Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker beat back a recall challenge Tuesday, winning both the right to finish his term and a voter endorsement of his strategy to curb state spending, which included the explosive measure that eliminated union rights for most public workers.
The rising Republican star becomes the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall attempt with his defeat of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and the union leaders who rallied for months against his agenda.
Mr. Walker had 58% of the vote with 62% of the state’s precincts reporting, while his opponent, Tom Barrett, the Democratic mayor of Milwaukee, had 42%. Turnout was said to be heavy.
The vote capped a contentious 15-month battle that polarized Wisconsin, long a centrist state, with union members and Democrats protesting angrily against Mr. Walker’s signing in March 2011 of a law removing most collective-bargaining rights from public employees.
Despite a last-minute smear campaign accusing Scott Walker of fathering an illegitimate love child, the governor’s recall election victory sends a clear message that should resonate around the nation: The fiscal cancer devouring state budgets has a cure, and he has found it. The costly defeat for the entrenched union interests that tried to oust Walker in retribution for challenging their power was marked by President Obama’s refusal to lend his weight to the campaign for fear of being stained by defeat. We’ll see how well this strategy of opportunistic detachment serves in the fall as Obama reaches out to unions for support.
This fight is not without precedent. Progressive patron saint Franklin Delano Roosevelt—who more than any other president set our country on a course away from the founding principles of limited government—knew that public sector unions would be the death of the social welfare state he worked so hard to create. Hence, he consistently opposed allowing government employees to unionize. Today, Greece sets the example of what happens when public sector unions gain the upper hand.
As it should be. The looting public sector unions know what they can do with themselves. The people of Wisconsin and all those Americans who helped Walker through donations, volunteering, ect. can pat themselves on the back. This is a huge victory for Wisconsin, a victory for the nation, and nice slap in Barry’s face. Public sector employees work for the citizens of the state and not the other way around. Walker took reasonable measures to curtail the looting and the babies cried and cried. Well, they’ll by drowning in their own tears tonight while I celebrate. Thanks Wisconsin and thank you Scott Walker! Now the liberal media has a wonderfully bitter pill to swallow.