Wisconsin is abuzz with activity in anticipation of Tuesday’s Recall election, and many Tea Party and conservative leaders are ensuring the message gets out that this is not a battle against the union members themselves.
Nancy Milholland, who organized yesterday’s Tea Party, opened the rally by addressing union members and “We are not anti-union, we just can’t afford to pay for your long-ago negotiated benefits.”
Big Journalism’s Dana Loesch spoke about coming from a family of union members, and called out the “fat cats” and out-of-state union bosses who are using the state to flex their muscle and bully the rest of the country.
Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who will be on the recall ballot along with Governor Scott Walker and several state senators, framed it as a battle between Goliath, or the union bosses, and David, or the people of America.
“Despite the muscle and despite the money of Goliath, David is going to win Tuesday,” said Kleefisch.
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) reiterated that Tuesday’s election is a battle for the what values will govern the entire country, not just Wisconsin:
“Courage is on the ballot on Tuesday. The whole country is watching….Scott walker is saying enough is enough, it is the people who run our government.”
All signs point to extremely high turnout for Tuesday’s recall election, and it is clear this is a referendum on the people’s support for returning to fiscal restraint as a governing philosophy and addressing budget problems:
Appleton City Clerk Charlene Petersen told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel she already had 3,000 absentee ballots in hand. In the 2010 governor’s race, 2,000 people voted by absentee ballot in the city of 78,000, while more than 10,000 did so in the 2008 presidential race.
She predicted turnout higher than 2010, which also pitted the Republican Walker against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Local election officials have suggested turnout might approach presidential levels, although that seems unlikely in Appleton.
“This is unprecedented,” Peterson said. “We’ve never seen a statewide recall, so I’m kind of looking at the pulse of the absentee for markers.”
As voters go to the polls on Tuesday in what looks to be record numbers, Wisconsin conservative leaders are intent on reaching out to all Wisconsin workers and separating them from the operatives who would use them.
When I tweeted the photo above of the “Teamster for Walker,” several people responded that they too were Teamsters who would vote for Walker. The out-of-state union bosses will leave Wisconsin after Tuesday, but the residents will be left to repair relationships with their neighbors. Showing that this is a battle for all Wisconsin and that the dividing line is one between operatives and citizens, and not against union members, is step one to making Wisconsin that light on the hill.
WAJ Update: Ann Althouse exposes a really pathetic last minute Democratic smear attempt aimed at Walker.