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The Wrong Fight in Wisconsin
Government Executive ^ | June 12, 2012 | Charlie Cook, The National Journal

Posted on 06/12/2012 1:08:51 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

The “if it feels good, do it” school of political decision-making experienced yet another painful lesson in its ill-fated effort to recall Wisconsin’s GOP Gov. Scott Walker this week. If ever there was a case of a terrible idea poorly executed, this was it.

Putting aside whether Walker should or shouldn’t have been elected governor to begin with, or whether he has or has not made wise decisions or, for that matter, whether Walker should or shouldn’t have taken after the public employees’ unions, the recall effort was a mistake. The exit poll of 2,245 voters conducted for the television networks showed that 60 percent thought that the recall mechanism should be used only in case of misconduct by the elected official, and another 10 percent said that recall elections are never appropriate. When 70 percent of the public thinks that something is a bad idea, it generally is—and shouldn’t be done.

Of the 60 percent who thought that recall elections should occur only in cases of misconduct, as opposed to, say, a policy difference, those voters supported Walker by 37 points, 68 percent to 31 percent. Of the 10 percent who thought that recall elections should never be triggered, Walker won by 95 percent to 5 percent. Only 27 percent thought that recall elections can be called for any reason; not surprisingly, this group voted by 90 percent to 9 percent for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democratic nominee. Looking at these numbers, it’s pretty clear why President Obama’s campaign kept the recall effort at arm’s length. Even if one disagreed with Walker’s attacks on the collective-bargaining rights of public employees, this was the wrong fight. The exit poll showed that 86 percent of the voters had made their minds up before May 1, five weeks before the June 5 recall; presumably two-thirds or three-quarters had made their minds up long before that.

Compounding the error was the self-indulgence among Democrats of holding a divisive four-way primary on May 8, effectively squandering resources before the main event, one in which they were destined to be outspent.

The exit polls provide considerable food for thought. Among the 17 percent of the electorate who are union members, Walker lost by 43 percentage points, with Barrett prevailing by 71 percent to 28 percent. Of the 32 percent who live in union households, the Republican incumbent lost by 25 percentage points, with Barrett besting him by 62 percent to 37 percent. If rank-and-file union members and households are not pretty close to monolithic on this question, it seems like a bad idea to go the recall route.

The results also say something about the splintering of the Democrats’ New Deal coalition. Among the 54 percent of voters who are white and did not attend college—those commonly referred to as blue-collar whites—Walker won by 22 points, 61 percent to 39 percent. Among the 91 percent of voters who are white, he won by 57 percent to 43 percent. But it’s the gender splits that are particularly striking. Among white women, the Republican edged the Democrat by just 3 points, 51 percent to 48 percent, but among white males, Walker won by 62 percent to 37 percent. Among all races, Barrett won by 5 points; among women, he won by 52 percent to 47 percent. However, among men, Walker’s advantage was 19 points, 59 percent to 40 percent.

For organized labor, which is fighting for its place in American politics and the economy, the recall election should prompt some soul-searching about how this decision was made and why, and how such a costly and embarrassing episode should be avoided. Unseating Walker in 2014 will be more difficult now because of this ill-fated recall effort. A ton of money that could have been spent elsewhere for labor-backed candidates and causes won’t be spent because of Wisconsin. Although each side commits blunders from time to time, this was a big one.

The fact that the exit polls show that of the people who voted Tuesday, Obama led Mitt Romney by 7 points, 51 percent to 44 percent, should serve as caution for those choosing to over-read what happened. The results don’t tell us so much about national trends as they do about the wisdom of when to pick fights and when to walk away.

TOPICS: Wisconsin; Campaign News; Issues; Parties
KEYWORDS: polls; scottwalker; unions; wisconsin; wisconsinshowdown

1 posted on 06/12/2012 1:08:56 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“If ever there was a case of a terrible idea poorly executed, this was it.”

Poorly-executed terrible ideas are far more common than well-executed great ideas.

2 posted on 06/12/2012 1:23:07 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I should add: a well-executed terrible idea is a waste of effort; a poorly-executed great idea is a waste of an opportunity.

3 posted on 06/12/2012 1:26:52 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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"A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week."

~George S. Patton

4 posted on 06/12/2012 1:32:14 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Another example of ways Gov Walker has save the taxpayers money

Changing insurance carriers will save Germantown schools 45 percent
By Danielle Switalski

June 12, 2012 2:57 p.m. | 4 comments

Germantown - The Germantown School Board approved a change in insurance carriers Monday night that will decrease district costs for disability and life insurance benefits by approximately 45.9 percent.

NIS will replace WEA Trust beginning Aug. 1 as the provider for life and accidental dismemberment insurance, as well as long term disability and short term disability insurance. NIS will also be the provider of voluntary life insurance, voluntary long-term care and voluntary short term disability insurance.

Depending on teachers’ current contracts, benefits such as life insurance are a continued benefit for some and a voluntary offering for others.

The district will save $80,373 by switching to NIS.

NIS, according to insurance consultant Greg Kamps, was the closest match for critical items in current contracts including long term disability and life insurance.

Options include spouse, family
The life insurance rate is 12 cents per $1,000, including coverage for accidental death and dismemberment, for the school district.

AFSCME employees will have the dependent/spouse option continued as part of the offering under the program that is paid for by the district. Non-AFSCME employees have the option to include spouse or dependents under the voluntary life program. This coverage for dependents and spouses is not covered under the 12 cents per $1,000 rate. The rate for that benefit has two options costing either $1.80 per unit or $3.80 per unit under both the district paid plan and the voluntary plan.

The coverage for retirees will also operate differently. There is no paid-up life insurance option for the retiree to choose from when they retire. If they want to continue coverage after reaching age 65, they can.

The minimum required enrollment is 25 percent for voluntary life insurance. NIS offers the same amounts to choose from as WEA, including $25,000, $50,000, $75,000 and $100,000 in coverage. If someone wants more than $50,000, they would have to prove insurability. All those employees that have coverage currently would move forward without having to prove insurability over again. Those currently enrolled will be rolled over to NIS with the same coverage.

For voluntary long term care, Kamps said employees will have a little more flexibility to design a plan to better meet their needs with NIS. This is taking the place of employer paid insurance and it is voluntary.

Health and dental still on table
The School Board also heard an update on health and dental insurance options Monday, though the decision is still on the table.

Kamps presented the board with Delta Dental’s options in comparison with WEA. With Delta Dental tooth sealants would be 100 percent covered, compared with the current 80 percent coverage. Implants would be an added coverage at 80 percent.

Delta Dental would also offer a $50 deductible, which the school district insurance committee requested information on at their June 4 meeting. Kamps said WEA would only offer a $25 deductible and could not meet the requested $50.

If the dental insurance provider did change, AFSCME employees’ coverage would not change; however, they would benefit from the added coverage including sealants. Dental will be further discussed with a possible vote June 25.

Kamps sought quotes from five different health care providers including UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Anthem, WPS and Wisconsin Trust Association, as well as renewal rates from WEA, which should come in next week.

UnitedHealthcare did not provide a quote, he said, saying they could not be competitive at this time. The largest impact on district rates will be found in the deductibles.

The rates will be further discussed on June 25, as well additional detail on the returned quotes.

5 posted on 06/12/2012 1:34:18 PM PDT by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right)
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To: UB355

Putting aside the article sucked. There was a time when labor needed help. That time has long passed. Union’s have gained to much power and have a mafia like grip on many of the legislatures. They use this to elect representitives that will do their bidding, which in turn they get more union dues. That’s why government employees are being paid much higher wages and benifits than the public employees. And that’s why Walker kicked butt in Wisconsin.

6 posted on 06/12/2012 1:59:27 PM PDT by spawn44 (mu)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The fact that the exit polls show that of the people who voted Tuesday, Obama led Mitt Romney by 7 points..

I call BS, weren't those the same exit polls that showed the recall to be really close?

7 posted on 06/12/2012 2:23:15 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Ineptocracy; the Obama way.)
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