Union-Boss Bid to Regain Control Over State Senate Falls Short
(Source: September 2011 NRTWC Newsletter)
Early this year, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) infuriated the union hierarchy, in his own state and nationally, when he introduced legislation (S.B.11) that would abolish forced union dues for teachers and many other public employees and also sharply limit the scope of union monopoly bargaining.
In response, teacher union bosses in Madison, Milwaukee, and other cities called teachers out on illegal strikes so they could stage angry protests at the state capitol.
Government union militants issued dozens of death threats against Mr. Walker, members of his administration, and their families. Fourteen union-backed state senators, all Democrats, temporarily fled the state to deny the pro-S.B.11 Senate majority a quorum to pass the bill.
In raucous demonstrations, union bigwigs and their radical followers actually suggested Mr. Walker’s support for public employees’ Right to Work made him similar to Mubarak, Mussolini, Stalin, Hitler, or even Satan.
Thanks in part to public support mobilized by the National Right to Work Committee’s e-mail and telecommunications activities, pro-Right to Work legislators were able to withstand the Big Labor fury and send S.B.11 to Gov. Walker’s desk. On March 11, he signed it into law.
‘I Can’t Even Phone Bank Because the Labor Temple Is Full’
Wisconsin’s Budget Repair Act of 2011, which withstood a union boss-inspired legal challenge and took effect in June, now protects the freedom of most public employees to refuse to bankroll an unwanted union, but leaves untouched the forced-dues privileges of public safety and transportation union bosses.
“Despite its unfortunate exclusions, this law represents a step forward for public employees’ free choice. And its curtailment of government union bosses’ monopoly privileges is already helping improve Wisconsin’s tax and private-sector employment climates,” said Committee Vice President Matthew Leen.
“Meanwhile, union bigwigs are out for revenge against Gov. Walker and the legislators who helped pass the Budget Repair Act.”
As part of its ongoing campaign to obtain vengeance and ultimately repeal the Budget Repair Act, early this year Big Labor launched petition campaigns for “recall” elections of Senate supporters of the measure.
Last month, special recall elections in which pro-forced unionism candidates challenged six pro-Right to Work senators took place. Three union-label Democrat senators who had opposed S.B.11 and temporarily fled the state to stop it from passing also faced recall votes this summer.
Big Labor and Democrat Party operatives were so determined to punish elected officials for daring to roll back government forced unionism that they poured a total of at least $20 million in cash alone, plus untold amounts of forced dues-funded “in-kind” contributions, into the nine state Senate races.
At 6 P.M. on August 9, the day six of the elections occurred, one Big Labor agent sent this boastful report from a local union hall: “I can’t even phone bank because the labor temple is full.”
AFL-CIO Czar Insinuates Wisconsin Governor May Be Ousted From Office
In the end, the unprecedentedly expensive legislative recall push by Big Labor enjoyed some success, as two of the six pro-S.B.11 senators went down to defeat, while all three forced-unionism senators held on to their seats.
However, the union political machine fell short of capturing the three seats it needed to relegate pro-S.B.11 Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) to minority status and reassume control of the chamber.
Nevertheless, national AFL-CIO czar Richard Trumka insinuated at an August 25 media event in Washington, D.C., that the Senate recall results actually show ousting Mr. Walker in a recall next year would not be too “difficult,” according to a Washington Examiner report.
“Scott Walker clearly remains in Big Labor’s gun sights,” Mr. Leen concluded.