When it rains, it pours on Wisconsin Democrats. The Associated Press reports:
Gov. Scott Walker’s administration says the job-growth numbers he made public earlier than normal have been verified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development spokesman John Dipko told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the BLS has confirmed Wisconsin jobs grew by 23,608 in 2011.
Walker had released the preliminary job numbers two weeks ago before BLS confirmed them, a highly unusual move.
His Democratic opponent in Tuesday’s recall, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, accused Walker of “cooking the books” and trying to spin the numbers to his advantage.
Walker’s campaign sent out an e-mail Wednesday touting the new numbers: “The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has not only confirmed the jobs numbers reported by Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development a few weeks ago which showed the state did not lose jobs as previously reported, but instead gained jobs, but they have actually revised the number up to 23,608 jobs created in 2011. Tom Barrett’s talking points that the numbers the governor has been campaigning on were ‘Dreamed Up, Purely Political, Political Stunt, Unverified & Playing Tricks’ are now dead in the water.”
It is true that Walker was on track for a win on Tuesday. In independent polling he is, on average, leading by more than 6 points. In 2010, Walker beat Barrett by six points.
Democrats are looking for excuses. Some speculate that things would have been different had former senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) run. They complain they were outspent. And a veteran of the Bill Clinton White House dismissed Barrett as a “weak” candidate. Perhaps, but Big Labor’s hand-picked contender, Kathleen Falk got trounced by the “weak” Barrett in the Democratic primary by a margin of 58 to 35 percent. Did Wisconsin Democrats imagine they could beat Walker with nothing, or was the recall never going to work?
In truth, the recall was based on several false premises: 1) Walker’s reforms were unpopular; 2) A parade of horribles would follow the collective-bargaining reforms; and 3) Big Labor could energize the entire state as easily as it organized the protesters who occupied the capitol building in Madison during the original budget fight. None of those panned out.
It’s fortunate for Mitt Romney and other Republicans that Democrats are in denial (or forced into obliviousness by their dependence on Big Labor patrons). The GOP would be more than happy to fight the “public employee unions vs. the taxpayers” in every local, state and federal race. If voters in Wisconsin — not exactly a red state (at least not yet) — can clue into the inherent corruptness of a scheme in which Big Labor lines the pockets of Democrats and then reaps the rewards at the bargaining table, then this issue will work for Republicans in lots of places. And don’t think Republicans don’t know it.