Recall threat misused yet again, this time against Supervisor Dimitrijevic

Our friends at CRG, the so-called Citizens for Responsible Government (which may be the greatest misnomer in history), are now saying that they will “assist” a person who wants to recall Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic.

What, you may ask, was her high crime? Did she commit a grievous misdemeanor?

No. Rather, she voted against outgoing County Executive Scott Walker’s vetoes on the 2011 budget.

Evidently the voters of her district by and large approve of Dimitrijevic consistently having done so for the past many budget cycles . As my good friend (and close personal target friend of CRG) Chris Liebenthal wote,

Dimitrijevic is a wildly popular official who won her last election with 73% of the vote. Furthermore, she has won numerous awards and honors, including being on the cover of Wisconsin Woman this year and winning the Eleanor Roosevelt Award last year and being named the Best Supervisor two years in a row in a survey by the Shepherd Express.”

So then, why try to mount a recall?

CRG does not want Dimitrijevic, who has consistently worked for the best interests of the people in her district and the county, to run for County Executive. They think this will scare her, or somehow tarnish her reputation.

Instead, it will backfire. And it will further erode CRG’s credibility, not to mention the credibility of the recall. The recall was created to be used if and when an elected official had committed a malfeasance and was not stepping down. It was used to great effect in 2002, playing off the anger following the pension scandal.

But since then, every threatened use has flopped like a fish out of water. Former State Senator Jim Sullivan and former Cudahy Mayor Ryan McCue were both threatened with recalls, but those efforts never got anywhere. More importantly, both were cast from office through the traditional means: loss in an election. The people  judge their elected officials through the ballot box out of a sense of electoral duty, not because they were pushed by agitators to do so. And that’s how it should be done.

Nearly a month later: Bruce Murphy takes a look at how far this effort has gone. The short answer: it hasn’t. (h/t for the mention, Bruce.)


Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

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