The Madeleine Brand Show for February 27, 2012

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker facing recall

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speaks to the press outside his office at the state capital Building on February 24, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin.

Last year, raucous protesters in Madison, Wisconsin occupied the State House. They were protesting a vote on a budget plan offered by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

The plan included a number of provisions aimed at public employee unions, including one that would sharply limit their right to collective bargaining. The conflict reached a boiling point when Democratic senators fled the state, trying to block passage of the budget. The governor eventually prevailed and the budget was passed.

A year later, Scott Walker faces a recall election and union leaders are saying they have collected a million signatures, more than twice the number needed to authorize a recall. As The Atlantic reports, Walker has responded by framing the recall as a referendum, "not on his own leadership or the issue of public workers' rights and privileges, but on the very idea that any political leader can enact large-scale change."

Walker is not the only politician to face special elections in the wake of sweeping change. Last year six Republican state senators and three Democrats faced similar proceedings.

Molly Ball joins the show to discuss Walker's potential recall and the future of other state senators pushing for budget cuts.


Molly Ball is a staff writer covering national politics at The Atlantic.

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