Both national and Wisconsin-based Republican operatives tell the Huffington Post the party is being dramatically outworked and out-organized by Democrats in the recall campaigns being launched against state Senators.
The operatives, who raised their concerns out of hope it would jar the GOP into assertiveness, argue complacency has taken over after Governor Scott Walker successfully shepherded his anti-collective bargaining bill into law. While the Wisconsin Democratic Party, with major assists from progressive groups and unions, has harnessed resentment towards the governor into a full-throttled effort to recall eight GOP Senators, neither the enthusiasm nor organizational acumen exists on the Republican side of the aisle.
As a result, the Wisconsin GOP is intensifying efforts to defend its members who face union-led recall campaigns (although the Republicans don't appear to be on offense, unlike state Democrats). They've launched FrontlineWisconsin.com, which solicits donations to stave off the Left-wing backlash:
In what might prove to be an even higher stakes fight than the recall skirmishes, the Left is also targeting a conservative state Supreme Court justice for defeat. If liberals prevail in next week's judicial election, the court would shift to a 4-3 liberal majority -- which could deal lasting blows to state Republicans' hard-fought, democratically-enacted budget fixes. NRO's Robert Costa has an invaluable report on what's at stake, and the depths to which the Left has sunk to facilitate what he calls a "black-robed coup:"
Pressure is mounting on the seven-member high court to weigh in. If they do, the bill risks being overturned. For the moment, judicial conservatives hold a 4–3 edge. But that could flip come April 5, when incumbent justice David Prosser, a former GOP legislator, battles JoAnne Kloppenburg, an environmental lawyer and veteran state attorney, for a ten-year term.Read the whole thing. This fight is not over. The Left understands this reality, and the Right needs to wake up -- soon.
“This is for all the marbles,” says Charlie Sykes, a prominent conservative talk-radio host in Milwaukee. “Scott Walker could survive losing the state senate. But it would be devastating if he were to lose in the supreme court. If Prosser loses, almost everything that Walker enacted could be overturned.” The high court, he worries, has a long history of activism, especially when liberals hold the majority.
The Greater Wisconsin Committee, a leftist organizing group with deep union ties, has funneled $3 million into anti-Prosser advertising, taking relentlessly to the airwaves. “They are the Left’s biggest political player in the state,” says Brett Healy, the president of the MacIver Institute, a Wisconsin-based think tank. “They run the ads that no one else wants to run.”
Indeed. The GWC is airing ads that tie Prosser to the budget bill. “Prosser equals Walker” is the usual theme. But those political attacks are fluff compared with the group’s latest smear, a dimly-lit, creepy spot that casts Prosser as soft on pedophilia. That ad alleges that Prosser, as a local district attorney three decades ago, failed to properly prosecute a Catholic priest accused of molesting several boys. Prosser, according to those who know him, is said to be furious about the ad, angry with its inaccuracies and how it sullies his name.
UPDATE - Verum Serum passes along the uber-sleazy attack ad running against Prosser, which all but accuses him of "protecting sex offenders:"
One of the victims in this case has released a statement pillorying the ad and demanding the GWC stop exploiting his abuse for political purposes:
One of the victims, Troy Merryfield, issued a statement Friday saying he supports Prosser's decision not to prosecute at the time. In the past, Merryfield has been quoted as being critical of Prosser, but he insists those statements were taken out of context.
"I do not appreciate myself or my case being used for political advantage, especially in today's climate of dirty politics," said Merryfield, who now lives in Virginia..
Because of Prosser's prudence and patience, the molester was ultimately put away:
In 2004, Feeney was convicted of assaulting Merryfield and his brother, Todd. He is serving a 15-year sentence. Prosser's campaign issued a statement saying that while Prosser was "sympathetic to the victims, (he) believed the evidence wasn't strong enough to convict the accused." The statement said evidence discovered later — including additional alleged victims and records from the Diocese of Green Bay — allowed for a belated prosecution of Feeney.UPDATE II - To the Lefties who are screaming about the GOP's war on the middle class, may I remind you that Walker's bill actually saves thousands of middle class, union jobs without raising taxes.