The unions that have been fighting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s reforms have submitted petitions with well over the required number of signatures to force a recall election sometime this spring. Assuming the petitions hold up (and the Walker forces will, needless to say, be going over them carefully), the election will be held perhaps as early as April or as late as June.
It will be the second most important election to be held in 2012 and should be watched closely. If Walker prevails, then other governors will be empowered to pursue reform of public service unions, which have been bleeding state and local governments (and thus taxpayers) dry. If he loses, this necessary reform will be set back severely and one of the most retrogressive forces in American politics–unions–will get a new lease on life.
His reforms are working, as a new article in City Journal demonstrates.
I had the great good fortune to meet Governor Walker and even have a long conversation with him. He is a most impressive man. But what is perhaps most impressive is that he is so low-key, ego-free, ordinary-guy-type-guy. You would never guess he is a politician, let alone a sitting governor. He comes across as the sort of man you’d be delighted to learn has bought the house next door.
One story he told seems demonstrative. He was raking leaves this fall with a friend of his son who is living with them while he completes his senior year at school (his parents have moved). A car drove up and stopped. The driver rolled down the window, stuck his arm out, gave the governor a middle-finger salute, and drove off. Walker told the boy not to worry, that that sort of thing just comes with the territory. Then, a minute later, not one car but two stopped and their drivers rolled down their windows. “Oh, boy,” Walker thought, “Here we go again.” But instead of the bird, both men gave him an emphatic thumbs up before driving off. The boy turned to him and said, “Mr. Walker, did you arrange that?”
A recent poll, a random sample but admittedly one with a large margin of error, has him ahead by 2-to-1. If the poll this spring has him ahead by similar numbers, a new day in Wisconsin and even American politics will have dawned.