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August 10, 2011

GOP Victory In Wisconsin Could Reverberate Around Country

So headlines the Washington Times.

A stand by Wisconsin Republicans against a massive effort to oust them from power could reverberate across the country as the battle over union rights and the conservative revolution heads toward the 2012 presidential race.

But the left counts it as a win:

“The fact of the matter remains that, fighting on Republican turf, we have begun the work of stopping the Scott Walker agenda,” said state Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate.

Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, said voters sent a message that there is a growing movement to reclaim the middle class.

“Let’s be clear, anyway you slice it, this is an unprecedented victory,” he said.

Something to keep in mind: While they claim they were playing on Republican turf, that wasn't true in one of the districts, and the other district we lost regrettably featured an incumbent who had an affair with a 25 year old intern and then moved out of the district itself.

In addition, the left outspent us 2 to 1 on advertising, and the unions nationalized the elections, pushing hard for a coalition-of-government-dependent turnout.

They still lost. As "controversial" as Walker's program was, we only lost our two most vulnerable senators.

Next Tuesday we can try to win back one of the lost seats, as two Democrats, Wirch and Holperin, themselves stand for recall.

People say Holperin is vulnerable -- which he might be. This chart shows the vote in the various districts in the 2004 and 2008 elections.

In Holperin's district, Obama got 53% to McCain's 46%. But in 2004, Bush got 53% to Kerry's 46% (yes, an exact flip-flop).

So he's actually in a Bush district, and I can't believe his district is as Democratic as it seemed in 2008.

In addition, of course, they already lost, so there will likely be a fall-off in voter interest -- "Let's keep the score close, at least!" is not a rallying cry likely to motivate a team that's already lost.

Wirch's district is tougher, as it went for Kerry by 51%, but who knows. That's not a blow-out.

I also need to highlight this, which Drew posted last night: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel published an op-ed beginning...

Sky isn't falling

Gov. Scott Walker's so-called tools will help at least some local governments deal with cuts in state aid. Tough choices and pain remain, but give the governor some credit.

Aug. 9, 2011 |(81) COMMENTS

So it turns out that the sky isn't going to fall on all local governments in Wisconsin. The numbers now starting to come in show that Gov. Scott Walker's "tools" for local governments apparently will help at least some of them deal with cuts in state aid imposed by the state budget.

That's contrary to the expectation and the rhetoric of critics in the spring, and it's to Walker's credit. It bears out the governor's assessment of his budget-repair bill, although we still maintain he could have reached his goals without dealing a body blow to public employee unions.

Local government officials also need to keep in mind that not all governments will share equally - Milwaukee County is one example - and that tough choices remain. And state legislators should make adjustments in any follow-on budget-repair bill to make sure that any pain is fairly shared.

But the news is good for many. The latest example is Milwaukee, where the most recent estimates show the city with a net gain of at least $11 million for its 2012 budget. That will take a slice out of the city's structural deficit, which is created by costs rising faster than revenue, and will reduce cuts that Mayor Tom Barrett and the Common Council must impose.

Although this op-ed has yesterday's date, it actually will be published today, safely after the elections.

Apparently it was posted on-line at 6:20 PM, with polls almost closed, ensuring that the truth would not make an unexpected 11th hour Han Solo like appearance in the fight.


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posted by Ace at 11:40 AM

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