May 8, 2012

"The recall election in Wisconsin... 'sets the template for the fall campaign.'"

"If Walker wins... you'll never see Obama defending unions," says Nelson Lichtenstein, an American labor historian at the University of California – Santa Barbara. 
And, he suggests, public-sector unions will gradually lose support. "Out of sight," he said, "out of mind."
He also says:
"All these governors are under tremendous fiscal pressure... If they see the public sector unions can be defeated, this will be seen as an easy way out." Lichtenstein, who calls what Scott Walker is doing an "assault" on public sector unions, makes it clear that he personally doesn't think it would be an easy way out. But he acknowledges that "if Walker ekes it out and wins, it will embolden" other governors, both Republicans and Democrats.
Interesting, especially after the assertion by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka that if Scott Walker wins he'll be "a debilitated governor."

67 comments:

edutcher said...

The Lefties are really on a cold streak.

They've given up here and I don't think they see their chances as much better in the Fall.

YoungHegelian said...

Obama will have no choice but to back unions in the campaign. Too much money & manpower comes from the unions for any Democrat to ignore.

Maybe Obama can take blacks for granted, but union members have to be wooed. They've already gone Republican once before (Reagan), in spite of the protestations of their leadership, and may do so again.

Scott said...

If Trumka didn't think it was likely that Walker would win, he wouldn't be bravely engaging in hypotheticals about it.

I think Walker deserves a bronze statue in an appropriate place outside the Wisconsin state capitol. Something like the famous statues of Floyd B. Olsen outside the Minnesota state capitol, and by the beginning of Hwy 55. ( http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/33/Floyd_Olson_Memorial_Highway_statue.JPG )

Of course, the Walker statue will be boldly pointing a different finger...

bagoh20 said...

In California, and I suspect in many other states, public sector unions are the primary cause of our budget problems. They are simply being coddled and getting rich by stealing loads of money from everyone else. They have the continuation of that written into law for decades. There is no solution other than scaling back and hopefully eliminating public sector unions or most of their power. The sooner we get to it, the better our chances of avoiding collapse.

Scott said...

(Olsen, Olson, whatever. The guy who lost Near vs Minnesota.)

ndspinelli said...

FDR was a debilitated liberal icon.

The party is over for public unions. But, they're like the asshole guest who just doesn't understand that and just won't leave.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And.....the voter fraud perpetrated in Wisconsin by the Unions and Democrats will also be a template for the National Election.

If they get away with it, and they probably will, it will just further Holder and Obama's goal of quashing the efforts of the States to stop voter fraud. Get ready for the dirtiest, most fraudulent election season in history.

Probably our last chance to get out from under the yoke of the public sector unions and retain the US as a free country with legally elected representatives....or just descend into becoming a third world dictatorship.

sonicfrog said...

Economically, unions are a 19th Century solution to a 21st Century problem.

I do agree that employees should have certain rights while at work... And they do. Unlike the late 19th and early 20th Century, when unions were relevant and vital to the plight of the average worker, unions, other than being a power base for the Democrat party, don't have much of a purpose anymore, especially in a global economy where business can just move out of the country instead of acquiescing to every frivolous union demand. They only business entity that can't move, is, of course, government. That is why that is the last stronghold of unions.

PS. Chronic low pay for the average worker and lack of job opportunities are the problems of the day, and unions are no longer able to make any real inroads to solving these problems. They've had their day, now it's time to try something different.

Seeing Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

YoungHegelian said...

Maybe Obama can take blacks for granted

About a month ago (maybe more), Gallup had black approval of the Messiah at 79%, Rasmussen has only 63% of blacks approving the direction of the country.

If 15 - 20% of black voters sit out the election, the Demos, not just Barry, are toast.

Carl Vero said...

Whatever the recall outcome, the Obama campaign template will remain a triple T: Tweaking The Truth.
Should not be trusted. Should not be tried. Between these Obama signposts rests a shaky economy shackled by bureaucracy. The West Wing wonks and Chicago campaign capos are restless. To turn the tide they'll need something fancy and freaky. Octo-mom has happened, maybe an October Ogre. We shall see.

Seeing Red said...

My property tax bill went up $500 mainly for the schools. My county sent out a newsletter saying 72.5% of property tax money goes to the schools.

WRMead just had an article about what's going on in deep blue Delaware. Even Chicago's had a little movement.

Scott said...

Government employees should not have the right to unionize -- or vote.

damikesc said...

States like IL are so indebted to unions that you can't even legally touch their insanely generous deals.

They will, of course, die. And if Obama is re-elected, he will try and force money to them against Congressional will.

Because it's not fascism when Progressives do that.

Dan from Madison said...

@sonicfrog you win the internets for today.

Rusty said...

f they get away with it, and they probably will, it will just further Holder and Obama's goal of quashing the efforts of the States to stop voter fraud. Get ready for the dirtiest, most fraudulent election season in history.


That's very cynical.

And very true.

And sad.

Christopher in MA said...

Government employees should not have the right to unionize -- or vote.

I believe that was John Derbyshire's position, too, when he was still at NR. I don't know that I'd go that far, myself.

Oh, I wouldn't let them unionize, but as for voting - we need to bring back the poll tax. Or a civics quiz. Anything to keep the ignorant and the parasitical off the voting rolls. I don't believe in universal suffrage.

harrogate said...

I agree it will embolden Walker if he wins. They will really go for the jugular of schoolteachers if they win this.

edutcher said...

FDR didn't want government workers unionizing, either.

It was Jack Kennedy that supported it (where the Hell was Marilyn when we needed her?).

Scott said...

@Christopher in MA: Nah, that's going too far. Elections are at best a crapshoot, since one can never really know enough about a candidate to make a completely rational decision. (If one could, Althouse would have voted for McCain.)

But an entrenched bureaucracy is a real danger. Public employee unions have greater ability to coercively squeeze taxpayers than they ought to. And giving them the right to vote for the elected officials who are funding the bureaucracy is a conflict of interest.

Seeing Red said...

I'm already going for the jugular - I'm moving to a different state for retirement.

Scott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

The public sector unions have already lost as their preferred candidate is going to hit the glass ceiling today.

RichardS said...

Lichtenstein is a real Lefty. Member of th DSA, etc.
http://keywiki.org/index.php/Nelson_Lichtenstein

purplepenquin said...

Government employees should not have the right to unionize -- or vote.

If only 1/2 my income comes from working for the gov't, then am I allowed to vote in every-other election?

That aside, it never fails to amaze me how so many folks who claim that we can't trust Big Government to treat citizens fair&square suddenly beleive that the exact same Government is fair&square towards all of their employees.

Chuck66 said...

A few years back, I was talking to a friend whose family included several public employees. She said that no gov't worker could ever vote for a Republican.

My reply was that at this time (say 1997), current gov't employees should vote Republican, as that will limit the growth in gov't, which means current (1997) public employees will be better off in the long run.

If Democrats keep giving blank checks to Big Gov't, eventually the system will collapse and everyone will be hurt. Its best to maintain the status que (in 1997) than to keep growing gov't to unsustainable levels.

Scott M said...

If legions of GOP and independents vote for Falk today, it will, again, highlight just how ridiculous open primaries are.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... That aside, it never fails to amaze me how so many folks who claim that we can't trust Big Government to treat citizens fair&square suddenly beleive that the exact same Government is fair&square towards all of their employees."

Who espoused that sentiment?

My issue with public employee unions is that I as a taxpayer have no say in contract negotiations. I'm just stuck with the tab. A private employee union can simply negotiate itself out of existance.

garage mahal said...

And.....the voter fraud perpetrated in Wisconsin by the Unions and Democrats will also be a template for the National Election.

Republicans are running more fake Democrats in these recall elections than fake signatures were found on the recall petitions. Remember all the bullshit about the guy that signed 80 times? What happened with that? And that Mickey Mouse and Hitler would steal the recall? It's all a big hoary lie, but you don't give a fuck, you'll gladly play along. Walker and his criminal friends will lie, cheat, steal, and do whatever they can to hold power, and you will look the other way and pretend you didn't notice, as will Althouse, and every other Republican.

FACT: When a Republican is accusing you of something, you can bet they are already doing it.

Mitchell said...

The recall election in Wisconsin, he said, "sets the template for the fall campaign."

A template is cut, not set.

It is the scene that is set.

Therefore, the man's point is invalid, like a knife's edge stabbing hot butter.

Sofa King said...

[quote]That aside, it never fails to amaze me how so many folks who claim that we can't trust Big Government to treat citizens fair&square suddenly beleive that the exact same Government is fair&square towards all of their employees.[/quote]

Then quit. Unless you were conscripted into government service, you are there by choice.

purplepenquin said...

My issue with public employee unions is that I as a taxpayer have no say in contract negotiations.

You have as much...or as little...say in those contract negotiations as you wish to have.


However, I am interested in learning more about this opinion of yours. Should employees of companies who receive most of their business from gov't also be banned from voting?

Christopher in MA said...

Walker and his criminal friends will lie, cheat, steal and do whatever they can to hold power and you will look the other way and pretend you didn't notice, as will Althouse and every other Republican.

I see garage is trotting out the old "stab in the back" spin a little early today. Whatever gets you through the night, G.

Michael Haz said...

Oh nonsense. Obama will not and cannot distance his campaign from unions. In fact, he'll double down on his support for unions just to make sure their votes don't wander away.

The AFL-CIO and SEIU are bankrolling the DNC convention. The Obama campaign needs their money.

A few other governors will try to do want Scott Walker has done. Some will be successful. Others will wait until the first state bankruptcy - IL or CA - to make the battle less difficult.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...
Walker and his criminal friends will lie, cheat, steal, and do whatever they can to hold power, and you will look the other way and pretend you didn't notice, as will Althouse, and every other Republican.


Wow, the flop sweat, and desperation is so evident.

It must suck so, so badly, being you.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... You have as much...or as little...say in those contract negotiations as you wish to have..."


Actually, no, the taxpayer doesnt. At least not in my community.

"..However, I am interested in learning more about this opinion of yours. Should employees of companies who receive most of their business from gov't also be banned from voting?.."

It's not my opinion.

Blue@9 said...

You have as much...or as little...say in those contract negotiations as you wish to have.

Since when? Here's the Democrats' cycle of bankrupting the government:

1) Create a public sector union.
2) Collect millions in dues.
3) Use $$$ to campaign for puppet politician.
4) Negotiate with puppet politician for more perks and $$$.
5) Go to step 3.

Either public sector unions should not be able to bargain collectively or they should not be allowed to spend money on campaigns.

TosaGuy said...

Blue

In Step #4 you didn't mention that all negotiation between the unions and puppet politicians is done in closed sessions where we the public can't see their dealmaking.

garage mahal said...

Since when? Here's the Democrats' cycle of bankrupting the government:

Please. You have no idea how many public workers there are in Wisconsin, what they get paid cumulatively, what the status of the state pension system is, or even what the current state of the budget is. But that won't stop you from pretending you do, will it?

MadisonMan said...

I think Walker deserves a bronze statue in an appropriate place outside the Wisconsin state capitol

I'm very happy that Wisconsin Capitol Statuary includes very few politicians. I don't know of any, actually. There's Alvarez and Richter at Camp Randall (ugh), Bill Clinton at the Arch to Camp Randall -- well, it's really two soldiers in stone, but the one on the left looks like Clinton IMO, Col. Heg at the Capitol, and Mrs. Rennebohm on the top of the Capitol Dome.

I also like that Wisconsin State Gov buildings are not named after politicians. GEF 2 is a great name for a place where bureaucrats work.

chickenlittle said...

@garage: Unfortunately, people can just point to California as an easy example.

chickenlittle said...

@garage: I mean, if you guys would just articulate some reasons why your public sector unions are different than California's, you get some needed traction. Can't argue with conspicuity.

chickenlittle said...

(the missing modal verb was "might")

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

Walker got everything he wanted from unions. Budget: still not balanced.

Even though Walker is spending millions lying and saying that it is. It's like Romney taking credit for saving the auto industry, when he wanted it to wither on a vine. Just lie! The media has no interest in correcting the record. And, after the first few lies, it gets easier and easier!

Blue@9 said...


Please. You have no idea how many public workers there are in Wisconsin, what they get paid cumulatively, what the status of the state pension system is, or even what the current state of the budget is. But that won't stop you from pretending you do, will it?


Pretending what? Why don't you address head-on the patently corrupt way that unions have destroyed state budgets around the country? Do you think it's a coincidence that even Democratic governors around the country are starting to take on the public sector unions?

Wake the fuck up, Garage. The union members have been LIED TO and promised benefits that will never materialize. Governors like Walker and Christie get flack from you useless idiots because you've convinced yourself that the Democratic pols who lied to you are noble, whereas Republican pols who tell the truth are evil.

Vote for me and send me a campaign check, Garage. I promise you a BEEELLION dollars in benefits in 20 years. Promise.

I Callahan said...

Either public sector unions should not be able to bargain collectively or they should not be allowed to spend money on campaigns.

Or, each city/state/municipality's voters have to vote for or against each collective bargaining agreement. And the ballot should have the estimated increase to taxes as a whole.

garage mahal said...

Why don't you address head-on the patently corrupt way that unions have destroyed state budgets around the country?

Wisconsin's budget is in worse shape than it was when Walker passed Act 10, which was the excuse back then to pass Act 10. Worst in country on jobs. Me wake up? Republican ideas never work, never have, and I don't think the intent has ever been for their ideas to work. It's amazing to me people still vote Republican at all. Certainly working stiffs, who should know Republicans will do everything they can to fuck them over.

"We must take away your unions, lower your pay/benefits. That way, FREEDOM will take over, and they'll come back to you in spades!"

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

Wisconsin's budget is in worse shape than it was when Walker passed Act 10


No it isn't you silly little liar.

I Callahan said...

Wisconsin's budget is in worse shape than it was when Walker passed Act 10, which was the excuse back then to pass Act 10. Worst in country on jobs. Me wake up? Republican ideas never work, never have, and I don't think the intent has ever been for their ideas to work. It's amazing to me people still vote Republican at all. Certainly working stiffs, who should know Republicans will do everything they can to fuck them over.

You seem like a relatively intelligent guy, Garage. You can't possibly believe this, unless your emotions have completely taken over your brain.

As long as public employee pay, benefits, and pension expenses continue to increase at a higher rate than the income coming into the state, the state will either have to cut expenses, or raise taxes to pay them. And eventually, taxes won't be enough, and wealth confiscation will have to be next.

None of the above is in dispute, by either part. So I ask you this - what is to be done? And try to get a hold of your passions before answering.

Christopher in MA said...

Republican ideas never work, never have, and I don't think the intent has ever been for their ideas to work.

Yeah, that whole "freeing the slaves" thingy really fucked the country over.

Keep frothing, garage. It tastes like sweet, sweet nectar.

I Callahan said...

that's by either party, not part.

damikesc said...

Wisconsin's budget is in worse shape than it was when Walker passed Act 10, which was the excuse back then to pass Act 10.

Remember when you blamed Obama's massive spending on what Bush left him?

Walker was left a bad deal. He has fixed it up really well. It's not perfect, but it's getting dramatically better.

Walker got everything he wanted from unions. Budget: still not balanced.

And you're going to HAPPILY vote for a guy who used those same provisions Walker had passed to "screw" over the unions.

...unless you're consistent and decide to not vote for him, but let's be real, there is zero chance of that, you hypocrite.

It's like Romney taking credit for saving the auto industry, when he wanted it to wither on a vine.

You misspelled "Allow somebody to buy the companies through bankruptcy proceedings", garage.

And nice to see garage on board with screwing over people who invested in the car dealers or who had warranties through them or who were crippled by their products.

garage --- FRIEND...of the little guy.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
Wisconsin's budget is in worse shape than it was when Walker passed Act 10"

100% bullshit.

damikesc said...

Or, each city/state/municipality's voters have to vote for or against each collective bargaining agreement. And the ballot should have the estimated increase to taxes as a whole.

I still disagree with it. The current voters aren't the ones who will be screwed over by it. It's their kids and grandkids who will.

Why should MY sons be sentenced to serfdom because Democrats think public unions are nifty?

damikesc said...

"garage mahal said...
Wisconsin's budget is in worse shape than it was when Walker passed Act 10"

100% bullshit.


No need for redundancy. The first two and last 2 words are synonymous.

garage mahal said...

100% bullshit

The biannual deficit is larger now than last Feb. Is that somehow better? The same? I guess I don't get the argument.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... t's amazing to me people still vote Republican at all.."

I guess it is amazing to you that there are people who have enough self respect that they want to keep more of what they earn and not have to suckle at the government teat.

I Callahan said...

The biannual deficit is larger now than last Feb. Is that somehow better? The same? I guess I don't get the argument.

What would democrats have done to reduce the deficit in that time?

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... What would democrats have done to reduce the deficit in that time?.."

Raise taxes on the rich, dontcha know. Everyone knows all our deficits can be solved by taxing the 1%.

chickenlittle said...

Thou shalt not suffer the rich to live

~Exegesis 22:18 (New Revised Progressive Version)

MadisonMan said...

As long as public employee pay, benefits, and pension expenses

For the umpteenth time, the problems in Wisconsin do not include excessive Pension cost payouts. You can argue that employees should pay more up front to their pensions. But the pension fund, unlike many other states, is solvent because the State Supreme Court some time ago nixed the attempt by the Legislative/Executive branch to raid the fund to pay off Campaign Donors with special projects.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
100% bullshit

The biannual deficit is larger now than last Feb. Is that somehow better? The same? I guess I don't get the argument."

First, your facts are wrong. Laast February WI had an actual deficit, now we have a projected deficit in year two, that may or may not come about...or could even be larger. That said, you fail to acknowledge that the current biannual budget had a structural deficit of $3.6 billion last February. 95% has been eliminated by Walker without raising taxes, without laying off state workers.

garage mahal said...

That said, you fail to acknowledge that the current biannual budget had a structural deficit of $3.6 billion last February. 95% has been eliminated by Walker without raising taxes, without laying off state workers.

Not if you use the GAAP accounting method Walker explicitly promised to use himself when he was campaigning.

Walker also wrote to the Feds that Wisconsin has 3.6 billion deficit, so Wisconsin could opt out of the federally mandated Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
Not if you use the GAAP accounting method Walker explicitly promised to use himself when he was campaigning.

Walker also wrote to the Feds that Wisconsin has 3.6 billion deficit, so Wisconsin could opt out of the federally mandated Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."

Focus garage. WI had an actual $119 million deficit with four months remaining on the then biannual budget last February. We also faced a $3.6 BILLION structural deficit...things we were obligated to pay for...in the now current biannual budget. We are currently not in deficit at all...but there is a projected deficit of $140 million or so in year two. Might happen, might not. But for now Walker has eliminated not only the $119 million left by Doyle, but also 95% of the structural deficit left by Doyle.

The reason the deficit under Doyle was as low as it was is because he used transportation funds and Obama money to help pay for his spending increases...knowing that that money would not be available moving forward. Which is why he didn't run for reelection...he knew he was fucked. No way he could raise taxes and win, and no way he would take the necessary steps that Walker made. This is the exact same problem Falk or Barrett are going to have...what's there plan?

They're toast. Get used to it.

gail said...

Re: Act 10

Act 10 was a tool given to local municipalities/school districts to use to control their budget.

In my west-central WI school district, Act 10 allowed the rehiring of the 14 teachers who had been given layoff notices because the district was able to save $1.000.000+ by getting more cost effective health insurance (same coverage as was done through WEA Trust, but the deductible went up from $100 to $200), and employees contributing more to pensions.

Re: GAAP and cash basis accounting. Your ignorance of the reason each accounting method may or may not be used is obvious. It is NOT unusual for a business to use cash basis for everyday accounting, and share GAAP accounting with lenders, for within industry comparisons, etc. Each method has its pros/cons. Obviously the Feds would require GAAP methods to fairly compare states.

https://wistax.org/blog/wisconsins-other-deficit

Blue@9 said...

I'm starting to come around to the notion that Garage is actually a Republican plant, put here to convince us that liberals are complete and utter morons.

But I'm not buying it. I have plenty of liberal friends, and none of them even come close to Garage's hapless dumbassery.