Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was apparently so touched by vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday that tears rolled from his eyes.
“When Gov. Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said, ‘Let’s get this done.‘ And that’s exactly what we are going to do,” Ryan said.
The cameras then went looking for a reaction from the crowd, and they found a sobbing Gov. Walker, a tear streaking down his cheek.
Watch the video here:
In 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker(R) served as the embodiment of the state by state battle to balance budgets and the best symbol of the struggle between the two political parties about how best to meet those fiscal challenges. His first year will extend well into his second year, quite likely culminating in a recall election to remove him from office.
He has dominated the political debate on both sides. Defining the issues. He is cited by both Democrats and Republicans as the best of example of what is wrong, or what is right with a conservative approach to government. Although they will never admit it, many Democratic governors are different from Walker only in a matter of degrees.
Nearly every governor, regardless of party, began the year saying the current path of expensive pension and benefit packages for public employees is unsustainable. The way the issue exploded in Wisconsin is as much a function of the legal and legislative tools at Walker’s disposal as it is about the specific route he chose to take.
This is why Governors Journal has selected Scott Walker as the 2011 Governor of the Year.
It is not accurate to say Scott Walker launched an unannounced attack on public employees. For decades, state and local government leaders have complained about government employee unions: Collective bargaining, growing benefit packages, under-funded pension systems and binding arbitration. The warning siren had howled.
As Idaho Governor Butch Otter(R) observed in one interview this year, the changes that occurred in 2011 could not have happened in the absence of the national economic collapse. In politics, things change when a crisis necessitates change.
That was the case this year in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Years of complaining about the problem led to action in state after state. Walker was faced with a larger crisis in Wisconsin, in large part, because the unions fighting his proposal to curtail collective bargaining rights had the help of a small group of Senate Democrats who fled the state, preventing a vote, for several weeks, as pro-union forces took over the Capitol in support.
Read more here.
Even if you don’t live in Wisconsin, your eyes should be on the Wisconsin recall votes taking place today. These recall votes are taking place in the wake of Wisconsin’s budget battle over union benefits. The six Republicans that are being challenged were targeted by unions for supporting Scott Walker’s budget bill. The two Democrats facing recall (their vote on August 16th) are some of those who fled the state and delayed the vote for weeks.
If the Democrats manage to unseat three or more Republicans, the Democrats would then gain control of the state Senate. While that would be an upset for state politics, it would really serve as an indication for how the 2012 elections will go. Actually — it would spell doom. If people are willing to turn out to unseat these Republicans and replace them with Democrats, Barack Obama and similarly supported union-backed candidates may be stronger than they appear in 2012. If they don’t, this will be a major sign that people are shying away from Democrats and their union ways, and they are ready to stand against union and liberal policies. Other states will look at this as an indicator of what they can expect if they try and challenge local unions.
Apparently Governor Scott Walker will be the next victim of these union recall efforts. Meanwhile, how are Scott Walker’s austerity measures working out for the state of Wisconsin and its taxpayers?
It seems like only yesterday that progressives were warning us about “politicizing the judiciary.” That was after Iowa’s voters declined last November to retain three Supreme Court justices who had ruled to overturn the state’s marriage law. Today, after a feverish and expensive campaign by unions to remove conservative Wisconsin Supreme CourtJustice David Prosser, you’ll hear no such talk. With last Tuesday’s election between Judge Prosser and liberal JoAnne Kloppenburg possibly headed for a recount, the progressive view can be summarized as follows: “Take that, Walker!”
That would be Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who signed a law on March 11 ending much of collective bargaining for the government employee unions that are bankrupting the state. The fight over the bill was a media bonanza, with Senate Democrats storming out and holing up in Illinois, angry mobs occupying the capitol in Madison, a government school teacher walkout, and multiple threats for retribution against GOP lawmakers.
After the law passed, the unions turned their attention to the April 5 Supreme Court election, throwing “judicial independence” to the winds. They reasoned, correctly, that flipping Justice Prosser’s seat to the liberal Ms. Kloppenburg could create a 4-3 liberal majority that could undo what Mr. Walker and the GOP legislature had wrought.
The unions pulled out all stops, holding rallies and pouring big bucks into TV and radio ads. Local 882 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) ran an anti-Prosser TV ad on its Facebook site. Likewise, AFSCME Local 1942 at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics ran anti-Prosser articles on its website and urged union members to vote for Ms. Kloppenburg. With conservative and business groups ponying up as well for a countercampaign supporting Justice Prosser, the normally boring judicial election brought out 1.5 million voters, or nearly double the usual tally. Ms. Kloppenburg originally appeared to win by a couple hundred votes. Now thousands of votes mistakenly left out of one county’s total have given Justice Prosser a commanding lead.
Read more here.