(David Mansdoerfer) – Two days ago, Republicans in Wisconsin held on to the State Senate after a massive attempt by Democrats and labor unions to recall 6 State Senators. What does this tell us? Well, if we try and analyze voting trends, this outcome means relatively nothing. Both sides ran extensive Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaigns. Both sides had equal incentive to vote. Both sides spent a ton of money.
Yet, the repercussions of this recall can be felt all the way to Carson City, Nevada. Yes, Governor Brian Sandoval should look at the outcome in Wisconsin as an affirmation that he should/must take on Nevada’s public sector unions.
As we all know, Wisconsin has been the battle ground over union power. During the debate over collective bargaining for teacher unions, Democrat legislators even fled the state to try and stop Governor Walker from enacting his budget – which stripped teachers of their collective bargaining rights.
Once Governor Walker’s budget passed, several union officials started planning to overthrow Governor Walker and the state legislators that voted for his budget. During the election cycle, We Are Wisconsin, a coalition of labor unions, spent $8.8 million to defeat Republican incumbents.
Each race was hard fought. Yet, in the end, Republicans managed to hold on to the Senate winning four out of the six races. Additionally, next week, two Democrats are up for recall. This could shift power in the Senate even more in favor of Republicans if one or both of those Democrats lose.
By holding onto the Senate, the voters of Wisconsin have shown their support for Governor Walker. Governor Walker, after all of the protests, hate speech, and threats has survived a bout with the lefts most powerful organizations – public sector unions.
Now that Governor Walker has survived, Governor Sandoval should see that taking on the public sector unions isn’t political suicide. Depending on the next election, and if Republicans can take power in the State Senate, issues like collective bargaining, prevailing wages and pensions need to be on bargaining table.
For too long, Republicans have feared openly confronting the power of the public sector unions. Now, Republican governors from across the nation should follow Governor Walker’s example and put these issues up for discussion.
Governor Sandoval should strike while the iron is hot. If he waits too long, he will find that Republicans went back to cowering under the fear of public sector unions.
(David Mansdoerfer if the Director of Federal Affairs for Citizen Outreach)