Why Indiana politicians are watching the Wisconsin recallJune 5th, 2012 at 3:46 pm by Jim Shella under Jim Shella's Political Blog
The attempted recall of Republican Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin caps off a year of controversy after the governor cut collective bargaining rights for most public employees to balance the state budget. Union leaders believe it’s part of a bigger strategy that includes the passage of an Indiana right to work law.
The union protests at the Indiana Statehouse earlier this year were unsuccessful and Walker is also expected to survive the union protests in Wisconsin. Union leaders believe political power and money is at the root of both battles. “This isn’t a homegrown state by state issue,” says AFL-CIO spokesman Jeff Harris. “This is a national effort by corporations and those in Washington to take away the rights of workers and also to eliminate a funding source of their political opposition.”
Republicans believe that it’s all about responsible government. “At the end of the day this is not a war on labor or a war on workers,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) while campaigning for Richard Mourdock in Carmel, “it’s about the reality that these states have to balance their budgets.”
But they also take pride in defeating the unions. “And what we’re starting to recognize is the group is not as large as they are loud,” says state GOP Chairman Eric Holcomb.
That may be why state Democratic Chairman Dan Parker points to other factors. “I think the lesson learned from Wisconsin,” he says, “is that these Super PACs and outside groups, the money is getting out of control.”
And the same sort of spending is anticipated in the November race for governor of Indiana.