Who will it be?
A million is very significant when talking about the Walker Recall petition drive. 1,000,000 voters (assuming that that number holds up on review) represents 46% of all the voters in the last gubernatorial election in Wisconsin. Back in June I posted about the number of petitioners in Ohio for the Voter Veto Referendum in Ohio that was ultimately successful in rolling back the enacted limits on collective bargaining by the GOP statehouse and governor there:
In the 2010 Ohio gubernatorial election, just a shade under 4,000,000 citizens voted and Governor Kasich squeaked through by about 77,000 votes. So the number of signatures on the petitions to subject Senate Bill 5 to a veto referendum (1,298,301 signatures) represent almost 33% of the 2010 electorate in Ohio46% is much bigger than 33%. But securing a million signatures will be a wasted effort unless a viable candidate is put up to run against Governor Walker. You don't have to like Scott Walker to acknowledge that he is a very capable and smooth candidate.
The last thing we need is for the candidate opposing him to look hand-selected by organized labor, and that is seemingly what the unions in Wisconsin are working to do with Kathleen Falk. While I like Kathleen (I went to law school with her), she has twice failed in state-wide elections, and is too easily painted with the Madison Liberali brush. David Obey is, like Tommy Thompson, too long in the teeth now. Tom Barrett proved to be an inadequate retail politician and debater last Fall, and it will seem too much like a "do-over" if he runs. Right now, Tim Cullen seems like the best of the bunch.
But if I could be God for a day in setting up this election, I would direct (remember, I'm God for the day) Mark Bugher, former Secretary of both the Department of Revenue and the Department of Administration under Tommy Thompson to switch political parties and run as a Democrat. Bugher is clearly a bi-partisan type of adminstrator. He is scary smart, very affable, politically savvy, with loyal friends in all parts of the state. He is committed to the development of Wisconsin as a powerhouse in the technology and bio-technology markets in his current jobs as director of the University Research Park and as a special assistant to Chancellor David Ward on UW policy. He understands how important the success of the University system is to the entire state's economy. That is something that Governor Walker and the Brothers Fitzgerald either don't recognize or, worse, don't care about. While Mark Bugher has always been a Republican, today's Wisconsin Republican party, grounded on Tea Party inanity, might be starting to seem somewhat alien to him.