Petition Check

In March, the #Wisconsin Government Accountability Board certified 900,939 signatures on a petition to recall Governor Scott Walker. Apparently, they found 4,001 duplicate names, and struck 26,109 incomplete signatures. They discovered only 5 fake names.

Whether the latter number strains your credulity depends on whether your name is Eric Holder, I suppose. I find it unlikely that there weren’t more bogus names. After all, there were as many University of Wisconsin doctors violating professional ethics in order to write fake “illness” excuses for Madison protestors a very short time ago.

Yesterday, Wisconsin held a primary to select candidates for the recall election. In total, 670,278 people voted in the Democrat primary. This means nearly a quarter million (230,661) of those who signed the recall petition didn’t vote for a Democrat. There are many conclusions that might be drawn.

1. The names weren’t fake, they just weren’t living people.
2. The 230,000 voted for Scott Walker. Though he was effectively unopposed, he garnered 626,538 votes.
3. Social pressure to sign the petitions was high, and many people signed a petition they did not believe in.
4. The 230,000 didn’t vote. They were turned off by overreaching Union tactics.

Evidence supporting number 3 is that the recall petition was heavily, nearly exclusively, Big Union driven. They managed to get a large number of signatures, but 25% came from people who didn’t care about the result of the primary they helped initiate.

Evidence supporting number 4 is that the preferred Big Union candidate needed a huge turnout to win, which she didn’t get, even though unions spent heavily on negative ads against her opponent – now the Democrat candidate for governor. Among other things, the unions said he was just like Scott Walker. We can only hope.

If we accept numbers 3 and 4 above as explanatory, we get a good demonstration of why unions want to eliminate the secret ballot from union organizing activities. This is known popularly as “Card Check.” Card Check proposes to dramatically change union certification rules. Under existing law, workers are allowed to vote for or against unionization in a federally supervised secret ballot election. Under Card Check, proposed by Orwellian inclined Democrats as the “Employee Free Choice Act,” if more than 50% of workers at a facility sign a card, the government must certify the union. A secret ballot election would be prohibited, whether workers want one or not.

By forcing workers to sign a card in public — instead of vote in private — Card Check is a recipe for intimidation and coercion.

What people do in private is different from what they do when a union rep is breathing down their neck.

Yes, it’s about power

Another must read “Best of the Web Today” from James Taranto:

The privileged are revolting in Wisconsin.

To make sense of what’s going on in Wisconsin, it helps to understand that the left in America lives in an ideological fantasy world. The dispute between the state government and the unions representing its employees is “about power,” Paul Krugman of the New York Times observes accurately, before going off the rails:

What [Gov. Scott] Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin–and eventually, America–less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy. And that’s why anyone who believes that we need some counterweight to the political power of big money should be on the demonstrators’ side.

What an idiot is this Nobel Prize winner, Krugman. Anyone who thinks the corporatist whores need to be balanced by public sector unions has made (at least) two serious errors.

One, many corporations, particularly large corporations, pander for government favors, like GE under Immelt. They cooperate enthusiastically with government restrictions on speech and promote privacy invasion, like Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page (whose motto should be stated – “Don’t do anything doubleplus ungood.”). They promote regulatory regimes calculated to damage their competitors; again see GE and Google – and don’t forget Big Pharma’s deals to secure Obamacare.

Mostly, that’s “mere” regulatory interference. The regulatory costs are greater (in treasure and in moral erosion), but less obvious than the TARP-based looting on behalf of the bankers, insurance companies and car makers which woke many people up.

We’re pissed at “big corporate money” for EXACTLY the same reason we’re pissed at public sector unions. Neither has any regard for the people paying for their privilege. The common, enabling element is Big Government, without which neither Immelt nor Stern could get away with their scams. Krugman would have us pit GE’s CEO, Immelt, against SEIU’s President-for-Life Stern. I have no idea how he makes this determination, but I think Immelt is more despicable. Andy Stern never pretended he considered capitalism to be a good idea.

Two, public sector unions are part and parcel of the corporatist axis. They certainly are no counterweight. More “green” jobs means more tax-breaks to administer and more money to control. More taxes, and remember corporations don’t pay them, means more in salaries and benefits for public sector union employees. More taxes means more movie, battery, ethanol, windmill and tourism advertising subsidies – and more public sector jobs to administer the loot.

Finally, on the intent of Krugman’s argument: That it is evil, self-interested capitalists behind the critique of public sector unions – we need to assert that no one may be called a capitalist who does not believe in free markets. Capitalists do not seek advantage by manipulating government regulation. They do not take bailouts. They do not attempt to subvert Constitutional protections for their own amusement. No, those are Fascists.

And we should remind him that FDR said much the same thing. He opposed public sector unions.

Prescient post of the yearGiven what’s going down in Wisconsin

Just after reports of NY City union members’ slowdown in snow clearing as a negotiating tactic, Tom Smith, at The Right Coast, had this to say.

If the argument is, some [government] functions are too critical to public safety to put in private hands, then that is an argument against allowing them to be unionized. If unionized, then the state no longer has a monopoly on the power exercised by that arm, which is the whole idea of putting it in the public sphere. So if you can’t have private police forces running around, let’s say, then it makes no sense to have the monopolized force of the state colonized or even dominated by a union with interests frequently opposed to those of the public.

Some people in NYC died because the snow prevented public safety personnel from getting to them. The Snow Plowers Union didn’t think about that one way or the other.

Why should they? The interests of public-sector unions are necessarily not congruent with the public interest. Even FDR opposed unionization of government employees, because of the moral hazard involved.

That, of course, is the problem Mr. Smith brilliantly and succinctly points out. It applies equally well to the arguments of teachers’ unions. Simply change the words “public safety” to “public education.”

You go, Governor Walker. Stay the course. Governor Snyder can use a moral example.