Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 6th, 2012 Edition

Walker, Unbowed
by the editors
June 5, 2012 

The year-long saga of the Wisconsin recall is, at long last, over, and Scott Walker is still standing. The low-key Republican governor has withstood a sustained (and expensive) onslaught from the forces of Big Labor and its allies on the Left that featured everything from the coordinated cross-border retreat of intransigent Democratic lawmakers, to the occupation of the state house by a band of radicals, bongo drummers, and high school truants, to ill-fated attempts to nullify Republican legislative majorities and pick off uncooperative judges. Walker’s enemies did everything but release the kraken.

And yet, he won. Throughout, Walker has stayed even-keeled, evincing—if not exactly cockiness, then something like the fatalism and serenity of an innocent man in the middle of a trial for his life. An equanimity, and a faith that his reforms would be embraced by Wisconsin voters, that turns out to have been fully warranted.

Walker won because his reform program is popular, and because it is working. The governor’s personal approval numbers in Wisconsin hover around 50 percent — not bad for a man who most Wisconsinites have seen Photoshopped into a Hitler mustache and Nazi regalia at least once in the last year. But more telling is the popularity of Walker’s reforms. According to one recentReason-Rupe poll, 72 percent of Wisconsinites favor the requirement that public-sector workers increase their pension contributions to 6 percent of their salaries. And 71 percent favor making government employees pay 12 percent instead of 6 percent of their health-care premiums.

Democrats Excuse Wisconsin Defeat as Republicans Tout a Swing Victory
by Neil Munro
June 6, 2012

President Barack Obama’s campaign tried to excuse and downplay the Democrats’ 7-point defeat in Wisconsin, while Republican supporters argued the results will swing the state toward the GOP in November.

“While tonight’s outcome was not what we had hoped for … hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites from all walks of life took a stand against the politics of division and against the flood of secret and corporate money,” said a statement released by the Obama campaign’s Wisconsin director, Tripp Wellde.

Wellde cited exit polls that showed that Obama would win 52 percent of the vote against Gov. Mitt Romney. The poll “clearly demonstrate a very steep pathway for Mitt Romney to recover in the state.”

But the exit polls underestimated Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s victory and predicted that the race would be much closer than it was.

Read more:

Wisconsin’s Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch survives recall
by John Gizzi
June 5, 2012

gizzi-kleefisch-wins05JUNE2012WAUKESHA, Wisc. — Republicans got a “two-fer” in Wisconsin Tuesday, as he AP projected Republican Lieutenant Governor Rebeccah Kleefisch an easy winner in the nationally watched recall elections. The former television news anchor, the first to be a lieutenant governor in U.S. history, appeared to be rolling up 57 percent of the vote over Democrat and Firefighters Union leader Mahlon Mitchell.

Embattled Gov. Scott Walker managed to garner an unexpected 55 percent of the vote over Democrat Tom Barrett. Walker even improved his numbers from his 2010 bout with Barrett in Dane County (Madison), home of the University of Wisconsin.

In two of the four races for open state senate seats, Republicans emerged triumphant — State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald surviving a recall and State Rep. Jerry Pietrowksi winning the special election for the Wausau seat of resigned State Sen.and fellow Republican Pam Galloway.

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