It’s a clean sweep – Governor Scott Walker beat Mayor Tom Barrett in a lopsided 53-46% victory and the four recalled Senators are safe in landslide wins.
Unions and the progressive agenda are taking a huge hit as popular sentiment is falling behind fiscal sanity and a responsible governor. While the election implications are dire for the President and Democrats, the news is good for all of the Republicans also recalled.
Rebecca Kleefisch will remain the state’s Lt. Governor and all four Republican State Senate seats that were recalled will remain Republican.
Scott Fitzgerald handily won the right to keep his position in district 13 by a 60-39% margin.
Kristen Dexter was handed a defeat in her bid to take Terry Moulton’s district 23 seat away.
Jerry Petrowski beat back the challenge by Donna Seidel with a 66-34% margin
Van Wanggaard will hold on to his seat beating out Democrat challenger John Lehman 63-37%
Not to be outdone, CNN projected Walker the winner in the race at .. 10:22pm with an oddly worded tweet:
After all the union money and Democrat grass roots effort, it appears that America is looking for less government and more sanity.
It’s only 6:30pm and there are still 2.5 hours to go in the Wisconsin union temper tantrum.. er.. recall elections, but exit polling information is pouring in and there are interesting nuggets in the numbers.
The Washington Post is reporting that “union household comprise roughly a third of all voters” which by itself might seem promising for big labor, but when combined with a question from a Fox News exit poll .. not so much. The Fox poll asked union household voters if they supported Walker or not. 37% of union household voters support Scott Walker. This is the base of support for the recall election and only 63% of one-third (only 21%) of voters would vote for Tom Barret signalling a weak showing for Walker’s opponent.
A surprising result from a CBS News exit poll was that 51% of recall voters would support Obama in the 2012 presidential election while only 45% support Romney. Initially the gap seems wide until history is examined. Obama defeated Senator McCain by 14 points in the 2008 election. Romney has also been gaining lately in battleground states like Wisconsin.
This recall was started in response to Gov. Walker’s limiting of unions to collectively bargain with the state government. On that question, 50% of Wisconsin voters support the governer while 48% do not.
Perhaps the most important question in the poll was one that asked if the voters were voting for their candidate out of support or if the were voting for their candidate simply as a protest vote against the other candidate. Roughly 90% of Walker voters did so out of support for him while only 53% of Barrett’s voters did the same while 45% voted for him as a protest against Scott Walker. This signals more enthusiasm for Governor Walker and will likely show up in the vote totals when the polls closed.
As a more subjective indication of how the recall may go, Politico is reporting that the White House position is that today’s election means nothing for November. Press Secretary Jay Carney said that “the president is aware of the election. I think he’s got some other responsibilities.I know that he’s not following it minute by minute … You know that he tweeted about it earlier.” A clear indication that the Obama administration does not see a win for Mayor Barrett – as if Obama not bothering to campaign for Barrett wasn’t enough.
Other data from the exit polls were less indicative of a result, but interesting none-the-less:
Partisan identification is roughly even at one-third each Republican, Democrat and Independent
54% think government should be limited, 42% believe it should do more
60% said that recall elections should only be done in the case of official misconduct
Wisconsin voters have been inundated with political information the past month. But if you have a friend in Wisconsin who is not quite sure how to vote, even at this late date, this short interview may persuade them. Steve Malanga with the Manhattan Institute* explains in just a few minutes why this vote is so important, not just to Wisconsinites but to municipalities in America.
This vote is important to the unions who don’t want the citizens to see that the changes Walker has instituted have worked. Even Walker’s opponent, as mayor of Milwaukee used the reforms to balance his city’s budget. If Walker survives this recall it will be seen as a way to manage budgets across the country.
*For full disclosure, the Manhattan Institute receives some funding from the Koch Brothers.
Today’s recall vote of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has been touted as a crucial measure of the upcoming presidential election by both liberals and conservatives. Liberals say Walker’s defeat is a victory over the so-called fascistic measures Walker took to strip state workers of their apparently unalienable collective bargaining rights. As a growing number of states push right to work legislation, which allows individual workers to negotiate benefits without forced unionization, the Wisconsin recall is the frontline of the union battle for liberals.
Conservative pundits across the aisle see a win by Walker as a resounding endorsement of small-government, pro-liberty ideals represented in Walker’s fiscally responsible balanced budget, which turned a projected 1443 billion dollar budget deficit into a projected 154 million dollar surplus. As conservatives fight a growing national deficit, the threat of tax hikes and the continuing lack of a federal budget, Wisconsin represents the successful implementation of fiscal policy that conservatives argue for on a national level.
But the Wisconsin recall is important to the presidential election for another reason. Much like the 2008 presidential election, Wisconsin recall efforts have been lead by thug tactics and spending by highly organized unions and national progressive groups, while the movement to defeat the recall is largely grassroots, led by small, individual contributions going to phone calls calling conservatives to get out and vote. Walker has also relied on TV and radio ads.
Walker has raised about 30.5 million dollars, about two thirds coming from out of state contributions. While Tom Barrett, Walker’s Democratic challenger, has raised only about 4.2 million dollars, about a quarter of it comes from organized labor, much of it from in-state contributions. However, much more money has been spent by national labor unions on funding a vast network of field offices in Wisconsin. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), The National Education Association (NEA) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are the nation’s three biggest public unions and have contributed millions to independent groups and PAC’s in Wisconsin. These groups, like We Are Wisconsin and the Greater Wisconsin Committee, have focused TV and radio ads and mailings, and most importantly bussing in union employees to protest and canvass. Many individuals the unions bussed in are paid to protest and have no idea why they are there. Others rely on thug tactics to intimidate private citizens into voting. Most notably, the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund, a progressive group, sent out mailers containing private voting records in an attempt to get Wisconsin citizens to intimidate their neighbors into voting against Walker.
And this is why the Wisconsin vote is so important. The 2008 Obama campaign was supported largely by the virtually unlimited resources of organized labor unions like SEIU and AFL-CIO. The 2012 election promises to be much of the same. The Wisconsin recall is a microcosm of the national election. The question is, can a loosely organized, grassroots led campaign, relying on volunteerism and donations from private citizens defeat the powerful machinations of the union machine, drawing on heavily organized and plentiful numbers and money? If it can be done on a state level, chances are it can be done on a national level, and this is why the Wisconsin recall is important for reasons other than partisan politics and ideals. It foreshadows what promises to be a nasty fight for the future of the nation.
As folks head to the polls today, it could be the evenly split voters in Fox Valley who make the difference.
In an article in the Appleton PostCressent, Lawrence University political scientist Arnold Shober said, “Barrett will do wonderfully in Dane County, just like Walker will carry Waukesha and Washington County, but up here in the Fox Valley, we’re truly one of the few areas that is split 50-50.”
The Fox Valley is made up of many union-represented public employees who feel abandoned by Gov. Walker’s public sector union reforms, and by many business people who have cheered on his efforts.
Over 206,000 absentee ballots have already been cast in the contest, but when the polls close today it may well be those voters from Fond du Lac to Green Bay who swing the election.
Something stinks! Obama’s Department of Justice issued a press release stating that the agency will be keeping close tabs on the Wisconsin recall elections brought about by the labor unions. Unfortunately, they won’t be looking for voter fraud.
WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that it will monitor elections on June 5, 2012, in the following jurisdictions to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and other federal voting rights statutes: Alameda, Fresno and Riverside Counties, Calif.; Cibola and Sandoval Counties, N.M.; Shannon County, S.D.; and the city of Milwaukee.
The Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group. In addition, the act requires certain covered jurisdictions to provide language assistance during the election process. Fresno County, Riverside County and the city of Milwaukee are required to provide assistance in Spanish. Cibola, Sandoval and Shannon Counties are required to provide language assistance to Native American voters. Alameda County is required to provide language assistance to Hispanic, Chinese, Vietnamese and Filipino voters.
Under the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department is authorized to ask the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to send federal observers to jurisdictions that are certified by the attorney general or by a federal court order. Federal observers will be assigned to monitor polling place activities in Shannon County based on the attorney general’s certification and in Alameda, Riverside and Sandoval Counties based on court orders. The observers will watch and record activities during voting hours at polling locations in these jurisdictions, and Civil Rights Division attorneys will coordinate the federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials.
In addition, Justice Department personnel will monitor polling place activities in Fresno County, Cibola County and the city of Milwaukee. Civil Rights Division attorneys will coordinate federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials.
On Monday, it was reported that Wisconsin officials discovered a large number of absentee ballots being requested by someone not living at the known address of the voter. Further investigation turned up what appears to be an organized effort to steal votes by illegally obtaining absentee ballots to fill out as they please later. Eric Holder’s justice department has no interest in that matter. Instead, their putting “an army of lawyers” into Wisconsin to observe so that should Scott Walker and the Senate Republicans win their recall elections, the Obama administration can use the courts to seek the outcome they feel they deserve.
Gov. Scott Walker's Political Career Will Be Decided June 5th
On June 5th, the battle will be over. Will citizens of the Badger State vote to keep their ongoing prosperity or revert back to the old policies that drained the state of economic vigor? Currently, the massive multi-billion dollar budget deficit has been balanced, unemployment is down, and property taxes have decreased for the first time in over ten years. Hence, the reason why Gov. Scott Walker has maintained a healthy lead over his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee mayor, Tom Barrett. This will mark the second time unions have tried to alter the balance of power in Madison. The first being the $35 million dollar state senate recall election last summer that saw Republicans maintain control of the chamber. After all mainstream media coverage and the protesting inside the capitol, the results of that election were the very definition of anti-climatic. Now, with this effort to oust Gov. Walker himself, I expect the same result, but with far more political ramifications.
DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has called this recall election a “dry run” for Obama come November.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN: If the Republican governor should retain his seat up there, what will it say about the power of unions who have been fighting him and what will it say about putting Wisconsin in play this fall?
REP. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, I am going there Tuesday to campaign with Mayor Barrett. I think that he has a real opportunity to win. We have put our considerable grassroots resources behind him. All of the Obama for America and state party resources, our grassroots network is fully…
CROWLEY: But are there national implications?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: … engaged. And — well, I think what’s going to happen is that because of our on-the-ground operation, we have had an opportunity in this election, because especially given that Wisconsin is a battleground state, just like we did in the recall elections a year ago, to give this a test run.
And so what I think the implications will be is that ultimately I think Tom Barrett will pull this out, but regardless it has given the Obama for America operation an opportunity to do…
CROWLEY: Test run it.
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: … the dry run that we need of our massive, significant, dynamic grassroots presidential campaign, which can’t really be matched by the Romney campaign or the Republicans because they’ve ignored on the ground operations.
I think Ms. Schultz and the rest of the institutional left are going to be disappointed this coming Tuesday. Radio host Tony Katz gave his insight, and took down former Sen. Byron Dorgan in the process, into the absurdity surrounding this recall. Stating how this “dry run” is costing the Wisconsin taxpayer another $20 million dollars and how Walker’s fiscal reforms are exactly what America is yearning for in this anemic economic recovery thanks to the Obama administration. However, let’s see why the far left thinks Gov. Scott Walker is so evil.
Well, he attacked the parasitic relationship between government and public sector unions and curbed their collective bargaining rights. That sounds scary, but as Peter Ferrara wrote in The American Spectator, it was solely directed towards salary negotiations. It didn’t touch benefits or safety regulations and rules. It gave the local county governments the buffer it needed to maximize efficiency and curb deficits without laying off workers or putting the distribution of state services at risk. How much of a difference would that make?
According to Ferrera, “since Walker’s reforms removed benefits from collective bargaining, government employers were freed to turn to competitive bidding on the open market, where many have found their coverage at substantially reduced costs. For school districts so far, the savings from this competitive bidding alone have amounted to $211.47 per student. Statewide that would add up to nearly $200 million in savings.”
This new economic elasticity derived from Gov. Walker’s reforms has benefited the Wisconsin taxpayer in other ways. Indeed, “the state has also used this flexibility to halt fraudulent sick leave abuses that unions used to inflate overtime expenses. Workers had called in sick for their own shifts, and then worked the next shift on overtime pay. School districts have also been freed to pay teachers based on performance and not just seniority, and to keep better performing teachers rather than longer term time servers who have long given up caring about their job performance.” Now we know why teachers were so irate. After all, interjecting competition into a cartel, which is what a union is at its heart, inevitably leads to dissolution and “what a shame that would be for our children.”
Gov. Scott Walker also decided to put the lid on the cookie jar. As Chris Christie has done in New Jersey, he made public employee unions contribute more to their pensions and health care plans. Unlike what unionized labor may tell you, the contributions are beyond modest. Ferrera writes:
After all the yelling and screaming in Wisconsin, in the end these government workers were only required to contribute 5.8% of their salaries towards their pensions, which is matched by their government employers (taxpayers), and 12.6% of the costs of their health insurance, with the other 87% paid by taxpayers. This compares to private sector workers paying on average 21% of the cost of their company health insurance, with most private sector workers having no pension at all.
The state budget reforms also made payment of union dues voluntary for government workers, empowering these workers to each decide for themselves if they want to be full dues paying members of the public employee unions. That is a potential savings for families of $1,000 a year for each government worker in the family. This forces the public unions to focus on serving their members and convincing each one that their services are worth the dues, just like every other private sector institution in American society.
After seeing union leadership blow $35 million in a state senate recall election, I WOULD HOPE those employees would be ecstatic seeing their dues be spent responsibly, or better yet, opted to keep more of their hard earned money. In conclusion, the results have been “disastrous.” A whopping $1 billion in savings in the first year alone with not one one cent raised in taxes to balance the budget.
the property tax bill for the median home fell by 0.4% in 2011, as reported by Wisconsin’s municipalities. Property taxes, which are the state’s largest revenue source and mainly fund K-12 schools, have risen every year since 1998—by 43% overall. The state budget office estimates that the typical homeowner’s bill would be some $700 higher without Mr. Walker’s collective-bargaining overhaul and budget cuts.
The median home value did fall in 2011, by about 2.3%, which no doubt influenced the slight downward trend. But then values also fell in 2009 and 2010, by similar amounts, and the state’s take from the average taxpayer still climbed by 2.1% and 1.5%, respectively. In absolute terms homeowners won’t see large dollar benefits year over year, but any hold-the-line tax respite is both rare and welcome in this age of ever-expanding government.
The real gains will grow as local school districts continue repairing and rationalizing their budgets using the tools Mr. Walker gave them. Those include the ability to renegotiate perk-filled teacher contracts and requiring government workers to contribute more than 0% to their pensions. A year ago amid their sit-ins and other protests, the unions said such policies would lead to the decline and fall of civilization, but the only things that are falling are tax collections.
With unemployment down, property taxes at its lowest in over a decade, a $3.6 billion dollar budget deficit completely wipe out, and $1 billion in savings; I hope the smart Wisconsin voter would know who to vote for and who saved them from economic catastrophe. That narrative has gained traction with Gov. Scott Walker leading Democratic Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett 52%-45%. The far left and some elements in the mainstream media have tried to put forth this “war on workers” narrative aimed at Gov. Scott Walker and conservatives. That is grossly, spectacularly, and demonstratively wrong. We’re freeing union workers to make decisions with their own finances. As a result, union membership has dropped, not due to belligerent smashing tactics, but because it removed the coercive nature of union dues and membership. As Investors Business Daily aptly noted, it’s really big labor vs. taxpayers in this fight. Big labor being a cornerstone of support for a particular left-leaning party and its effete leader who currently occupies the White House. In all, these reforms:
Together…ensure that unions can’t deliver much in the way of economic benefits, and they give workers a way to respond accordingly. They present workers with an easy choice: When dues don’t buy you anything and they compete with the cable bill, why pay them? So it’s no surprise that the unions now appear to be losing members — and, of course, money. According to the Wall Street Journal, membership in the Wisconsin branch of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees fell from 62,818 last March to 28,745 this February
That’s a good thing. This isn’t a war on workers, but a liberation of them. This isn’t the fall of Wisconsin, but the resurrection of it. I’m confident Gov. Scott Walker will remain the state’s chief executive and thereby vindicating his agenda. In the process, hopefully, giving unionized labor the knock out punch that leads to the day where the American taxpayer can celebrate in their final destruction. This is a test run madame chairwoman and I expect it will be the harbinger that lifts our nominee to the White House and initiate a Wisconsinite reform of Washington D.C come January 2013.
As the citizens of the badger state prepare to head to to polls June 5th to decide their state’s economic future, it cannot be denied that phone banks, neighborhood canvassing, and other forms of grassroots outreach are helping Gov. Scott Walker maintain his lead over his Democratic opponent Tom Barrett. The folks at Americans for Prosperity have been on the ground fighting for Wisconsin’s economic freedom and, therefore, our own. This recall election will vindicate and legitimize Gov. Walker’s agenda of fiscal reform.
Reforms that other Republican governors have strived to emulate where unionized labor and their bloated pension programs have run amok. In some cases, like in New Jersey, it has incurred tens of billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities. Upon seeing committed conservative organizations, like Americans for Prosperity, stand with Scott Walker, coupled with the positive poll numbers are good indicators that next Tuesday will be a good night for conservatives and Gov. Walker. Here’s a clip of what AFP has been doing on the front lines.
The Daily Kos and it’s sheeplings are at it again. They are trying to get Gov. Scott Walker removed from office in a recall election because he removed public unions ability to fleece the taxpayers by raiding the treasury as Democrats give them lucrative contracts in return for election year favors. Gov. Walker protected his State’s taxpayers by saying that they can no longer get gifts from the State Congress. They can no longer hold the State taxpayer hostage. They will have to negotiate just like everyone else – and it has absolutely sent the liberals off the deep end. “Out in left field” is our page to share with you what the left is doing and how you can help fight back. Notice that in the email sent from the Daily Kos, the end it with “Thank you for uniting us as a progressive” .. umm, I know there aren’t many of them, but sure thought there were more than one. First: the bad stuff…
What the Extreme Left is doing:
Last night in Wisconsin, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett won the Democratic nomination to take on Governor Scott Walker in the June 5 recall. Now our opportunity to defeat the Walker-Koch agenda is in sight. Please contribute $5 to help Tom Barrett defeat Scott Walker.
Mayor Barrett is a strong standard-bearer for progressives in the recall. While representing Wisconsin in Congress, Mayor Barrett stood with me in voting against the deregulation that led to the Wall Street crash, opposing the PATRIOT Act, and reforming our system of campaign finance. His executive experience makes him qualified to begin rolling back Walker’s devastating program on day one.
Scott Walker relies on corporate bosses from coast to coast who have armed him with tens of millions of dollars. But if grassroots progressives unite around Tom Barrett, we can put an end to Walker’s harmful policies and slam the brakes on the national corporate agenda. Please contribute $5 to Tom Barrett and unite to defeat Scott Walker.
Thank you for uniting as a progressive, Russ Feingold
Big Labor’s top target in 2012 isn’t Mitt Romney, it’s Governor Scott Walker.
A coalition of powerful unions has invested tens of millions behind a total war campaign to recall conservative Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker. Yesterday, these unions submitted an astounding 1 million recall signatures, making the recall this May official.
And the union money is paying off. A poll shows about 50% of voters support recalling Gov. Walker.
Citizens from the great state of Ohio will vote Tuesday on two issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the rest of the country. The first of the initiatives, Issue 3, is a vote on an amendment to the Ohio State Constitution that would exempt the state from the new national healthcare laws (Obamacare). At the heart of Issue 3 is the concern over Ohio’s citizens being legally compelled to participate in federally mandated insurance programs. If passed, the Issue will amend the Ohio Constitution to say:“In Ohio, no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system. In Ohio, no law or rule shall prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance. In Ohio, no law or rule shall impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of health care or health insurance.”
With Obamacare on the fast track to a Supreme Court ruling, Ohio’s Issue 3 could have an effect on the final judgement of the constitutionality of the law. If voters choose to strike down the amendment, the SCOTUS can use voter sentiments in that state to sway their decision. Americans were not given the option of voting for Obamacare and many opponents say it never would have passed the smell test if citizens had been given the option to vote for the legislation in the first place. Ohio is the first state that will put that theory to the test. If voters reject the measure, the SCOTUS could use that as a guage for how the rest of the country would feel about national healthcare requirements. Taking that into consideration, it seems more likely that the Justices would uphold Obamacare as the law of the land, citing Ohio as an example of how Americans feel Obamacare does not violate their Constitutional rights. Conversely, a vote to adopt could also sway the SCOTUS in the direction of striking down Obamacare for good.
The second initiative is Issue 5, which addresses the state of union pay and benefits in Ohio. As we’ve seen in the battles in Indiana and Wisconsin earlier this year, public union reforms are becoming a hot button issue in the States. With bankruptcy looming for many of the States, some governors are being forced to drastically change their budgets and cut costs in order to address tanking balance sheets. Public unions have come under fire as a large drain on state and local budgets. In Wisconsin, unions rioted at the capital, protesting against Governor Scott Walker’s attempts to curb union benefits and require public union employees to contribute to their own healthcare and pension funds. Ohio Senate Bill 5 closely mirrors Walker’s ultimately successful reforms. It curbs their right to collectively bargain for anything outside of wages and prohibits striking. It puts an end to the “fair share” policy of unions, which extracts dues from all employees including those who opt out of the union system. It will also, like Wisconsin, require unions to pay more into their own healthcare and pension programs. Although Issue 5 doesn’t carry the same national weight as Issue 3, its passage could signal a continuing momentum in States’ battle against exorbitant public union pay and clout, which has greatly contributed to the budget crisis across America. Passage of Issue 5 in Ohio could embolden other strapped states to follow suit.
Issue 2 is also an important initiative to watch as it wrestles control away from public unions and puts budgeting of salary and expenses back in the hands of local elected officials.
Ohio has a huge day of voting on Tuesday that could have quite a persuasive effect on the rest of the country. As the saying goes, “As Ohio goes, so goes the rest of America”.