Wisconsin goes to the polls to replace anti-union Governor
FURTHER UPDATE (I promise, I’ll stop now!) – the Democrats do appear to have won back control of the Wisconsin Senate by one seat, taking one of last night’s four Republican seats up for grabs. That would significantly weaken Governor Walker’s legislative powers, although there will be further elections in the fall.
UPDATE on Wednesday: sadly, it seems that Governor Walker’s massive spending – and some particularly dirty last minute tricks – worked and he retained his job. But there was good news for Obama’s re-election campaign, because despite re-electing Gov Walker, exit polls reported that Obama had a clear lead over Romney in this crucial swing state.
Tomorrow (Tuesday 5 June), voters in Wisconsin will have the chance to replace their Republican Governor Scott Walker who has waged war on public sector trade unionism. After a mammoth effort to recall the Governor and several state senators (including a petition of over a million signatures in a state with fewer than 6 million people), trade unionists and Democratic activists have spent the weekend getting the vote out, while Walker and his rich backers have been pouring tens of millions of dollars into advertising (he is said to be outspending the Democrats six-to-one).
He’s happy to throw money at his own re-election, but has ripped up collective bargaining, wage rises and health and pension benefits for ordinary people. And trade unions have branded him America’s worst Governor at job creation: in the last financial year, jobs in Wisconsin declined by 0.8% while they grew across the USA by 1.4%. Hopefully come Wednesday morning there will be just one more person unemployed in the Badger State.