Guy Benson
After Wisconsin Republicans passed Governor Walker's controversial responsible budget fix last month, the Left vowed to unleash swift political retribution.  Their first revenge project was unseating Supreme Court Justice David Prosser.  In that well-funded and uncouth effort, it appears they've failed -- although the facts haven't prevented them from darkly insinuating that the election was stolen.  Up next on the reprisal hit parade are planned recall efforts against Republican Senators who voted for the Walker bill. 

Prior to their demoralizing Kloppenburg flop, Lefties seemed upbeat about their chances of taking out as many as eight GOP Senators. The Huffington Post crowed that liberals were "outworking and out-organizing" conservatives in the recall trenches.  Now, post-Prosser, where does the situation stand today?  The Associated Press reports


Now that the law has passed, organizers are focusing on signature-gathering efforts. But of the 16 state senators who were originally targeted, only six [my note: 3 Democrats and 3 Republicans] appear likely to face an election threatening removal. And before recall elections can be held, supporters need to find candidates to run against the incumbents.

Last week, Democrats filed their first petition to try to recall a GOP senator who supported Gov. Scott Walker's law, which eliminated collective bargaining for most public employees. Sen. Dan Kapanke of La Crosse represents a Democratic-leaning district in western Wisconsin. Two other Republican senators and three Democrats also face probable recall elections.  Republican Sens. Randy Hopper of Fond du Lac and Alberta Darling of River Hills also appear to be at risk. Hopper won his 2008 election by only 184 votes. On the Democratic side, Sen. Jim Holperin of Conover looks the most vulnerable.


In addition to Sen. Holperin, I've also heard that opponents of his fleebagging colleague Sen. Robert Wirch are close to gathering enough signatures to trigger a recall.  The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel also notes that of the Republicans targeted for recall, most represent counties carried by...David Prosser last week:

As close as the race was statewide, most of the targeted Republican senators - including Hopper - represent counties where the majority voted for Justice David Prosser, favored by conservatives, over Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, favored by liberals. Many saw the Supreme Court race as a proxy referendum over Walker's budget proposals; the presumption was that voting would be similar in the recall races if they come to pass.

"It's worth noting," said Juston Johnson, who's managing recall efforts for the Republican Party of Wisconsin, "that the left has been as fired up for this spring election as it has been for any in history. Still the conservative candidate, Justice Prosser, won by sizable margins in most of these counties."


Even though the Left's intensity may be abating, Governor Walker isn't taking any chances.  In a speech last weekend, Walker announced his intention to help raise $5 million to defend any Republican Senator facing a recall election.  The governor is encouraging conservatives to donate to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, arguing that the final outcome in the Badger State will have lasting ramifications for budget reform efforts across the country.


UPDATE: Jim Geragthy previews three Wisconsin Assembly elections scheduled for early May.  Republican control of the lower chamber is not at stake in these contests.


Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography