Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker(R) was elected on the idea that he would take care of the taxpayer’s money. In short, he would balance the state’s budget without asking the taxpayers to come up with more cash. He did it.
One of the casualties of frugality was the unions. They would no longer have a dictatorship-like ability to force workers to pay into their coffers and no longer could government workers collectively bargain with the very people that would want their support in future elections – an obvious quid-pro-quo situation.
Union leaders went after the seats of the six Republican senators eligible for recall – an early re-election vote – and failed. As The Washington Post put it:
If these results stand, its an undeniable defeat for labor and for progressive activists.
Democrats and their allies are arguing taking down two incumbents is itself a victory, given that recalling an official is incredibly difficult and rare. But they invested very heavily in taking back the state senate and fell short.
Despite tens of millions of dollars being spent by special interest groups on the left, Republicans maintained control in the Senate by losing only the two most-vulnerable seats – and three Democrats will have their recall elections in coming weeks which could mean a net gain for Republicans should the Democrats be defeated.
The vulnerable Republicans were Senator Robert Cowles, Senator Alberta Darling, Senator Sheila Harsdorf, Senator Randy Hopper, Senator Dan Kapanke, Senator Luther Olsen. Only Kapanke and Hopper lost their seats while the remaining four Republicans held firmly to their positions in the state senate.
The message of the recall should be clear: Americans oddly want politicians that will take care of their money, not spend it like it’s lottery winnings.
Since the heavily union-financed effort has failed, it is likely that similar efforts in other states will also be met with the reason of fiscal sanity.
Predictably, big-labor funded Democrats are crying foul. While no specific accusations were made nor evidence produced, Wisconsin Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate accused Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus of “once again tampering with the results of a consequential election” and that a “dark cloud hangs over these important results.” That will mean more expenses for Wisconsin taxpayers as left-wing special interest groups demand that the results be dragged into court.
Progressives have been claiming that they would also be recalling Gov. Walker as soon as the law allows. It remains to be seen if their funding partners, big labor, have the stomach to throw millions more of their members’ dues at another possible loss.