No, this isn’t an excerpt from a movie: it happened. Less than a year ago. In our country:
“…Early in the morning of October 3, 2013, armed officers raided the homes of R.J. Johnson, …Deborah Jordahl, and several other targets across the state. Sheriff deputy vehicles used bright floodlights to illuminate the targets‘ homes. Deputies executed the search warrants, seizing business papers, computer equipment, phones, and other devices, while their targets were restrained under police supervision and denied the ability to contact their attorneys…”
This was the way that Wisconsin’s “John Doe” investigation actually started, and the quoted passage above is from U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa’s ruling on the legality of the investigation itself. The five-county probe has been looking for possible illegal coordination between Governor Scott Walker’s election campaign, the Wisconsin Club for Growth and numerous other groups and individuals during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections.
The American left as we have come to know it suffered a devastating blow in Wisconsin last night. The organized heart of the left gave everythingit had to the fight against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: heart, shoe leather, wallet and soul. The left picked this fight, on the issue and in the place of its choice; it chose to recall Walker because it believed it could win a showcase victory. That judgement was fatally flawed; it is part of a larger failure to grasp the nature of American politics and the times in which we live.
The left gave this fight everything it had. It called all the troops it could find; it raised all the money it could; it summoned the passion of its grassroots supporters, all the moral weight and momentum remaining to the American labor movement and every ounce of its strength and its will.
And it failed.
Voters in Wisconsin didn’t reject a role for the state in regulating the economy and easing the harshness of life in a market economy. But they turned decisively against the argument that well-paid armies of life-tenured bureaucrats can produce enough good government to justify the cost. And the lesson of the election isn’t that the right has too much money; the lesson is that while the left still has plenty of passion and fire, it has, thanks in part to the power of public sector unions, largely run out of compelling ideas.
So take a victory lap; enjoy a beer; ….and get back to work. The other side will soon be done licking their wounds, and will redouble their efforts. Which means they’re scared.
Believe it or not, by winning his recall election, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has done his foes – the Wisconsin Democratic Party, the public sector unions, the progressives and angry leftists – a favor.
He has liberated them from the soothing illusion that they are popular, and that the public agrees with them.
Although the final count got a bit closer by the end, Scott Walker crushed Tom Barrett last night in the Wisconsin recall election by about 170,000 votes, 53% to 46%. And if you aren’t aware, yes, that’s a lot. Especially when CNN was saying that the exit polls looked like it was going to be a coin-flip and go far into the night.
If you pause and listen carefully, you might be able to hear the despair coming from Jim Messina, President Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, and David Axelrod, Obama’s top strategist and communications director, as the meaning of Wisconsin’s recall election becomes clear.
In the final hours before Governor Scott Walker’s victory, with the writing on the wall, President Obama and his campaign could only muster a tweet and a last-minute video for challenger Tom Barrett. But do not let that tepid support fool you: Democrats and their union allies spent an astronomical amount on a judicial election, four state legislative recalls and the recall of Governor Walker, only to lose.
Democrats, Big Labor and Team Obama initially put all their chips on the table, organizing a massive get-out-the-vote effort to unseat Walker. The day before the recall, Wisconsin’s MacIver Instituteillustrated just how much money Big Labor has spent: more than $21 million. Earlier in the month, the MacIver Institute put up a matrix to “put an end to any stories that Big Labor, the Democratic Party and other left-wing organizations aren’t going all out to recall Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.” The spin aside, Team Obama, Big Labor and Democrats were heavily invested and suffered a huge loss in Wisconsin.
Almost never reported fact: the union political operatives are paid, boys-n-girls, yet money paid to them doesn’tget counted as money spent on the campaign. Not realizing that is what allows displays like this……..
That’s classic; I’m gonna have to save that clip….
Last point: for over a year, the media covered the recall effort, telling us over and over that it was vitally important, and then just within the last couple of weeks told us not to worry about Wisconsin anymore: it was just a local election. Yeah, NO implications for the general election to be found there.
Nope, nope, no sir. Nothing to learn from Wisconsin at all.
Well, does THIS face look like last night’s election had “no national implications“? I don’t think so…
Interesting facts from the Independent Women’s Voice website:
This is what Scott Walker is fighting to change:
WI govt. employees make an average of $50,774 in wages and benefits. Private sector workers makes about $1800 less. Nationwide, govt. employees earn 10-21% more than their private sector counterparts. This doesn’t include retirement health and pension benefits.
Private sector employers paid 5.3% of payroll toward employee retirement plans. Before Gov. Walker, taxpayer money paid between 10.55% and 13.3% into the Wisconsin Retirement System for government employees.
Before Gov. Walker, govt. employees paid less than 1% to fund their pensions. Taxpayers paid the rest ($1.4 Billion in 2010).
Nationwide, the average worker pays 30% of the costs of their health insurance. Before Gov. Walker, WI state employees paid an average of 6% of their health insurance costs. Gov. Walker’s reforms now require state and local govt. employees to pay 12.4% of health…
I never, ever do two posts in a row about anything, but since this ISthe day of Wisconsin’s recall election….I kinda gotta do this now.
One of the outcomes of the battle in Wisconsin was over the funding and viability of public sector pensions. Walker was trying to save them AND not bankrupt the state simultaneously. This was figured out by the voters, who seem to like what they see, so far. This may be the biggest reason that Walker is expected to survive the recall effort against him today.
Scott Walker tried to address one small part of this crisis by asking public employees to contribute more from their paychecks to the state’s pension fund. The way the unions reacted, one would have believed that Walker was trying to take their pensions away. The effort to require public employees to contribute the same amount to their pension fund as most private citizens is going to be duplicated nationwide once pension bombs begin exploding.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, “Nationwide, state pensions were underfunded by $600 billion in 2009. That accounts for about half of the $1.26 trillion gap in overall retirement benefits owed to public employees that year.” The article notes that “states have only set aside $31 billion to cover the health care of its retirees – just five percent of the $635 billion they already owe.”
And his conclusion?
Even at the brink of bankruptcy, public unions balk at taking the necessary medicine. How will the pension bomb be defused and ever-rising health care costs for retired public workers be successfully managed if the unions don’t cooperate?
Eventually, whether they want to or not, unions will be forced to give in. And this is the final reason why unions have already lost regardless of the outcome in Wisconsin. Their ideas are outmoded and unsuitable for a modern society with problems relating to an aging population and shrinking work force to support them. This final reason for their defeat might do them in entirely unless the unions wake up and work with state and local governments to pull back from the abyss and find reasonable common ground to save what can be saved from this fiscal nightmare.
Read the whole thing. The author actually highlights 4 other reasons that the Unions have ultimately lost the argument up in Wisconsin, and are in danger of losing the whole argument nationwide.
The Wisconsin recall election is today. If you live in Wisconsin, please be sure to vote!
**Unless you’re voting for Democrat Tom Barrett: his election is tomorrow.
Story #1: I heard about this from Mark Belling over the weekend, but didn’t think about it again until now. A former Marine by the name of David Willoughby was at an anti-Walker rally. Willoughby is a Walker supporter, and from what I can tell wasn’t causing a disturbance, other than being the recipient of barbs, threats and yelling from the anti-Walker crowd. And for his troubles, he got arrested.
Why, you ask?
“During a political rally, subject raised a protest sign above his head in a manner that created danger to the public. Subject’s actions caused a disturbance during a political rally.” The citation carries a $185 fine and has a July court date.
Check out the story and video here. If this guy was deserving of being handcuffed, jailed, and fined,….then just about everyone deserves to be handcuffed, jailed and fined.
Story #2: This is from over a week ago, but it didn’t get ANY oxygen the first time around in the media. Ever since Scott Walker began to follow-through on his campaign promises to save jobs & money by abridging some of the public sector union’s bargaining rights, we’ve all witnessed the union’s Sturm und Drang. You know the spiel: Walker’s measures would shut down the state; towns would lose their teachers and their schools; Walker hates children; Walker wants working people to starve. You know, the normal stuff said about Conservatives.
“….now that they have seen its benefits—most Wisconsin voters want to keep it. By a 53 percent to 38 percent margin, independent voters favor the limits on collective bargaining in government. It turns out that closing a $3.6 billion deficit without raising taxes or laying off teachers is popular after all.”
Just remember: this election is a battle between the oppressed and the powerful:
If you’ve lost track of the recall election for Governor in Wisconsin between Gov. Scott Walker and his Democrat challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, it’s not your fault. Things don’t look good for the recall backers up in cheese-land right now, so suddenly it’s “nothing to see here” time for the media. When you can locate a story about it now, they contain a very different tone than they used to have.
Maybe the best indication of things not going well for the Dems is this blurb from the LA Times, a paper which is certainly no big fan of Scott Walker:
Recent polls have pointed toward a victory for Republican Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin’s June 5 recall election. But here’s the clearest evidence to date that national Democratic party officials believe their side is losing: Democratic officials are playing down the potential impact.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) insisted in a television interview that a loss for the Democratic candidate in the recall, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, wouldn’t have any implications for other races, such as the presidential election.
“…….the National Democratic Governors Association is raising large sums. So is We Are Wisconsin, which, despite its name, raises most of its money outside the state, McCabe said. The organization spent $10.7 million on last summer’s senate recall races, with $10.1 million coming from three national unions — the AFL-CIO, AFSCME and the Service Employees International Union.”
“”Walker has become a national hero to many Republicans and conservatives and is a hot ticket on the fundraising and speaking circuit. But he is the top target for unions and Democrats as he became the face of the anti-union movement this year with his proposal that took away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most public workers.”
The face of the anti-union movement?
Over $10 million coming from three NATIONAL unions?
Don’t let anyone kid you: this was ground zero for the Left’s power grab in 2011-2012. Unions and Occupodos joined forces to take down Walker. It was unbelievably important for months and months, and months……until it recently began to look likely that they’d lose.
And now they are just giving an indifferent shrug and trying to convince everyone that it was never that big a deal in the first place, before this election is even in the books.
Ya know, that reminds me of an old fable concerning a fox and some grapes, but I’m sure I don’t know why…..