The Washington Post

Wisconsin governor in a walk?

There is more bad new from Wisconsin for Big Labor bosses and Democrats. Reason magazine reports: “Gov. Scott Walker leads Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett 50-42 among those likely to vote in Wisconsin’s June 5 recall election, according to a new Reason-Rupe poll of 708 Wisconsin adults . . . The Reason-Rupe poll finds voters overwhelmingly support many of the key changes Gov. Walker and the legislature implemented on public sector pensions and health care last year. Reason-Rupe finds 72 percent favor the change requiring public sector workers to increase their pension contributions from less than 1 percent to 6 percent of their salaries. And 71 percent favor making government employees pay 12 percent of their own health care premiums instead of the previous 6 percent.”

Other polls show Walker leading by 5 or 12 points. The only question now seem to be whether Walker will win by a lot or a little. And then there will be the matter of whom to blame.

The most significant take-away from a big Walker victory may be the realization that voters “get” the problem with public-employee unions, understand there is no way to practice fiscal sobriety and little chance for good government reforms so long as Big Labor lines the pockets of politician who turn around and give the public employee unions lavish pay and benefits plus work rules that inhibit greater efficiency. If that becomes widely known — and how could it not? — the issue of public-employee unions becomes an issue in virtually all races and Obama love affair with Big Labor becomes a liability.

In the short run, this puts Wisconsin in play for the presidential race and improves the VP prospects for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) But those are minor compared to the revolution in government reform and the nightmare for the Democratic Party, which has long been a ward of organized labor.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.


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