Wisconsin's Recall Election
Virtually no differences exist between two candidates on issues mattering most.
by Stephen Lendman
Winter 2011 witnessed an epic worker rights battle. Wisconsin public workers challenged Republican Governor Scott Walker.
He won round one. Workers get another chance. On June 5, they'll choose between him and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Neither offers much choice. More on that below. Lieutenant governor and four senate seats are also up for grabs.
On June 1, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel headlined "Barrett, Walker bring out political stars," saying:
Barrett lured Bill Clinton. Republican party spokesman Ben Sparks asked why him and not Obama. Walker countered with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, "a rising star of the Republican Party."
In late 2011 and early 2012, around one million recall signatures were collected. It was nearly double the required amount.
Walker represents union-busting and eroding collective bargaining rights en route to ending them altogether. He also imposed draconian wage and benefit cuts on public workers.
Both candidates support monied, not popular interests. Wisconsin Democrats aren't much better choices than Republicans. Regardless of who wins on Tuesday, labor rights lose. Wisconsin reflects what's happening across America. It's bad and getting worse.
Bipartisan force-fed austerity means lower living standards, increased layoffs, fewer jobs, mostly low pay/poor benefit part-time ones, and private workers harmed like public ones.
In February and March 2011, Wisconsin public workers and students protested daily against Walker's so-called "Budget Repair Bill."
It was a corporate coup d'etat. It eroded state, county and municipal worker collective bargaining rights. It forced them to pay thousands of dollars in health and pension benefit costs. It pitted workers against politicians allied with corporate bosses. They battled on their own without union help.
It was the most impressive worker struggle in decades. It didn't end when Walker's budget passed. It won't on Tuesday. Wisconsin public workers are energized. They won't yield easily. They haven't so far. They face long odds but won't quit.
On March 10, 2011, Wisconsin's legislature passed Walker's Budget Repair Bill (Wisconsin Act 10). On March 11, he signed it into law.
The same day, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk sued to stop what she called unconstitutional.