Posted by Brian
AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka, whom I'll call "Dick" from here on out, went on Face the Nation with Bob Scheiffer. Remember when "Dick" said he was going to "take out Scott Walker"? Obviously, that didn't happen, and now "Dick" is spinning himself into knots trying to put happy face on his devastating defeat. From the word "Go", Dick began spewing numbers that drew my attention, simply because they were so wildly out of whack with what has been reported.
"Dick's" first claim is that Governor Walker spent over $50 million in this campaign. This "fact", unchallenged by Scheiffer and the panel, is off by about $20 million. The Walker campaign, which spent roughly $30 million, did outspend the Barrett campaign, but not by the massive amounts that the media and guys like "Dick" are trumpeting. The figures most thrown around are $30M and $4M, with Walker outspending Barrett by over 7-1. What guys like "Dick" won't tell you is that the unions spent $21 million in anti-Walker ads and materials. "Dick" also won't mention the HUGE advantage that unions have in an organized "ground game" for getting out the vote. The Walker campaign had to spend huge amounts of cash to build their ground game from nearly scratch, and were at a big disadvantage early on. Roughly, Walker outspent Barrett by $30M - $25M, not the 7-1 ratio suggested by unions and media.
"Dick" also talks of how Wisconsin job creation under Walker is the "worst" in the country, crating only 13,500 jobs over the last year. On its face this certainly appears bad, and if Wisconsin were New York or California it would be dismal. But Wisconsin is does not have the population density of those states. This is farm and dairy country. Raw numbers don't tell the whole story, and can be misleading. The facts are that Wisconsin's unemployment rate is 6.7%, well below the national average of 8.1%, and has dropped from a high of 9.2% shortly before he took office.
"Dick" also talks of Governor Walker trying to suppress voting, despite the fact that Wisconsin had record voter turnout across the state. That dog won't hunt "Dick".
The Walker recall victory is sending a huge message to other Governors that "Dick" doesn't want to acknowledge publicly. That is, public sector unions have been weakened, they are exposed, and their influence is not something to be feared any longer. They can be beat. Public sector union membership is down, and continues to fall. In Wisconsin, over 34K members have voluntarily quit the AFSCME union.
Contrary to what "Dick" says, Wisconsin has been a victory for business, workers and taxpayers, not only in Wisconsin, but around the country.