Looking Good For Walker in Wisconsin

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


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In Wisconsin, sitting Republican Governor Scott Walker has opened up a six-point lead over his Democrat rival, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, in the recall election that will take place on June 5th. The election represents the final attempt by Democrats and their union enablers to overturn the results of the 2010 contest that handed Republicans control of both houses in the state legislature, in turn leading to a curtailment of collective bargaining privileges for the state’s government unions. For many on both sides of the political divide, this race represents a bellwether indication of where the nation is headed in the general election next November.

Thus, it is unsurprising that plenty of money from both sides has been heading into the state. Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political ad spending, tells CNN that nearly $11 million has been spent from the beginning of November through last Monday to run recall television commercials in Wisconsin. Yet there has been much discontent on the progressive side of the ledger, with Wisconsin Democrats infuriated by a Democratic National Committee (DNC) that, up until yesterday, had refused to make a major investment in unseating the incumbent governor. “We are frustrated by the lack of support from the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association,” a top Wisconsin Democratic Party official said. “Scott Walker has the full support and backing of the Republican Party and all its tentacles. We are not getting similar support.”

That was Monday. On Thursday, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced that the Committee would get involved–sort of. “Enjoyed our conversation, @Barrett4WI. Looking forward to my trip this month to raise money & recruit vols to win back the governor’s seat,” she tweeted. Yet raising money and recruiting volunteers is not likely to impress a Wisconsin Democrat party that had requested a $500,000 contribution.

In fact, Democrats remain as angry as they were when Republicans were able to push through the bill in March that limited raises for public employees to the rate of inflation (excepting police and firefighters), required employees to pay part of their health insurance and pensions, forced unions to hold new certification votes on an annual basis, and eliminated mandatory dues collection by union leadership. Those proposals led to Democrat legislators literally fleeing the state to avoid voting on them, and engendered massive protests by public union workers and their supporters at the state capitol building in Madison.

Walker claimed such changes were necessary to close the $3 billion budget gap facing the state over the two-year budget plan that took effect last July. Last month he announced that he had saved Wisconsin taxpayers more than $1 billion so far, three quarters of which even the left-leaning Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel was forced to admit could be “verified,” while they claimed the additional savings made by local governments could not. Walker’s achievements were the result of spending cuts rather than tax increases, including tight limits on local officials’ ability to raise property taxes. Walker’s opponent, Tom Barrett, was unimpressed. He noted Walker’s budget was still $140 million in the red, and that 1,500 teachers had been laid off. “This isn’t a record to brag about–it’s a record that causes failed governors to be tossed from office,” Barrett said in a statement.

Perhaps it already did. Teacher positions were also axed in the last year of Democrat Governor Jim Doyle’s term, and it was he and Democrats, who controlled both houses of the legislature during the time the state ran up the $3 billion deficit. It remains for voters to decide on June 5th whether they prefer the party who left them $3 billion in the hole, or the one that has reduced the deficit to $140 million — and counting.

Walker’s purported ineffectiveness in creating jobs has been the main issue Democrats thought they could use against him. The governor was elected in part based on his promise to create 250,000 jobs during his term in office. And up until Wednesday, it seemed like Democrats had a valid point, due to figures taken from monthly employment surveys showing that Wisconsin had lost 33,900 jobs last year, a number that would have ranked it dead last among the 50 states. Yet employment surveys are estimates, not hard numbers.

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  • Chezwick

    This is huge folks. It may or may not be a harbinger of November, but it is certainly a tell-tale indicator of whether or not the American public is at all prepared for the necessary sacrifices to get out fiscal house in order. Should Walker fall, recall threats will put the breaks on Republicans all around the States who are otherwise inclined to reform government. A Walker victory is the grand kiss-off to the unions…the unmistakable premonition that their feasting at the public trough will soon be a thing of the past.

    • davarino

      Its sad that Walker is the only one that has the guts to do it now while the rest sit and wait. Walker should be the one running for president.

      • Paul B.

        I think Walker wil run for prez, and he should. but this is not his year. Maybe in four or eight years.

  • truebearing

    The unions and the Madison Marxist Mutants are freaking out because they couldn't make this election a referendum on Walker's heartlessness in ending Collective Extortion. The people are looking at the election more like a regular election, which clearly helps Walker.
    The facts support Walker and the unions have smeared themselves after three campaigns in a row: the first one being the attempt to defeat the Collective Bargaining Bill, the second being an attempt to elect a deranged, hard core Marxist to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, and the third the recall elections of legislators. in all three, the unions behaved like the thugs they always have been and they made a lot of enemies. Most of the state already despises Madison.

    The other factor is that people can see that Walker is fundamentally a good man. Only massive fraud will defeat Walker now. The Left will go completely unhinged when it happens…as if they ever were hinged.

  • Ken

    Watch out if they lose!! You know what bad losers Progressives are!!! It will be another round of sit-ins and OWS style mob protests!! All costing the tax pater more money!!

    • Looking4Sanity

      That's the price you pay for living in a free society. You're forced to tolerate the spoiled brats and fools.

      • fiddler

        And a complicit media, ostensibly even-handed.

  • pierce

    Let us all hope that after this recall is over with, that we don't have another recall.
    I can remember when I was a child, if I did not like a result I THREW A TANTRUM, and that is what this particular referendum reminds me of, the Democrats and the Progressives of the great State of Wisconsin acting like 3 year olds. Best of luck Scott Walker, you have done the right thing. I ought to know, I believe you are doing the right thing as I have contributed twice to your cause.

    • fiddler

      It is like former primer minister Margaret Thatcher observed about running out of other people's money.

  • EthanP

    You still make the mistake that this will be a fair election. The unions won't allow that. I doubt it will be fair in November, hense the Justice Dept. fight against voter ID.

    • petra

      a liberal judge put the voter id law… very popular in WI… on hold… go figure right? Even though the voter id law is based on the Utah law that passed USSC muser.. and is used in 31 states.

  • Looking4Sanity

    "In fact, Democrats remain as angry as they were when…"

    When are Democrats EVER happy? They've had TOTAL control of ALL of government for three years and I've never heard more whining in my life! And…the result? A plethora of excuses, accusations and denials, and a continuously deteriorating economy, job market, and societal breakdown.

    • fiddler

      Even with Bush who rightly owned much responsibility for the economic down turn, you had a predominently Democrat Congress. They conveniently down-play any responsibility for what happened (e.g. with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd with Fannie and Freddie). So it was all about Bush. As you rightly observe they are perennial whiners and complainers, totally oblivious to any responsibility with the TAXPAYERS money and instead of budgeting for roads and bridges take a piece out of the Clinton play book and reserve issues to run on. We are supposed to believe they spend OUR money responsibly, so that they can make the plea for more and more. Somehow, they represent the "disadvantaged" when they don't lift a finger to live with less. Since union members live by "grievances", that is what life amounts to for them, around the corner is yet another grievance to raise. Otherwise they lose their purpose and they have to resort to just being good citizens.

      • petra

        And despite the 19 times Bush tried to get Congress to act ..since 2003 ..on the coming housing bubble. Frank said all was fine…

  • marios

    We people should learn how to be community/voters organizer as Democrats usurp that tactic. Actually we live in war time which Democraps unleashed against American loyal citizens, American patriots to transform country in to "United Socialistic States of America". BHO and his accomplices from Dem party promised it in 2008.

  • mrbean

    Wisconsin government employee unions are a prelude in the USA as to how Europeans behave when there lavish taxpayer subsidized lifestyles are threatened. Look at Greece and Spain which are almost ready to be defaulted nanny states unless Germany bails out the Euro. France is lost to a combination of communists and freelloading Muslims with 3 and 5 wives and a dozen kids all on French governent welfare. There should not be such a thing as government employee unions in the USA.

  • sod

    Turned out that the American still have hope, the Wisconsin recall election shows that ordinary people can see and understand the facts.

  • cjk

    Wisconsin is a Demonrat state. If Walker wins by a comfortable margin, I personally think it spells doom for The Man Child and riots/disorder in November.
    Oscumma is capable of disputing a clear result against him and the people around him and in the media are more than willing to oblige.
    Hopefully nothing that outrageous will happen, but for the first time in my life I actually believe it is possible .

  • cynthia curran

    Well, a state like WI slower growth than some southern states but has only 2 big cities with a lot of blacks, WI is mainly white and most white states with exceptions like Vermont or Maine and sometimes New Hempshire are not as friendly toward Obama as minorites. WI has about a national average poverty rate.