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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Reggie Newson, secretary of the state Department of Workforce Development released far more accurate numbers (a move he claims he made on his own, without consulting Walker) from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, produced for inclusion in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ national report. They are based on actual job counts reported by 160,000 Wisconsin employers as required by law. They showed an increase of 23,300 public and private sector jobs last year. Because the official release date of the report was June 28th–long after the recall election–Walker took it upon himself to release them early, for obvious reasons.

Unsurprisingly, Barrett accused Walker of “cooking the books,” further contending that, because the numbers were released early, comparisons with other states could not be made. The Democrat Party announced it would file complaints with Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne and the state Government Accountability Board, alleging Walker was using state resources to illegally gain advantage for his campaign.

Walker was having none of it. “No matter what you feel about the timing, no matter what you feel about the process, the facts are the facts and facts don’t lie,” Walker said after speaking at a meeting of the Independent Business Association of Wisconsin, in Brookfield. Walker supporters note the new numbers are also buttressed by the unemployment rate dropping to 6.8 percent, and an increase in tax revenues over initial estimates.

Will the revised numbers matter? A new Marquette University Law School poll released the same day shows voters believe Walker would do a better job than Barrett in creating jobs, 48 percent to 41 percent–even as 37 percent said they believed the state lost jobs over the past year, compared with 20 percent who believe there have been job gains. Thus, it likely becomes a question of whether new facts matter more than old impressions.

Yet the most important number of all may be the one reflected in the same Marquette Law School poll conducted from May 9 to May 12 that showed Walker with a six-point edge: it revealed that only three percent of Wisconsin voters remain undecided. Such a small percentage of undecided voters may explain the DNC’s reluctance to spend a lot of money in the state. So may the fact that Walker beat Barrett by a similar 52-47 percent margin in the 2010 governor’s race. And apparently there is an “enthusiasm gap” as well: 91 percent of Republicans say they are “absolutely certain” they will vote in the recall, compared to only 83 percent of Democrats.

Furthermore, if this race is indeed a referendum on the general election in November as so many contend, the big picture doesn’t look good for Democrats either. Two-out of three of the most recent polls show Mitt Romney only one point behind the president in a state Mr. Obama carried by 14 points in 2008.

While progressives are making this a big deal about the “assault” on the collective bargaining power of public service unions in general, there is no doubt about what rankles them the most: the elimination of mandatory dues collection. Big Labor leaders are well aware of the reality that, absent the ability to require dues payments from their members, those members are far less inclined to pay them. Four states that enacted laws either requiring annual re-authorization of dues collection, or the end of automatic deductions, saw massive reductions in dues collections, led by Indiana where a 2005 law ending dues collection led to 90 percent fewer dues-paying members by 2011.

Breitbart reveals the total compensation received by the leaders of unions most actively behind Walker’s recall. They include Gerald McEntee of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) at $565,035; John Wilson, head of the National Education Association (NEA) at $492,484; Joseph Hansen, head of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) at $352,758; Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO at $293,750; and Dan Burkhalter, leader of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) at $242,000.

Walker is the most visible threat to that status quo, not Wisconsin public sector workers who, despite all the hysteria, still get raises pegged to inflation, and the overwhelming portion of their health and pension benefits paid for by the taxpayers–all of which yields a median compensation of $71,000 per annum. One that compares quites favorably when measured against the state’s median income of $39,718.

So far, the people of that state have refused to cave to union demands. June 5th will reveal how determined they remain.

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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.