June 6 2012

Nothing to See Here

Lori Drummer

Move along.  There is nothing to see here. 

Maybe their communications directors had a mandatory day off, per a negotiated holiday schedule that includes the day after elections, but for the first time in 18 months, the public sector unions are practically silent in Wisconsin. 

Despite risking all of their political capital, the unions are largely silent on yesterday’s unprecedented recall election that unsuccessfully aimed to unseat Governor Scott Walker. 

According to its home page, the SEIU Wisconsin State Council is still “uniting to recall Scott Walker” on Election Day.  They are also calling for the “one percent” to be held accountable, though curiously, the SEIU has not identified just what they are guilty of doing, except being successful. 

The Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) didn’t entirely ignore yesterday’s elections, though they are entirely silent on the governor, lieutenant governor, and three of the four Wisconsin Senate recall elections.  They do, however, brag that one of the Republican Senators was successfully recalled, giving the Democrats a one seat majority in that chamber. 

Of course, according to the Wisconsin State Legislature’s official calendar, they are not in session until after the November 2012 elections, so there is still time for the Republicans to reestablish a majority in the Senate, so the WEAC “victory” has very little practical impact on state policy.

To be fair, the AFSCME Wisconsin affiliate’s website does thank their union supporters, albeit through a boastful and odd letter that claims to have made Walker “pay, and pay, and pay.”  Like WEAC, AFSCME touts the Senate flip, and then they note that recalls are “extremely difficult” and that recalls have only succeeded two times in the nation’s history. 

True, AFSCME, but you forgot to mention both of those efforts were successful recalls – and this election was the first failure. 

In all, this recall election cost tens of millions of dollars in both public and private money, decreased the productivity of government, and yielded no significant changes in the state’s political power structure. May the rest of the nation learn from this experience: the people want change and appreciate courageous leadership. 

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