Why Wisconsin's recall election spells big trouble for unions, especially public employee unions

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    May 27, 2012 6:04 AM GMT
    One of three reasons why the Wisconsin recall election matters.


    When recall supporters first garnered nearly a million signatures in order to get on the ballot, the unions were ecstatic. They've poured millions into the state and bussed in thousands of volunteers, but as the issues in the race became clear, the union position came across as greedy and unreasonable. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell told Politico that if Walker wins, it will be "a significant blow to the labor unions," and will definitely embolden other Republican governors to take on labor unions in battles over collective bargaining. There's a chance Democrats will win one of four state Senate recalls, which will give them control of the state Senate and a way to put the brakes on Walker. But no matter what happens in the Senate, Walker's success has already sparked a round of recriminations between union leaders and top-level Democrats, who are avoiding the state. Obama endorsed Walker's opponent the night he won the primary, but other than that has remained silent; the Democratic National Committee has refused to give the state party any money for the cause.

    "I think this is a national campaign," the head of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Harold Schaitberger told The Hill. "Wisconsin is another important test to establish the tone and mood of what is to come in November." When asked about the DNC's support for the recall, another union official wasn't so happy either: "Labor has always been there for the national Democratic Party. The national Democratic Party should be there for labor in this instance. They're not." There's trouble in paradise.
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    May 27, 2012 12:50 PM GMT
    JPtheBITCH saidHow tragic for you that yesterday's polling shows that Barrett has pulled about even. it seems (according to Gallup) that the more people learn about Walker's corruption, the less they are inclined to vote for him.

    Like any of this should matter to you anyway.

    You have proof of this corruption? If you did the democratic DA leading the investigation would have released it. You forgot to mention it was Walker himself that asked for the investigation. You forgot to mention one of the lead detectives in the case has a "recall Walker" sign in his front yard and signed the recall petition....witch hunt much??

    I know how much you like to blather and i offered you a bet since you are so confident. If Barrett wins i will never post again. If Walker wins you will never post again. Care to put up or shut up?
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    May 28, 2012 5:50 PM GMT
    More indications that fighting public unions is a winning strategy:


    Scott Walker’s union battles may be getting all the headlines at the moment, but far away in the Empire State a very different governor is getting into a battle of his own with the unions. Although Andrew Cuomo’s union fights have not been the sort of cage match as Gov Walker’s in Wisconsin, they’ve been pretty serious, especially for a state known for its liberal, pro-union politics. Cuomo’s early struggles involved reducing benefits for public sector unions and pushing for a tougher teacher evaluation process. The latest round of the union fight concerns delegate seats at September’s DNC meeting in Charlotte.

    Politico reports that during the last week, Cuomo removed the leaders of four of New York’s largest public-sector unions from their seats at the convention. Although three of the leaders were eventually reinstated, it was only after considerable wrangling by the unions and frantic calls to Cuomo’s office. Although the Governor denies any motive that at the very least, Cuomo is sending a message to the unions that he will be more difficult to work with than previous Democratic governors.
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    May 28, 2012 5:52 PM GMT
    Oh and for the latest polling:


    Gov. Scott Walker leads Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett 50-42 among those likely to vote in Wisconsin's June 5 recall election, according to a new Reason-Rupe poll of 708 Wisconsin adults on cell phones and landlines.

    In the presidential race, 49 percent of all adults surveyed approve of the job President Obama is doing and 45 percent disapprove. President Obama leads Mitt Romney 46-36 in Wisconsin, with 6 percent selecting the Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson. Obama's margin over Romney shrinks to 45-41 among those likely to vote in June's recall election, with Johnson taking what would be a crucial 5 percent of the vote.

    The Reason-Rupe poll finds voters overwhelmingly support many of the key changes Gov. Walker and the legislature implemented on public sector pensions and health care last year. Reason-Rupe finds 72 percent favor the change requiring public sector workers to increase their pension contributions from less than 1 percent to 6 percent of their salaries. And 71 percent favor making government employees pay 12 percent of their own health care premiums instead of the previous 6 percent.