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**Posted by Phineas
That is, it’s good news that union bosses, progressives, and Democratic Party honchos (splitting hairs, I know) sank about $30,000,000 into a losing effort in last night’s state senate recall elections, money that they will desperately need elsewhere in 2012. It’s not so good if you’re a Labor boss, progressive, or Democrat (but I repeat myself) and have just seen that the old cheap tricks aren’t working like they used to. And it really stinks if you’re a union member who saw part of his or her mandatory, no-choice-in-the-matter dues flushed down a toilet.
In 2010, the people of Wisconsin elected a Republican legislature and a Republican governor who all campaign openly on the need for fiscal reform in the state, including the reform of public sector labor unions. They made no secret of this, and the people chose them. Then, in 2011, the duly-elected and democratically elected legislature and governor shocked everyone (who wasn’t paying attention) by actually trying to carry out their promises by introducing the necessary legislation.
The Left (let’s just use the collective term, for brevity’s sake) then did what any adult, mature, responsible faction that had lost a fair election would do: they threw a tantrum.
Eight Fourteen Democratic state senators tried to throw a monkey wrench into democracy by fleeing the state for Illinois (1), denying the senate a quorum and in clear dereliction of their duty. Meanwhile, their progressive allies unleashed their arsenal of reasoned discourse: they occupied the legislature (trashing it and the grounds), they held drum circles, they called their democratically-elected opponents Nazis, and they physically threatened Republican legislators, the governor, and their supporters.
And yet still those nasty Republicans wouldn’t listen to sweet reason; they passed the bill, anyway.
So the Left, being good democrats and respectful of the will of the People, did the next logical thing: they tried to overturn the results of the recent election by forcing recall elections for six Republican state senators. (Republicans retaliated by forcing recall elections for two Democrats next week.) They needed to win three to take control of the State Senate and hamstring Governor Walker’s agenda for at least the next several months.
And they lost:
Democrats won two state Senate seats in Tuesday’s historic recall elections, but failed to capture a third seat that would have given them control of the chamber.
By keeping a majority in the Senate, Republicans retained their monopoly on state government because they also hold the Assembly and governor’s office. Tuesday’s elections narrowed their majority – at least for now – from 19-14 to a razor-thin 17-16.
Republicans may be able to gain back some of the losses next week, when two Democrats face recall elections.
Democrats had hoped to block the Republican agenda by taking control of the Senate in the recall elections, but the GOP should be able to continue to advance its agenda.
“I think it’s a huge victory for us,” said John Hogan, director of the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate. “Voters gave us a mandate last fall. .?.?. They backed us up again (Tuesday). Voters told us loud and clear, ‘Stay the course. Things are working.'”
But Democrats claimed victory for the two seats they captured from Republicans.
“We went on their turf and we won on Republican turf,” said Mike Tate, chairman of the state Democratic Party. “We will not stop, we will not rest?.?.?.?until we recall (Gov.) Scott Walker.”
Yeah, good luck with that, Mike. Of the two seats you won, one is a heavily Democratic district and, in the other, the Republican was tainted by scandal. In the others you were beaten handily, even in one that was expected to be close. Your plot to seize control of the state senate is dead, and there’s a reasonable chance you could lose next week the two seats you gained this week.
In other words, Democrats, union bosses, and progressives, for your $30,000,000 and all your bussed in, slogan-chanting help, and even if you save those two seats next week, you’ll have won nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. Bupkis.
So go ahead, try to recall Walker next year. Take your campaign to save your corrupt, self-serving arrangements to other states. Spend all the money you can. It looks like a great idea.
EDIT: There were 14 state senators who went over the wire, not eight. Thanks to Steve in the comments.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)