Friday, 12 August 2011 12:04
Will Wisconsin’s Elections Lead To Public Employee’s Union Appomattox
Written by 

City HallLegend says it started over the desire of some barefooted rebels to get a pair of shoes. They approached the small Pennsylvania town and accidentally encountered the enemy. A skirmish started when a few Confederate brigades tangled with a few from the Union. Those initial shots were the beginning of the end of the Confederacy's high-water mark in the Civil War. Two days later the tide turned when Gen. Pickett's decimated command briefly breeched the Union lines on Cemetery Ridge but then were thrown back, effectively ending the Battle of Gettysburg and foretelling the end of the Confederacy.

             On the night of August 9, in the suburbs of Milwaukee, there was, in a metaphorical sense, another desperate charge up a Cemetery Ridge. The effects might be as telling.

            In 1932 in Madison, Wisconsin the Wisconsin State Employees Union (WSEU) was born and with it the genesis of public sector unionism in America. The WSEU was not formed as a vehicle for collective bargaining or a tool to attempt to dominate local, state, and national elections. Those aims came about decades later when it was transformed into the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Wisconsin was the birthplace of public sector unions. The events of August 9 raise the question of whether AFSCME and other public sector unions reached their high-water marks there.

            In the elections of 2010, Republican Scott Walker was elected governor and the GOP ran roughshod in legislative elections, gaining significant majorities in both chambers. Walker and many Republicans ran on a platform of reforming the state’s collective bargaining laws to address the severe deficits being run by the state and local governments. All unions—but particularly AFSCME and the public sector unions—raised huge sums of money and organized a well-oiled voter turnout operation to defeat the Republicans.

            Elections have consequences.

            Walker and the GOP majorities enacted landmark legislation designed to amend the collective bargaining laws to require public employees to pay slightly higher rates for their health care and pensions. In the short amount of time since the laws passed, the state budget and numerous ones at the local government level have moved into the black from the red—in part due to the collective bargaining changes.

            The “skirmish” over the collective bargaining legislation quickly escalated in the legislature and beyond. Democratic state senators left the state to break a quorum in a feeble attempt to stall the passage of the legislation. As soon as the laws were signed by Governor Walker, recall petitions were successfully circulated and elections for seven Republicans and two Democrats were set. Before those elections occurred, a Wisconsin state Supreme Court race turned into a proxy fight between unions and the GOP when Justice David Prosser was unsuccessfully targeted by the Democrats.

            As the returns came in on the evening of August 9, it was obvious that the recall effort was going to be close. One Republican had successfully beaten back a recall attempt a few weeks earlier. Six more faced recall that evening. If three of the six were recalled, the state senate would be back in Democratic hands and Governor Walker’s agenda would be thwarted. Early on two of the GOP senators won easily. Another was obviously heading for defeat. Later in the evening, another Republican won in a relatively close race and yet another—who was somewhat mired in scandal—lost in a nail-biter. That left one race to determine whether the senate remained Republican or went to the Democrats.

            After midnight, Senator Alberta Darling, a 20-year veteran, had pulled ahead by several thousand votes, but 59 precincts remained in Milwaukee County, her weakest area. Most of those votes ended up being in the suburbs and those suburban voters chose not to return senate control to the Democrats.

            On the evening of July 3, 1863, Robert E. Lee began his withdrawal towards Williamsburg. His train of wounded stretched 14 miles. Tight budgets and private sector concerns over costly public sector pensions and benefits inflicted a series of defeats on the public employee unions in Wisconsin. Time will tell if it leads from Madison to their Appomattox.

by Dan Juneau, President and CEO of Louisiana Association Of Business And Industry

Do you agree or disagree with this author?

YOU CAN COMMENT ON THIS QUESTION  BY USING OUR BAYOUBUZZ FACEBOOK FEATURES.  JUST LOG IN WITH THE BLUE FACEBOOK LOGIN ABOVE AND TO YOUR LEFT. WATCH THE MOVIE FOR MORE INFORMATION

For More Information, Watch the video below

Facebook Login

Bayoubuzz Newsletter - Sign Up Below



 Forum











Also Click here and Join:

Louisiana Politics And Government
LouisianaPoliticsAnd Government
Join Bayoubuzz'sLouisianaPolitics and Government community is a social media site that is designed to help connect people, government and politics in Louisiana.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Login to post comments
  • Despite 5th plea, Schiff says House Intelligence Committee pursues Flynn's documents
  • Facebook Live: Discuss harm of Trump budget proposal on Louisiana coastal economy, restoration
  • Governor Edwards welcomes Pence with Medicaid, budget, Louisiana coast wishlist
  • World Premiere tonight in N.O. Bilderberg, the Movie

flynn2Despite General Michael Flynn’s announcement via his counsel that the General and former head of National Security, would take the 5th Amendment in Congressional proceedings, the Intelligence Committee will pursue information, regardless.

Read More

560 usgs land loss map 2The efforts to rebuild the Louisiana coast has suffered a major and immediate setback, assuming that Congress goes along with the most recent budget proposal from President Trump.

Read More

penceToday, Governor John Bel Edwards welcomed Vice President Mike Pence to Louisiana as he Veep is attending a event with top Louisianqa Republican officials. Along with the welcome, however, is a wishlist of requests including an item of recent vinctage involving the current Trump budget which tears a hole into the funding for the Louisiana coastal restoration. 

Read More

bilderbergIt is always an honor when a movie premiere is held in New Orleans and tonight is no exception. At 7:30 p.m. Bilderberg, the Movie will premiere at the historic Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania Street.

Read More

latter-blum2

Sen. Appel talks budget, economy

TRUMP TALK

Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1