Sullivan (Doyle, Fielder, McCue) Recall Bid Fails

As predicted, the effort to recall Sen. Jim Sullivan for his vote in favor of a statewide smoking has failed, according to WisPolitics Milwaukee Notes.

This attempt was ill-fated from the start. First of all, the recall process is not meant to be used against someone simply because you disagree with the way they voted. If we look at the recall manual on the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board Elections Division web site, we see that the Recall Committee must submit “A statement must be attached to the registration form indicating:

a) the petitioner’s intent to circulate a recall petition,
b) the name of the officeholder for whom recall is sought, and
c) the reason for the recall which is related to the official responsibilities of the officeholder
(the same reason must appear on the petition).

Note the last line. (Well, line c.) The recall must be related to the official responsibilities of the officeholder. Technically, the attempted signature-gathering was related to Sen. Sullivan’s conduct in office. The problem is, he did nothing wrong. The law should be more specific about the elected official committing an actual grievance. But Senator Sullivan committed no crime or action which undermined the public’s trust. He ran for office saying he would vote in favor of a smoking ban. The statewide smoking ban bill came before the Senate, and he voted for it, and the bill passed.

Some people didn’t like that Senator Sullivan did what he said he would do. So they tried to (try to) recall him. But the people of Wauwatosa (the land of Walker: Tosa Ranger, no less) saw through this and did not support it. Moreover, it seems that the group trying to stage the recall couldn’t get it together.

Senator Sullivan now joins Cudahy, Wisc. Mayor Ryan McCue and Muskego, Wisc. Ald. Noah Fiedler in having recall attempts against them fail to take off. (Both faced almost-attempted recalls were about their actions that prevented Wal-Marts from sucking the life out of their communities.) And, just before this latest round of fail, the attempt to recall Gov. Jim Doyle also failed. They’re on a roll!

Like Mayor  McCue and Ald. Fiedler, Senator Sullivan did nothing wrong. The justification for the recalls against all three were bogus. They all deserved to fail.

If you don’t like the way an elected official has voted, support his or her opponent in the next election. I recommend that the recallistas heed their own advice:

Wisconsin Interests Now announced Friday that it will focus instead on voting Doyle out of office next year should he decide to run again. []

State Rep. Leah Vukmir is taking on Sullivan next year. Give her your effort, and stop wasting the taxpayers’ time.

Also: Brewtown Gumshoe has a detailed and very insightful story on the recallistas known as Citizens for Republican Responsible Government. And a quick h/t to xoff.

Published by Jason Haas

I am a resident of the Bay View neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. That sometimes comes up on here, as it's kind of a small part of my life. No official county business happens here. I'm mostly using this now to give a rough draft account of how we're dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. God help us all.

4 thoughts on “Sullivan (Doyle, Fielder, McCue) Recall Bid Fails

  1. Jason, to clarify things.

    Mayor McCue didn’t face a recall. All that was taken out was the EB-1 to look at the possibility of doing one. There is a great difference. The recall of McCue didn’t happen because no candidate came forward to state they will run against McCue (people didn’t want to be Mayor for a 12-18 months and then campaign again ), so it was decided not to go forward with a recall.

    While in Muskego with Noah Fiedler, the recall did happen, but fell short of the votes.

  2. Yeah, Jeff’s right. There was no actual recall of McCue because despite the insistence of a vocal few in Cudahy, most folks didn’t want to see him go.

    The folks who were pushing the recall saw the writing on the wall and gave up the effort after that.

    1. Yup. Notice that I said “recall attempts against them fail to take off.” the link to the story about the McCue recall attempt asks “where’s the recall?” The words “attempted” are or were in there somewhere. People are often confused with recalls; that there is talk of one means often means to people that “there’s a recall against so-and-so.” Even though that’s not true. Gathering signatures for one doesn’t mean there is one, but people still think there is one. And just because there actually is one doesn’t mean the official will get booted.

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