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Passion dies

There will be more commentary along various other lines of analysis, but here’s one related to the Wisconsin gubernatorial non-recall that bears direct consideration in Idaho:

A year-plus ago in the Gem State, the Idaho Legislature, on request of Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, passed three sweeping education laws that riled a lot of people, including most of the state’s teachers. A referendum was developed for a voter decision on the measures, and at the time – a year ago – the passion against those three new laws was running very high. Advocates of repeal had little trouble getting them on the ballot. The vote comes in November.

Based on the Wisconsin experience, the odds are: Those referenda have almost no chance of passage.

Why? Well, in Wisconsin the passion against Governor Scott Walker, when he pushed through the legislation and other actions that so outraged his critics, was running very high. In 2011, polling month after month consistently showed he was all but dead politically, easy picking for a recall. Pro-recallers easily collected a million signatures against him. Polling was consistent that he would lose to the man who he beat in 2010.

This year, the polling reversed. Walker hasn’t become hugely popular, but his face came up from underwater. By election day, he was able to survive – in the rematch against the man who nearly beat him in 2010, and very likely would have last year.

Conclusion? Keeping that heat on for a long period of time is very, very hard. People in Idaho don’t talk so much about the “Luna laws” the way they did a year ago. And that will make it vastly harder to do them in at the polls. As Wisconsin demonstrated.

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One Comment

  1. fortboise fortboise June 6, 2012

    The other thing working to Luna and his fellow travelers’ advantage is, ironically, the lack of weights and measures for the “reform” effort. If they were 1/10th as successful as the proponents are already claiming, we’d have the smartest kids in the world. As Rep. Hartgen opined on your Facebook thread, “our citizens are already seeing the results of these measures.”

    They’re magic!

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