Scott Walker was elected Governor in 2010. In 2011 he was named “Governor of the Year” by Governor’s Journal. “In 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker served as the embodiment of the state by state battle to balance budgets and the best symbol of the struggle between the two political parties about how best to meet those fiscal challenges.” Walker has become a national icon, praised by many of the nations’ governors and conservatives. However, the Governor is less popular among Wisconsin liberals.
The most common issue citizens have with the Governor’s agenda is the Budget Repair Bill. The main issue citizens have with Bill 11, or Act 10, is collective bargaining. The bill requires that unions negotiate salaries separate from health care and pension benefits. Walker proposed to end collective bargaining, meaning bargaining health care, pension, and salary together rather than negotiating just salary. The bill mandated that union dues could no longer be automatically deducted from payroll checks. Under the new legislation, individuals may choose to join the union or not.
Five reasons to support the Governor
1. Respect for the Democratic Process. Democrat senators fled the state to avoid voting on the budget repair bill. Union workers organized protests, some forcing school closings. Despite a fair election, critics initiated recall elections. According to recall rules, “a violation of law or abuse of discretion” must have occurred to recall a local official. Elected state senators and Governor Walker did not violate the law. Further disrespect incurred when the derangement spread to companies associated with political contributions to the Governor. Various websites referred citizens to companies who had supported the governor and proceeded by organizing boycotts against these companies and workers.
2. Collective bargaining is not a right. There’s no federal constitutional right involved. So when it comes to public employees, it’s up to the state. Collective bargaining is a privilege or “special power,” which is occasionally granted to some unions. Wisconsin’s budget bill in no way infringes on an individual’s right to associate and lobby government. Public sector unions still have the ability to bargain their salary; Wisconsin is simply asking that public sector workers contribute to health and pension benefits to be more in line with the private sector. Walker knew it was fiscally impossible to continue the generous health care and pension benefits public sector workers have come to believe is a right.
3. Union rights verses the right to work. Unions promote that worker rights are being curtailed. Currently 22 states have right-to-work laws, which prohibit unions from forcing workers to join, according to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. Organized labor is struggling to convince the American public that labor reform, such as right-to-work legislation, is an attack on the middle class. However, “in Wisconsin alone, member rolls fell by 16,000 -from 14.2 percent of employed workers to 13.3 percent -between 2010 and 2011.” It appears that members who have an option are opting out. Unions also use their power to back politicians that the members may strongly disagree with, but members dues go to their campaigns nonetheless. This is unions having too much power.
4. The cost of the recalls is high. The recall rules are vague which has resulted in the extraordinary costs of the recall, not to mention the alleged lack of integrity with regard to petition circulation and suspect signatures. According to a report from Kevin J. Kennedy, Director and General Counsel of Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.), estimated costs that county government, municipalities and the GAB will incur for administering and conducting a 2012 statewide recall election include: $2,348,423.98 from Counties, $5,821,898.20 from Municipal, $841,349.00 from GAB. The total estimate for taxpayer dollars toward recall elections: $9,011,762.18.
5. The budget repair bill worked. Wisconsin is not only out of debt, but has a budget surplus. Governor Walker’s budget turned a $3.6 billion state deficit into a surplus. Setting aside the hysteria, the citizens of Wisconsin elected a governor and legislators who returned fiscal responsibility to our government.
Critics of Act 10 erupted in mass mayhem protest to save their “rights” but the legislation still passed. Critics further resisted by turning a Supreme Court election into a referendum on union legislation but the Democrats’ candidate whom they expected to overturn Act 10 lost the election. Then came the August recall elections of six Republican state senators. Despite millions of union dollars spent, the democrats did not gain control of the Senate. The drum-banging, raucous, frenzied, worker-power occupation which some citizens believe is “what democracy looks like” demonstrated their view on how the process should work. No matter how messy or raucous, regardless of propaganda or threats, citizens of Wisconsin will decide whether or not to make fundamental change to public union power and the solvency of the state by voting.
Get the facts, read the bill. The first 10 pages of Bill 11 detail the changes and the remaining are code amendments necessary to put it into law. Whether you consider yourself to be Republican, Democrat, Independent, apolitical, etc, I urge you to read the bill and research this issue further through non-partisan sources before you choose to support the recall.
There is no simple or painless way to make budget cuts but it is no coincidence that the Governors Budget Repair Bill resulted in creation of jobs and balancing of the budget. “During the past year, we added thousands of new jobs. And we balanced the state budget. We balanced it without raising taxes; without massive layoffs; and without budget tricks; all of which allowed us to put more than $1.2 billion of new state money into Medicaid programs like Badgercare and FamilyCare.” -Governor Walker, State of the State Address January 25, 2012.
Politicians often make promises they cannot keep. Governor Walker kept his promises.
Danielle Cleveland :: Carthage College :: Kenosha, Wisconsin :: @DConservative