Skip to comments.Walker Changes Attitudes on Public Employee Unions
Posted on 06/07/2012 5:07:08 AM PDT by Kaslin
The results are in, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has beaten Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in the recall election. That's in line with pre-election polling, though not the Election Day exit poll. Even before the results came in, we knew one thing, and that is that the Democrats and the public employee unions had already lost the battle of ideas over the issue that sparked the recall, Walker's legislation to restrict the bargaining powers of public employee unions.
That's supported by a Marquette University poll showing 75 percent of Wisconsin voters favoring increases in public employees' contributions for health care and pensions. It also showed 55 percent for limiting collective bargaining for public employees and only 41 percent opposed.
But the strongest evidence is that Barrett and the Democrats avoided the issue. They had tried to make the election about anything else, such as an investigation of staffers for Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive.
A defeat in a state where public employee union bargaining was authorized in 1959 has national implications.
Unions spent $400 million in the 2008 election cycle to elect Barack Obama and other Democrats. More than half of all union members nationally are public employees.
Public employee unions insist that dues money be deducted from members' paychecks and sent directly to union treasuries. So in practice, public employee unions are a mechanism for the involuntary transfer of taxpayers' money to the Democratic Party.
Walker's law ended this practice and gave public employees the choice of whether to pay union dues. The membership of AFSCME, the big union of state employees, fell from 62,818 to 28,785.
That's what liberal columnist E.J. Dionne was referring to when he wrote last week that Walker's laws "sought to undermine one of the Democratic Party's main sources of organization." Dionne wants continued taxpayer financing of campaigns -- for his side only.
The battle of ideas in Wisconsin may have affected opinion nationally. The annual Education Next poll of opinion on teacher unions showed little change between 2009 and 2011, but this year the percentage with a positive view dropped from 29 percent to 21 percent. It dropped from 58 percent to 43 percent among teachers themselves.
The case for public employee unions has never been strong. Franklin Roosevelt opposed them, and so did AFL-CIO founding President George Meany.
Public unions' institutional incentives are to increase pay and benefits, which costs taxpayers money, and to limit employee accountability, which tends to reduce the quality of public services.
Union leaders claim they uphold professional standards. But aside from police and fire unions fighting dumbed-down hiring and promotion exams, it's hard to find examples of this actually happening -- much harder than finding incompetents and miscreants kept on the public payroll by their unions.
Perhaps the weakness of the case for public employee unions kept Barack Obama from doing much to help them in Wisconsin. Or perhaps he was preoccupied by the faltering economy or fatigued by the six fundraisers he attended last Friday, when the dismal jobs numbers came out.
Whatever the reason, Obama did fly over Wisconsin from a Minneapolis fundraiser to his home in Chicago. And on Monday, he tweeted his "backing" of Tom Barrett, although he didn't use the full 140 characters.
It's not the first time Democrats have stiffed their union funders. Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed House members to cast tough (in some cases career-ending) votes for cap-and-trade and Obamacare.
But Obama didn't push hard, or much at all, for the unions' card-check bill, which union leaders hoped would enable them to reverse the long decline in private-sector union membership.
Now the public employee unions are threatened. Walker's victory in Wisconsin shows that the case against powerful public employee unions can be not only defended but advanced, in a state with a long progressive tradition, which has not voted Republican for president since 1984.
That's a lesson that may be taken to heart by governors, legislatures and voters in other states being pushed toward bankruptcy by union-negotiated benefits and pensions.
This is what I been preaching,
A real leader changes voters opinions and accomplishes something and not just barking ‘Bow Wow’ and getting beat back and making excuses like most of those losers (ref Boehner/McConnell) who we are stuck with.
My favorite GWB excuse I got many times is :"Democrats wanted him to do that" as if that is a defense.
This is similar to (though so far not as big as) Reagan turning the Unstoppable Communism equation on its head.
Before Reagan, the formula for world politics was this:
Whatever parts of the globe communism controls, they get to keep, forever. Whatever parts of the globe is non-communist or free, is up for grabs.
This formula was originally stated (as an observation) by Jean Kirkpatrick. Ronald Reagan brought that ironclad rule to an abrupt end.
Something similar might be going on here. Previous to Walker, whatever privileges and power the public unions don’t yet have, they are free to grab for. Whatever privileges and power they already have, they get to keep forever.
Walker maybe has put an end to that ironclad rule. And that turnaround might end up being as significant as what Reagan did.
(I said “might”.)
When I read the title, I thought it meant that Walker had changed HIS attitude on the unions. When I listened to his speech on Tuesday, I thought I heard him say that he was going to listen more in the future....the whole “work together” mirage. It made me nervous that the left had made some inroads to get Walker to compromise. I hope that’s not the case. You can’t compromise with the left - you have to defeat them.
Public employee unions insist that dues money be deducted from members’ paychecks and sent directly to union treasuries. So in practice, public employee unions are a mechanism for the involuntary transfer of taxpayers’ money to the Democratic Party.
A point Mr Limbaugh has been making for years. A political slush fund benefiting the democrat party and resulting in bureaucrats negotiating contracts that over time have grown the cost of government. Defined benefit retirement plans are or can be very expensive over time.
Walker Changes Attitudes on Public Employee Unions
Wrong Mikey! Voters confirm that Walker is correct about their attitudes toward public employee unions... the only thing that “changed” is the emergence of a Republican “with a set” to act on it.
By my count that means that the RNC has a grand total of ONE such leader... Governor Walker.
What’s unionists (and liberals in general) don’t seem to grasp is that their lust for incompetence is the root of the whole problem.
I dare say that a good number of people would care a whole lot less about what public sector workers are paid if the unions were a means of promoting excellence within their ranks.
It’s the same with just about every union, with the possible exception of airline pilots, which seem to actually care about their members not screwing up.
Likewise with taxes. How many people would be against tax increases if things like roads, bridges and other infrastructure were kept in good repair and maintained without the 9-5 disruptions or if the schools were actually turning out educated students?
People would turn a blind eye to a heckuva lot of waste, fraud and abuse if, in the end, stuff got done and got done right.
The Islamists have decided that a similar formula applies to them. The next big struggle will be to break that assumption.
This is the most telling statistic in the whole article. I live in a heavily unionized area of Ohio, where you have to join the union to hold any kind of manufacturing job. You can't just walk in and go to work, without the union. I think if people had a choice...many unions would not appear so strong and formidable.
Walker knew he had a national MSM audience for his victory speech, so he fed them a little pablum...make nice words.. Don’t worry about what he says..just watch what he does next..personally, I think that he is furious at the Dems/left, for this whole recall thing, plus the harsh personal attacks on his family, and the gtreats against him. But you don’t show your enemies that you’re angry..you just act against them.
I fully expect that AFTER the November election, with the GOP winning the state and the WIS GOP again firmly in control of the senate, that Walker goes for a right to work law..
we shall see
“You cant compromise with the left - you have to defeat them.”
Bears repeating, because it is the absolute truth. The only way out of the mess we are in is to defeat the Left, and the way to defeat the Left is NOT TO ALLOW THEM ANY SUCCESS.
NO COMPROMISE. EVER!
“When I read the title, I thought it meant that Walker had changed HIS attitude on the unions.”
When I first saw that title, I thought the same thing.
I was relieved when I kept reading.
I think Walker having the guts to face them down resulted in enough "sunlight", people actually seeing what the unions were doing, that it HAS changed some people's perception of the public employees unions.
Those two facts are startling, especially the second one. Public sector unions are simply an abomination, and now they have grown totally out of control.
One of the worst things that EVER happened to America was the day JFK signed an executive order allowing federal public employees to unionize.
YOU ARE A CIVIL SERVANT if you take a government job, and the very idea you can unionize is rediculous. It is LONG past time these things were gone.
YOu don’t like being a civil servant, get a new job.
——Unions spent $400 million in the 2008 election cycle to elect Barack Obama and other Democrats.——
Waterloo! You were defeated. We won the war!
The free bookkeeping and collection service that the Unions have thrust on employers for years is coming to an end.
The paperwork involved is a cost that has been borne by employers without any kind of offset or reimbursement.
Depending on the size of company, this can be very expensive.
Unions pay absolutely NO INCOME TAX, either. They produce not one little bit of usable product or service. They are PARASITES of the first order.
They are a pure profit organization, which uses intimidation and bullying as their mantra.
I will surely enjoy the end of unions in the USA. They have long outlived their usefulness.
Scott Walker gave the USA a civics lesson we need to pay attention to.
Our Governor in Maine, Paul LePage summed up the Walker victory quite nicely:
>> JFK signed an executive order allowing federal public employees to unionize <<
Bad enough, to be sure. But at least the federal employees’ unions — unlike so many at the state and local levels — aren’t allowed to bargain collectively over wages and “fringe” benefits. Big difference!
No worries... the winners tend to offer that up as a condolence to the losers. But it's highly likely Walker sees Tuesday's result as a confirmation of his policies. He'll be pressing ever (get ready for it... here it comes...) FORWARD!!
Walker mounted a brilliant strategy against the unions——most memorable was his “The race is gonna be close” strategy.........his internal polls probably showed him leading by the wide margin he won by.
This strategy effectively disarmed the unions ....and got Walker’s backers to the polls in droves.
Romney needs a guy like with Walker’s conservative knowhow.
Walker probably would not be amenable to walking away from his huge victory-—but he would make a great VP.
Voters are sick of vote-crazed politicans. When confronted with organized voting blocs, the spineless pol is reduced to a blithering idiot-—and gives away the store-—forcing taxpayers to subsidize his/her relection giveaways.
When people elect someone to an office they expect he will fulfill the duties of that office,not just immediately use it as a springboard to the next political plum.
Walker should serve out his term as governor ;I sincerely wish obama had finished his Senate term.
That idea doesn't resonate with me because then he would have to repeat whatever positions and messages that liberal Republican Romney is trying to sell. VP takes direction from POTUS. I see Walker more as a POTUS candidate himself someday.
Recall the Palinistas repeating over and over that no position Palin took in 2008 was really her's(like immigration and bailouts) because she had to repeat whatever the McCain campaign told her. That presented a problem when she took the opposite position, say on TARP, a few months later.
” A real leader changes voters opinions and accomplishes something and not just barking Bow Wow and getting beat back and making excuses like most of those losers (ref Boehner/McConnell) who we are stuck with. “
B U M P
” Voters are sick of vote-crazed politicans. When confronted with organized voting blocs, the spineless pol is reduced to a blithering idiot-and gives away the store-forcing taxpayers to subsidize his/her relection giveaways.”
That is about all we have in D.C.
The unions have become their own worst enemies. I can understand their mission to protect what they’ve “won” for their members, but their unwillingness to budge on modest concessions that would have ensured their survival (or at least given them better odds) seems to be bad business. They threw the whole wad on red and came up empty handed. That seems to be the MO of most unions. Here in Nevada we have a firefighter’s specialty license plate. It’s bright red and orange, very easy to spot. You’ll find them on luxury cars, including BMW’s, Porsche’s, etc. It doesn’t take much for the average Saturn driver to figure out what’s going on. Again, these guys don’t know well enough to do what’s right to ensure their survival in a tough economy.
That was a "no go" in the Senate, just like cap and trade. But the really good thing is that uniom members have another reason to be demoralized with Obama.
Attributed to Jack Kennedy: "Don't get mad - get even."