MADISON — Wisconsin has seen 15 recall elections over the last year, and now that the biggest of them is over, as Gov. Scott Walker became the first governor in the nation’s history to survive a statewide recall, one lawmaker says it’s time to make some changes.
Robin Vos, a Republican lawmaker from Burlington says only politicians facing criminal charges should be recalled. Meanwhile, Democrats say making changes will take away voters’ rights.
Vos says he has some Democrats on board with his plan to make changes to the state’s Constitution, but he is going to need some help from Gov. Scott Walker.
The same week of the recall election, marked the final week of Monday through Friday performances by the “Solidarity Singers” at the state’s Capitol. The group has been belting out tunes in the hopes of recalling Republican lawmakers — a process that one Legislator is hoping to change forever.
“It seems like now that the recalls are behind us, there are very few things that people are unanimous on, but one of them is that we shouldn’t be having these recalls all the time,” Vos said.
Vos wants tougher guidelines for recalls, and says voters agree.
“Even the exit polling shows 60 percent of people thought that recalls should only be for some sort of malfeasance in office,” Vos said.
Under a constitutional amendment plan, lawmakers would have to break the law to get recalled — a change Democrat Chris Larson says is being proposed to help one party.
“What Robin Vos is trying to do is trying to protect Republicans from being held accountable,” Larson said.
Larson says it’s a process scarcely used in the last 100 years, and it’s not easy to get the required signatures to get it into place.
“It’s something in there that someone is running on one issue, and then as soon as they get in, completely voting against it,” Larson said.
“That is what election are for. That is the dramatic difference. We have elections every two years for the Assembly and every four years for the Governor. You should give people an opportunity to do their job, keep the promises they made during an election, and if they don’t, then you vote them out of office,” Vos said.
For Vos’ plan to work, he needs Gov. Walker to call a special Legislative session. It’s unclear whether that will happen. Meanwhile, Vos has been chatting with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle about the plan.