Thanks, you’re fired

As far as we can tell, that headline sums up what government employee unions and Democratic Party operatives would have Wisconsin voters say to Governor Walker a couple of weeks from now.

“Thanks,” because within just a few months of taking office in 2011, Walker put the state on course to resolve a three-billion dollar deficit without raising taxes and without laying-off government employees.

The latest proof that Walker is getting it right is the word this past week from the Department of Revenue saying the state is on track to be $154 million to the good when the two-year budget period ends in 2013. Quite a change from the Jim Doyle years of rolling one deficit into another, kicking the can down the road because it was thought that being responsible would also be politically unpleasant.

It turns out not to have been very unpleasant at all, except for the 15 months of shrieking from the people who can’t get it through their heads that their jobs have been saved.

An Associated Press story published last Thursday tells you everything worth knowing about how things would work under a Barrett administration. Barrett spokesman Phil Walzak said 1) he didn’t believe the surplus numbers could be trusted, meaning, we suppose, he doesn’t believe the money will really be there; and 2) The money should be used to increase state spending.

Maybe he’s just trying to be thorough.

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An arithmetic problem

More than one commentator has remarked about the missing voters in last Tuesday’s primary. But as dramatic as the numerical drop-off may appear, it’s not unprecedented and it’s no reason to assume the June 5 election is wrapped up for Governor Walker.

We refer to the large drop-off from the number of recall petition signatures filed with the Government Accountability Board (GAB), compared with the votes cast for Democrats in the primary.

Let’s assume the near-20,000 who voted for Walker’s opponent in the Republican primary pick Tom Barrett in June.

That would give Walker opponents a combined total of 690,208 votes. Set aside Walker’s amazing performance, attracting more votes in his near-meaningless primary than the top two Democrats combined. Voters who want somebody else in the governor’s office still outnumbered Walker loyalists by almost 64,000.

The GAB says recall supporters filed 900,939 signatures. We take that number with a large grain of salt, but lacking a better one… Subtract votes cast for Walker opponents from signatures filed, and you discover 210,731 primary-day no-shows. The drop-off slightly exceeds 23 percent.

The two-part lesson: 1) There is a serious commitment gap on the pro-recall side; and 2) Lazily assuming that gap means Governor Walker is safe is the surest possible way to let Tom Barrett pull off a sickening upset June 5th.

Flushed with victory, Barrett bowls over opponents

With almost everybody predicting his primary victory was a sure thing, we suppose it’s only natural that Tom Barrett’s Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District got caught dumping 16,000 gallons of raw sewage into the Kinnickinnick River during the recent rain storms, something about which we hope to hear a great deal more in the 27 days before the Mayor faces Wisconsin voters for real.

So what did we learn from Tuesday’s primary?

  • Democrats regard government employee unions as their reliable stooges but aren’t interested in their advice. How else to explain union candidate Kathleen Falk losing her own, union-heavy Dane county by a 62-31 percent margin? Barrett defeated Falk statewide by 58-34 percent.
  • Despite getting no respect from the party that consumes countless millions of dollars of their members’ dues payments, the government unions are still capable of causing a great deal of harm. The recall—of which they’ve obviously lost control—would not be happening at all except for their efforts.
  • The June 5 election will be a close contest and Barrett could win. Democrats turned out 670-thousand votes in yesterday’s primary election. That’s more than two-thirds of Barrett’s total in the 2010 general election, when there were plenty of other reasons for people to get out and vote.

All told, 1.3 million people voted in the primary, compared with 2.1 million in November 2010.

The truly encouraging news is that 626,538 people turned out to cast their vote for Governor Walker in a non-contested Republican primary.    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Craig Gilbert explains the history and significance of Tuesday’s vote:

The astonishing number of votes Gov. Scott Walker generated in an uncompetitive GOP primary, more votes than Barrett and Falk combined and almost as many as were cast for all the candidates on the Democratic side.  It’s just not normal in politics for a major incumbent with token opposition to generate turnout on a par with a heavily contested race in the other party. It was an unexpected turnout bomb, a demonstration of Walker’s greatest political asset, even greater than his considerable money advantage — the ability to mobilize his base.

Now that we’ve seen the numbers generated by the most motivated voters on both sides, how many more will turn out for the June 5 showdown and can Governor Walker get enough of their votes to win?

Call Tuesday’s exercise a test vote, and take nothing for granted.

Energize your defenses

Even if you didn’t know one other thing about Tom Barrett, his talk of creating jobs by spending your money to stimulate renewable energy projects is enough to fill in all the blanks.

Green energy has been giving off a bad odor, thanks to the string of spectacular bankruptcies that have cost taxpayers billions. Worse yet, these overgrown science-fair projects are a contemptible scam built on the back of another contemptible scam.

Many have been lulled into overlooking the environmental costs; the slaughter of birds and bats, the obscene defacement of rural landscapes; the destruction of wildlife habitat, because it’s claimed the planet needs saving from greenhouse emissions.

That’s nonsense.

Despite a frantic building boom aimed at capturing massive subsidies, renewables meet a trifling two-or-so percent of energy needs and good luck guessing which day or hour they’ll be working. And because no one can guess, fossil-fueled generation runs all the time, even if unused, to backstop fickle renewables on a moment’s notice. You pay for redundant generation and emissions continue regardless.

The Barrett jobs program consists of windmills that contribute nothing useful and trains nobody will ride. We know maybe three people who can afford to live in a state where ideology dictates the cost and availability of energy. Of course those people can also afford to leave.

A majority is not enough

It’s been said that conservative candidates running in any voting district with a city or a university campus, needs a majority of the votes plus a couple percent more to remain ahead in the count after absorbing the impact of fraud.

Recent days brought fresh warnings.

John Fund has made a specialty of pursuing these issues. In National Review last week, he showed why it’s such a fruitful field of study:

Just this week in Fort Worth, Texas, a Democratic precinct chairwoman was indicted on charges of arranging an illegal vote. Hazel Woodard James has been charged with conspiring with her non-registered son to have him vote in place of his father. The only reason the crime was detected was that the father showed up later in the day to vote at the same precinct.

Just as ominously, billionaire George Soros, will reportedly devote some of his idle millions to spending for “Get out the Vote” efforts on behalf of Democrats.
That translates into “Warm up the Union Buses.”  Election workers at Wisconsin polling places should be prepared to see a lot of new faces this year.

The moral of the story: Every Conservative voter who makes an excuse or somehow forgets to show up for any election in the foreseeable future is exposing all other Conservative voters to a heightened risk of having their votes nullified by fraud and the election stolen.

What’s it all about?

Next week, Democrats will have their nominee. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has been favored in the primary contest to oppose Governor Walker. This must be perplexing for Democrats.

Of course that statement is a trick. Any of their four contestants would make a perplexing candidate for Democrats: Barrett, because he applied the Governor’s collective bargaining reforms which, once upon a time, were the premier motive for the recall; Kathleen Falk, because everyone knows she put the gubernatorial veto pen up for sale at the price of union endorsements; Douglas LaFollette and Kathleen Vinehout because…well, they are Douglas LaFollette and Kathleen Vinehout.

But while Barrett and Falk are the only two with a serious chance in the primary, it may not matter much who Democrats choose.

Even those who reject the idea of a recall at least used to think we knew why the thing was happening. That seems so long ago.

And polling reveals an electorate that is unethusiastic about the recall—even voters who aren’t fond of Scott Walker.

It’s not good if normal people, tired of being hounded, tune out. Those who prefer not to spend time worrying about political intrusions into their lives need to realize those intrusions will continue and proliferate unless they personally administer a blistering defeat to the Left on June 5th.  A June election decided by hand-to-hand combat between the activist base of the Democrats, the Republican/Conservative base, and few others, will be a hair-raising affair.

The ordeal has already gone on too long but the formal campaign is tightly compressed, and for the past several days its repetitive theme has been the question, why are we going though this?

It’s not about the jobs—or is it?

Does Tom Barrett fall short as a political strategist? He has, after all, been trying to run on the issue of jobs in next month’s recall election. Is this a colossal bluff; a desperate hope that if he talks about it enough, no one will notice how bad his performance has been?

Good luck, Mr. Mayor. Even with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s deflector shields fully deployed to obscure his record, Barrett can’t keep the rest of Wisconsin from finding out that under his aimless leadership Milwaukee is a graveyard for jobs.

Surely March was a disappointment. Wisconsin lost 4,500 jobs. But there’s more to it than that: 4,400 were in Barrett’s Milwaukee.

It needn’t be this way, except for Liberal ideological purity. For instance, not one Democrat, Barrett included, spoke up when a single vote in the State Senate would have opened the door to thousands of jobs building an iron mine and the machinery to operate it.

Instead, Barrett fixates on “investing” your tax money in  a two-mile, hundred-million dollar trolley line and wind energy systems—just as people wake up to the expensive failure of “green energy” to deliver either environmental benefits or reliable power.

If Wisconsin struggles with job creation, it’s not because Scott Walker curbed government union collective bargaining. It’s because private-sector job-creators fear Walker could be gone in a month and a Leftist governor could be trying to rig up a tax-financed economy with science-fair energy projects and passenger-rail money pits.

The March unemployment rate was 6.8 percent for Wisconsin and 8.2 percent nationwide. In the City of Milwaukee, it was 10.4 percent. If you’re wondering how to make jobs disappear, don’t call Scott Walker. Don’t even call Barack Obama. Call Tom Barrett. He seems to have the secret.