Monday, April 18, 2011

The canary in the coal mine for the GOP

Justice Prosser may have won the election, but the battle over union rights is far from over and will play out in swing states in 2012.


The votes were totaled and a winner unofficially declared and reported far and wide by the media, including by my own blog. 204. That was the number of votes that separated the two contenders in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election battle royale between conservative incumbent David Prosser and liberal challenger, Joanne Kloppenburg. Considering that approximately 1.5 million votes were cast, this was bound not to be the last word in this election.

In fact, the very next day, nearly 14,000 votes were discovered that had not been tallied in the original total. After the dust cleared, the end result is that Prosser narrowly defeated Kloppenburg by 7,316 votes.

I had been hoping for Kloppenburg to remain on top as the election miscounts we've now come to virtually expect in America played out, despite her tenuous lead of only a few hundred votes in the original final count.

However, an incredibly narrow loss for Kloppenburg does not mark a loss for unions, nor for the Democratic party; quite the opposite per the details in my original post. A few wise commentators for the GOP are acknowledging that this election could spell trouble for Republicans in 2012. As I predicted, however, many in the GOP have been selling the tale of a solid GOP victory! A mark of support for Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's underhanded budget-ploy he used to cut corporate taxes and cut union bargaining rights, all while plunging Wisconsin from a predicted $121.4 million budget surplus into a $137 million budget deficit.

The story most of the GOP isn't telling is the background story I told in my last blog post; the truth behind the scenes of the Walker scam on the people of Wisconsin; the truth behind the vote that is a Justice with an untarnished record plunging from receiving 99.54% of the vote in the last election to only 50.48% in this election.

This is not only virtually unheard of in state Supreme Court races where the incumbents win, period, but it all happened in only a matter of weeks. Weeks is all it took for Kloppenburg to go from a virtual nameless nobody on the Wisconsin political scene and living on a prayer as far as this election was concerned, to the canary in the coal mine for the GOP in 2012.

These weeks before the election were the direct and undeniable result of dramatic policy changes and political battles forged by Republican Gov Walker and the Wisconsin GOP against unions and the working class people of the badger state. This election was a referendum on Walker and the GOP.

In addition to Wisconsin, big union states like Ohio and Pennsylvania will also have their say within their own borders on the matter of union rights in 2012. While Kloppenburg narrowly missed out on victory, unions have always turned out much bigger droves of supporters in OH and PA. The unions, now provoked by the GOP's attack, won't take this affront laying down, and we will see the results of this in '12.

[For more on the history of this election and on the Wisconsin union battle, and what it means for the 2012 elections, read my last blog post: "The Wisconsin Supreme Court election and why it matters".]

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