As we watch the election results pour in from Wisconsin, where public sector unions have pushed through a recall vote against six Republicans, it is becoming increasingly clear that Republicans have retained control of the Wisconsin state legislature. This is a massive victory for smaller government.
To review, public sector unions rammed through a recall effort against six Republican legislators in an attempt to overturn Governor Scott Walker’s legislation ending collective bargaining privileges for public sector employees. The importance of that legislation was clear: Wisconsin, like other states, has been held hostage by the benefits and pay requirements guaranteed to public sector unions.
The unions fought back. In this election, they poured in more than $14 million to the Senate races. That’s not counting member-to-member communications and issue advocacy numbers, according to the invaluable MacIver Institute.
If Democrats had won back the Senate less than a year after Republicans took control, there is little doubt that the liberal media would have claimed that Republicans overreached in their attempts to cut back spending. They would have called the population of Wisconsin “moderate” and said that this was an excellent omen for Democrats in 2012. None of that would have been true. Republicans did not overreach; they did what was necessary. And this is not any sort of predictor for Democrats in 2012 – Wisconsin is a blue state, and money has outsized influence.
Nonetheless, the recall effort provides a warning for Republicans: money matters. President Obama is expected to raise upward of $1 billion in the next election cycle. Democrats will raise astounding sums from their friends on Wall Street and in Hollywood, as well as in the unions – and that’s not counting all the covert foreign cash and front-Soros money likely to swell coffers. That money will be put to nefarious use.
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