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Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin Recall’

It’s All About The (Union) Money

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2012/06/08

Since Governor Walker won election in the TEAnami of 2010 and proceeded to follow through with his campaign promises, Unions have spent 50 million or more fighting against the democratic election. And for good reason: the money. Unions saw their cash cow — forced Union dues to fund their politicking and to line their pockets — vanishing before their very eyes, and they had to do something to stop it. So they spent millions of dollars they couldn’t afford to lose in order to try to prevent losing even millions more dollars. They failed, of course.

From The Wall Street Journal (via American Thinker‘s May 31 article):

Wisconsin membership in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees-the state’s second-largest public-sector union after the National Education Association, which represents teachers-fell to 28,745 in February from 62,818 in March 2011, according to a person who has viewed Afscme’s figures. A spokesman for Afscme declined to comment.

Much of that decline came from Afscme Council 24, which represents Wisconsin state workers, whose membership plunged by two-thirds to 7,100 from 22,300 last year.

AFSCME Wisconsin lost more than 54 percent of its members in only one year since the Wisconsin Law went into effect. And those numbers are several months old. Guaranteed AFSCME Wisconsin has lost even more members since February. But to the Union Leaders, it’s not about the number of members (34,073 from March 2011 to February 2012) it loses, but the amount of dollars it loses.

I was a forced Union member for far too many years. My Union dues — which I did not want to pay but were required by Law to be taken out of my paycheck before I ever saw it — amounted to 60 dollars a month, 720 dollars a year. And that was actually on the bottom end of the dues rate for that Local (which served more than that one shop, of course). Washington State AFSCME members can be forced to pay as much as 76 dollars a month, 912 dollars a year. So, using what I paid in dues as the marker, AFSCME Wisconsin in just one year of dues-payer losses lost 24,532,560 dollars per year in Union dues. 24 and a half million dollars a year gone from the Union Leaders’ slush funds, and gone from the Democrat Party’s re-election funds. And that’s just from a single Union in a single State. That doesn’t count all the other Unions who lost members in Wisconsin, nor all the other states where Unions have recently lost large numbers of members. It only counts AFSCME and only in Wisconsin.

That is why the Unions spent upwards of 50 million dollars trying to overturn democratic elections.

(The above chart is of the all-time top political contributors nationally, as documented by Open Secrets. The top four circled political contributors are all Public Employee Unions and the bottom circled political contributor contains Public Employee Unions. Before any radical Leftist start screaming about the Koch Brothers not being on the list, they are … at number 77.)

UPDATE 2012610
Hot Air has more very related information today. It would be wise to read it (and watch the two videos).

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Posted in economics, Elections, Liberal, Philosophy, politics, truth | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

More Bad News For Wisconsin Democrats

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2012/05/14

The news coming out of Wisconsin continues to be bad for Democrats and good for the state. I have previously reported on the tens of millions of dollars Wisconsin schools have saved, with many schools going from deficit to surplus without raising taxes (in fact, property taxes were lower for the first time since 1999), while Democrats and Union thugs have spent tens of millions of dollars trying to rescue their tax-payer funded multi-million dollar cash cows and freebies, and used violence, threats of violence, destruction of public and private property in the process. I have also previously reported on the fact that Wisconsin has had its most improved economic forecast since 2003 and that its economic forecast improved more than any other state, after the Walker Budget was put in place.

Here’s what I said regarding the tens of millions of dollars Democrats and Union thugs spent in vain in Wisconsin in 2010 and 2011:

[Allahpundit] quotes that site I refuse to link (if I can avoid it) discussing the fact all those outside resources won’t be available to Recall Governor Walker in 2012 because there is the Obama campaign that needs fed, a US Senate campaign that needs fed, many other political races in Wisconsin that need fed, let alone all the campaigns across the other 49 states that need fed. After spending tens of millions of outside, Union dollars in 2010 and 2011 with next to nothing to show from it, there will be too many other needs in 2012 to be focusing in on a single Governor.

I previously wrote about the economic improvement of states that went from Democrat control to Republican leadership compared to the economic deterioration of Democrat controlled states. Multiple articles can be found in the TBD archives covering the economic disasters of Liberal-owned California and Illinois.

Well, Democrats have even more bad news coming out of Wisconsin. It seems the analysts were wrong about Wisconsin’s budgetary surplus. They underestimated it in their forecast. Wisconsin will have an even larger budgetary surplus than forecast. Without tax increases. In fact, with reduced taxes. Even as Wisconsin’s taxpayers had to foot a multi-million dollar bill to repair all the damage the Democrats, Union thugs, Occupods criminally did to public property. As Wisconsin’s economic forecast has improved more than any other state (as a result of flipping from Liberal Big Government tax-and-spend to Conservative small government restraint). As I have said many times before, these expert analysts are always wrong because they use static models and don’t account for a change in behavior that results from a change in tax and/or regulation policy. Just like the severely worsened budgetary outlook the Editor of The First Street Journal pointed out for the failed State of California. While the Republican agenda has improved the state of the State of Wisconsin, the Democrat agenda has worsened the state of the State of California. And that’s bad news for Wisconsin Democrats. They cannot have economic conditions and budgetary conditions improving while people are doing the opposite of what the Democrats want.

And they definitely cannot allow for the public to find out the Conservative approach is far more successful and liberating than the Liberal approach. Oops, too late. With the Conservative grass-roots giant very much awake, Liberals no longer have the ability to keep the news away from the people. And that leads to the most recent, and very terrible news (for Democrats) coming out of Wisconsin today. Polling shows Governor Walker with a very large 9 point lead over his Democrat challenger, who had raised taxes and fees in Milwaukee while simultaneously making Milwaukee’s economic condition worse (imagine that). To top it off, as I predicted, money is not coming in like Democrats want and need.

Update: Greg Sargent reports that Wisconsin Democrats are going public with their anger over a lack of support from the DNC:

“We are frustrated by the lack of support from the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association,” a top Wisconsin Democratic Party official tells me. “Scott Walker has the full support and backing of the Republican Party and all its tentacles. We are not getting similar support.”

“Considering that Scott Walker has already spent $30 million and we’re even in the polls, this is a winnable race,” the Wisconsin Dem continues. “We can get outspent two to one or five to one. We can’t get spent 20 to one.”

According to the Wisconsin Dem, the party has asked the DNC for $500,000 to help with its massive field operation. While the DNC has made generally supportive noises, the money has not been forthcoming, the official says — with less than a month until the June 5th recall election. The DNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It apparently doesn’t look winnable to the DNC, which tells you all you need to know about the polls on which WI Democrats rely.

After spending tens of millions of dollars trying to get rid of the people who have made Wisconsin better for Wisconsinites, and failing miserably, some of the outside spigots are getting turned off. Those outside spigots have a lot more than just Wisconsin to worry about this year, as the Conservative grass-roots continue marching on, saving this country from certain economic disaster.

Posted in Conservative, economics, Elections, Liberal, media, Philosophy, politics, society, Tax, TEA Party | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Unions Plan Recall Governor Walker Petition Drive

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/10/11

Allahpundit notes Wisconsin Democrats are planning their “Recall Scott Walker” petition drive, which will start November 15 this year. This is really about Democrats trying to save their Union cash cow. And rest assured, Unions will be pumping in millions of dollars in this effort. Including Public Employee Unions, which derive all their dues from tax-payer dollars. This isn’t about the people or the children. This is about Union power, Union money, Union greed, Union graft, Union monopoly.

For some background information:
US Census Bureau data on Wisconsin (with some calculation on my part):
2010 Population 5,686,986
2009 Population 18 or older 4,367,605
2009 per capita income 26,447
US Census Bureau “per capita income” explained:

Per capita income is the mean money income received in the past 12 months computed for every man, woman, and child in a geographic area. It is derived by dividing the total income of all people 15 years old and over in a geographic area by the total population in that area. Note — income is not collected for people under 15 years old even though those people are included in the denominator of per capita income. This measure is rounded to the nearest whole dollar.

(Go to the link for the full explanation.)
If all income was earned by those 18 or over, and the per capita income limited to only those 18 or over, the total per capita would be 34,436.

Some of the money the Unions have already spent in Wisconsin, dealing with the new Law, which is saving Wisconsin tax-payers huge sums of money:
Wisconsin Unions’ lobbying efforts for the first six months of 2011:
The top 4 lobbying organizations, all Unions, (out of 707 lobbying organizations) spent 6.3 million in lobbying Wisconsin Government.

Unsurprisingly, Governor Walker’s budget repair bill’s AB 11 and SB 11 were the most lobbied bills during the first half of the year receiving 22,311 hours. The top four spots among those organizations who spent the most money on lobbying are the Wisconsin AFL-CIO ($2,302,171), WEAC [WI teachers’ union] ($2,062,716), AFSCME Council 11 [Public Employee Union] ($1,228,811), and AFSCME International [Public Employee Union] ($694,422).

AFSCME, WEAC, AFL-CIO alone combined for nearly 9 million on the recall efforts. That doesn’t include NEA, AFT, SEIU, all Public Employee Unions who spent large on the recall efforts.

Money Wisconsinites have saved:
School District Health Insurance savings by leaving WEA Trust (the Wisconsin teachers union’s own health insurance provider):
Hartland-Lakeside School District 690,000 (over 25 percent reduction in Health Insurance premiums)
Pewaukee School District 378,000
Menomonee Falls School District 1.3 million
More districts noted by the MacIver Institute (pdf):
Baraboo School District 660,000
Hartford School District 535,000
Kimberly School District 821,000

And those aren’t all the schools leaving WEA Trust, and not nearly all the schools reducing health insurance premiums due to the new Law. So the Public Employee Union is losing a massive chunk of money off one of its cash cows, but the school districts and tax payers are saving a ton of cash. Because Free Market competition was introduced to the Health Insurance industry provided to schools. Wasn’t one of the reasons for ObamaCare the plan to bend the Health Insurance cost curve down? Well, Conservative Free Market principles (the opposite of ObamaCare) are proving to do just that.

Estimates of statewide school district savings due to the new Law exceed 161 million. Over 500 per student in savings.

George Will explained the grave concern Wisconsin Unions have:

And teachers unions may no longer automatically deduct dues from members’ paychecks. After Colorado in 2001 required public employees unions to have annual votes reauthorizing collection of dues, membership in the Colorado Association of Public Employees declined 70 percent. In 2005, Indiana stopped collecting dues from unionized public employees; in 2011, there are 90 percent fewer dues-paying members. In Utah, the end of automatic dues deductions for political activities in 2001 caused teachers’ payments to fall 90 percent. After a similar law passed in 1992 in Washington state, the percentage of teachers making such contributions declined from 82 to 11.

Rest assured, Wisconsin Public Employee Unions have already seen a marked drop-off in Union dues, a drop-off that
will only increase over time. This is the reason the Unions will be spending millions more trying to recall Governor Walker. The loss of their Union Dues cash cow on top of the loss of their Union-owned Health Insurance cash cow. It has nothing to do with the people or the children and everything to do with Union power, Union money, Union greed, Union graft, Union monopoly.

But the residents of Wisconsin are saving over 161 million dollars on school expenses alone. That doesn’t include the tax-dollars saved at the State, County, Municipality levels. Savings of over 500 per student, nearly 40 per tax-payer — in school budget savings alone; much more when all savings are added in. Schools going from deficit spending to surplus cash.

Yes, this battle is all about Democrats trying to rescue their cash cow at the expense of the people who pay the bills and about Unions trying to rescue their cash cows at the expense of the people who pay the bills, and nothing about the tax-payers or the children. And it comes at a time when Barack Obama is on the ropes and in desperate need of cash for his own campaign; a time when Democrats nationwide are sinking and being dragged down by Barack Obama and in desperate need of cash for their own campaigns; a time when We the People have soured on the Unions and their thuggery (violence, threats of violent murders, destruction of property, lawlessness).

This battle the Democrats and Unions are fighting against the People is going to cost Democrats and Unions dearly in terms of cash lost when they have a dwindling supply and power lost in terms of elections lost that may have been won if not for the millions being diverted to another Wisconsin recall effort.

UPDATE
Professor Jacobson adds this:

This is the fight they have been looking for, but it really is the fight we should have been looking for. The recall effort will be a referendum on whether there is any hope of taking back government from public sector employee unions, and whether a swing state is more interested in growing the economy or growing unions.

Posted in economics, education, Elections, Health Care, Law, Liberal, Obama, Personal Responsibility, Philosophy, politically correct, Politically Incorrect, politics, society, Tax, TEA Party, Youth | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

On, Wisconsin (“Progressives” 0-for-4 In Birthplace Of Progressivism)

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/08/10

Among other things, Wisconsin is known as the “birthplace of Progressivism.” That’s important to remember.

The 2010 elections were very good for Wisconsin Republicans. One of the most Liberal members of the US Senate lost his bid for re-election to a Republican. The Wisconsin House, Senate, and Statehouse all went Republican. That despite heavy union money being poured into the state elections.

Governor Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature, doing what they said they would do, went to work to fix the broken State Budget. Unions were stripped of their non-salary negotiation abilities. Wisconsin no longer has to collect union dues, leaving that to the Unions and their union members to deal with privately. (I have heard from Wisconsinites over on Hot Air that Unions have lost as much as 40 percent of their dues on this point alone.) Various Public Employee Unions now have to have recertification votes annually. This means there’s a strong likelihood that some of the PEU Locals will voluntarily decertify in the coming couple years, the members no longer being automatically forced to be Union members to have a job.

Of course, as the Budget deal and the restraint on the overbearing PEU power was being dealt with through legal means, the Unions — from Wisconsin and the rest of the nation — pumped in millions of dollars to protest, as every last Democrat Senator not only refused to show up to work, but knowing the Governor had the Constitutional authority to physically force them to the Senate floor, fled the state for Illinois as they determined to hold representative government and the people of Wisconsin hostage for their tyrannical anti-democratic agenda.

What was the protesting like? Millions of dollars of damage due to vandalism, death threats, intimidating private citizens, assaulting private citizens, breaking-and-entering, criminal trespass, intimidating businesses, ethics violations, and the list goes on. That’s what the protesting was like.

So, the Democrats, Socialists, Communists, Progressives, Union leadership (different names, same thing) spent millions of dollars and used unethical and illegal tactics in a failed attempt to intimidate the duly elected representative government into doing the opposite of what the duly elected representative government set out to do.

Then came the Wisconsin Supreme Court election. And the Democrats, Socialists, Communists, Progressives, Union leadership (from the Redundant Department of Redundancy) spent millions of dollars making the election about Governor Scott Walker. And they went on a major smear campaign, including but not limited to airing an ad using a crime victim as fodder. When the crime victim asked Kloppenburg to get the deceptive smear ads pulled, she declined to lift a finger, so he personally got involved. He has a YouTube video calling out Klops and the unhinged Left for their duplicitousness and personally supported Prosser, the man they smeared by using him.

And Prosser won re-election (or is that re-certification in this case? I’m uncertain of the lingo) despite the millions the Unions pumped into the campaign.

So, the Progressives, Socialists, Communists, Democrats, Union leadership (repeating myself redundantly, again) decided it would be a good idea to have Recall Elections. And the Conservative grass-roots, although likely becoming exhausted from the continued fight against tyranny, followed suit with Recalls of their own. (The best defense is a good offense.) During the petition-signing process, the “good” Progressives showed how “good” they are by forcefully taking recall petitions which were full of signatures to recall Fleebaggers and tore them up — a felony. They also broke into a Recall Petition Headquarters and destroyed other petitions full of signatures — multiple felonies.

And the millions of Union dollars flooded into Wisconsin, once again focusing on Scott Walker. This past Tuesday (yesterday), 6 Republican Senators faced the Recall Elections. One Republican in a Democrat district fell. One scandal-plagued Republican fell. 4 Republicans defeated the Recall. The Democrats needed at least 3 victories to flip the Senate, and they failed. Not only did the Democrats need 3 victories yesterday, they needed to defeat both of next week’s Recall attempts in order to retake the Wisconsin Senate. It’s an impossibility now for Democrats to do that. And there’s a good chance one or both of the Democrat fleebaggers could fall to the Recalls, meaning there’s a good chance the Unions pumped in well over 10 million dollars in Union Member dues to achieve a wash.

Ed Morrissey says the Unions went 0-for-2 but by my count, it’s more like 0-for-4. The Unions spent tens of millions of dollars of Union Member dues to lose four times in a row. But fear not, they plan on spending even more millions to lose a Recall Walker effort and a General Election in 2012. Out of a shrinking slush-fund pool.

The Public Employee Unions are losing in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut (where I read about a city firing all its teachers, then rehiring what they needed because the Union would not negotiate). And Obama needs those states, having won all but one in 2008. Obama won Wisconsin by 14 percent in 2008, but Democrats lost Wisconsin in 2010 and have been busily losing very loudly-fought and heavily-focused battles in Wisconsin in 2011. If Obama has to worry about a state he won by 14, he’s in deep trouble, as is the whole debased “Progressive” movement.

UPDATE: Allahpundit, the self-professed political “Eeyore”, sees little to be worried about with the fully expected Leftist attempt to Recall Governor Walker.

You’ve got to chase your dreams. Ahab had Moby Dick, Javert had Valjean, and these tools have a guy whose collective bargaining bill is a fiscal success even according to Milwaukee’s favorite newspaper.

Allahpundit’s link is to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online, which says in part:

The latest example is Milwaukee, where the most recent estimates show the city with a net gain of at least $11 million for its 2012 budget. That will take a slice out of the city’s structural deficit, which is created by costs rising faster than revenue, and will reduce cuts that Mayor Tom Barrett and the Common Council must impose.

The city projects it will save at least $25 million a year – the figure could be as high as $36 million in 2012 – from health care benefit and pension changes it didn’t have to negotiate with unions because of the changes wrought by the new law that ended most collective bargaining for most public employees.

That certainly will help the city deal with the $14 million in cuts in state aid in the 2011-’13 state budget.

Lest anyone suggest the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is a Conservative newspaper (hah!), a couple things to note: Milwaukee is very Liberal, and the JS had this quote in the very article I quoted above:

[W]e still maintain he could have reached his goals without dealing a body blow to public employee unions.

That’s not at all a Conservative position. In fact, that’s a very Liberal position.

Back to Allahpundit. He quotes that site I refuse to link (if I can avoid it) discussing the fact all those outside resources won’t be available to Recall Governor Walker in 2012 because there is the Obama campaign that needs fed, a US Senate campaign that needs fed, many other political races in Wisconsin that need fed, let alone all the campaigns across the other 49 states that need fed. After spending tens of millions of outside, Union dollars in 2010 and 2011 with next to nothing to show from it, there will be too many other needs in 2012 to be focusing in on a single Governor.

Allahpundit’s conclusion:

Walker’s approval rating was below 40 percent last month, but he has four more months of good press about the effects of the CB bill to penetrate. Let’s see where he is in January. Either way, the left will try to recall him if only to save face after losing last night and against Prosser. But whether it’s an earnest effort to win or just a pro forma attempt to hassle will depend on the rest of the year. I’m not worried, and as a famous eeyore, it’s practically my job to be worried.

And Governor Scott Walker’s reaction to the Recall efforts of yesterday:

Posted in Conservative, crime, economics, Elections, Liberal, Obama, Personal Responsibility, Philosophy, Politically Incorrect, politics, society, Tax, TEA Party | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on On, Wisconsin (“Progressives” 0-for-4 In Birthplace Of Progressivism)

 
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