How Wisconsin Stayed Republican

In the long-awaited matter of the Wisconsin recall elections, two Republican state senators were indeed recalled. That puts the state at 17 Republicans and 16 Democrats, and, even with forthcoming recall elections, at the very least the legislature will remain with a Republican majority.

Along the way, how Wisconsin politics works has been laid bare. Last week, a supporter of Republican Senator Robert Cowles came out to say that Cowles had told him that the only reason he voted for Scott Walker’s anti-union budget bill was that “the governor’s office told us if we didn’t give them our support, they would run a tea party candidate against us.” Well, well, well.

With $30 million spent on six state senator recall elections—really a staggering amount of money—we begin to see what all that cash being around means in practice: “To stay in office, Alberta Darling, a lifelong moderate, took up the rhetoric of the tea party. She was rewarded with a gravy pipe of national money from those sympathetic to taxes-are-sin dogma. A perfect example of this ideological polarization was how Darling received the full-blown endorsement of the powerful anti-abortion organization Wisconsin Right To Life even though she sat on the board of Planned Parenthood for years.”

Neato. But then you knew all this back in June.