Amy Kremer, the head of the Tea Party Express nicely summarized what’s at stake in Tuesday’s recall elections when she spoke in North Fond du Lac Sunday:
“This is ground zero for the 2012 campaign,” Kremer said. “And the reason this is happening … is because we are a threat to their power. We are going to take away the power of the unions. It’s not the union bosses that should control the government, it’s we the people and our elected representatives.”
The public employee unions, remember, have lied throughout the recall campaigns about why the recall elections are taking place. They claimed the Walker campaign said nothing about wanting to curb public employee collective bargaining, which was provably false. And they haven’t uttered the magic words “collective bargaining” at all when asserting that the recall elections are about Gov. Scott Walker’s alleged radical agenda (because if you’re not a Republican, balanced budgets are radical?) and the current Legislature’s unwillingness to spend more money on education or social services or institute 100-percent taxes on all of the “rich” and evil corporations.
Another example of revisionist history comes from the mouth of Mark Zillges, president of the Mercury Marine union, who appears to have buyer’s remorse over the contract his union’s employees signed with Mercury Marine to prevent the company from ending its Fond du Lac manufacturing operations. Zillges now claims that Sen. Randy Hopper (R–Fond du Lac) “shamelessly has been exaggerating on television ads his role in the fight to keep Mercury Marine in Wisconsin.”
That is a claim neither Zillges nor anyone else was making when Hopper talked about phoning Gov. James Doyle during a wedding in the early days of the efforts to keep Mercury Marine in Wisconsin. I know that because I was at the press conference at Mercury Marine when Doyle specifically credited Hopper’s efforts in keeping Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac. (Along with the efforts of many others. And here’s a sound bite to prove it.) I’m not sure if Zillges was at that press conference, but Zillges’ superiors at the International Association of Machinists were there. I also know that Doyle, Hopper, IAM officials and others were at Marian University’s Business & Industry Awards when they were all honored for their efforts at preventing more than 10,000 (direct and indirect) jobs from leaving Fond du Lac.
I doubt any reader will be surprised at my strong suggestion that you vote for the six Republicans — Hopper, Sens. Robert Cowles (R–Green Bay), Alberta Darling (R–River Hills), Sheila Harsdorf (R–River Falls), Luther Olsen (R–Ripon) and Dan Kapanke (R–La Crosse) — against their illegitimate Democratic opposition in the illegitimate recall elections. Each did what grownups in office do — they made the difficult but correct decision to wrest control of state government from the public employee unions, which are a blight on the Wisconsin landscape. Each decided in favor of a budget that is much closer to balanced than anything the previous governor and Legislature created in the entirety of the Doyle administration. Each made the decision that the state’s business climate needed to be vastly improved from what the Walker administration inherited in January.
(One other item about Hopper: Whether you agree with his, shall we say, personal decisions, I find it interesting that Hopper is getting criticized from Democrats and their apparatchiks over what’s going on in his personal life. President Bill Clinton was accused of “bimbo eruptions,” and we were told at the time that sex is a private matter. The Democrats’ supporters’ discovery of personal morality seems conveniently timed, doesn’t it?)
Back on July 12 I pointed out the reasons that the Democratic candidates that won their primaries were bad choices. Nothing that has happened since has caused me to change my mind. Particularly Rep. Fred Clark (D–Baraboo), who still has yet to give a good answer to the question of why anyone in the 14th Senate District should vote for him … or, for that matter, why anyone in the 42nd Assembly District should vote for him in November 2012.
There has, in fact, been no legitimate alternative vision raised by any Democratic candidate for governing the state other than essentially going back to the way things were before the Nov. 2 election — higher taxes, yet more red budget ink, and public employee union control of every level of government. Wisconsinites knew exactly what they were getting when they chose to not choose Democrats left and, well, left Nov. 2. And there is no reason to change horses in the middle of the stream.