The anti-conservative vendetta in Wisconsin

To retaliate against conservative organizations that thwarted efforts to recall Gov. Scott Walker for his anti-union policies, Democratic prosecutors launched a series of legal investigations against them, complete with police-state-style pre-dawn raids.   A federal judge has ruled against these actions, and now those targeted are suing.  Details of what happened after the break. [Read more...]

Wisconsin keeps Scott Walker

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker scored a victory in the vote to recall him.  And pretty handily too, for all of the “too close to call” talk in the election night coverage:  54 percent to 45 percent,

via Wisconsin recall: Scott Walker wins – Alexander Burns – POLITICO.com.

Wisconsin as the preliminary bout

Today is a big day not only because of the Transit of Venus (see below) but because Wisconsin will vote on whether or not to recall Governor Scott Walker for curtailing collective bargaining for public employee unions.

All eyes will be on my former state because experts are seeing it as a preview of what might happen in the presidential election.  If voters decide to keep the Republican Walker, that might be a sign they will vote Republican in the presidential race.  That doesn’t happen very often in Wisconsin, but if they do, it may well be enough to tip the Electoral College  to Mitt Romney.

In Wisconsin recall, it’s TV ad spending vs. boots on the ground – The Washington Post.

What do things look like, Badgers?  When I lived there, things were peaceful and people were nice.  My impression is that union supporters are in a frenzy, but that such a public display of emotion is turning off other citizens of the badger state.  If Walker is kept in, does that really also mean a repudiation of Obama, who has campaigned hard to recall him in favor of Democratic candidate Tom Barrett, who won the primary though he as mayor of Milwaukee also  battled the unions?  Or do Wisconsin voters see these as two different things?

Wisconsin recalls in favor of GOP

It looks like the unions lost and Republicans won in Wisconsin, as recall elections sparked by Gov. Scott Walker’s stand against collective bargaining for state employee unions retained the GOP majority in the state legislature:

Republicans held onto control of the Wisconsin Senate on Tuesday, beating back four Democratic challengers in a recall election despite an intense political backlash against GOP support for Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to curb public employees’ union rights.

Fueled by millions of dollars from national labor groups, the attempt to remove GOP incumbents served as both a referendum on Walker’s conservative revolution and could provide a new gauge of the public mood less than a year after Republicans made sweeping gains in this state and many others.

Two Democratic incumbents face recalls next week, but even if Democrats win those they will still be in the minority.

via GOP maintains control of Senate – TODAY’S TMJ4.

Procedural ploy lets Wisconsin finesse union

We have been following Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s effort to stop the state employee union from being able to engage in collective bargaining for benefits.  We have also discussed the Democratic legislators who have been on the lam to prevent a quorum to take up the measure.  Here is the latest development:  Some slick parliamentary procedure let Republicans pass the bill without a quorum.

The Wisconsin Senate succeeded in voting Wednesday to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers, after Republicans discovered a way to bypass the chamber’s missing Democrats and approve an explosive proposal that has rocked the state and unions nationwide.

“You are cowards!” spectators in the Senate gallery screamed as lawmakers voted. Within hours, a crowd of a few hundred protesters inside the Capitol had grown to several thousand, more than had been in the building at any point during weeks of protests.

“The whole world is watching!” they shouted as they pressed up against the heavily guarded entrance to the Senate chamber.

All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker’s “budget-repair bill” — a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall.

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spends money. But Republicans on Wednesday took all the spending measures out of the legislation and a special committee of lawmakers from both the Senate and Assembly approved the revised bill a short time later.

The unexpected yet surprisingly simple procedural move ended a stalemate that had threatened to drag on indefinitely. Until Wednesday’s stunning vote, it appeared the standoff would persist until Democrats returned to Madison from their self-imposed exile.

via Wis. GOP bypasses Dems, cuts collective bargaining | General Headlines | Comcast.net.

The Republican Obama?

Have the Republicans found “the one”?  Read the Washington Post‘s profile of the new Wisconsin governor, 43-year-old Scott Walker, whose hard line with the public employee union has teachers and other state employees taking to the streets.  (Note:  He is not taking away their right to collective bargaining, as is being charged.  Under his bill, which has Democrat legislators hiding out in Illinois to prevent a quorum for the vote, the union would still be able to negotiate wages, just not benefits, which Walker is seeking to trim by making state employees kick in more for their retirement and health insurance.)

At 25, he won election to the state Assembly and served for nine years. But in 2002, Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament, a Democrat, resigned in the wake of a county pension fund scandal, and Walker became the rare Republican to win office in the area by vowing to clean up the mess.

Friends and foes alike describe Walker as hardworking and amiable, a devoted husband and father of two teenage sons. They also call him a gifted and ambitious politician who has never strayed from his conservative ideals.

“He was tea party before there was a tea party. He’s always been ideologically pure,” said Mordecai Lee, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee political science professor who sparred with Walker on a weekly television show during his Assembly days. “He would do whatever it took not to raise taxes. He never wavered, never doubted.”

Lee said Walker’s repeated success at the polls, even in Democratic strongholds, came as no surprise. He preached fiscal conservatism but also campaigned on his own frugality, noting that he packed ham-and-cheese sandwiches for lunch and drove a weathered Saturn.

“Scott Walker is the Republican Obama – he’s likable, he’s nice, so voters saw that [side] rather than the very ideological Republican,” Lee said. “He’s one of the most impressive politicians I’ve ever seen.”

via Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has history of going up against unions.

Mordecai Lee is a liberal activist who would always debate Walker on TV and talk radio.  I lived in Wisconsin not far from Milwaukee and remember Walker’s skills.  He somehow got elected as County Executive, against the typical big city corrupt Democratic machine, and just cleaned everything up. That too meant defying the unions and enduring their protests. 

Depending on how the Wisconsin events play out, I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a Republican hero with a shot at the presidential nomination. One would think that he would need more experience–at least another term as governor–before going for the presidency, but he certainly has more experience than the current office holder did. But, hey, it’s Presidents Day, so we can speculate.


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