It will probably come as no surprise to learn that recall efforts are under way for Wisconsin state senators. What might surprise you is that some of these efforts are directed at the Republicans, who stayed in Madison to do their jobs, while Democrats fled the state in an effort to shut down the legislature.
In a Tuesday interview with radio station 620 WTMJ, Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald made the bombshell accusation that fugitive Democrats remain hidden in Illinois to give these recall efforts time to succeed, and they are being directed by President Barack Obama’s political operatives.
Fitzgerald claimed there are “many people that are beginning to believe this is a delay tactic by the Democrats in the Senate so that these recall elections can be organized by the Obama team out of Chicago.” Pressed for details, he said the organizer of the recall effort against Republican state senator Alberta Darling “definitely has direct links to the Obama camp. There’s no doubt about it.”
The organizer in question is named Kristopher Rowe, and he does indeed have a blog at the BarackObama.com web site, run by Obama’s “Organizing for America” group. He boasts of being an energetic grassroots organizer during the 2008 presidential primaries, and clearly adores Barack Obama. However, Joe Biden will be heartbroken to discover that Rowe preferred ABC television personality and former Clinton operative George Stephanopolous for Vice President… “or maybe George Will.”
This is hardly proof of nefarious influence from Obama or his people, so Fitzgerald had better have something more to back up his accusation. You can be a big fan of someone without taking direct orders from them. Rowe does mention having some contact with people who worked for then-Senator Obama, but that doesn’t mean they’ve got him on speed dial.
Given the aggressive nature of Obama’s online efforts during the 2008 election, and the energy his people invested in harvesting email addresses and phone numbers from Obama supporters, it’s certainly not beyond belief that the President’s political team would cultivate a relationship with an energetic grass-roots supporter in Wisconsin, but something is not automatically true just because it’s possible, or even probable.
For his part, Rowe told the Menomonee Falls Patch that his recall organization was “working with other groups,” but “they are beside us, not in front of us.” He says his attempt to recall Darling is “a movement of the people of the district.”
We know Organizing for America played a key role in organizing the Wisconsin protest movement – the President used to boast of it, before public revulsion at the disgusting tactics deployed by those protesters caused him to backpedal right out of the state. It would be utterly devastating to have proof that they are somehow involved in recall efforts against Republican senators. If Scott Fitzgerald has such proof, now would be a good time to lay his cards on the table. In the absence of such proof, there is no reason to believe Kristopher Rowe is doing anything but correctly following the rules of his state… unlike the fugitive Democrat senators he supports.