One lawmaker says enough with the recalls.
State Representative Robin Vos (R-Rochester) wants to change the constitution to prevent unnecessary recall elections. “In general recalls should be used very rarely and they should be when someone commits a malfeasance in office. Either they’re charged or convicted of a felony or misdemeanor — something where they have broken the public trust.”
Vos’s comments come just after unprecedented recall elections. He says recalls cost a lot of money from taxpayers. The Government Accountability Board spent over $88,000 to facilitate the elections. And then there are tax dollars spent at the local level.
Vos worries about being in a perpetual state of campaigning, while nothing gets done in government. He says the threat of a recall could prevent lawmakers from making the tough decisions. “When you vote for somebody for an office, if it’s two years or four years, I think you are trusting them to use their best judgment over that period.” Afterward, if a citizen doesn’t like their representative, Vos says they can vote them out of office, but not after “a single vote.”
Wisconsin is one of only 19 states in our country that allow legislative recalls. At the local level a reason is required for initiating a recall. Vos’s bill would make the law uniform at the state and local levels. A constitutional amendment requires passage in two consecutive sessions of the legislature and then a statewide voter referendum.
Meanwhile, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), strongly opposes Vos’ proposal. In a statement, Barca says “We must encourage and build on the amazing outpouring of public involvement in democracy that we have seen this year.”