Politics

Will Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Win Recall Election in a Walkover?

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The latest sign that embattled GOP Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is going to survive a recall election slated for June 5? The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, that state's largest paper and no uncritical fan of his (despite endorsing him in 2010), editorializes "We recommend Walker; his recall isn't justified."

We recommend him in the June 5 recall election.

Walker's rematch with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was prompted by one issue: Walker's tough stance with the state's public-employee unions. It's inconceivable that the recall election would be occurring absent that. And a disagreement over a single policy is simply not enough to justify a vote against the governor.

A Marquette Law School Poll in January showed that many people in the Badger State agree. In that poll, 72% of Republicans, 44% of independents and 17% of Democrats said recalls should be limited to criminal wrongdoing. Republican state Rep. Robin Vos has proposed tightening the recall mechanism; he should continue to push for that after the election, regardless of who wins….

While we think Act 10—the law that clipped the wings of most public-employee unions in the state—was an overreach of political power, we understand and supported the need to rein in the state's labor costs. Municipalities and school districts as well as the state needed more control over their budgets, which Act 10 provided.

But Walker's zeal to give governments more control over their destinies was, we believe, matched only by his zeal to deal a harsh blow to a key Democratic constituency. That has made him a national hero to Republicans.

It's time to end the bickering and get back to the business of the state. We've had our differences with the governor, but he deserves a chance to complete his term. We recommended him in 2010. We see no reason to change that recommendation. We urge voters to support Walker in the June 5 recall election.

More here.

Recent polls show Walker with a 5 percentage point to a 9 percentage point lead over his challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Observers on all sides agree that this recall is important in terms of sending a message about collective-bargaining rights for public-sector employees. A Walker win, goes this line of thinking, shows that voters are serious about restraining compensation for teachers and other public-sector workers. Maybe, maybe not. Voters in Ohio last fall spiked a law doing just that.

Are public-sector workers overcompensated relative to their private-sector analogues? All signs point to yes. Are states and localities massively overextended due to salaries and benefits accorded public-sector workers? Again, all signs point to yes. Does that mean that states will start reeling in the amount of money they're paying out now, not to mention the future? Not so much. Consider even Wisconsin, where's Scott Walker's two-year budget increases total spending by 3 percent.

Note: Read my colleague Shikha Dalmia's blog post on the MJS endorsement of Walker here.

Watch "3 Lies at the Heart of the Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Recall Election" for more.

Explicit content warning: This video contains images of cravat-wearing hipsters playing protest songs on ukeleles. Viewer discretion is advised.

NEXT: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorses Scott Walker

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  1. Explicit content warning: This video contains images of cravat-wearing hipsters playing protest songs on ukeleles. Viewer discretion is advised.

    If ever there was an appropriate viewer discretion warning, this is it.

    1. WTF is up with ukuleles? What is next with these douchebags, kazoos? Earth to hipsters, a ukulele is not a real musical instrument.

      1. They’ve been on the kazoo thing for ages. Try to keep up! Sheesh!

        1. I never knew they were into ukuleles until I saw this

          http://diehipster.wordpress.com/page/4/

          on die hipster about the google glassses ad.

          Amazing how much fail is in one advertisement.

          1. bohemian urban pioneer

            Excellent.

      2. a ukulele is not a real musical instrument.

        Come on!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skU-jBFzXl0

  2. And we’ll march day and night
    By the big cooling tower
    They have the plant
    But we have the powerrrrrrrr….

    1. LISA NEEDS BRACES

      1. Lenny, without the dental plan, you wouldn’t have that diamond in your tooth.

  3. Why *shouldn’t* the recall be a referendum of Walker’s most widely praised/denounced policy?

    From the Journal-Sentinel editorial:

    “While we think Act 10 – the law that clipped the wings of most public-employee unions in the state – was an overreach of political power, we understand and supported the need to rein in the state’s labor costs.”

    Dare I ask – has the paper actually offered concrete proposals to “rein in the state’s labor costs,” or is this simply a rhetorical to-be-sure unaccompanied with any actual plan to meet the problems they have identified?

    Their editorial boils down to “we disagree with his policies but we rise above that disagreement to keep Walker in office.” What else has he done to make people care whether he’s removed or not?

    Why not focus on the real issues?

    1. has the paper actually offered concrete proposals to “rein in the state’s labor costs,”

      Raise taxes on the rich, duh!
      Obviously the rich don’t pay their fair share!
      If they did then they wouldn’t be rich!

    2. http://althouse.blogspot.com/2…..ed-36.html

      The Dems have no plan to solve the deficit. Their only plan is to immediately restore the spending cuts that Walker used to end the deficit.

      1. And this is precisely why government employees shouldn’t have collective bargaining rights and Walker is exactly right to try to take them away.

        Otherwise sleazy, corrupt democrats will ensure that any fix a republican puts in is only a temporary one. Republicans need to explain to the people over and over again in a calm and rational manner why even F.D.R. was opposed to collective bargaining rights for the public sector.

  4. So much stupid in that picture. As if allowing people to choose not to send money to unions is “banning unions”.

    1. Not taking is giving, and not giving is taking.

      1. It is part and parcel to having a totalitarian mindset. In that women’s mind no one is on the sidelines. You are either actively helping her side or you are on the other side. So that means that Walker, by allowing people to stay neutral is forcing them to be on the other side.

        Yeah, these people are that fucked up.

        1. It is part and parcel to having a totalitarian mindset. In that women’s mind no one is on the sidelines. You are either actively helping her side or you are on the other side.

          The logical, poisonous end result of the totalitarian maxim: “The personal is the political.”

  5. Naturally, I think the recall attempt is nonsense, but I don’t agree that recalls should only involve malfeasance. Incompetence would work, too. In fact, the whole right is rather pointless if the government gets to decide whether the recall is “legitimate” beyond counting whatever numbers are required to set the recall into motion.

    There’s something very European about the left these days. Openly protesting for the right to steal money from some to buy votes from others. Used to be that some masking of that lust for other people’s stuff was necessary, but no longer.

    1. The public schools have been effective.

    2. They are increasingly, for lack of a better term, demonic. The total lack of accountability for one’s on side and complete dehumanization of the other side is indeed very European. And it is also why Europeans tend to put people in ovens or shoot them over ditches to settle political disagreements.

      1. Well, c’mon, Asians and Africans will do this too. Zimbabwe? North Korea?

    3. There’s something very European about the left these days.

      comes from years of practice, of never losing sight of the bigger goal, of being willing to take inches at a time. Someone else said it here on another thread – the left is much better than either the right or libertarians in terms of marching, however incrementally, toward its eventual goal.

      The left is all about “compromise” because its aims also advance, even if just a little. And often, a small change is easily sold to the public whereas if people understood the true goal of liberals, none would ever be elected to anything outside of a few states.

      1. The left is all about “compromise” because its aims also advance, even if just a little.

        To paraphrase Ayn Rand – In any compromise with evil, it is only evil that profits.

  6. When the whole Wisconson legislator walkout started, Pharyngula had a post with a comment thread that I thought well illustrated left wing thinking on the matter. A commenter named Brianz really let them have it. Going through Brianz comments and the responses to them is worth a read.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyn…..consin.php

    1. Wow there is some massive stupid on there.

    2. Paging barfman.

    3. I just read Brianz comment, but I’ll leave the responses up to my imagination.

    4. Kiss that corporate overlord ass. And let the children die. You embody false consciousness.

      Wow, you can’t parody these people any better than they do themselves.

  7. “Hitler banned unions too”–So apparently the old boy wasn’t all bad.

    “the whole world is watching”–LOL at this rampant narcissism. The world has bigger things to worry about than the recall of a provincial bureaucrat. Witness the childish mindset of the left once again.

    1. Even if the world is watching, what is the “world” going to do about it? Invade and set up a UN mandate in disputed area of Wisconsin?

      It is just pathetic. “The World is watching, don’t you want them to think we are cool?”

    2. Actually, Hitler outlawed independent labor unions, but everyone was more-or-less required to join the German Labor Front (DAF in German) in order to get a job.

      Theoretically, the DAF existed to act as a medium through which workers and owners could mutually represent their interests. Wages were set by the 12 DAF trustees. The employees were given relatively high set wages, security of work, dismissal was increasingly made difficult, social security programmes were started by the Arbeitsfront, leisure programmes were started, canteens, pauses and regular working times were established, and therefore generally the German workers were satisfied by what the DAF gave them in repaying for their absolute loyalty.

      Employment contracts created under the Weimar Republic were abolished and renewed under new circumstances in the DAF. Employers could demand more of their workers, while at the same time workers were given increased security of work and increasingly enrolled into social security programmes for workers. The organisation, by its own definition, combated capitalism [and] liberalism, but also revolution against the factory owners and the national socialist state. The DAF however did openly prefer to have large companies nationalised by the German state, instead of privately owned companies.

      Anybody doubt that the public employees in Wisconsin would take that deal in a heartbeat?

      1. Nifty flag too! Makes one want to look for the union label.

  8. I’m going to say it even if half the people here hate me for it: if you’re a libertarian in Wisconsin, you’ve got to vote for Walker. This flawed man’s flawed plan is absolutely essential for any progress in the right direction. Besides, after this blows over and leaves Walker more powerful then ever, I wouldn’t be surprised to see something come the way of police unions. Something they won’t like.

  9. Dear Editor,
    Recent poll figures give me hope that the good people of Wisconsin will vote to keep the courgeous Scott Walker at the helm rather that surender itto Tom Barrett who wants to return Wisconsin to a collision course of financial disaster. If Barrett was the captain of the Titanic everyone would have drowned except fo Barrett and his cronies. By now it should be obvious to any rational American that the European economic model, supported by Obama and Barrett, was just one big Ponzi Scheme. God bless you Gov. Walker and your supporters for trying to keep the ship pointed in the right direction.

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