Amid the winter brawling, some conservative fainthearts had joined the media in declaring that [Gov. Scott] Walker had "exceeded his mandate" by taking on the monopoly bargaining power of public unions.And speaking of union members' willingness to keep paying dues: Those unions spent $35 million on the recall elections.
But unions would hardly loathe him any less had he and the GOP aimed lower, or blinked when the opposition got tough. With state government no longer automatically collecting dues for unions, many rank-and-file members will choose not to provide dues for political purposes. Union monopoly power will diminish. Taxpayers will benefit.
The battle to control public spending is the fight of this decade at all levels of government. If reformers can succeed in a "progressive" hothouse like Wisconsin, there may be hope for California—or Washington.
August 11, 2011
"The larger lesson" of the Wisconsin recall elections is: "you can attempt major, meaningful government reform and live to tell about it."
Says the Wall Street Journal: