Tag Archives: Wisconsin Recall

Wisconsin Police: Volunteering for Defeat

Many Wi police labor leaders picked a fight they could have avoided.

Many Wi police labor leaders picked a fight they should have avoided.

There has been much discussion of winners, losers and the effect on public employee unions elsewhere in the US after the failure to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. But there has been little comment on one group of unionized workers that were unaffected by public employee union reform, yet joined the losing side anyway. And not once, but on three different occasions.

When Gov. Walker first introduced his plan to eliminate public employee collective bargaining, automatic union dues deduction and require annual union recertification votes there were two notable exceptions: police and fire unions.

This exemption was a godsend and it would have been perfectly natural, and tactically sound, if Wisconsin police labor leaders had simply breathed a sigh of relief as the Angel of Death passed over their house on its way to visit AFSCME households.

Instead many police leaders shinnied up the downspouts so they could get on the roof and try to flag him down.

One expects this type of behavior from firefighters. They’ve always been more committed to labor “solidarity” and most probably know the words to “Joe Hill.” Firemen are accustomed to volunteering in political campaigns and charitable efforts. (Cops say it’s because firemen only work part–time.)

So when Wisconsin firemen began beating on drums in the state capital and protesting the reform legislation it was not surprising. (One unexpected side effect of the Migration to Madison was the absence of fire trucks blocking the curb at grocery stores and the welcome shortage of firemen brandishing boots in left turn lanes.)

Cops, on the other hand, don’t volunteer.

Part of the difference is attributed to how police and fire unions are organized. Firefighters are much more hierarchical, with the locals sending dues money up to the state and national organization, where spending decisions are made. Consequently fire locals usually have a shortage of money, but plenty of manpower.

Police unions are feudal. Many locals are independent baronies and keep all the dues money within city limits. Even those locals affiliated with the Fraternal Order of Police or other national organizations, still keep local dues money at home and remain politically independent. That’s why effective police unions (those with over 450 dues–paying members) usually have money for political action, and the disinclination to volunteer is not so damaging.

I’ve worked with police (and some fire) unions for over 20 years and aside from union officers, you get almost no rank–and–file participation. Clients have had to hire temporary workers to gather signatures for a police pay raise election because the officers wouldn’t volunteer.

Which is why it was so surprising to see all those motivated cops enjoying “mic check” communication and employing their decoupage talents on poster board.

Other public employee unions want the cops to join their campaigns because conservatives and taxpayers usually support police. Consequently, police participation can generate public approval.

Unfortunately for cops, labor “solidarity” usually runs in one direction. When is the last time you saw AFSCME members picketing city hall when some rabble–rouser accuses the police of brutality? How many times have public employee union leaders defended police officers accused of “racial profiling?”

The answer is never.

Gov. Walker treated law enforcement differently and police union leaders should have done their best to make sure the precedent continued. Instead of encouraging members to join a pointless and destructive protest in the capital, (the notable exception being the Milwaukee police union that stayed with Gov. Walker), officers should have been meeting with individual legislators to thank them and explain how law enforcement is the equivalent of domestic defense: a spending priority conservatives can and should support.

In Congress few if any members are calling for military pay cuts, reductions in health coverage and limiting pensions, even though the tail–to–teeth ratio in the military is much higher than it is in domestic law enforcement.

Police officers have a difficult and inherently dangerous job. Librarians are rarely shot down during the course of their duties and they almost never have to fight a patron when it’s time to pay an overdue book fine. Cops are faced with this possibility on a daily basis.

It makes sense for them to be able to retire after 25 years on the job, have access to comprehensive medical coverage before and after retirement and receive a hazardous duty pay differential, just like the military. What’s more, police unions, in stark contrast with other public employee unions, have fought to maintain strict hiring standards, extensive background checks and stringent physical qualifications.

Law enforcement, like national defense, is not an area where wise conservatives seek to cut corners. I doubt even the most frugal Tea party member would want to exchange US law enforcement for Mexico’s.

Fortunately for Wisconsin cops they have a chance to recover from their leadership’s serial errors. Currently there is no sentiment in the legislature to revisit public employee union reform or public safety employee status. Wise police union leadership should take advantage of this truce and seek to repair their relationship with Republicans.

Netroots Blues

Netroots Nation

Netroots Nation, the annual left wing gathering of activists and bloggers, concluded this weekend with a lukewarm response from its attendants.  To say it was lackluster would be generous.  In the wake of the conservative victory in the Wisconsin Recall election, where Scott Walker, the only governor to survive a recall effort, handily beat Democratic Mayor of Milwaukee Tom Barrett, hopes ran low.  According to John Fund, who wrote in National Review, “enthusiasm for Obama was decidedly absent from this year’s gathering. Administration officials weren’t invited to attend (Valerie Jarrett and others have appeared in the past), and President Obama limited his role to an unpublicized surprise video shown to delegates late on Saturday, when many people had already left. Change is hard, but we’ve seen that it’s possible, as long as you’re willing to keep up that fight, I’ll be right there with you, Obama offered. Not exactly a stirring call to arms, and the tepid applause his video garnered can’t have pleased Team Obama.”

Van Jones gave a “rousing” speech demonizing conservatives, but what was I found most amusing was the panel discussion Fund wrote about concerning DINO (Democrat In Name Only) activities.  The panel called “When Democrats Aren’t Democrats: The Story of Rhode Island.  Kate Brown, the executive director of the liberal group Ocean State Action, warned that progressives are in a minority on a lot of issues” they care about, including gay marriage, expanding abortion rights, raising tax rates, and even implementing Obamacare. “We cut tax rates for the wealthy,” she asserted. “So when they tell us there’s no money [for programs], they are lying! There’s lots of money.”  So much that we’re $15 trillion dollars in debt, we’re nearly $60 trillion dollars in the hole with the unfunded liabilities for our entitlement programs, and soaking the rich has been consistently debunked as a viable economic policy.

It’s not the messaging that sucks, it’s the political left that sucks. Gov. Scott Walker is an exemplar of a committed leader who is pushing his state towards fiscal health and economic vitality.  He is the personification of a principled conservative. As a result, he beat Barrett and garnered more votes than he did in the 2010 gubernatorial election.  The recent recall saw the highest turnout ever for a gubernatorial race in Wisconsin history that ended in the repudiation of left-wing economic policies. The types of policies espoused by Ms. Brown and other progressives on the left.  One must ask if liberals are taking notice to the cries of  “hell no” from the American electorate concerning their socio-ecnomic agenda.

Well, if you’ve seen the post-recall footage, you have far left activists convinced they didn’t lose.  In fact, the state director for the Obama campaign, Tripp Wellde stated:

While tonight’s outcome was not what we had hoped for – no one can dispute the strong message sent to Governor Walker. Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites from all walks of life took a stand against the politics of division and against the flood of secret and corporate money spent on behalf of Scott Walker, which amounted to a massive spending gap of more than $31 million to $4 million…it is a testament to all of those individuals who talked to their friends, neighbors, and colleagues about the stakes in this election of how close this contest was. The power of Wisconsin’s progressive, grassroots tradition was clearly on display throughout the run up to this election and we will continue to work together to ensure a brighter future for Wisconsin’s middle class.

This would be meaningful if Barrett HAD WON!

Then, there is the inimitable Howard Dean.

(H/T Guy Benson)

Whether the liberals want to admit it or not, their entire agenda is crumbling.  To combat the stinging defeat of their policies that were soundly rejected by voters of a swing state, they must be increasing their daily intake of Soma, which has to be responsible for the delusional remarks above.  However, I’ve heard when your coming down from the proggie high, the sense of hopelessness can be palpable.  Hence, the Netroots blues exhibited last weekend.  My advice to the left is stay home and let us do the governing for a bit.

The Eye-Popping Wisconsin Story You Didn’t Read

walker wi background

The recall election of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was a critical bellwether. A Walker loss would have guaranteed more ruinous, out-of-control government spending, where unions and their vested interests dictate terms through violence, thuggery and deceit. But the Wisconsin electorate rejected that path, handing Walker a resounding victory. This will embolden leaders in other states to tackle similar problems head on.

Governor Walker deserves our heartfelt thanks for his steadfast determination to do the right thing. But you will never know just how difficult this was if you get your news from the “mainstream” liberal media. While shamelessly championing the Democrats’ cause, they completely ignored the unprecedented, outrageous campaign of hate and lies promoted by those same Democrats and their public employee union allies. This shameless, naked, self-serving attempted power grab is a story in-and-of itself.

News reports of the union-orchestrated, DNC-backed, month-long occupation of the Wisconsin state capital last year were ubiquitous. This was followed by a flurry of recall efforts last summer and this winter against 16 senators (8 Republicans and 8 Democrats) – every senator that was eligible for recall – as well as Governor Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. This recall was unprecedented. There have been only three times in history when more than one legislator has been recalled over any single issue.

What is less known is that the recall effort against Governor Walker – indeed, the entire attack – was far from spontaneous. Within days of his election the left began contemplating a recall, and it began in earnest in February of 2011, before his controversial budget bill was even passed. The left had him in its sights from day one.

Following the announcement of Governor Walker’s “Budget Repair Bill,” last February, unions went on a rampage. Beginning around February 15, 2011, protesters began massing around the state Capitol building in Madison.

On February 17th, all fourteen state senate Democrats fled the state to prevent a quorum for voting on the bill. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka addressed the growing crowd the following day. By the 20th protesters were occupying the capitol building.

They were enthusiastically supported by the national news media, which compared Wisconsin protests to Egypt. ABC’s Christiane Amanpour said, “Populist frustration is boiling over this week, as we’ve said, not just in the Middle East, but in the middle of this country as well.” On NBC, Brian Williams exclaimed, “From the Mideast to the American Midwest tonight, people are rising up. Citizens’ uprisings are changing the world.” Ed Schultz broadcast live from the Capitol on February 17th.

An editor of the leftwing Buffalo Beast contacted Walker by phone, impersonating billionaire Walker supporter David Koch, who Walker had never spoken with before. He recorded and broadcast the call. The Society of Professional Journalists called it “underhanded and unethical… grossly inappropriate.”

Death Threats and AWOL Media

The occupation of the Capital building made front page news for weeks running, but the mass media somehow missed all the protesters’ outrageous, disgraceful behavior and thug tactics:

  • Early childhood teacher Katherine Windels pled guilty in December 2011 to making death threats to Governor Walker and Republican senators following passage of the Budget Repair bill. E-mails made statements like: “Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed… This woman obviously had problems, but the tone set by the unions and their Democrat allies did nothing to discourage such behavior. The media silence was deafening.
  • A suspect in Maine was arrested after sending letters to that state’s Republican U.S. senators suggesting that Walker should be killed and that all Republican governors resign. How do we know this? One blogger, Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit.
  • Dozens of emails suggested Walker or legislators should be shot or hanged, watch their backs, look over their shoulders or resign. One man tweeted that he prayed an anvil would fall from the sky onto Walker. How do we know this? Hoft again.
  • Police found 41 rounds of live ammunition near three separate entrances to the capitol building in early March. How do we know this? Fox News… in Memphis.
  • A union agitator posted a photo of Governor Walker’s son, asking, “What’s it like having the most hated dad in Wisconsin? This kid knows.” How do we know this? The agitator’s Facebook.
  • The same agitator poured beer on state Rep. Robin Voss at a local restaurant. Five days earlier he had accompanied another agitator, who followed Vos, screaming at him and warning Vos that he had “five days to respond.” How do we know this? The agitator’s own Youtube video.
  • Union members disrupted a Special Olympics award ceremony. Made up as zombies, they stood between the governor and award recipients, preventing them from receiving the awards. How do we know this? Gateway Pundit’s Hoft, again.
  • 2,000 union protesters demonstrated a Walker fundraiser; took pictures of attendees’ license plates. How do we know this? That’s right, yet again.
  • Meanwhile at a leftwing “Fighting Bob” La Follette festival, celebrating Wisconsin’s famous “progressive,” one of the speakers said “If you’re going to pour beer on a Republican, you have to drink it first.”

Urinating on your opponents… All in good fun for the Democrats of course, but what would Ed Schultz say if the tables were turned? The New York Times?

Joining in the dignified celebration, fellow speakers included Democratic Congresswoman and US Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s Mike McCabe, former Congressman David Obey, US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and others. A good time was had by all.

Do these people have no shame? That’s a rhetorical question, of course.

Wisconsin’s firefighter’s union refused to participate in a 9-11 float depicting firefighters raising the flag on the World Trade Center grounds. The float’s creator was a union supporter of Scott Walker.

Peshtigo High School chorus teacher Rob Schneider resigned after sending the following e-mail to Republican state Rep. John Nygren:

(Expletive) you!!! I pray that a semi-truck will run you over you piece of (expletive) (expletive)! If there is a God that (expletive) Governor Walker will be riding with you when the truck hits your sorry (expletive)!!!!!!!!!! Stop (expletive) sending me your (expletive)!!! You are a waste of human space!!!!

On March 3rd, protesters were ordered out of the Capitol building. On March 9th, Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature passed the bill using a procedural move to bypass the still AWOL Democrat state senators. Spending bills require a quorum to be voted on, but by removing all spending elements, state legislators were able to quickly pass the measure without the missing Democrats.

One Democrat state senator supposedly “drove 80 miles per hour” in a failed attempt to return to the capital in time to impact the vote. On March 10th the bill was signed into law. Protesters remained around the capitol in dwindling numbers until June.

Crimes Committed in Police Absence

Hundreds of police were required around the clock when protesters occupied the capitol building, and the community was endangered as a result. One detective testified in court that he was unable to apprehend two robbery suspects because he was required to be at the capitol. The two have since been arrested for a murder that might have otherwise been prevented.

After hearing an early estimate of $7.5 million to clean up from the month-long protest, liberals were furious that anyone could beef when the maintenance cost was later estimated to be about $200,000. Total costs, including police overtime, actually exceeded $8 million. Media outrage over that? Crickets.

Lt. Governor’s Incredible Story

In its abdication of honest journalism, the media has completely overlooked another story as well, the election and recall of Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. Kleefisch was a former news anchor who quit in 2004 to be a stay-at-home mom to her two children. Increasingly fed up with Wisconsin’s dysfunctional government, she announced her candidacy for Lieutenant Governor by webcam from her kitchen table in January of 2010.

Kleefisch was diagnosed with colon cancer in the middle of her campaign, underwent surgery, won her campaign, and went on to get chemotherapy just as the recall was beginning. Despite this amazing tale of courage and determination, or perhaps because of it, the Left’s attacks on Kleefisch were unprecedented in their vile viciousness. One Leftist radio host said on air,

I’m Rebecca Kleefisch. I perform fellatio on all the talk show hosts in Milwaukee. And they endorse me and that’s how I became lieutenant governor.

He then went on to accuse her of “pulling trains…” Where was the media on that one? NOW?

Weaponized Recalls

According to Wisconsin law, since 1967, governors and their lieutenants run on the same ticket but there is no similar provision for recalls. Kleefisch said, “No one at that point in American history had weaponized the recall function. And that’s what we’re looking at in Wisconsin now – non-stop recalls.”

So what was this nonstop protest, endless recalls and vicious invective all about, mass executions of innocents, as was happening in the streets of Iran at the same time? Were the police shooting protesters, as they were in Egypt? Or worse, did the governor purchase a yacht with union pension funds?

Self-Serving War Against Responsible Government

Governor Walker’s modest “Budget Repair Bill” now known as Act 10, proposed that union members contribute a mere 12.6 percent to their health care premiums (they were paying between 4 and 6 percent), and 5.8 percent toward pensions, where they had previously contributed nothing. He also proposed curbs on some collective bargaining rights.

These modest changes – accomplished without raising taxes – reduced a projected 3.6 billion structural deficit inherited from the prior administration to a surplus of approximately $89 million now. Local governments and school districts were able to save over $220 million within a few months after the bill’s passage.

In passing the bill, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald stated:

Before the election, the Democrats promised ‘adult leadership’ in Madison. Then a month and a half into session, the Senate Democrats fled the state instead of doing their job. ‘In doing so, they have tarnished the very institution of the Wisconsin state Senate. This is unacceptable.

This afternoon, following a week and a half of line-by-line negotiation, Sen. Miller sent me a letter that offered three options: 1) keep collective bargaining as is with no changes, 2) take [the Democrats’] counter-offer, which would keep collective bargaining as is with no changes, 3) or stop talking altogether.

With that letter, I realized that we’re dealing with someone who is stalling indefinitely, and doesn’t have a plan or an intention to return. His idea of compromise is ‘give me everything I want,’ and the only negotiating he’s doing is through the media.

Enough is enough.

The people of Wisconsin elected us to do a job.  They elected us to stand up to the broken status quo, stop the constant expansion of government, balance the budget, create jobs and improve the economy.  The longer the Democrats keep up this childish stunt, the longer the majority can’t act on our agenda.

The union protest against the Repair Bill was presented as a spontaneous reaction, but the Walker recall effort began over one year ago. A group called United Wisconsin initiated the recall a few days after Walker first proposed the Bill. One website, recallscottwalker.com, started in November 2010, within days of his election. None of what has happened in Wisconsin has been even remotely “spontaneous.” Governor Walker was in their sights from the beginning.

When the recall began in earnest, United Wisconsin was joined by a nationwide constellation of union, radical left and Democrat organizations. This group reflects an emerging labor/radical left/Democrat syndicate – encouraged by a sympathetic press – and behaved like one. Using the vote swamping method pioneered by ACORN, labor and democrat activists collected a claimed 1 million recall petitions in two months. These were submitted by the January 17, 2012 deadline.

Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board (GAB), is responsible for verifying the recall effort. Led by Democrat Kevin Kennedy, the GAB flatly refused to validate the petitions. They announced in a press conference that they would accept any petition with a valid address, even if signed by Adolf Hitler. They added “we will not strike them unless challenged.”

The process allowed 10 days to review petitions. A Dane County (Madison) judge extended that to thirty days at the request of the Walker administration, but denied further extensions. The thirty day window to review petitions began on January 28.

TRUE THE VOTE Comes to the Rescue

Two citizen groups, We the People of the Republic and Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty, took up the challenge and created an organization for that purpose titled Verify the Recall (VTR). At that point there were 22 days remaining to evaluate the 1 million petitions United Wisconsin claimed to have submitted. The response is a story all to itself.

To facilitate this effort, VTR contacted Catherine Engelbrecht’s True the Vote. TTV created an online program for inputting and verifying petitions using a triple blind procedure. Volunteers would be able to input data from a computer anywhere in the U.S. By February 27th, the last day for challenging petitions, TTV had recruited 14,000 volunteers nationwide. They had entered and analyzed 92 percent of the records submitted.

VTR identified 819,233 discreet records, not the 1 million claimed by United Wisconsin. Of these, only 534,685, 65 percent, could be verified as legitimate. TTV continued to analyze the data past the due date, attempting to review all petitions. On March 21, they had analyzed 97 percent, a total of 860,155 complete records with 584,489 validated. More than the 540,208 needed, barely, but with a tremendous error rate. A total of 17,000 volunteers had participated.

As with ACORN’s now-famous voter registration drives, there were many blatantly bogus “Donald Duck” petitions, duplicates and incomplete records. One Democrat activist, Mark Demet, signed the names of family members and neighbors, including one neighbor’s dead husband, without their knowledge or consent. Demet was charged with seven counts of felony ID theft and two counts of vote fraud, with a potential 49 year prison sentence.

Despite GAB’s earlier insistence that private citizens verify recall petitions, they refused to examine or even acknowledge VTR’s efforts. Ultimately, the GAB certified all but 30,000 of the most egregious cases. Except to discredit VTR, the media largely ignored this story.

Verify the Recall published a searchable database on the recall petitions. Its revelations included:

  • 571 petition signers owe a total of $17 million in back taxes.
  • 20,000 felons signed the petition, including 11 murderers, 203 rapists, 53 child pornographers, 3,207 thieves, 1,526 for battery, 357 hit and run, and many others.
  • 29 Wisconsin judges signed the recall petition, including Dane County Judge David Flanagan, who later placed a restraining order on a voter ID law passed by Walker and the Republican legislature.
  • Deputy DA Lovell Johnson Jr, 19 attorneys and dozens of other DA employees signed. Some had been working on a heavily criticized “secret” John Doe investigation of Governor Walker at the time.
  • NBC affiliate WTMJ issued a public apology that several of its news staff and editors had signed the Walker recall petition.
  • 25 Gannett News journalists signed the petition, some in violation of the company’s code of ethical conduct. Gannett also apologized.
  • 32 Post-Crescent journalists signed the petition, including six directly involved in reporting about the recall.
  • School board members, four University of Wisconsin regents and the university’s chief spokesman also signed. The spokesman alone apologized.

Richard Niess, the same judge who had limited the petition review to thirty days also ordered a permanent injunction against the Walker voter ID law in March. The state will appeal.

True the Vote has also been on the ground in Wisconsin to train volunteer poll-watchers. This is a critical function that is being provided nationwide only by True the Vote. GOP are you listening? Perhaps the most critical function an activist can engage in this year, you should sign up. If you can’t do that, support True the Vote, which has become one of the most effective grassroots groups out there today.

The press has made much of Walker’s “advantage” in recall campaign funds, but unions have spent over $14 million on Walker opponents in this effort. This does not include the rent-a-protester demonstrations, in which they bussed in people from out of state and held the capitol building hostage for almost a month.

Union Thugs Unrepentant – After All, They Are Thugs

The largest union contributor was Wisconsin’s main teacher’s union, the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC). They have spent $4.4 million on the recall effort so far.

Last year WEAC fought the dismissal of two public school science teachers fired for viewing and emailing porn from their work computers. Legal battles cost the district over $500,000 defending an open-and-shut administrative decision, a stark demonstration of the union’s priorities and attitudes.

Total spending on the Walker recall could reach $80 million. Walker claims unions alone could spend as much as $60 million. Walker campaigned on reducing out-of-control spending, won on that basis and kept his word. He shouldn’t have to be raising a penny.

It is interesting to note that Wisconsin’s famous Congressman and later governor, “Fighting Bob” La Follette, was the author of one of the first pro-public-employee union laws passed by Congress (in 1912). It negated an executive order preventing employees from soliciting “…an increase of pay, or to influence or to attempt to influence in their own interest any legislation whatever, either before Congress or its Committees,”[1]

The passage of this law informed creation of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) five years later, the first union to legally represent federal workers. La Follette’s law began the slow slide toward full acceptance of public employee unions. Significantly, Wisconsin was also the first state to allow collective bargaining by public unions. Perhaps Governor Walker was sent by the gods to set things right.

Walker’s challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, won the Democrat primary, although another Democrat, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk received most backing from the major public employee unions. This may have been part of a deliberate deception, however. Barrett had distanced himself somewhat from unions, although he promised to repeal Act 10.

Here’s the rub. Did the unions really care which Democrat is elected? Barrett may have quibbled with them at the margins during his term as mayor, but would a Governor Barrett dare threaten the union/democrat franchise in Wisconsin?

When pigs fly.

AFL-CIO’s top thug, Richard Trumka appeared on C-SPAN before the Democrat primary to address this question, “After the [primary] election they’ll come together and they’ll take out, I think we’ll take out Scott Walker…” An interesting choice of words for a man whose union thugs murdered a non-union employee, Eddie York, during a United Mine Worker strike. As he said at the time, “I’m saying if you strike a match and put your finger in, common sense tells you you’re going to burn your finger.”

Trumka didn’t seem worried about challenges to union supremacy from other states either: “Would you like to take this fight on?” he asked the interviewer. “A year after you were in office would you like to be in the fight of your life, spending $25, $35 million to hold on to a seat you were supposed to have for four years and you lose a majority in the Senate? Would that embolden you? Not if you were sane and rational it wouldn’t.”

I wonder what he is saying now.

Despite massive vote fraud from the Democrats, including busing people from out of state to abuse the same-day voting process allowed in Wisconsin, Walker won a resounding victory. This will return sanity to state budgeting in Wisconsin and demonstrate that public employee unions cannot continue to dictate outrageous terms of compensation through intimidation and thuggery. A loss would have legitimized the unions’ mob rule, Occupy tactics, and encouraged America’s own “Arab Spring,” the nationwide revolution that communists, anarchists and professional agitators have been contemplating for a year.

Say a prayer of thanks to God today for Scott Walker and our nation.

UPDATE Today: Note that the media continues the disinformation campaign by claiming that Walker won in Wisconsin only because of vastly outspending Democrats. This is a lie. A full accounting finds that traceable funds spent by Democrats were almost equal to Walker’s spending. If the vast unreported amounts unions provide were measured, it would likely exceed Republican spending for the recall. Furthermore, given their reliance on taxpayer funded public employee unions and fat cat sugar daddies like George Soros, Peter Lewis and the Sandlers, Democrat complaints about “big money” are the height of hypocrisy.

Originally posted at Right Side News

James Simpson is a businessman, media consultant and investigative journalist. His articles have been published at American Thinker, Accuracy in Media, Big Government, Big Peace, Washington Times, WorldNetDaily, and others. His regular column is DC Independent Examiner. Follow Jim on Twitter, FB


[1] Executive Order #163.

In Deep with Michelle Ray – June 7th

nation

When: Thursday, June 7th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: In Deep with Michelle Ray on Blog Talk Radio

What: Join Social Media Director of ConservativeDailyNews.com, Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) as she discusses the issues that impact America.

Tonight: Join Charlie Sykes, author of “A Nation of Moochers” and Kelly Maher of Revealing Politics as we talk about our devastating culture of dependency, what happened in Wisconsin and the launch of Revealing Politcs

Embattled Wisconsin Governor Wins Recall as Stars Align Above

Union supporters gather to protest embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in front of Madison Capitol. - photo by Jeremy Griffith

Union supporters gather to protest embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in front of Madison Capitol. - photo by Jeremy Griffith

As Venus crosses the sun, the political stars too seemed to align for embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who survived a special recall election in his state Tuesday. Walker trounced opponent Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett 53-46, crushing the labor unions along with him.

Big labor had been angry with the Governor ever since he passed legislation to reform labor pensions and stripped the unions of their bargaining rights as a measure to control deficit spending in the state. Since then the labor unions have launched a costly recall effort over the past 18 months that culminated bitterly on Tuesday.

The outcome, though striking was not apparent on the ground in Madison amongst those gathered to protest. An Occupy Wall Street style gathering occurred at the steps of the state capitol before the polls closed, with many of the same themes as previous Occupy protests around the country, including French themed signs, drum circles and shouts of “This is what democracy looks like!”

See exclusive video of the scene below.

Protesting union supporters talk about why they voted to oust Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

 

Libertarian voter explains his view.

 

Retired Firefighter joins protest, explains why he voted to oust Governor.

Wisconsin and California: Big labor on the decline

Most of America is aware of what happened in Wisconsin. Governor Walker’s recall win was about balancing budgets and keeping care of the public treasury. Wisconsin is not the only place that happened last night.

California voters also screamed out to unions “this far and no further”. In San Diego, voters approved by wide margin (69-31%) cuts to city pensions and San Jose voters accepted (71-30%) a measure that would force city workers to either pay more into their pensions or accept more moderate benefits.

In both cases, perhaps the voters are fed up with overly-rich benefits eating up taxpayer money. Retiring at 50 or 55 then double-dipping at the cost of the taxpayer is no longer acceptable.

What could be more disconcerting for the Obama camp is whether the unions have overspent in these losses giving them less money to spend on the presidential re-election. Big labor may also be less willing to organize considering the lack of enthusiasm the White House exuded in dealing with the Wisconsin race. Obama’s only act was to tweet Mayor Barrett the night before the election.

So while the talking heads are telling America that the major reason the recall failed was the Wisconsin was tired of the politics and just wanted it to be over .. think about that. Wouldn’t the recall be just as over if the union-enslaved Democrats had won? Where was the recall exhaustion when San Jose and San Diego voted for reforms similar to Governor Walkers?

This election was about fiscal sanity and realistic choices.  It would seem that more Americans have decided that Utopia, unicorns and progressive success are very similar. They just don’t exist – except in fairy tales.

Tiananmen Square and Wisconsin

As a rule, these two places should have absolutely nothing in common. But, for the 5th of June, they both hold a place in history now – Tiananmen Square will live in infamy for the massacre in 1989, and Wisconsin for the first time a Governor survived a recall vote. I am not suggesting that there is any real way to compare these two events, other than the fact that they share the same date. Just an oddity, that was brought to my attention over the past several hours.

Tiananmen Square

mandiberg(CC)

Before the euphoria over the Walker victory, there was a little story about questionable tactics employed by a leftist organization in Wisconsin. Greater Wisconsin Political Fund apparently decided it was a good idea to send letters to voters letting them know which of their neighbors had bothered to vote in previous elections. Presumably, this was to promote the concept of peer pressure to get out the vote – the whole “keep up with the Joneses” kind of deal. Of course, they probably didn’t vet their recipients very well, because one ended up being mailed to a law professor named Ann Althouse, and she blogged about it. Of course, it also ended up on FoxNews as well, but the fact that a law professor ended up with this is far more amusing!

No, it probably isn’t illegal. Voter records are public, at least to the extent that the public can know who is registered, and who actively votes. Where do you think pollsters get their information? However, outside of potential candidates hitting the streets to get their petitions to run for office signed by registered voters, and later creating mailing lists for their junk mail, there isn’t much call for knowing voters’ personal information. And, there certainly isn’t a good reason to publicize potential voters’ past activity (or inactivity) at the polls. It’s a calculated risk, and honestly not worth the gamble. People don’t like other people prying into their business. It happens far too much already. But, hey, who am I to complain about Democrats ticking off voters?

But, I know someone from Wisconsin – a liberal who works in the political arena there – so I bothered to ask about this. I’ve known this gentleman since 1986, and he probably did play a fairly big part in making me what I am today, if only because he did influence me way back then. But, I probably had more words with him in the past 24 hours than I have in that many years. After that recent exchange, I realized very clearly that his influence was purely from the person I thought he was then, as opposed to the man he really is. I think we all have those – people we have frozen in time in our own minds, in spite of reality. The real him was highly concerned with potential voter suppression, and had no problem with using voter records in mass mailings. I almost talked myself into thinking it wasn’t a big deal because of him, until I thought about it on the larger scale. What if that same tactic was used in a national campaign? What if the Obama camp picked up on it? I have no doubt that gentleman still wouldn’t have a problem with it, but I would.

That sort of tactic is an invasion of privacy. Althouse, the law professor in Wisconsin, is right. It is disgusting. More importantly, it is not unlike the sort of thing that the students in Tiananmen Square were protesting back in 1989. I am not suggesting that one can directly compare the two by any stretch of the imagination. China has suffered under tyranny since before I was born. A nation gets to that point one of two ways – through quick and radical change, or over time by degrees. We’re not close to where China is, but we are closer to it than we were in 1989. We have been conceding little freedoms, mostly out of fear after 9/11. I’ve had liberal and conservative friends alike complain of apathy and complacency. It frustrates me the most when it comes from the liberals, since they cry that the government doesn’t do enough for the “little guy” right after they complain about the apathetic masses.

But, I had one friend on Facebook bother to mention Tiananmen Square today. Ironically enough, he was from the same era as the one now in Wisconsin, and from the opposite side of the political spectrum. His observation was that we should be ashamed of ourselves because we have not properly memorialized the deaths on June 5, 1989. These were students, seeking change in their government, and expressing a desire to have their voices heard. It took years for it to come out, but apparently they did not want to topple the party in China. They just wanted to be heard. They wanted what we have, at least in part.

So, what is a fitting memorial for that? Should we stop everything, and have a moment of silence? Should we write pages upon pages on this historical moment?

I spent the day reading back stories on the Wisconsin election. I looked up the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund, and looked up that organization’s connections with other groups like One Wisconsin Now. The election is over in Wisconsin, but there’s still November to consider. And what can be lost then? We can lose a few more freedoms, end up relying a little bit more on government, and go a little farther down the road away from remaining a free country. Tiananmen Square was a tragedy. The bigger tragedy would be to allow this nation to end up remotely similar to China as far as personal freedoms are concerned. What is the fitting way to memorialize the deaths of those brave students? Fight to keep the freedoms we have, fight to regain the ones we have lost, and never stop – even if it is to take a few moments to remember the deaths of others that have died for freedom.

Priebus: Wisconsin an “absolute disaster” for Obama

In a memo from RNC chair Reince Priebus, he declares that Wisconsin is a clear demonstration of the GOP ground game and that the results are a clear indication of what will occur in the 2012 election.

MEMO

FROM: Chairman Reince Priebus

TO: Interested Parties

RE: Wisconsin: Victory for the People, Disaster for Obama

Last night, Wisconsin voters went to the polls and gave their stamp of approval to Gov. Scott Walker’s commonsense reforms. It was a victory for the people of Wisconsin and for America.

It was also an absolute disaster for President Obama. In the first electoral test of 2012, Scott Walker and the GOP won a resounding victory over Obama’s campaign arm and the liberal special interests.

The momentum in Wisconsin is firmly on the Republican side. The enthusiasm of our volunteers and the success of our operation will carry us forward to November.

Meanwhile Democrats now must pick up the wreckage from an election that they orchestrated and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz called a “dry run” for November. And Wisconsin Democrats will now look to President Obama and ask, “Why did you abandon us?” Let the infighting begin.

In 2007, then-candidate Obama promised Big Labor that he would always stand with them, and the now twice-defeated Mayor Tom Barrett was an early Obama supporter. But President Obama actively avoided Wisconsin in the recall. It’s not like he wasn’t in the area; he was in neighboring Minnesota and Illinois just last week. Yet all he offered Barrett was a tepid tweet Monday night–not exactly the sign of a fearless leader.

Obama’s Chicago team is now including Wisconsin on their list of toss-up states for November, when they have the unenviable task of rallying their base to win a state that has gone decidedly Republican over the last two years. What Democrat activist wants to stand with a president who would not stand with them?

From the White House to Chicago, Democrats are nervous this morning. Prior to the 2008 election, margins for presidential races in Wisconsin were narrow. In 2004, President Bush lost by only 11,384 votes–and by 5,708 in 2000 (less than one vote per ward). 2008 was both an aberration and a high-water mark for Democrats.

Over the last two years, Republicans have racked up victory after victory. In 2010, the GOP picked up a U.S. Senate seat, won the governorship, picked up two House seats, and won control of the State House and State Senate. In 2011, we won the Supreme Court election and held the State Senate in another recall election.

Now, less than four years after Obama won Wisconsin, Democrats lost in an election of their own making.

That’s because the GOP excelled at our ground game, now giving us a significant advantage for the presidential race. Working with the Wisconsin GOP, the RNC ran joint voter contact Victory operations and opened 26 statewide offices. Since January, our volunteers made over 4 million voter contacts, more than the GOP did in the entire 2008 campaign and substantially more than Democrats and their union allies in this election.

We spearheaded a joint effort with neighboring states to drive grassroots supporters to Wisconsin, and we mobilized volunteers from across the country to get involved through our innovative online Social Victory Center and phone-from-home program.

In the process, more than 3,400 Wisconsin volunteers have signed up to help the party. And the data collected by door-to-door volunteers for Governor Walker was all promptly added to the RNC’s data center, thanks to the use of iPads, iPhones, and iPods.

Finally, this race should draw a sharp contrast in the eyes of voters. On the Republican side stood Scott Walker–a man who kept his 2010 campaign promises and delivered. He balanced the budget, got Wisconsinites back to work, and put government back on the side of the people. It’s certainly a far cry from what President Obama is offering.

Democrats bowed to the demands of the special interests, wasted time and taxpayer money on a recall election, and ran a campaign of distortions and deceptions rooted in anything but the interests of Wisconsin families.

After yesterday’s victory, Republicans have the infrastructure and enthusiasm that will help us defeat President Obama in Wisconsin. In that respect, it was a great “dry run.”

Wisconsin: Tea Party Beats Unions

The Tea Party sparked Conservative wave that swept most of the United States in 2010 was a contributing factor in many races, including the elections of Scott Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch and a Republican legislative majority in Wisconsin. Governor Walker and his fiscally Conservative allies in the State House set about enacting the reforms they promised during their campaign. Balancing the State budget without raising taxes, reigning in spending and creating a more business friendly environment where private sector businesses could create jobs.

Once the reforms were enacted, government sector unions went rogue, holding demonstrations, occupying the State House and basically going out of their way to create a ruckus over perceived wrong doings by Walker and his fellow Republicans.

The allegations were that the Republicans had wrongly stripped the public unions of all their collective bargaining “rights”. This allegation was false on multiple counts.

First of all, collective bargaining is not a right. A right is something that is inherent, which belongs to you without costing another. Wielding monopoly bargaining power to extort exorbitant salaries, pensions and benefits in excess of those enjoyed by the taxpayers footing the bill from politicians seeking re-election to office is not a right.

Second, collective bargaining is a negotiating tool, agreed upon by both sides of the negotiations. A mutually agreed upon negotiating tool, like any such tool, is subject to rejection by one side or the other at any time.

Thirdly, the unions did not lose all their bargaining power. They still retain the ability to collectively bargain for salaries. What changed was their power to collectively bargain over pensions and benefits was removed. Those are budgetary line items that for the State of Wisconsin had reached the point of insolvency. The cost of those pensions and benefits were sending the State of Wisconsin down the fast track to bankruptcy.

In response, every national union in America spent huge bankrolls and invested big muscle in multiple recall attempts within the State of Wisconsin; culminating in the recall attempts against Governor Walker and Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch. In each and every recall attempt, the big, free spending, bullying tactic practicing union failed. The hardest core, institutionalized “progressive” left threw everything they had at Walker, Kleefisch and Wisconsin and fell short. Their noisy, irreverent public displays of selfishness went to no avail.

The win in Wisconsin is a win for the Silent Majority…otherwise known as the Tea Party. Remember them? The “progressive” Party Pravda and “progressive” politicians of all stripes want you to believe they’ve disappeared from the electoral map.

Remember the Tea Party. The ordinary mom and pop citizens who had finally had enough, who got up off the couch, skipped a few of their regularly scheduled activities and demonstrated against big government, big spending, higher taxes and irresponsible regulations.

The Tea Party stood eyeball to eyeball and went toe to toe with the unions in Wisconsin. The Tea Party took the unions best punch and won each and every round. Unions and their incessant demands for more of the fruits of the taxpayer’s labor are on retreat in Wisconsin. Unions and their institutionalized “progressive” allies are on notice. It’s time for them to retreat in America. The people have spoken.

The Tea Party and America are on the rise.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/wisconsin-tea-party-beats-unions/

MSNBC’s Ed Shultz: Walker could be indicted

ed shultz

Within minutes of every major news agency calling the Wisconsin recall election for Gov. Walker, MSNBC put their village idiot and resident union worshiper on the screen to give hope to hopeless progressives. Ed first plants the idea that money won the election because of a large in-flux of out-of-state money (no, I don’t think he means all that out-of-state union money.. or the money from the DNC.. ). He then goes on to say that Gov. Walker might be indicted in the next few days. Wow..

Vindicated!

Gov. Scott Walker Survived His Recall Effort By A Landslide

Gov. Scott Walker Survived His Recall Effort By A Landslide

After the most expensive recall election in Wisconsin history, Scott Walker has soundly beaten left wing efforts to eviscerate his agenda that has returned economic vigor to the state of Wisconsin.  What should have been a titanic battle between the two competing narratives, one being deficit spending and dependency peddling advocated on the left and lowering taxes and cutting spending to balance the budget on the right, was a landslide victory for Governor Walker.

The governor wiped out a $3.6 billion dollar deficit without tax increases, reduced property taxes for the first time in twelve years, and has dropped the unemployment rate in the state to 6.7%.  He has given local school districts the flexibility to renegotiate health pans and benefits, which has produced millions in savings.  When choice and competition are interjected into the market, costs are usually reduced, therefore, a dividend for the American consumer. A concept that is anathema to the left.  Hence, mandated health care coverage via Obamacare.  Like Chris Christie, Scott Walker took a stand for what he believed in and what he thought was right for his state.  Throughout this entire debacle, Scott Walker has stuck to his principles that provided him the passion to see through to absolute victory.  A passion that was also exuded by his supporters in this election.  It proves that the strong core that conservatism produces in its followers will undoubtedly defeat the waffled convictions of the institutional left.

As for the unions in Wisconsin, and that of the larger labor union movement, I’m hoping that this will be the death knell concerning their influence in the American political process.  At the very least, tonight was a serious blow to unionized labor and demonstrated their reduced capability in executing successful political operations. According to Phil Kerpen, it’s pretty clear:

that Walker will be able to serve at least the rest of his term through 2014 and keep building on the progress made with his education and collective bargaining reforms. More broadly, Walker was able to implement such reforms in a state that President Obama won by 14 points in 2008, and ultimately win popular acceptance after an initially fierce backlash. It means that governors in states throughout the nation should no longer be afraid to take on public sector unions.

Of course, Walker’s victory is about more than public sector unions. What Walker has demonstrated is that voters will ultimately reward politicians for showing political courage on the big issues if they have the resolve to see their policies implemented and watch them succeed. Enthusiasm for Walker among his supporters was off the charts because people are more willing to fight for a leader who has actually taken a stand. As the United States faces a looming fiscal crisis due to prior generations’ unwillingness to tackle runaway spending on the entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, wobbly-kneed politicians in Washington should look to Walker’s triumph in Wisconsin for inspiration.

Lastly, I would also like to thank DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz for nationalizing the recall and for putting Wisconsin in the toss-up column for general election.  Needless to say, it was a very good “dry run” for Scott Walker, Mitt Romney, and the Republican Party concerning their approach to balancing budgets and getting the economy back on track.  I can’t say the same for Barack Obama.

http://www.conservativedailynews.com/2012/06/live-blog-wisconsin-recall-election-results-live-coverage/

(h/t Rich Mitchell)

Walker wins! Democrats get swept

Scott_walker-2010

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.

Live Blog: Wisconsin Recall Election Results – Live Coverage

The fight between public sector unions and fiscal sanity comes to a head tonight as the union-led recall of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is voted upon by the public.

Early exit polls favored the sitting governor, but only narrowlyand we’ll update this post as results come in.

We’ll also be posting results for the other recall races. CDN Calling Scott Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch the winners in the recall election at 9:48pm

Live Updates Results (98% precincts reporting): Refresh Your Browser to See Updates

Governor:

Gov. Scott Walker(R):    53%

Mayor Tom Barrett(D): 46%

—————————————————————-

Lt. Governor:

Rebecca Kleefisch(R):   53%

Mahlon Mitchell(D):      47%

—————————————————————-

Senate Races:

—————————–

Seat 13:

Scott Fitzgerald (R): 58%

Lori Compas(D):        41%

—————————–

Seat 21 (28% reporting)

Van Wanggaard(R):  55%

John Lehman(D):      45%

—————————–

Seat 23

Terry Moulton(R):    57%

Kristen Dexter(D):    43%

—————————–

Seat 29

Jerry Petrowski(R):  61%

Donna Seidel(D):        39%

——————————————————————-

Live Blog (All Times Eastern):

11:22 We’ve corrected our post, apparently an unofficial source gave us bad numbers for district 29 – Wanggaard is up substantially 62-38% over Lehman

10:26 with 36 wards reporting Wanggaard up 8,235 to 5,502

10:22pm CNN calls it for Walker in a “narrow” victory

10:20 Results for district 21 still coming in VERY sloooowly…

10:05pm First results for district 21 coming in – Wanggaard up  with 14 wards reporting

9:59pm Fox News calls it for Walker and Kleefisch

9:55pm ABC calls if for Walker

9:50pm CDN is calling State Senate seats 13, 23, and 29 for Republicans. Results for Seat 21 are coming slowly (20% of precincts reporting).

9:48pm CDN is calling the Governor and Lt. Governor’s races for Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch (19% of precincts reporting).

9:30pm Results are very positive for both Kleefisch and Walker and getting better. May not be as close as we thought. Difficult to find results on the Senate races, but we’re working on it.

9:15pm First results coming in – Walker starts out strong Kleefisch hurting, but it’s early

9:01pm: Ending exit polls show Barrett Ahead with college aged students, while Walker holds larger lead with Catholics.

9:00pm: Polls Closed – waiting for results.

Analyzing the early exit polling in the Wisconsin Recall election

walker wi background

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
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