By Bruce Walker
April 2, 2012
Republican Governor Scott Walker, Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch and two Republican state senators will face a recall vote in Wisconsin, with the likely date of the recall vote June 5th. A fifth Republican, Senator Pam Galloway, who was also going to face a recall election, has resigned from the state senate, which leaves the Senate tied 16-16, so the recall vote in June will determine which party controls the Wisconsin Senate.
So is the left winning there? Wisconsin is a left-leaning state, the sort whose general support Democrats need if they are going to rule America. If Democrats fail in these recall elections, then the left will have suffered a strategic loss which may unravel its long dominance of American politics.
The putative reasons for this recall election are three changes enacted by Wisconsin Republicans when they took over state government last January: (1) public employee union bosses cannot bargain for benefits in contracts any more, (2) union dues for public employee workers are no longer automatically deducted from paychecks, and (3) Wisconsin now has a statutory photo ID requirement for voting.
The first reform has worked and the second reform has also worked: public employees now get to keep more of their paycheck – in some cases this means an extra $1,000 a year – and union bureaucracies have been trimmed as this Washington Examiner article nicely explains. Implementation of the photo ID law has been enjoined by Judge Flanagan, who before issuing his ruling neglected to tell the parties that he had already signed a petition to recall Governor Walker, which made him, by the limpest ethical standards, unqualified to hear the case.
Flanagan is only part of the seamy abuse of judges to fight Wisconsin reforms. I noted last April that the left’s blatant (and failed) attempt to defeat Judge Prosser in his reelection last spring was based solely on using the state bench to thwart laws passed by the people’s representatives. The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law.
Now it appears that twenty-nine sitting Wisconsin state judges, 12% of the judges in the state, have also signed petitions to recall Walker and other Republicans. The New York Post reports the pathetic excuse given by Judge Warpinski when confronted with signing the recall petition: “I wasn’t advocating for any political party. I was advocating for the recall process, which I thought was completely separate and apart.” The judge, of course, is lying.
We also recently learned that twenty-five journalists covering state news also signed recall petitions. Gannett Media Group has also announced that twenty-five of these “journalists” violated the ethical standards and will be disciplined.
The efforts to stop Walker’s reforms include: (1) Democrat state senators fleeing to Chicago, that Mecca of Good Government, to deny their chamber a quorum, (2) mobs of angry state employees trying to bully legislators, (3) trying to defeat Judge Prosser to get a more favorable judge on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, (4) trying to recall enough Republican state senators to give back control to Democrats, (5) litigating the new labor law as “unconstitutional” and failing, and now, (6) trying to recall the governor, lieutenant governor and three Republican state senators.
The left has pulled out all the plugs to thwart Governor Walker. In the recall election for six Republican state senators last August, the left spent about $30 million, much of it from outside the state. Money for this sort of campaign is drying up. The Wisconsin Education Association Council, which has discharged forty percent of its staff when dues reduction became voluntary, spent $500,000 in the August 2011 recall elections.
The left is expending more than just money. It is frittering away credibility and the power of intimidation. When the state judiciary appears blatantly ideological and hostile to any change proposed by Republicans, then it will not be David Prosser who may be facing tough elections in the future. At a time when local news media need to win as large an audience as possible to survive, clear bias will lose their bosses revenue.
Most of all, if the left throws every single weapon it can at Wisconsin Republicans and yet cannot prevent a conservative agenda from becoming law, then the left must know that it is vulnerable everywhere to conservatives who do not back down. If this last desperate effort of the power-mongers of leftism fails, then their whip may become a wet noodle and the whole corrupt syndicate of leftism may completely unravel. Watch Wisconsin.
Bruce Walker is a long-time conservative writer whose work is published regularly at popular conservative sites such as American Thinker.