Our neighbors in the Badger state went to the polls yesterday to decide if they should recall Scott Walker as governor. Gov. Walker's bold action depleted the strength of public employee unions in Wisconsin. Union collective bargaining power was stifled in an effort to curtail some of the bulging contract settlements that had placed that state in a fiscal pinch. Were his actions against the public employee union one of the determining factors in this recall election?
Unions have pumped millions of dollars into the campaign to reverse the governor's action. The Center for Public Integrity estimated that $63.5 million was spent by the two candidates and the independent groups in this recall election.
Walker has received millions from Wisconsin voters who are content with his actions that have basically placed the state in a position to climb out of the financial pit that was dug by the previous administration that occupied the governor's mansion in Madison.
While the cash infusion into this recall race is impressive, it's not the big picture. What is? It's whether powerful unions will continue to control contracts between the state and big unions. Wisconsin, like other states in the U.S., has been spending beyond the ability to sustain contract demands. Health care for employees, retirement benefits, and lucrative contracts have nearly bankrupted states like Wisconsin.
Heading into yesterday's election the governor had a seven point lead in state polling.
A huge voter turnout, 60 to 65 percent of eligible voters, was expected in yesterday's vote.
What impact will the decision in Wisconsin have on the presidential election in the fall? Many viewed this as a test of the president's potential to draw independents in the Badger state as he did in 2008. "The Walker recall race has drawn a great deal of notice outside the state because of its potential implications for the future of unions and the presidential race...," according to the New York Times.
The vote is in and the winner is the people of the state of Wisconsin.