Six Republican seats were up for recall elections in the Wisconsin State Senate last night, and the Republicans held four of them.
The Tea Party effectively smacked the vitriolic left-wing progressive movement upside the head:
…[T]he union-backed Democrats picked up only two state Senate seats in Wisconsin last night, at a staggering cost in time, effort, and of course money. One of the seats was solidly Democratic, held by a Republican due to an apparent fluke of nature. The other was held by an alleged adulterer who had moved outside his district to live with his young mistress, and whose wife was supporting his recall.[...]
The people” were supposed to be on the side of the unions who protested at the state capitol when Walker’s bill passed, limiting the unions’ collective bargaining privileges against taxpayers and school districts. But it turns out that “the people” had other ideas. In the end, even a massive infusion of cash and union volunteers was not enough to deliver the three state Senate recall races the unions needed, despite the fact that President Obama carried all six of the seats in question in 2008.
This marks the unions’ third huge defeat in Wisconsin this year. The other two were the passage of Walker’s bill and the re-election of David Prosser to the state Supreme Court. The grand talk of recalling Walker himself next year seems a bit blustery now, given the great failure of last night.
The implications are clear:
…[A]almost 350,000 people voted in Tuesday’s recall elections — and Republicans won 53 percent of the total vote. After blowtorching the state with negative ads and benefiting from a favorable timetable, the unions could still only get 47 percent of Wisconsinites to support their effort.
This should make the unions think long and hard about whether they want to embark on a mission to recall Gov. Scott Walker next year. Doing so successfully would easily cost them five times as much as they just spent — and even with their recent deluge of cash, most of the public still didn’t support them at the polls. Additionally, the extra time will also give Walker’s reforms more time to work — and once the public sees that schools can manage their affairs effectively without being hamstrung by union regulations, organized labor’s argument gets even weaker.
When establishment Republicans talk about shying away from political battles, the “hills” that are not worth politically taking a hit for, I would urge them to look at Wisconsin. The Republicans there, with the Tea Party having their backs, stood for conservatism, stood for true reform, and won. Twice.
And a major hat-tip to Governor Walker who, in my book, is Republican of the Year. He stood up to the vitriol, to the onslaught of hate and violent rhetoric from the Left, to the deluge of union money and their thuggery, all for doing his job and standing up for conservatism. He never resorted to chest-thumping, never spoke with malice. He just made his case to the people of Wisconsin and they voted accordingly. All of this in the cradle of America’s modern progressive movement.
Kudos to Governor Walker, the GOP senators who won, and to the people of Wisconsin.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
Kudos to Breitbart for having the guts to say what is right. Well done:
More at Big Government here.
The danger is clear to anyone with a brain:
“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”
That wasn’t Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul, or Ronald Reagan talking. That was George Meany — the former president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O — in 1955. Government unions are unremarkable today, but the labor movement once thought the idea absurd.
The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, don’t generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. F.D.R. considered this “unthinkable and intolerable.”Government collective bargaining means voters do not have the final say on public policy. Instead their elected representatives must negotiate spending and policy decisions with unions. That is not exactly democratic – a fact that unions once recognized.
State Sens. Joe Leibham and Glenn Grothman said they are among as many as 18 Republican senators who received a death threat following their votes to eliminate most collective bargaining powers for public workers.
The threat was sent in an e-mail late Wednesday with the subject, “Death threat!!!! Bomb!!!!” according to a copy of the letter released by Grothman’s office. The e-mail also was addressed to Sen. Pam Galloway, R-Wausau.
Grothman, R-West Bend, said the e-mail is the latest example of “a new height in incivility.” He said in recent weeks he has received obscene phone calls at all hours of the night, been jostled at the Capitol and has been shouted down during interviews.
“This is another example of the anger which is being spewed by the government unions,” Grothman said. “This has been all about intimidating … Republican legislators into bowing to the public unions, and it has only steeled our resolve.”
Grothman said he is hesitant to completely disregard the threat given the volatile atmosphere in Madison. A note shoved under his door Wednesday night said, “The only good Republican is a dead Republican.”
I’m standing up and applauding Senator Grothman for defending his vote and not being intimidated by these violent, vitriolic union douchebags, and for speaking truth to power about what the unions try to do by intimidation. For too long public unions have had their way with state governments by looting taxpayers, and expecting governors to ask “how high?” whenever they say jump.
No more. It’s time to bring an end to this insanity.
With benefits, they make approximately $100,000 and the average teachers’ salary is $56,000. Per capita income in Milwaukee barely breaks $20,000:
The superintendent who’s been in the school district for nearly forty years remarks at around the 1:26 mark:
“This is the worst financial condition that I’ve seen in the district…the costs are way outpacing the amount of money that we have…”
If you see nothing wrong with what’s in that video, then you’re part of the problem.
Here’s what Governor Walker thinks about polls:
“Polls are nice, if they are on your side,” he said. “But in the end, you’ve got to govern based upon what you think is the right thing.”
Yesterday, Scott Walker and Wisconsin Senate Republicans did the right thing and scored a bold victory and took a huge step towards relinquishing the stranglehold that public unions have on the state budget and on Wisconsin taxpayers:
Bypassing Democrats hiding out in Illinois, Wisconsin Senate Republicans voted Wednesday night to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights.
Republicans voted 18-1 to pass the stripped-down budget bill in a hastily arranged meeting. None of the Senate Democrats were present.
The State Assembly is expected to vote on the bill Thursday.
All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker’s so-called “budget repair bill” — a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall..
The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday split from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, and a special conference committee of state lawmakers approved that bill a short time later.
Thanks to this bill — which doesn’t touch any of the civil service protections afforded public workers, nor any private-sector unions — public sector workers will have a choice over whether to join a union. Thanks to this bill, public workers who elect not to join a union won’t be forced to pay dues anyway. Thanks to this bill, elected officials won’t be negotiating away taxpayer dollars the people who finance their campaigns. So, naturally, the Democrats call it the the undoing of fifty years of “civil rights.”
The blowback will be brutal–from the media, the unions, the professional left, etc–and as enormous as this victory is, the work continues. And it will be rough. Efforts to recall the governor and the state senators have been underway for over a week now and this will only help to accelerate them.
The governor and senators made a gutsy move, as they’re risking their political careers over their actions, but that should suit voters just fine. Isn’t that what Americans want? Elected officials who do the right thing, in spite of the risk to their careers?
We can only hope that what Governor Walker has done will inspire conservatives throughout the country and do the right thing for their own constituents.
And let’s not forget–this is a blow to President Obama, the Democratic Party and their enablers in the public sector unions, which fund it all. The President needs the unions, or more specifically, needs their cash.
Speaking of which, here’s an interesting take:
Barack Obama paid for, organized, and is putting on this riot.
Repeat ad nauseam. This is what Barack Obama wants. This is what Barack Obama believes. Barack Obama thinks that, if laws don’t go your way, you form a violent mob and riot.
Look very closely, America. The pictures you see from Madison tonight are of Barack Obama’s worldview.
Walker, whose state faces a $3.6 billion budget shortfall, outlined a two-year, $59 billion budget that would cut spending across the board. Over $4 billion would be gutted from state coffers, a 6.7 percent reduction. “The facts are clear: Wisconsin is broke,” he said. “It’s time to start paying our bills today — so our kids are not stuck with even bigger bills tomorrow.”
Walker, who is not shy about his fiscal conservatism, takes an axe to numerous state programs in his proposal. If passed, over $700 million in education funds and over $1 billion in county and municipal aid would be slashed. That state’s Medicaid budget would be cut by $500 million. Over 20,000 government jobs would be eliminated. The state commerce department would disappear. It would also require, as his budget-repair bill stipulates, for public employees to contribute 5.8 percent of their salaries toward their pensions and pay 12.6 percent of their health-care premiums. Taxes would not be raised.
“Our budget reduces the structural deficit by 90 percent,” Walker said. “Gone are the segregated fund raids, illegal transfers, and accounting gimmicks. Gone are the tax or fee increases. Our state cannot grow if our people are weighed down paying for a larger and larger government. A government that pays its workers unsustainable benefits that are out of line with the private sector. We need a leaner and cleaner state government.”
There will be a lot of financial pain for people in Wisconsin, people who
are not in public employee unions go to work everyday to feed their families, depend on state services, etc. I hope those people realize that they have their local union boss to thank for all of that. Scott Walker is merely trying to clean up the mess.
Collective bargaining is indeed a problem in the hands of public sector unions:
It enables unions rather than citizens to set the price of government. It is, thus, a direct assault on republican democracy, and it needs to be destroyed. Unlovely as they are, the Greek rioters and the snarling thugs of Madison are the logical end point of the advanced social democratic state: not an oppressed underclass, but a spoiled overclass, rioting in defense of its privileges and insisting on more subsidy, more benefits, more featherbedding, more government.
Big Unions fund Big Government. The union slices off two per cent of the workers’ pay and sluices it to the Democratic Party, which uses it to grow government, which also grows unions, which thereby grows the number of two-per-cent contributions, which thereby grows the Democratic Party, which thereby grows government… Repeat until bankruptcy. Or bailout.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
The Wisconsin State Assembly voted on and passed Governor Walker’s budget bill early this morning. This is what happened after the vote was tallied:
Democrats erupted after the vote, throwing papers and what appeared to be a drink in the air. They denounced the move to cut off debate, questioning for the second time in the night whether the proper procedure had been followed.
“Shame! Shame! Shame!” Democrats shouted in the faces of Republicans as the GOP lawmakers quietly filed off the floor and a police officer stood between opposing lawmakers.
“Cowards all! You’re all cowards,” yelled Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) as another Democrat tried to calm him down.
Here’s the video:
This is how the Democrats and their union overlords roll–intimidation, heated rhetoric, etc. We’ve seen it play out all week long. And they’ve taken it to the statehouse.
To the extent that the left now considers the Koch brothers the face of their opposition, they should be wary as the Kochs won’t be intimidated by the amateurish actions of the unions and their protesters. No, the Kochs aren’t backing down:
“With the Left trying to intimidate the Koch brothers to back off of their support for freedom and signaling to others that this is what happens if you oppose the administration and its allies, we have no choice but to continue to fight,” says Richard Fink, the executive vice president of Koch Industries. “We will not step back at all. We firmly believe that economic freedom has benefited the overwhelming majority of society, including workers, who earn higher wages when you have open and free markets. [...]
“This is part of an orchestrated campaign that has been going on for many months. It involves the Obama administration, the Center for American Progress, aligned left-wing groups, and their friends in the media.
Here’s the deal. The union bosses are thugs, plain and simple. But they can be simple-minded. They’re used to getting their way and will throw a tantrum when they feel opposition.
Here in New Jersey, for example, the NJEA have had their way with Trenton for years until Governor Christie was elected. They were used to demanding previous governors to jump and the governor would happily oblige. When Governor Christie pushed back–and hard–the unions immediately started with the demonstrations, the in-your-face tactics, etc.–the typical nonsense. They’re used to getting their way. They’re spoiled.
So far Governor Walker is standing his ground and I would like to think that once the State Senate takes up the legislation, that Wisconsin’s Republicans stand firm. It’s the only way to reverse the unions’ ruinous cycle of fiscal destruction.