Walker watch: Wisconsin gov. expects to run against "big union bosses from Washington"

Accepting the inevitability that he will face the voters of Wisconsin in a recall election most likely held in June, Republican Gov. Scott Walker told HUMAN EVENTS that he doesn’t care which Democrat he faces and he will run against what he called “the big union bosses from Washington DC.”

During a break from the National Governors Association meeting in Washington this weekend, Walker pointed out to us that the chief bankrollers of the movement to recall him “are the National Education Association, the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of State County, and Municipal Employees [AFSCME] and all the public employee unions.

“In February and March, they were the ones who launched the attacks against us when we started the movement to reform [how much state employees contribute to their retirement programs, which eventually became law in the Badger State. They were behind the attempt to recall a [state] Supreme Court justice in April, and they put an estimated $44 million in the recall of [Republican] state senators [in which some were unseated but the GOP retained control of the senate by one seat].”

Under state law, 540,238 signatures of registered voters are required to trigger a recall election of the governor.  In January, Walker enemies submitted petitions bearing the signatures of more than one million voters seeking such a recall.

When we noted that the amount of signatures on petitions was far above that required for a statewide recall of the governor, Walker said the state’s Government Accountability Board [which oversees elections] would probably certify the signatures shortly, that there would be a primary in May, and he expects “a general election, probably in early June.”

I cited the remarks at a forum hosted by Politico the day before in which Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, told the audience how Wisconsin’s Walker had tried to “outlaw unions” and the result was his state “was rated 49th in job creation.”

“Oh, the hysteria from those on the left is incredible,” Walker laughed, “Look, he’s citing a few figures from last year—a snapshot at the end of the year. Right now, unemployment is 7.1 percent, the lowest since ’08 and we’ve created 150,000 new jobs [since Walker became governor]. And we have a balanced budget. Just contrast that to Illinois, where the Democratic governor and Democratic legislature raised taxes and the results were the opposite—economic meltdown, unemployment at 9.8 percent. and the budget process a wreck. That’s where those who want a recall in Wisconsin want to take us back to.”

A day before we spoke to Walker, Secretary of State Doug LaFollette, heir to one of Wisconsin’s most illustrious political names, announced he would seek the Democratic nomination to oppose the governor in the election. Other names mentioned are those of former Milwaukee County Executive Kathleen Faulk and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Walker’s opponent in 2010.

“It doesn’t matter who I face,” Walker said, “I will be running against the big money from Washington—and those who want us to go back to where we were.”

(Friends of Scott Walker, PO Box 620437, Middleton, Wisconsin, 53562; 608-441-1640)