Skip to comments.Overreach by Unions in Wisconsin
Posted on 05/25/2012 6:34:44 AM PDT by Kaslin
The Wisconsin recall election of Republican Gov. Scott Walker is not going quite like the unions and the Democratic Party expected. Back in 2011, many pundits thought that the governor had overreached when he took on public employee unions, restricting -- though not eliminating -- collective bargaining rights. But he did so because he inherited a state in dire financial shape with a deficit of $3.6 billion and public employee pensions and benefits that threatened to bankrupt the state.
When a Republican-controlled legislature tried to pass legislation to rein in the abuses, Democratic representatives literally fled the state to make a vote impossible. As a result of some clever parliamentary footwork that separated fiscal items in the bill so that a quorum would not be required to pass the legislation, Walker managed to get the bill passed. The unions sued, unsuccessfully, and the bill became law, incurring the wrath of Wisconsin's powerful unions -- public and private sector. They launched a successful recall petition drive and, for awhile, it looked like Walker might pay for his temerity with his job.
The latest polls in the state show Walker in the lead against his opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, by 5-8 points. What's more, Walker has raised vastly more funds than Barrett, some $25 million to Barrett's $831,000 (though unions and Democratic groups will spend much more on his behalf). But the real problem for Barrett is that Walker's medicine, though unpleasant for many union members, has helped bring the state's economy back to a more healthy position.
Even in a heavily union state like Wisconsin, union membership is tiny compared to the total labor force. And when it comes to public employees, most taxpayers realize that they are actually footing the bill for salaries and benefits, which more often than not exceed their own.
When many workers have no health insurance, they may feel chagrined at having to fork over more taxes to pay for Cadillac policies for union members whose own healthcare contributions are much smaller. When most employees get two weeks paid vacation if they're lucky, they may resent paying full time salaries to teachers who work only nine months a year and spend only five hours a day in the classroom with weeklong holidays, professional development and snow days off.
It's still possible for the Democrats and unions to pull off a victory if they are more successful at voter turnout than the Republicans. Unions are more than willing to bend the rules when it comes to spending union dues to get out non-union voters. The state can expect a huge influx of out-of-state union staff to work on getting out the vote -- they're already there in big numbers.
And it's likely that the Democrats will revert to some old tried-and-true tactics to get unlikely voters to the polls. In 2000, some Democratic operatives handed out cigarettes to homeless people for voting. This year, both sides have been accused of offering people food in return for voting early in the recall election. And so-called "walking around money" -- actual cash surreptitiously passed to voters, which is illegal -- is a problem with a long history in politics.
One advantage Walker may have, however, is that early voting -- once touted as a boon to get more disadvantaged, Democratic-leaning voters to participate -- hasn't always worked out that way. It's true that Democratic operatives can visit nursing homes and "help" elderly voters to fill out their mail-in ballots or other places, like homeless shelters, where they're more likely to get extra votes for Democratic candidates who promise more social benefits. But making voting somewhat easier has also made it possible for busy, gainfully employed or more affluent retired people to participate in higher numbers, which favors the GOP.
If Walker does survive the recall election June 5, it will put the state of Wisconsin in political play for the GOP in the presidential election. It seemed unlikely that Wisconsin, which went for President Obama by 14 points in 2008, would be a tossup this year. But the Republican base has been energized by the unions' attempt to oust Walker. Independents, and even some fiscally conservative Democrats, may also jump ship from Obama in the fall. If so, the electoral map looks better for Mitt Romney, which is why some in the Obama campaign are worried that their friends in the labor movement may have overreached.
That could also read: "It's still possible for the Democrats and unions to pull off a victory if they are more successful at [stealing votes] than the Republicans." You know they'll try and they're good at it.
These union creeps have overreached for years. It is just that people are awakening to their felonious behavior.
"Rolls Royce" would be a better characterization than "Cadillac".
The teachers union had, as part of their contract with the state, their own wholly-owned "health insurance" company (named "WEA Trust" as I recall).
Per the union contract, that company had a sole-source no-bid contract (I wonder how many of those teachers screamed bloody-murder about the Halliburton no-bid contracts) to provide "health insurance" to teachers.
The annual premium was on the order of $25,000 per teacher.
That's not a typo - $25,000 PER TEACHER.
When they lost the no-bid status, they dropped their bids by 40% - $10,000 per teacher per year - to stay competitive.
WEA Trust was a "cash cow" for the union, bilking the taxpayers of Wisconsin out of at least $10,000 per teacher per year.
whoops, wrong thread...
Not enough coffee
whoops, wrong thread...
Not enough coffee
Where do the Dems. get all the money to stage the recall campaigns?
Last year, the unions/Democrats spent an estimated $36 million in recall elections for a handful of state senate seats in Wisconsin. The Dems. gained two seats, but Republicans were still in control of the state Senate.
Now they are spending millions to recall Gov. Walker. The polls indicate that they are going down.
Well, money being such a big factor in politics, we could be happy that all the money being spent on the Wisconsin recall is money that can’t be spent elsewhere in politics this year.
It seems that they decided to go all in, and draw their line in the sand in Wisconsin. Union rights, worker’s rights, all that stuff, is allegedly on the line in this recall.
MSNBC said that the people of Wisconsin are outraged that this governor took the actions he took. We’ll know next Tuesday what the people’s verdict is on that one.
The more the lefties cheat, the more enthusiasm We The People are gaining. It’s like the old saying “I’d go through broken glass to vote for Walker”.
IMHO we MUST vote Walker back in again. Without cheating, Walker would win by a mile. WITH cheating (vans loaded with ??? some from Missouri license plates are voting early) who knows who will win.
Barrett was on TV last night whining about how Walker is getting so much out of state money for his recall. WHAT A JOKE, Barrett! We are beating you at your own game and you don’t like it, do you?
I hope and pray that this election is honest enough to bring EVERY last Wisconsin pro-Walker voter 18 and older to RE-elect an excellent Governor for the 2nd time in 18 months. Please help get everyone you know to vote for Walker.
This is the most important election in state history and we SHALL make History. Let’s DO IT Folks! Do your part, please.
“MSNBC said that the people of Wisconsin are outraged that this governor took the actions he took.”
MSNBC can take that BS and pound sand. Wisconsin folks ARE outraged but it’s AT THE UNIONS, the WEA Teachers, the SEIU and every other out of state slug that came to Wisconsin, trashed our beautiful capital building for weeks and weeks, are wasting our precious Tax money on this vindictive re-call election.
When We The People were FORCED to pay $25,000 per teacher to the wholly owned WEA Trust health insurance, and now we DO NOT - what do you folks think?
YES we are outraged, but watch us vote on June 5. I hope and pray that all of us Cheeseheads will re-elect Walker by a landslide. We are doing our part, so please help by encouraging everyone you know in Wisconsin to get at least 2 or 3 extra people TO the polls to vote Walker.
“WEA Trust was a “cash cow” for the union, bilking the taxpayers of Wisconsin out of at least $10,000 per teacher per year.”
I read here recently that WEA Trust has has to lay off a substantial portion of their”employees” due to the substantial loss of their “insurance plan,” as school districts went out for competitive bids under the new law and opted for policies offered by private insurance companies. ( Yes, those same evil companies that Obamacare seeks to put out of business)
No time to get complacent with the potential voter fraud factor. Get out there ALL conservatives in WI and vote for Walker.
Bring out your dead,your dead democrat voters!
At least it wasn’t Helen Thomas.
At least it wasn’t Helen Thomas.
Ach... You had to put it in the air
We need more like Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ron Johnson. Real men, total gentlemen and they have brass ones and aren’t afraid to stand their ground. I’m proud to have been part of electing both of them. And we’ll do it again for Walker!
How novel for the GOP.
Our local TEA party group is putting high hopes in Tom Smith to send Bob Casey, Jr., the little dimbulb Obama rubbestamp, packing in November.
Tom has a bio very similar to Ron Johnson and easily dispatched the party establishment endorsed candidate in our April primary.
Is your U.S. Senate primary at the same time as the June 5 recall election? If not, when? What are your prospects for flipping this seat?
August 14, 2012 is the GOP Senate Primary in Wisconsin
Sen. Herb Kohl is retiring.
Tammy Baldwin (UGH, UGH, UGH) currently US Rep. is running unopposed in the Dem side. She is a rabid dem. There are 5 GOP including some good guys. We’ll see what happens.
I can’t believe that Tammy Baldwin would have a chance against any of our team, no matter who wins. But then again....