This Tuesday, democrats in Wisconsin will cast their votes to determine who will be the democratic challenger to Republican Governor Scott Walker in the upcoming June recall election.
The democratic candidates, Kathleen Falk and Tom Barrett, display two ends of the Democratic party. Falk, the far-left liberal who has been attacking Walker with abandon, is the more extreme choice. Barrett, the current mayor of Milwaukee has more moderate views.
Given the fierce political division that has prevailed in Wisconsin for more than a year since the passage of Act 10, one could be forgiven for thinking that Falk — early and unstinting in her assault on Walker’s measures — ought to be wiping up the floor with Barrett among angry Democrats.
In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Barrett was statistically even with or ahead of Falk in most polls even before he declared his candidacy. As soon as he did declare, he began to gain steam. In the latest poll, released Wednesday by the Marquette University Law School, Falk had dropped precipitously to lag Barrett by a 17 percentage point margin.
Wisconsin is the battleground for a national debate over state spending and the power of public-sector unions that is facing governors across the country. As Walker and Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch have stood their ground on restoring solvency to their state, they have been singled out as enemies number one and two of the national (and international) public-sector union advocates.
As the democratic voters of Wisconsin make their choice between Falk and Barrett, their decision may not mirror the wishes of the national leftist elements who see this battle not as for Wisconsin, but for their own agendas.
So far, the unions have been split in their endorsements.The public-sector teachers union endorsed the more liberal Falk, while the police endorsed more moderate Barrett:
…Barrett secured the endorsement of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, the state’s largest police union. Falk and Barrett have been wrestling for weeks over union support. Most of the unions so far have lined up with Falk, most notably the AFL-CIO, the state’s largest state workers union, and the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state’s largest teachers union.
If Walker and Kleefisch are reelected, it will be a sign that America is committed to a path different than Europe and that our citizens will embrace the tough choice that France and Greece rejected.