Recalls Pickle the Public, Raise the Dead, Make A Fool of a Professor

(These are a couple of the nasties from a WisconsinReporter article “Dems, GOP trade barbs as state reviews recall petitions”.)

When you need the people power to recall a Democratic Senator in Wisconsin. Who you gonna call? Not local Wisconsin volunteers. You won’t see 100’s of volunteers in a line circling the block the way they did on the first day to help with the Alberta Darling Recall.

You won’t see 100’s of volunteers trying to find a place to sit and stand as they jam offices across Wisconsin in an effort so popular and powerful that it exceeds the grassroots effort of Obama’s 2008 campaign.

Nope! You gotta call the recall for hire firm of Kennedy Enterprises out of Colorado.

“Kennedy Enterprises will work diligently to get people to sign your petition.”

From their site, these are their services:

  • Review all signatures collected by each circulator making a good faith effort to determine their validity
  • Provide weekly delivery of signatures and written reports on progress towards qualifying your inniative
  • Validation of each batch of signatures, utilizing at least a 10% random sampling
  • We guarantee that your negotiated contract rate will never increase for the duration of your campaign – more HERE 

On facebook I am hearing this same story from volunteers who are verifying signatures against Democratic Senators:“Amazing how many of the circulators were from out of state, such as FL, CO, MO and OK to name a few. Funny, we didn’t need that kind of help getting sigs to recall the Repubs!”

Volunteers from Wisconsin who are committed to recalling Republicans are already amazed that Republicans can not find their own local volunteer help. I think it just boggles the mind to think that when Republicans pay for this sort of help, they aren’t getting somebody decent.

According to ballotpedia, Kennedy Enterprises “circulators have associated themselves with benefits for the fire department [in a local Colorado effort] even though the fire department would not benefit nor is associated with the petition. The group works for Kennedy Enterprises. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Kennedy Enterprises was involved in an Indiana investigation in 2000 for placing the names of four people who had died on a petition drive to get then-Republican candidate Gary Bauer onto the state’s presidential primary ballot.” – More at

Well. People DO die. I thought, perhaps, there’s an explanation. Maybe in a big signature campaign, someone dies who was alive 1 week ago.”  But in the year 2000 Indiana case, the first dead person signature was caught by a clerk who knew that the man, Glen Barnett, had died 6 years previous.

As for the three other signatures: Arnold Moser had been dead 16 years, Lawrence Eberle had been dead for 23 years, and Hershel Engleman had been dead for 25 years. source

Did somebody say to old widows- “Go ahead and write down your dead husband’s name, while you’re at it?”

Here in Wisconsin, not only have dead people shown up on recall papers against Democrats, but booze has been exchanged for signatures.

(there’s audio at that link which is  just sad.)

Republicans contend that the discovery of Bill Pocan’s signature on the recall petition against Democratic state Sen. Bob Wirch is a stunt conducted by the Dems.

Bill Pocan was the father of state Rep. Mark Pocan and he died nearly two decades ago.

Smells of deeply hateful Republican bullshit to me.  It would be easier to turn me into a 911 truther than to convince me that any Dem would put Mark Pocan’s father’s name on such a document.

Interesting that the signature of Mark Pocan’s deceased father turns up on Wirch’s recall, it being the same recall effort that used booze shots to gain signatures.

Side note- a D.C. group called Fieldworks has consulted on the WI Democratic side. But the door-to-door manpower came from homegrown volunteers.

Oshkosh Professor Solicits for Recall Signatures and More in the Classroom

I am very much in support of Progressives and the Dems. However this action from “our side” irks me.

An Oshkosh professor,  Stephen Richards, takes 8 minutes out of class time subtly stumping for the recall of Hopper and yakking about how Republican politics will affect salaries and more  inside the classroom.  A student recorded the incident-  Audio Link Here

It’s skating closely to a conflict of interest. He says “there will be an 8% pay cut for all faculty and staff”. He’s speaking about something which impacts his compensation while at the same time, the audience listening is paying for his time there.

I would feel more comfortable with this if he asked the students to debate the topic – to challenge. But the students seem to have a passive role.

UW Oshkosh’s chancellor said the school would  “implement agreed-upon corrective action”.

Let’s say I were the student, I would simply speak up and ask the teacher to get back to work on what I’d paid him to do.

Are these students overly polite? Nobody told him he was out of line directly? They should speak up.

8 thoughts on “Recalls Pickle the Public, Raise the Dead, Make A Fool of a Professor

  1. Lets also put it in context….Governor Walker advocates violence….no problem.

    Scott Fitzgerald says we are uprooting years of labor peace and sparking all of these protests to take away the rights of Wisconsin citizens so that obama has a harder time winning WIsconsin in 2012…no problem

    A professor says you can go outside and sign a recall petition if you want…..stop the presses!!!

  2. Come on now…8 minutes of not getting what they paid for? 8 minutes of discussing the most interesting current events in years? I would doubt he ever handled the papers nor does he make it mandatory to sign. If he discusses the Bear/Packer game at the start of class does that mean the kids miss out on 5 minutes of paid classroom time? Maybe things have changed, but my experience in college was that professors are available almost all the time. As a matter of fact, one of my most memorable classes was when my education professor took the whole class and cried while she talked about Christa McAuliffe(who had recently died). I didnt feel gyped I was enriched at the end of that hour.

    Professors are professional and would not hold it against someone in terms of grading for NOT signing a recall petition. If the administration feels there would be then he should not be teaching. Holding that against a student, and not their body of work would be like a pharmacist not filling a birth control prescription because they did not believe in it. It might happen but extremely rare.

    You can nitpick at his choice of words, but in the end there was no pressure, there was no problems, they discussed a reality in current events and if you cant discuss them at a university then Heaven Help us.

    • I was a little rude in that other “what is wrong with you” comment. I didn’t mean to be that strong. I got frustrated that I actually listened to the whole thing over again and took that much time and care to look up all that shit and your responses – two of them – – seem pretty hollow to me. No use working this hard. I’m recalling why I shut off comments for a while. This isn’t fun for me.

  3. I am not on the HR board of UW Oshkosh and have absolutely no contact with those individuals. This is merely 1 person’s opinion.
    But, I will take a minute to review this and explain some more:In reviewing the audio one more time, first point, we are on class time and in the classroom. Next point – his phrasing does place him as having a very strong affiliation with this action: “I have two students who are with the committee..[not bad] [then describes who Hopper is, [that’s fine] ..I don’t like this next part ” we’re umm, we’re umm,there’s about a hundred faculty that are on this campus doing this but our effort is to recall this Republican Senator and by signing this sheet all it’s saying is you’d like to have him recalled …” [he goes into the fact that it started March 1 We have 60 days”… .
    Mr. Richards is using “we” “my” “our” – this is affiliating him with the gathering of the signatures.
    Looking at info. from G.A.B. “We have reviewed ER-MRS ch. 24, the code of ethics for state employees who do not qualify as state
    public officials, and have not found any provision that addresses state employees circulating recall petitions, nomination papers, or the like on state time. I am unaware of any statutes that prohibit a local government employee from circulating a recall petition while the employee is at work. Such activities may
    be regulated by personnel policies and work rules, or a local ethics code, but are not prohibited by the
    civil or criminal statutes governing campaigns or elections or by the ethics code for local public officials
    found in section 19.59, stats. In our view, it would seem appropriate to restrict any activity by an
    employee that disrupts the workplace or permits an employee to take advantage of his or her position to
    obtain signatures. Also, as a matter of general principle, public employees should not be engaged in private endeavors while on work time, including circulating recall petitions. But any disciplinary consequences would be up to the employing authority; it is not an issue of enforcement under the statutory code
    of ethics for local public officials. : Source:

    Click to access circulating_recall_petitions_in_public_buildings_3_79133.pdf

    So. He gets a pass per state law. I do think that the professor was able to take advantage of “his or her position to obtain signatures”.

    Looking at the details again: He sends the students out of the room to sign. He makes it obvious that the recall is something he supports and he can see who does or does not leave the room. “if you want to then you can go outside and sign it if you don’t want to then stay in class”.. There’s a signifier of who is standing in affiliation with him on this political matter. The fact that the instructor is in a position of power is an issue. Will the professor think ill of me if I do not sign? Will my grade be affected?
    Next, he gives instructions on how to sign. This draws him into the act of advising on the recall signature gathering.
    Also: He says “you’ll probably get this in different classes”. So there will be repeated pressure to sign? I agree with the recall. However, to somebody who thinks this is the wrong act to take, is this like hearing “there is no escape”? He then talks for 5 minutes. He then drifts into a safe converation – “you’ll see these signature sheets…. there will be a recall of Governor Walker…” [really? “will” is strong. I’ve been informed by a couple of people who agree with my lefty opinions that it will not happen] “the effect of Governor’s Walker on this university, is #1 an 8% paycut on all faculty and staff…. you should know that all of the …the union will be decertified. This affects teachers, professors… they’ll make it so that we won’t be able to belong to unions.” [more accurately, Walker is making it more difficult for the staff to certify. Not impossible.]
    My added gripe: the students are paying for something that is not being received during those 8 minutes, which is, I would assume, dialog/instruction that they will be graded on.. That is why I still do not change my position. Sorry. I do support recall efforts against Wisconsin Republicans. But the method used at UW Oshkosh by Mr. Richards does not pass the smell test.

  4. I agree with Dan. He really did nothing wrong here. We have to stop letting the anti-education radical right wing set the agenda.

    How this should have been handled is the president say “Steve probably should not have brought that up in class” Professor Richards” yes your probably right”. President “ok have a good day”.

    If you cant have a discussion of something you dont agree with in a university where can you have it? Seriously if a student feels strongly about a topic then debate it out with the professor, thats what they are there for, if you dont know the issue enough and you just disagree because your mommy and daddy told you to disagree then you definitely need the school. I think the people who should be shamed here are the cowardly students who made the recording and ran to charlie sykes.

  5. I have read your comment about professor Stephen Richards and I disagree with the fact that you should be “irked”. I do not know professor Richards but am an alumnus of UW-Oshkosh. My post-graduate work was in public school law. I am not a lawyer. I have listened to the address and see nothing wrong with what he said. In fact, I think the message and the way he handled the collection of signatures by students was entirely appropriate for a criminal justice class. These are not small children. Senator Hopper is currently enwrapped in serious personal and professional scandals and desperate to keep his job and control over state government. He is lashing out at any straw that he can get his hands on and, unfortunately, professor Richards is his victim.

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