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.