Boo Hoo Wisconsin! Walker Wins and Unions Lose

wisconsin cheese landBoo Hoo Wisconsin! You did not remove one of the most inane, toxic governors out to destroy the middle class with nonsensical economic agendas. Regardless of party, Walker's attack on collective bargaining was simply an attack on working people. Yet somehow envy that some workers have managed to hang onto pensions and health care which won't send them into poverty enrages others who do not have wages, pensions and benefits. So angry Wisconsin, instead of demanding higher wages, pensions and better health care for themselves gave the very people was are out to destroy them, carte blanche, a mandate to continue to do just that!   Why not, let's destroy pensions, worker rights, wages and jobs, instead of being outraged that our financial livelihoods are under attack! Just today Republicans blocked a bill to address equal pay for women, yet will those Senators be recalled? Nope, and they probably won't lose their elections over it either.

How did this all happen? Back in March of last year, Wisconsin did the nasty against labor. Unions tried to stop it and literally Governor Walker sic'ed the state police on some state Democratic Senators who were trying to stop the railroading of workers.

All of this sparked a recall effort in Wisconsin, target Governor Walker. Earlier the recall of several Wisconsin state Senators came up short.

Now the big kahuna, recalling the governor, also fails. The tea party is simply a manufactured cause, created by the Koch brothers, yet once again, they won.

Why is that?

Many will point to how Democrats were out spent 7 to 1 and other excuses and in some sense one of them may be right. Democrats are also presenting policies just as disliked as the tea party ones, favoring a select few and not U.S. citizen labor as a whole. Below is the Washington Post's analysis on why labor just lost Wisconsin:

      The Democratic primary: To hear those who worked in the trenches of the recall tell it, the fact that Democrats had a contested primary between Barrett and former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk bears considerable responsibility for Walker’s victory.

      Not only did the primary take place less than a month before the general recall election but organized labor spent millions in support of Falk (and against Barrett), spending that many Democrats believe weakened the eventual nominee. Democratic pollsters insisted that Walker was languishing in the early spring but rebounded as Barrett and Falk fought amongst themselves in the primary.

      Money: As of Monday, more than $63 million has been spent on the recall fight with Walker and his conservative allies vastly outspending Barrett and other Democratic-aligned groups.

      Walker himself had raised in excess of $30 million for the recall campaign while Barrett collected just under $4 million.

      Being outspent 10-1 (or worse) is never a recipe for success in a race. Democrats cried foul over Walker’s exploitation of a loophole that allowed him to collect unlimited contributions prior to the official announcement of the recall in late March. Of course, Democrats also pushed the recall and Walker played by the rules of the game — making what he did strategically smart rather than underhandedly nefarious.

      2010: There was considerable internal discussion and disagreement between Washington and Wisconsin Democrats (and organized labor) about whether to push for a recall election this summer or wait until 2014 for a chance to unseat Walker. (Washington Democrats broadly favored the latter option, Wisconsin Democrats and labor the former).

      As the recall played out, two things became clear: 1) There were almost no one undecided in the race and 2) those few souls who were undecided tended to resist the recall effort on the grounds that Walker had just been elected in 2010.

      The sentiment among those undecided voters, according to several Democrats closely monitoring the data, was that while they didn’t love Walker they thought he deserved a full term before passing final judgment on how he was performing.

      That Democrats nominated Barrett — the same man who Walker had defeated in the 2010 general election — added to the sense among independents and undecided voters that this was primarily a partisan push to re-do a race in which they didn’t like the final result.

      Milwaukee: As is true in any state that has a single dominant city — in terms of population, profile etc. — there is resentment toward that city from everyone who doesn’t live in it.

      Barrett’s ties to Milwaukee, therefore, wound up hurting him far worse than many Democrats expected at the start of the contest. And, Walker smartly cast Milwaukee not only as lagging the overall economic recovery of the state but also as badly crime-riddled in television ads.

      The contrast Walker effectively drove between the general direction of the state and that of the city of Milwaukee played into fears/doubts/dislikes that many people already had about the “Land of Plenty” (with apologies to Alice Cooper).

      Walker’s focus: Say what you will about his policies but Walker is a damn good campaigner and, from the moment he knew a recall election was likely, he did everything he could to ensure he came out on top.



Folks, be prepared for more attacks on labor, women, workers, pensions, more income equality and basically all of the pillars which created the United States middle classes in the first place. We're going into a world of free market fantasy, austerity overdrive and we all should start wearing black for the American worker right now.

Cheese heads, yeah, we get it.

Unions just lost big expending not just time and money but also public perception on what unions really do for the middle classes. Just today Fox News put out more propaganda to say why all state budget problems are the cause of workers. This simply is not true.

What is true, unions are highly correlated to strong middle classes. Take this economics research study results showing the decline in unions is highly correlated to rising income inequality. Did you know the United States ranks 4th in the worse income inequality of industrialized nations?

In 1935, the New Deal granted workers basic collective bargaining rights; over the next decade, union membership grew dramatically, followed by an equally dramatic decline in income inequality. This yielded an era of broadly shared prosperity, running from the 1940s into the 1970s. After that, however, unions came under attack—in the workplace, in the courts, and in public policy. As a result, union membership has fallen and income inequality has worsened—reaching levels not seen since the 1920s.

Check out these two excellent videos created by the study author and you get the idea.




The Walker recall failure isn't just bad news for Wisconsin, it's a disaster for all sorts of middle class issues. The CBO has projected the U.S. will enter another recession in 2013. This is completely due to draconian budget cuts scheduled which were a result of Congress not being able to agree on raising the debt ceiling and thus losing the U.S. AAA credit rating. What Wisconsin has done is perpetuated the myth that one can destroy the middle classes and cut government services to the bone, yet still have a prosperous nation. Sorry folks, what you get is a prosperous few and then everybody else, just as it was in 1897. Who cares if 30-50% of the entire United States population lived in poverty and child labor is legal.

Boo Hoo Wisconsin!



not good

This isn't good for the Dems, but I don't think having a Democrat in office is any different than a Republican and may be worse. The real blow is to the corpse of the pansie-ass unions. Labor can never battle dollar to dollar against their employers. Industry has bought all the elections and/or elected.


Unions are not, and have never been, for the workers

Unions have their own top elite who profit from the dues-paying membership. Nothing has really changed since organized crime created unions. It's never been about the workers, and it never will be. Walker and his cronies, bad as they may be, are actually BETTER than the union leadership.

If you want to talk about working classes, then let's support those that are actually willing to WORK, not those who constantly whine that they're not getting paid enough. The government is not your daddy, paying you for a favor. You EARN YOUR KEEP. You are not entitled to it. Union advocates have long since forgotten this, while the union leadership laughs at them.

Yes, the unions are dying, but Walker and conservatives like him didn't kill them; they did it to themselves.

see you didn't read the statistical analysis

This is what I mean, here comes the propaganda, as evidenced in this comment. Sorry, organized crime did not create unions. This type of comment shows the decline in U.S. education. We get clueless wonders writing pure fiction, have no idea, not even a clue on the history of labor in the United States voting in these crazy people who also clearly never cracked an economics text.

Here comes the barrage.

We don't allow propaganda on this site so some other comments were deleted, but one was most telling.

The claim a woman who had to work a double shift, from 7am to 11pm, congratulated these Koch Brother funded operatives standing up for working people at a hotel, even though she couldn't take time off from work to vote. Well folks, it's right there. The propaganda is so think someone who is required to work 15 hours straight for minimum wage thinks these people are supporting her. People are so manipulated, snowed and stupefied, they do not even realize labor rights, which are being dismantled, do not allow someone to be forced to work 15 hours straight and they would get that person time and a half, a better wage, benefits. There are voting rights yet supplanted by employers, who will not let people have time off to vote.

Agreed. Democrats jawbone

Agreed. Democrats jawbone about their support for workers and unions when they need people to march with signs and bull horns and create chaos (e.g. SEIU disrupting healthcare bill town hall meetings). But when it came time to vote for the mining bill this spring (those of you not from WI - GO LOOK IT UP) and pony up some jobs in the northern half of the state, where were all the Democrats? ALL of them save one in the legislature voted AGAINST it. The trade unions took notice of this slap in the face, a story largely ignored outside of WI. Please, don't confuse trade unions with public employee unions.

Obama to blame, Democrats

This piece by Matt Stoller blames Democrats, Obama but is really about how neoliberalism has taken over the globe. The manifest are bank bail outs.

WI Democrats "take" Senate

There is a too close to call race, but Lehman appears to have squeaked it out. WaPo. That said, it's symbolic for the Wisconsin State legislators are not in session until November, when all are up for re-election.

Wis. & stockmarket

correlation is not cause...but the the mega decline in the stock market leading up to a "to close to call" election in Wis. and then rocketing stock market the day after the election is fascinating. Big money won the election and now it's time to party.

stockmarket 06/06

They believe the Fed will go for more quantitative easing, that's the current buzz, Wall Street's crack cocaine.

Although Walker winning, I won't discount big money is now having a party.

Union Comeuppance

While I support and regret the plight of unions in Wis. and more generally, nevertheless my decades in the workplace on both sides of the union / non-union street leads me to believe they are getting the comeuppance.

Unions have created and supported a labor oligarchy of well paid/ good benefit workers verses low pay no benefit workers. Consider the union term “scab”. Who are ‘scabs” they are working class men and women wanting jobs that the union oligarchy claim are theirs and theirs alone. Also, Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. diatribe last year against the Tea Party: “The war on workers... Let’s take these sons of bitches out...”

Hello Jimmy! Tea Party people are workers. In fact they work harder and for less than you or your union.

He still (an union people generally) hasn’t got the message that they have to build a working class movement and not a union movement. They should not be declaring war on the Tea Party people (as opposed to Tea Party financiers e.g. Koch brothers) they should be looking over their shoulders at the Democratic Party they blindly support. Where was Obama in Wisconsin?

Tea party members who are workers are workers betrayed

Sorry, joyfully opting to destroy one's own economic life, which is the agenda of these people, to destroy social security, medicare, medicaid, pensions, worker rights and even equal pay for equal work...

just means PR trumps reason because most of America must be simply uneducated, unaware.

Obama is no friend of workers generally either, look at banking reform, financial reform, more bad trade deals, foreclosures and the rest. the few good moves are the auto bail outs, but more often than not, Obama opts not. Good question where he was in WI but I suspect payback will be a bitch.

Right now, our standard issue pundit mouthpieces are on cable noise claiming WI is "solid blue".

Watch it go to Romney, seriously.

My understanding is the Democrat in this race would not have rolled back Walker's dismantling of collective bargaining.

I do agree unions need to get it together. For one, they are one of the groups pushing for "amnesty" (although most of their positions are better than the typical liberal left ones in terms of labor economics/wages).

Well, I'm pretty sure Americans are none too thrilled, especially those Americans who are construction workers, restaurant workers, factory workers and so on who have had massive worker displacement through the use of illegal labor.

In other words, jumping on agendas that are not true blue let's represent the U.S. citizen workers, U.S. citizen labor....have turned off people to unions, the list is long, this is just one example.

This Friday I will put together more documentaries on the history of labor in this country though, it's pretty clear the massive, Koch brothers financed misinformation campaign has won and people are simply not aware of what it was like for workers in 1897 and 1904 as examples. In other words what happens to labor conditions, work, with out organized labor fighting back.

claims it was "the money" maybe not so true

Today all are talking about how Walker had 88% of the money, from outside of the state.

I saw exit polls which said 88% of the voters had made up their minds from the minute the recall was started and there were only 2% who made up their minds in the last week or something like that.

If those exit polls are valid (and considering the exit polls claimed it was too close to call, that's questionable), it would imply the campaign spending just acted as an irritant and a little mini WI "stimulus".

unions and labor

republicans have forgotten the era of industrialization which gave rise to the labor movement becpriause people were working under horrible conditions. remember chidren working, 12-14 hours day with no break/lunch, no safety standards, extreme low wages???? This is where unions developed and changed all of that. Look at mining for example. In canada most of the mining companies are unionized and in the US they are under Massey energy who has cause repeatedly death to their employees for lack of safety standards. THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT?? WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR 9 YEAR OLD TO HAVE TO START WORKING IN A FACTORY???? republicans never cease to amaze me how increadibly stupid they are. they support a man who only looks after his billionaire friends and they think they are part of that crowd instead of realizing that we the working class, the labor class must stand together and fight against these greedy corporations. Just wait until the 371 trillion derivatives blow up in our banking sector. european banks are falling and its like a domino effect. but guess what, banks and Koch brothers have managed to help lobby derivatives to be protected under FDIC. what will happen to depositers money when these risky investments implode??? one more thing, according to the associated press, more than 50% of americans are living on government programs like medicaid, medicare, food stamps, lunch provided through school, i guess if you calculate how many repubs are in this country, how much would you bet that they are on these programs by a large percentage. HYPOCRITS!!!! wait in wisconsin when walker privatizes your fire department. if your house is burning, they will demand money to put it out!!! think im over reacting, just wait repubs, walker and his buddies are going to destroy labor and you helped him do it!!!!!

Democrats have forgotten labor as well

Check back here, I'm looking to show some more history lessons on labor and the fact unions and movements fought, in some cases died, for workers rights and better conditions, pay.

but it's not just the GOP, Democrats have forgotten labor. I see a lot of comments blasting unions and obviously they have flaws today, but that does not contradict the critical importance labor organization plays and why collective bargaining rights by Walk was just an attack on labor.

Both parties are basically controlled by large corporate interests, as we can see by the sell out the financial crisis and mortgages, foreclosures.