party which is entitled to a separate ballot under s. 5.62 (1) (b) or (2) and from which more than one candidate competes for the party’s nomination in the recall election. The primary ballot shall be prepared in accordance with s. 5.62, insofar as applicable. The person receiving the highest number of votes in the recall primary for each political party shall be that party’s candidate in the recall election. Independent candidates shall be shown on the ballot for the recall election only.
I think it's bizarre and maddening that the people of Wisconsin, having voted Walker into a 4-year term of office now must vote again, not just once, but twice. I understand the concern that Walker supporters might try to skew the Democratic primary — though it's not easy to see which way they'd want to skew it — but I think a lot of people are really sick of having to keep voting and revoting to keep what we've already voted for (and sick of having to pay for all of it).

43 comments:

purplepenquin said...

Just to clarify, are you saying that there is never a justification for a recall election, or are you saying that these recalls over the last year...targeted against both Republicans and Democrats...are unjustified?

campy said...

I think a lot of people are really sick of having to keep voting and revoting to keep what we've already voted for

So let the Dems win. Then you won't have to vote any more.

Problem solved!

neomom said...

That is the difference between Democrats and Republicans. With the exception of pure malfeasance, Republicans accept the results of elections. Democrats whine and pitch temper tantrums until the other side gets so sick of it they give them their way.

Spoiled children. One of the best signs sighted... "Why should I have to work until I die so that you can retire at 55?"

AllieOop said...

Ah! There he is the other Republican candidate for Governor, gotta love this guy.

Ann Althouse said...

"Just to clarify, are you saying that there is never a justification for a recall election, or are you saying that these recalls over the last year...targeted against both Republicans and Democrats...are unjustified?"

I hate the whole procedure and would abolish it.

garage mahal said...

I think it's bizarre and maddening that the people of Wisconsin, having voted Walker into a 4-year term of office now must vote again, not just once, but twice

Think of it as more of a merit based performance review. Like the real world. If the people of Wisconsin didn't want the recall, it wouldn't be happening. I've heard lectures for months how easy voting is. And how come Walker supporters hate the idea and never sound confident or cheery at the prospect of Walker being vindicated by the people?

FedkaTheConvict said...

Yep, a candidate who could barely scrape together enough signatures to get on the ballot is going to beat Walker in the primary.

purplepenquin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hagar said...

Penquin/Mahal,

A pox on both your houses.

The Democrats of Wisconsin, or anyway Dane Co., demanded a recall just because the people elected did what they said they were going to do.
There has been no sudden discovery of criminal activities or depraved behavior in the Walker administration, and you did not wait to see for any unusual level of incompetence to become apparent.

You simply lost an election and could not accept the reality of it.

This is not what the recall option is for!

purplepenquin said...

I hate the whole procedure and would abolish it

I can understand why the current political climate is making ya weary & upset, but I fail to understand why less accountability for our elected officials is a good thing.

It wouldn't hurt my feelings at all if every office holder was up for election every year. Gov't should be kept on a tight leash..

geokstr said...

What a joke - a leftling running in the Republican primary. Walker now has to get out the Republican vote for a primary where they think he is automatically the candidate.

There will be a million Democrats voting. If no Republicans go to the polls, the left can win simply by having a few tens of thousands of their union drones vote for this clown-
pretender.

The left will do anything - literally - to win. The end justifying and all that rot.

Kevin said...

"Progressive Republican" huh?

This kid needs to stop reading the "John Nichols' History of Wisconsin -- The Way it Wasn't and Other Things Takes as Scripture at the Cap Times Offices" and find "Wisconsin Votes" a great book written by a retired UW-Madison poli sci prof. If he did, he'll find that a lot of the so-called "Progressive LaFollette Republicans" are now the basis for the modern Democratic Party in Wisconsin.

In fact, one of the founders of the post-WWII DPW was former Gov. Jim Doyle's dad.

purplepenquin said...

What a joke - a leftling running in the Republican primary.

Can't tell if serious or...

Wally Kalbacken said...

I wouldn't let that scumbag kiss my child, and I don't even have children!

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
If the people of Wisconsin didn't want the recall, it wouldn't be happening"

Please, as a "people of WI" do not lump me into the malcontent, lazy, selfish fucktards that signed the petition.

FedkaTheConvict said...

>>What a joke - a leftling running in the Republican primary. Walker now has to get out the Republican vote for a primary where they think he is automatically the candidate.

There will be a million Democrats voting. If no Republicans go to the polls, the left can win simply by having a few tens of thousands of their union drones vote for this clown-<<

Wouldn't happen. The unions want Falk but if they attempt to cross over and vote for Kohl-Riggs in the Republican primary they may very well end up with Barrett.

On the other hand Republicans can easily vote on the Dem ticket without jeopardizing Walker.

Maguro said...

Eh, this guy's candidacy is farcical enough that it probably won't deter any Republicans who are inclined to meddle in the Democratic primary.

roesch/voltaire said...

There are already so many fakes running for office, one more doesn't make much difference. And as many commentators have noted, the Republican party has drifted so far from its historical roots, that who can say that Riggs is not a Republican at heart? Those who would abolish recalls, should perhaps look to other democratic countries for models of how to get officials to step down in mid-term, until then we have only the recall process-- sorry.

edutcher said...

As Hatman would say, joke candidate in a joke election.

Hagar said...

R-V,
You really want to bring up the roots of the two parties?

Where's Walker? said...
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cubanbob said...

I didn't realize that Wisconsinites love colorful politics. At the rate Wisconsin is going it's going to become the Louisiana of the north. Still you guys have away to go to catch up to Louisiana when you finally have to chose between a crook and a nazi.

garage mahal said...

Please, as a "people of WI" do not lump me into the malcontent, lazy, selfish fucktards that signed the petition

Okay. Lots and lots of people of Wisc want it to happen. I know some people that don't like Walker, or what he's done, but don't necessarily want to recall him either. He might be saved by that. Unless something else comes along that might tip them over....

leslyn said...

Althouse said,

"the people of Wisconsin, having voted Walker into a 4-year term of office...."

Curious George said,

""garage mahal said... If the people of Wisconsin didn't want the recall, it wouldn't be happening" Please, as a "people of WI" do not lump me into the malcontent, lazy, selfish fucktards that signed the petition." 4/15/12 12:51 P.M.

So, Curious, then we must lump you into the malcontent, lazy, selfish fucktards who did not sign the recall petition.

Fen said...

It wouldn't hurt my feelings at all if every office holder was up for election every year. Gov't should be kept on a tight leash..

Why not every 6 months? An election every 6 months would be great for the government.

Fen said...

Congress-critters too. They should have to run for re-election every 3 months.

Because accountability is good, m'kay.

MikeR said...

Huh. So Democrats who don't really care who replaces Walker could just all vote en masse for his opponent in the primary, and skip waiting for the election? Boy is that weird.

Fen said...

Its all good. If Walker is replaced, we'll simply have another recall, using the Dem's own tactics against them.

One way to limit government reach is to keep them running for election every 6 months. Hell, maybe we can get the fleabaggers to run away again for another 3 months.

But yah, I don't get why the WI Constitution makes the incumbent run a primary for a recall called by the other party. @ Ann: what is the intent of the statute? What is the justification for it?

damikesc said...

Why not every 6 months? An election every 6 months would be great for the government.

Make it daily. After all, as he said, less accountability cannot be a good thing.

FedkaTheConvict said...

<<Huh. So Democrats who don't really care who replaces Walker could just all vote en masse for his opponent in the primary, and skip waiting for the election? Boy is that weird.<<

Yeah, but it works the other way too. Republicans can vote in the Dem primary for the candidate the Dems desire least. So conceivably Republicans can vote for Vinehout or LaFollette and screw up the union plans to have Falk face Walker in the runoff.

Dems crossing over carries the risk that their desire candidate, Falk, might not win enough votes to move on to the general election.

Ann Althouse said...

"But yah, I don't get why the WI Constitution makes the incumbent run a primary for a recall called by the other party. @ Ann: what is the intent of the statute? What is the justification for it?"

The statute tracks the constitution. The constitution is written too much like a statute. None of it makes enough sense to me.

I found what looks like a good article on the history and intent of the constitutional amendment, and I think I'll write a separate post about it.

It's a progressive "good government" innovation.

Fen said...

Cool. Thanks for the link. Looking forward to the thread.

/morsel

"the current effort to recall Gov. Walker is not at all in line with what the progressives intended when they championed the recall amendment 85 years ago. Documents and press accounts from the time indicate that the current use of the recall is far from what the original drafters envisioned"

garage mahal said...

Good rebuttal to that Christian Schneider piece here

Apparently we are to believe that between 1911 and 1923 the intent of the recall provision had changed from an intent to apply the recall to all elected officials except judges to an intent to apply the recall provisions primarily to judges.

Mr. Schneider can cite to no statement from Senator Huber or any member of the Progressive Party supporting this rather implausible conclusion.

Old Dad said...

So that's why they call you "cheese heads."

Garage's asinine analogy of the recall as performance review only underscores the absurdity. You elect a governor who does precisely what he promised and succeeds wildly, and so you cheese heads propose to fire him--at great expense, with borrowed money.

I'd move my business to Wisconsin in a heartbeat, right after hell freezes over.

Fen said...

Garage, do you know what a "rebuttal" actually is?

paminwi said...
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RMTODD said...

Walker got into the Milw. County exec office on a recall. Repubs had no problems with that. WI must recall Walker not because he did what he promised, but because he DID NOT do as he promised. He said he'd negotiate with public employee unions. He DID NOT. He said he would use a more stringent accounting standard for balancing the budget. He DID NOT. He swore he'd never use Fed settlement money to balance the budget (like Doyle did). He DID just that. He expanded executive power. He signed the voter ID bill. He raised taxes on working families and elderly by $70 million, gave away $2 BILLION to wealthy interests and corporations, and paid for it by cutting $1.6 BILLION from public schools. He promised jobs, and WI lead the nation in job loses. He held a special "Jobs Session," in the legislature during which NO JOBS BILLS were discussed. He presided over a republican legislature that gerrymandered in secret, and repealed laws that required equal pay for women. And the list goes on. If you stand with that, you're a fool.

FedkaTheConvict said...

>>Walker got into the Milw. County exec office on a recall. Repubs had no problems with that. WI must recall Walker not because he did what he promised, but because he DID NOT do as he promised.<<

That's a blatant lie. Tom Ament, the County Executive who preceded Walker, chose to retire. Walker was elected to fill the vacancy caused by Ament's retirement.


Tom Ament Announces Retirement

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament announced his retirement Thursday morning at the Milwaukee County Board meeting.

"I have sadly come to the conclusion that I cannot lead this government at this time. Therefore I'm announcing my retirement effective at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2002," Ament said.

He said that he accepts responsibility for the lump-sum pension payout controversy.

Ament, 64, said that he asked his staff and department heads to remain.

He ended his speech by saying "God bless all the people of this community."

WISN 12 News reporter Rebecca Kleefisch said that people in the board meeting had tears in their eyes. Ament received a standing ovation as he left the room.

By retiring instead of resigning, Ament is eligible for his pension, but he won't take a lump-sum payout.

purplepenquin said...

Why not every 6 months? An election every 6 months would be great for the government.

The new law says that yearly elections are required to certify labor unions, so I don't understand why ya'll are so upset about the idea of yearly elections for our elected officials.

For those who are claiming that elections are too costly, are ya suggesting that we should extend the terms of office? Or perhaps people should be elected for life, only able to be removed via impeachment for very specific actions.


We could save a bundle that way...and that is all that matters, right?

leslyn said...

FedkaTheConvict said,

>>Walker got into the Milw. County exec office on a recall. Repubs had no problems with that. WI must recall Walker not because he did what he promised, but because he DID NOT do as he promised.<<

That's a blatant lie. Tom Ament, the County Executive who preceded Walker, chose to retire. Walker was elected to fill the vacancy caused by Ament's retirement.

That's a blatant lie. Ament left because he was under the recall process at the time, a recall which was going to be successful.

Ironically, he retired instead of resigning so that he could collect his pension. He was under recall because of a pension scandal.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...

Okay. Lots and lots of people of Wisc want it to happen. I know some people that don't like Walker, or what he's done, but don't necessarily want to recall him either. He might be saved by that. Unless something else comes along that might tip them over...."

If you look at the petition total, you don't have enough to elect. Not even close. And many who signed may have done so because a friend or neighbor was at their door, but won't vote against Walker in the privacy of the voting booth. There will be drop-off. Of course, not everyone who will vote against Walker signed the petition, but I think the net will be less.

FedkaTheConvict said...

@Leslyn

You can attempt to spin it anyway you want but Tom Ament was not recalled. Petition signatures were turned in but no elections were ever called by the Elections Board.

leslyn said...

Could that be because Ament retired and there was no one to recall?