One of the several good things about the failure of the union attempt to recall Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin is that the unions spent a huge amount of money on the unsuccessful effort. No, I don’t like to see members’ dues being squandered. But it’s always good to see that sometimes in politics ideas triumph over money. Democrats did win two of the six elections. This was not, however, as Christian Schneider notes in National Review, a victory on the issues:
In what might have been the most costly abstinence program in history, national unions dumped tens of millions of dollars in Wisconsin – yet their only notable accomplishment was to recall Republican state senator Randy Hopper, whose priapic misadventures sunk his campaign from the start. Polling leading up to the recall election showed voters were just fine with Hopper’s vote to scale back public-sector collective bargaining; they just weren’t so fine with his alleged affair with a then-25-year-old capitol staffer.
GOP state senator Dan Kapanke also lost in a district that Obama carried by 20 points.
In addition to demonstrating that money isn’t everything, the failure of the union recall effort in Wisconsin showed that more people are beginning to understand that collective bargaining by public unions is stacked against the public. They are bargaining with public officials who have every incentive to give them what they want since the taxpayer will pay up. There may also have been voters who didn’t like the unseemly union protests against Gov. Scott Walker, who took on the unions over collective bargaining.
David Freddoso writes:
“The people” were supposed to be on the side of the unions who protested at the state capitol when Walker’s bill passed, limiting the unions’ collective bargaining privileges against taxpayers and school districts. But it turns out that “the people” had other ideas. In the end, even a massive infusion of cash and union volunteers was not enough to deliver the three state Senate recall races the unions needed, despite the fact that President Obama carried all six of the seats in question in 2008.
Freddoso also noted:
It hasn’t hurt that Walker’s reforms have dramatically helped school districts within the state save millions of dollars by abolishing the main Wisconsin teachers’ union’s insurance racket. Nor does it hurt that Wisconsin, under the business-friendly leadership of Walker and a Republican state legislature, created more than half of the jobs created in the United States during the month of June.