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Friday, December 8, 2023

Walker survives recall, scores win for Republicans, Tea Party

Wisonsin Gov. Scott Walker

When the votes came in on the effort to recall controversial Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, it wasn’t even close.

Republican Walker kept job, trouncing Milwaukee Republican Mayor Tom Barrett by 10 points — 55 to 45 percent.

The divisive Walker, who rammed through legislation to strip Wisconsin’s public sector unions of collective bargaining power, now says he wants to be a “uniter” and says he will invite all members of the state legislature — Democrat and Republican for brats, burgers and beer.

Said Walker:

Tomorrow is the day after the election and tomorrow we are no longer opponents. Tomorrow we are one as Wisconsinites.

Unionized state employees in Wisconsin might see tomorrow as anything but a chance to unify. Walker has been the focal point for growing anti-union sentiment in the nation, driven by the right-wing of the GOP and the tea party movement.

Walker’s actions spurred the recall effort.  His victory is the second defeat for organized labor and Democrats in the state.  An earlier election to put a union-friendly judge on the state Supreme Court fell short as well.

“Walker is polarizing, but he is popular with the GOP base,” political strategist Andrew Rollins told Capitol Hill Blue.  “This election outcome will place him firmly among the GOP’s base of conservative rising stars.”

For Barrett, it also marks a second defeat.  He lost to Walker in the regular governor’s election in 2010.

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14 thoughts on “Walker survives recall, scores win for Republicans, Tea Party”

  1. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see how one looks at the yachts Eclipse, Octopus, and the Maltese Falcon and concludes that it’s public unions that are guilty of rapacious excess.

    I don’t see administrators of a school district driving Lamborghinis. I don’t see Bugatti Veyrons as government-issue cars. Maybe the unions do need a bailout, but it’s going to be a lot more difficult for them to get one than the banks got, and for a lot less money.

    I just don’t see it.


    • Teachers are paid rather well and the pension and benefits are excellent. My wife is a retired teacher and so am I but I did have substantial amount of employment in the DPS (Dreaded Private Sector). I do have the insight on both.

      The security factor in public employment is exceptional especially in teaching. That is a huge selling point to many.

      I do not wallow in the excesses of the industrial, sports or entertainment class. My only problem with the business elite is that all too often government has relinquished their watch dog status and so have stock holders.

      The real issue is that the public portion of compensation packages is now surpassing the DPS. The unions doing what they do best have for decades piled on wage and benefits with compliant action by government officials. This is the issue being addressed nationwide. This is the issue we deal with in the town I live in. We simply cannot afford to continually negotiate packages we can no longer fund.

  2. Class warfare isn’t the solution. Class warfare is the problem.

    If you want an equal, educated, and self-sustaining middle class, you’d have a much larger fraction of the work force in a union. Recall the 1950s.

    I’m going to take a cheap shot at you for a cheesy typo, and point out that ‘reign in the rich’ is exactly what I’m talking about. Kings and queens reign. Horses are controlled by reins.

    And they’re not bad guys, particularly. They’re just taking advantage of what was given them through luck and loopholes.

    The U.S. economy was booming when the top marginal income tax rate was nearly 90%. Cutting that was a bloody mistake, and now you see the consequences.


    • So the idea is to punish success? I personally feel our tax rates in the 50s were oppressive since my father was in that bracket. You could whittle it down as her did using a fleet of CPA’s. In fact the whole current tax code – IMO – needs to be scrapped.

      I have been of the negotiating side of contracts as a union rep in both the private and public sector and the mindset on both is significantly different. With teachers the attitude was simply pile on more taxes to pay for all the salaries. With the privates we’d look at the books and determine just what we could reasonably expect. A reality situation since you knew businesses had a tipping point. You could say that unions actually hastened the demise of many businesses in this country.

      • Sorry I left this out – had a phone call and hit post.

        The U.S. in the 50s was the big kid on the block. An economic powerhouse. Those days have gone with the emergence of other economies.

  3. The underfunding was long underway before any crash.

    Reign in the rich? I didn’t know they were so evil? So Buffett and Gates are bad guys? Who have thunk it. Sorry, I do not subscribe to class warfare as the remedy for our ills.

    Unions represent only a small fraction of the worker population and that great pendulum is swinging the other way to strike a balance.

  4. Anecdotal evidence.

    I think 200 trillion in unregulated derivative trading sorta dwarfs one trillion – And you have overlooked the minor detail that one of the major reasons these pension funds are so woefully underfunded is because they got ripped off during stock market bubbles. You can discard data as ‘anecdote’ if you want to – That’s a very popular tactic among climate change deniers – but it doesn’t support your argument much.

    You are right that it’s not a liberal/conservative thing, at least not as political parties in the USA are constituted (many commenters around here, with good reason, like to point out there’s not really much difference between the two).

    It’s a plutocrat/public thing, and the public is losing. I’d like to see that change.

    One way to rein in the rich and help the general public is with strong unions. Let me know if you know of a better one.

    Unfettered capitalism isn’t it.


  5. Your entire premise is it is justifiable based on anecdotal evidence of corporate excesses. That is two entirely different issues.

    Take a look at the unfunded pension obligations that are probably in excess of 1 Trilllion! Look at the mess in California. Tuesday both San Jose and San Diego put the pension and benefit issue on the front burner. Both are Democrat bastions.

    This is not a liberal/conservative issue. Cumo is as liberal as they get in NY and he’s been addressing the issue. This is an issue of fiscal sanity. Keep on now the current path and we become Greece….Spain…et al.

  6. Oh, I dunno. You could try, maybe, raising taxes?

    If you want good public service, you need to pay for it. I don’t call that rapacious excess, compared to corporate greed.


    PS – You’re right, though, I have never sat on a Board of Selectmen or a school committee. I’m not even sure they have boards of selectmen around here, and I have no children, so caring about the schools is a strictly academic pastime. 😉

  7. When I retired from a PUBLIC position my retirement contributions were 9% and my health payments were 18.5%. Far more then the whinny public employees of Wisconsin.

    No doubt you are another individual who has never sat in at the Fin Com, Board of Selectmen or School Committee and attempted to actually figure out how to pay the bills. The issue is simply sustainability. Unless serious compromise is made the facts are clear – massive layoffs, steep reduction of services and contracts that are less public punitive.

    Wisconsin is not isolated. This is a nationwide issue from the federal to the local level. Years of generous contract and benefits have resulted in a massive budget crunch.

  8. Rapacious excesses of entitlement as exhibited by the public unions.


    Funny, I don’t recall any public unions robosigning fraudulent foreclosures. I don’t recall public unions slicing and dicing up mortgages and selling them to blindsided investors (some of them public unions…) while betting against them themselves. I don’t see public union workers driving Bugatti Veyrons, bidding millions for classic Ferarris, or hiring out entire hotels in Aspen, Colorado for a 14-yr. old girl’s party. I don’t recall a union worker called the “London Whale”.


    Perhaps that link will get deleted as from a ‘fringe’ website. It’s only the Rolling Stone. It is strange when we get our best journalism from a rock’n’roll magazine.

    Rapacious excess indeed. Stable employment, health benefits, and reasonable pay. Rapacious excess indeed.


  9. The rapacious excesses of entitlement as exhibited by the public unions in Wisconsin have been somewhat gutted. Hopefully this trend will continue.

  10. Sandy, maybe you and I could compare horror stories from the musicians unions.

    I share the pain of not seeing a choice for voting in any elections. Republicans are handing out straightjackets while Democrats are doubling down on failed Republican programs. There is no difference between the parties, save the cosmetic and shallow ones.

    Based upon what is out there, Obama might be the most intelligent choice left standing, except for Ron Paul, whose chances seem to diminish every day based upon slanted coverage or absence thereof. In any event, it is the rest of the government that also presents problems for voting choice, and there is no choice except perpetuating the failed policies of decades gone by.

    It is disturbing that Walker won in Wisconsin. His governance did not merit keeping him in office. At the same time, the people that should have vocally opposed him are willing to fight, but not to see the battle through. It is the scourge of the Democrats that battles are lost, not by better opponents, but by withdrawing before the battle is truly over.

    That, and Walker outspending his opposition 8:1 in the campaign. It surprises me that Wisconsin, neighbor to my native Minnesota, would contribute so heavily to an obvious big money shill. Of course, with Citizen’s United, we’ll never know where the money came from.

    . . . sigh. . .

  11. The Republican Party continues to grow and the reason for this is unclear in my mind. I have no problems with Labor Unions. They are a choice that many workers must make. I chose not to join a Union but I was not a career seeker. My mother was a member of the Musicians Union and hsd some choice problems throughout the years.

    I believe the Republican Party has acted unfairly when it comes down to the treatment of minorities. For that reason, I will never again vote for a member of the GOP.

    I am not a Democrat and my choices have narrowed down to no group for me to support. At this point in time, I believe that President Obama is by far the most intelligent choice for the White House.

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