Stephen Moore wrote an excellent opinion piece on Saturday in The Wall Street Journal titled “The Most Important Non-Presidential Election of the Decade” regarding Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the recall election he is soon to face. I would go a step further and say this is the most important election of 2012. The ramifications of this election will set the tone for many of the other elections this year and determine whether or not the public sector unions will be emboldened in their strategies.
Gov. Walker is a principled conservative leading a pretty purple state. A recent poll by Marquette University’s Law School shows that 50% think the state is headed in the right direction; 87% of Republicans approve of the job he is doing and 82% of Democrats disapprove. The poll also shows that while Gov. Walker currently leads any Democratic challenger in the recall election by 6-10 percentage points, President Obama currently leads former Gov. Mitt Romney by 8 percentage points. Wisconsin is home to Rep. Tammy Baldwin, one of the most liberal members of Congress and Rep. Paul Ryan, one of the most conservative members. So you can see that this is a politically divided state in many respects.
Mr. Moore writes the following in his article:
The stakes here “go well beyond who will be governor of Wisconsin,” Mr. Walker explains. The recall’s ultimate objective is to intimidate any official across the country who’s thinking of crossing swords with the empire of teachers and other public-employee unions. “This is about killing reform initiatives in every state in the country,” says Mr. Walker.
I’ve not had face to face confrontation with any of these groups, but watching the news and seeing through other media outlets their tactics, it is evident that they are not interested in civil discourse and reasonable discussions. Rather, we’ve seen in this state intimidation tactics, disruption through shouting, singing and playing loud instruments and now fraudulent efforts employed in recalling the governor and other elected Republican officials. While the union leadership may be irate from Gov. Walker’s reforms last year which took away their ability to collectively bargain on anything but salary and to stop automatic collection of union dues from government paychecks, really this recall was started shortly after the November 2010 election before these reforms were proposed.
The Democrats and their union allies only care about power and they want it back. They couldn’t believe that Republicans would take control of both legislative chambers and the governorship in 2010. But even if they are successful in recalling Gov. Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and any of the four state senators also going through a recall, they will not be able to recover the unions’ collective bargaining privileges because the state Assembly will be under Republican control. So in the end, it is simply about power and sending a message across this state and the rest of this country saying that if you dare to be responsible and do anything other than raise taxes to fund their exorbitant demands they will come after you with everything they’ve got.
As a conservative in Wisconsin, I have high hopes for Gov. Walker and the reforms he is making in our state. Not only that, but I’d love for him to be able to take these reforms to a national platform someday. The union and Democrat leaderships realize this too and want to quash his career here and now. They were annoyed enough with him when he was Milwaukee County Executive and now especially despise him as Governor.
This year’s leading Republican presidential candidates are not really principled conservatives and therefore whoever the nominee is and whoever is eventually elected as President, will not be a true principled conservative. But if Governor Walker is unelected by the abuse of a poorly written recall election law, then we will be losing a principled conservative from an important position of leadership in our country. That is why I believe this is the most important election of 2012.
For more information or to see how you can help, go to www.ScottWalker.org