Image 01 Image 03

Walker supporters reach out to union members, targeting bosses instead

Walker supporters reach out to union members, targeting bosses instead

Wisconsin is abuzz with activity in anticipation of Tuesday’s Recall election, and many Tea Party and conservative leaders are ensuring the message gets out that this is not a battle against the union members themselves.

Nancy Milholland, who organized yesterday’s Tea Party, opened the rally by addressing union members and “We are not anti-union, we just can’t afford to pay for your long-ago negotiated benefits.”

Big Journalism’s Dana Loesch spoke about coming from a family of union members, and called out the “fat cats” and out-of-state union bosses who are using the state to flex their muscle and bully the rest of the country.

Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who will be on the recall ballot along with Governor Scott Walker and several state senators, framed it as a battle between Goliath, or the union bosses, and David, or the people of America.

“Despite the muscle and despite the money of Goliath, David is going to win Tuesday,” said Kleefisch.

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) reiterated that Tuesday’s election is a battle for the what values will govern the entire country, not just Wisconsin:

“Courage is on the ballot on Tuesday. The whole country is watching….Scott walker is saying enough is enough, it is the people who run our government.”

All signs point to extremely high turnout for Tuesday’s recall election, and it is clear this is a referendum on the people’s support for returning to fiscal restraint as a governing philosophy and addressing budget problems:

Appleton City Clerk Charlene Petersen told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel she already had 3,000 absentee ballots in hand. In the 2010 governor’s race, 2,000 people voted by absentee ballot in the city of 78,000, while more than 10,000 did so in the 2008 presidential race.

She predicted turnout higher than 2010, which also pitted the Republican Walker against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Local election officials have suggested turnout might approach presidential levels, although that seems unlikely in Appleton.

“This is unprecedented,” Peterson said. “We’ve never seen a statewide recall, so I’m kind of looking at the pulse of the absentee for markers.”

As voters go to the polls on Tuesday in what looks to be record numbers, Wisconsin conservative leaders are intent on reaching out to all Wisconsin workers and separating them from the operatives who would use them.

When I tweeted the photo above of the “Teamster for Walker,” several people responded that they too were Teamsters who would vote for Walker. The out-of-state union bosses will leave Wisconsin after Tuesday, but the residents will be left to repair relationships with their neighbors. Showing that this is a battle for all Wisconsin and that the dividing line is one between operatives and citizens, and not against union members, is step one to making Wisconsin that light on the hill.

WAJ Update:  Ann Althouse exposes a really pathetic last minute Democratic smear attempt aimed at Walker.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Reticulator | June 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I very much want Walker to win, am very much against public employee unions, and don’t like Republican bashing of regular labor and trade unions. So I kind of like this article.

But is it really going to work to separate union workers from bosses? I’ve seen union workers turn on their elected “bosses” and elect replacements. I’ve seen the graffiti on the factory floor. They usually want to elect someone who will negotiate more goodies for them. It’s the corporate effect – they will be glad for the (union) corporation to do things on their behalf that they would never feel is right to do on their own. (I even belonged to a labor union once, but not for long enough to get involved in this, personally.)

I think we can appeal to public employees on the basis that what’s needed is a sustainable system that works for everyone. What unions and politicians have “negotiated” is not sustainable. But I am skeptical about appealing to them to separate themselves from their union “bosses.”

    MTED in reply to Reticulator. | June 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    “…and don’t like Republican bashing of regular labor and trade unions.”

    Republicand DON’T bash labor unions, trade unions, or any other kind of union for that matter. Unless, of course, you get your news (aka talking points) from NBC or the NYT.

      Ragspierre in reply to MTED. | June 3, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      Yeah, MTED, we kinda do.

      I use “union thugs” pretty commonly. I am referring ACTUAL thuggish union people, but sometimes maybe I should be more careful to delineate between rank and file.

      Also, we should be careful to make clear that being against public sector unions is not being against private sector unions.

        gmurphy222 in reply to Ragspierre. | June 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm

        Agreed. I try to forget my (mobbed up) union steward manhandling me the very first time he saw me, but it has led me to disparage union thugs. I currently work with an automotive manufacturer and I have to give credit, they took concessions when they had to.

        I can’t help thinking how relieved those tens of thousands of Wisconsin government employees that have left the unions must be. Some left for monetary, some ideological but it will make a better work environment.

      Reticulator in reply to MTED. | June 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm

      There are probably not a thousand people in the U.S. who get less of their news from NBC than I do, and I’m including the Amish in that count. I get that information from listening to internet Republicans when they bash unions, and that includes some in respectable places. Can’t think of any Republicans in elective office who’ve done it, though.

Walker winning the recall is of paramount importance. Such a win, IMO, would be one of the tipping points, ratcheting back the toxic power of public unions, and hopefully replacing it with what the poster above said: “a sustainable system that works for everyone.”

I also like the fact that the WI rally was reaching out to “people,” including union ones. What Obama and his ilk are trying to do is fracture society. It appears that Walker’s campaign, though, is reaching out to the state, as a whole, saying, his reforms ultimately benefit everyone.

My fingers are tightly crossed that WI wins on Tuesday by turning away the unions trying to recall Walker!

    RobM in reply to tsr. | June 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    You’re right. When Gov. Walker wins this, it will be devastating to public sector unions, the larger union movement, the DNC and the leftists. All of the above have shown they’ll do anything.. (cheat/ fraud) to get what they want. When they can’t cheat and fraud a recall to their benefit, after all the money they’ve spend greasing wheels and throwing in with one another, it will give other state governments resolve to tackle the same issues. Good Luck Wisconsin on Tues!!

Insufficiently Sensitive | June 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Doesn’t anyone question the whole concept of using a recall election as a usurpation of the entire general election of 2010? Recalls were never intended as a wholesale slaughter of representatives by sorehead losers financed by outside organizations and megaphoned by partisan media. The charter for a recall should be limited to a few clearly defined examples of misfeasance or moral turpitude – not as a simple opportunity for the crooks to clear away the public guardians and return to the trough.

    I’m all in favor of recall elections. They’re cheap at twice the cost. I think it was in the 80s, during the James Blanchard administration in Michigan, that we got a couple of leftist members of the state legislature recalled. It had a salutary effect on the rest.

    So while I’m very much in favor of Walker winning this one, I wouldn’t want to use this event to do away with recall elections.

    Maybe there are places where the bar should be raised slightly, say by requiring a few more signatures on the recall petitions. But the political costs and risks for the initiators of a recall are high enough that there isn’t much danger that they will be used frivolously.

      A recall should require actual evidence of wrongdoing rather than policy disagreement. If you can’t come up with evidence of actual malfeasance, then it should be tough luck, better luck next time.

I supervise a union shop (UAW). The “party line” is “Walker Bad, Barrett Good”, but it is easy to find someone listening to Rush Limbaugh or carrying a tool box with a Conservative-messaged sticker on it. It’s also easy to find the opposite. We’ll pick up many union votes.

My concern is what will the Left do after Walker Wins? More civil unrest? Violence?

    MTED in reply to Deekaman. | June 3, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    “My concern is what will the Left do after Walker Wins?”

    That’s a very valid concern. We saw yesterday that a lefty group mailed the voting records of neighbors to other residents of the area(s). The stated threat was that the same mailing would take place again after the election, so you had better vote. Setting neighbor against neighbor–no vengeance is beneath them.

My concern is the high level of absentee balloting. Some my intuition tells me, re-enforced by Senator Franken’s win, that absentee ballots provide a greater chance for voting chicanery. Either absentee ballots mysteriously appear, or disappear.

As for the flyer with your neighbors voting records, don’t those have enough information to help with voter fraud? That is, if you knew a particular person hadn’t voted in a while, then voting under their name is less likely to cause a problem. Since Joe Blow votes every election, if you try to vote with his name after he has voted, that’s a problem. If Joe rarely votes, and you use his name, you’re less likely to get caught.

full-throated support | June 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Leave it to Republicans to try a divide and conquer tactic against the union ranks of brothers.

If this recall fails to kick out the lackeys voted in by corrupt interests, it will be because the Koch brothers and Kenyan birthers have conspired with FOX Noose.

But you will not win in the end. We the People will mount a recall of this recall until we get results that are fair (and not “balanced” like FAUX News.)

    Naw. You’ll run out of money and support WAY before you impose the Collective again in Wish-consin.

    It really is the math, stupid. (Not that you are stupid.)

    You can’t get around it.

      full-throated support in reply to Ragspierre. | June 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm


      You people on the Right can’t even spell right, because right now, it’s Wis-CON-SIN.

      Until Walker and con-man conservatives like him are run out of office, we’ll keep hounding them about their greed and racism as evidenced by their trying to undermine unions here and even the European Union which takes care of its people and welcomes immigrants.

      You say it’s about the math?

      The earth is overheating, and all you T and R party types think about is the wrong kind of green. Whatever happened to fair math, like one plus one equals a single-sex couple responsibly living in a wind-powered house and surviving on pensions that weren’t stolen from them by cons?


    It’s the weak, schoolyard name-calling responses like this that give me a good laugh. And encourage me to be a little more optimistic regarding the good sense of folks in Wisconsin.

    So, let me get this straight: You union “folks” will do everything in your power to disenfranchise the REAL voters of WI? You will “recall and recall” until you get the”results” you want. Talk about fraud and hypocrisy. Shame on you!!

Two points. I think you can separate union members from the leadership. A lot of union members pay dues because they have to. Very few on the ground level are willing to throw their money at politicians or big-picture issues.

Second, AFTER the recall is over, what chance is there that Wisconsin will amend their recall provisions? It should not be easy to garner support to make it harder to foist a recall when everyone can see this was all about a political argument lost and a LOT of money was wasted because of college kids and the Unions in Wisconsin. ( ie, vote fraud )

    Icepilot in reply to RobM. | June 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    “… a LOT of money was wasted …”

    Primarily by democrats and unions – so it’s not all bad.

I come from a family of union members as well, many hate that they union dues are taken from their paycheck without any choice, and then given to the union bosses like Mr. Trumka who give to the lefties, and the union members have no say in it.

Unions did play an important part in american history, much of the abuses have been put into laws to make sure those absuses don’t happen again. What’s happening now is that the contracts that were promised long ago cannot be afforded. And that I absolutely support. Look what’s happening in greece, all those union members, they have nothing, because no one tried to save the system, at least Walker is trying to save it from going over a fiscal cliff.

Bravo Walker! I hope he wins on tuesday!!

Given the huge drop in membership in the public unions after it was no longer mandatory to have dues deducted from paychecks, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that some of those former union members will cast their votes for Walker without much prodding.

    tsr in reply to elliesmom. | June 3, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I saw a poll, only a short while ago, showing that at least a third of union members were voting for Walker.

I love a good Tea Party, bless them for all their efforts.

[…] is to blame here? Big Labor is to blame. The unions are to blame. And no DailyKooks we are not blaming the victim. The bottom line is that […]

[…] every union member buys into it.  Professor Jacobsen’s website Legal Insurrection highlights Teamsters for Walker. Posted on June 3, 2012 by Big Red, Reply Posted in Uncategorized < […]

[…] to tolerate frivolous, grotesquely expensive recall elections spearheaded by angry, zealous fat-cat union leaders, Democrats, and […]

    Chuck Norris can be counted on to join the fray, when it comes to supporting conservative causes. I think he is absolutely on target, no hyperbole being voiced, in his claims about how important this WI election is.

    I’m kind of repeating myself here, but, it’s the kind of contest that unnerves me until it’s all over.

    Also, I’m totally an admirer of Kleefisch as well. She is such a solid person. WI has some great leaders. I only hope that the majority of voters there realize this, and do the right thing June 5th.

    Lastly, the dems, at this juncture, are crowing about at leasts capturing one senate seat, which would mean they would then take over the senate. Does anyone have any added information about this?

Yes, it is possible to separate the union membership from the union leaders, in a state where payment of union dues is involuntary. Actually, what happens in that case is that the union leaders stop representing all their members about fifteen minutes after they get their compulsory dues.

Unions do serve a purpose, and a right-to-work law makes sure that they stick to that purpose.

Reticulator | June 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm

BTW, I like the fact that the public employee unions are helping to pay for the Legal Insurrection web site by putting their Tom Barrett for Governor ads in the banner at the top.

That’s the way to take the left’s ill-gotten gains and use them to fund the dismantling of Leviathan.

[…] such last minute hail marys and some on the left are jumping all over? Perhaps because of this: When I tweeted the photo above of the “Teamster for Walker,” several people responded that […]