Open Thread: Union Boss Lowers Expectations for Walker Recall

Wisconsin Republican Scott Walker has been the target of government union bosses since he began talking about a series of small reforms designed to preserve state employee pensions without breaking the budget. Despite the crony millions being spent, however, Walker seems likely to be able to stave off the union attempt to depose him in a recall election.

That likelihood is perhaps what inspired AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka to lower expectations and already proclaim "victory," even if Walker is not defeated.

Appearing on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" show, Trumka explained that he believed the Wisconsin recall election is "not a test-run" for unions and that even if the recall fails, it still succeeded in intimidating governors who might be considering reasonable reforms of their government employees.

"Would you like to take this fight on?" he asked, rhetorically. "A year after you were in office, would you like to be in the fight of your life, spending $25-30 million to hold onto a seat that you were supposed to have for four years . . . would that embolden you? Not if you're sane and rational it wouldn't."

Unfortunately for Trumka's spin, even if Walker hadn't tried to reform pension plans and collective bargaining, he almost certainly would've been a big target for unions and Democrats, considering Wisconsin's historically strong liberal base.

That aside, it's quite interesting that the day before Wisconsin Democrats vote to select their nominee to replace Walker should he be recalled, Trumka is already discussing at length the idea that Walker might remain in office.

Campaigns & Elections Open Thread Scott Walker
Matthew Sheffield's picture