Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wisconsin and the Recalls

Union activists and Democrat operatives were busy over the last several months trying to obtain about 550,000 signatures on petitions to authorize a recall election for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the Lieutenant Governor, and several leading Republican Senators in the State Legislature.

With substantial fanfare, the recall proponents turned in nearly double the required number of signatures on the petitions.

These petitions are now undergoing a court-ordered verification by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.  This is court-ordered because the Democrat dominated Board originally declined to take the time or effort to verify the validity of the signatures on the petitions.  The Republican Party of Wisconsin objected to his and a judge ordered the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board to verify the signatures to ensure a sufficient number of valid signatures were collected for the recalls.  In addition to the work of the WAB, over 10,000 volunteers in Wisconsin have also signed up to investigate the petitions for fraud - and to hold the WAB accountable and responsible for their work.

The first such validation work has been completed, and based on samples from the petitions for the recall of several Republican State Senators, the petitions are rife with invalid signatures, duplicate pages, and fundamental errors which could mean that 24 out of every 37 signatures (about 60%) are invalid.  The review highlights the sloppy signature collection process with little or no oversight by the recall organizers which is leading towards a level of electoral fraud on an unprecedented level being perpetrated by those circulating the petitions.

Connecting electoral fraud with unions, the Democrats, and the political advocacy groups that are partnered with Democrats and unions is hardly a surprise.  This has been a concerted area of focus by these groups for at least a couple of decades.  In close elections, the level of fraud has made the difference between Democrat candidates losing - and Democrat candidates winning.

The American people are starting to wake up against the fraud being encouraged and perpetrated by the Democrats and their advocacy groups.

I also suspect that the American people, as evidenced by the Tea Party, are also starting to wake up to the false and destructive meme being advocated by the Democrats, their union supporters, and the progressive / left advocacy groups like ACORN. 

We are seeing this in Wisconsin where the tactics of the progressives and the Tea Party stood in stark contrast a year ago when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the Republican majority in the State Legislature started the legislative steps to address the fiscal problems in Wisconsin caused by the progressive pro-union policies.

As this process started, we were introduced to the 'fleebaggers' - the Democrat minority members of the State Senate who fled to Illinois in an effort to prevent a vote on the legislation knowing they lacked the votes or process to stop the legislation from passing.

Then the unions and the forerunners to OccupyWallStreet held destructive demonstrations at the State Capital before occupying the State Capital to prevent the democratic process from taking place.  During the occupation, millions of dollars of damage was done to the Capital.

Representatives from the teacher's unions, opposing the legislation, used their students as props in the demonstrations and shut down many of Wisconsin's schools for a week.  Sympathetic Doctors were in the protests providing the teacher's with 'official medical authorizations' for their absences so School Districts couldn't take action for teachers who neglected their duties to teach.

Contrasting these actions were two large weekend demonstrations by the Tea Party in support of Governor Walker and the Republican majority.  Equal or larger in size to the Democrat demonstrations, these witnessed no violence, no trashing of the Capital or Capital grounds, took place on weekends because the demonstrators had to work - these were a clear contrast in approach and values.

But most importantly for Governor Walker and the Republican majority for passing their legislation to enact major public sector union labor reforms is the fact that they are working - saving taxpayers in Wisconsin millions...
The collective-bargaining component of Walker’s plan has yielded especially large financial dividends for school districts. Before the reform, many districts’ annual union contracts required them to buy health insurance from WEA Trust, a nonprofit affiliated with the state’s largest teachers’ union. Once the reform limited collective bargaining to wage negotiations, districts could eliminate that requirement from their contracts and start bidding for health care on the open market. When the Appleton School District put its health-insurance contract up for bid, for instance, WEA Trust suddenly lowered its rates and promised to match any competitor’s price. Appleton will save $3 million during the current school year.
Appleton isn’t alone. According to a report by the MacIver Institute, as of September 1, “at least 25 school districts in the Badger State had reported switching health care providers/plans or opening insurance bidding to outside companies.” The institute calculates that these steps will save the districts $211.45 per student. If the state’s other 250 districts currently served by WEA Trust follow suit, the savings statewide could reach hundreds of millions of dollars.

Other states in fiscal challenges are trying these same reforms. In Massachusetts, at the same time destructive demonstrations were taking place in Wisconsin, the Democrat Governor and State Legislature enacted similar reforms to silence from the progressives and the mainstream media.

Ohio enacted similar reforms as well, however, after a $30-$35 million advertising campaign against the reforms by unions and progressives, Ohio voters reversed the reforms...and causing the fiscal problems to return.

When blinded by ideology - to many people in this country refuse to see the direct connection between the progressive policies, fiscal disaster, and public sector unions.

I hope that the GOP and GOP Presidential candidates point to Scott Walker and Wisconsin as a real success story for fiscal reform.

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