Democrats failed to achieve their goal of winning three of the six Republican state senate seats in Wisconsin on Tuesday night during the recall elections. The cost for the Democrats’ recall reportedly hovered around $30 million and the Party managed to capture two seats from GOP incumbents, but without a 3 seat win, Democrats could not take the State Senate majority from the Republicans.
Two Democrat state senators are up for their own recall elections next week on August 16, and if Republicans are able to win, they will have the original ratio of Republicans to Democrats before they lost two of their own members last night. As of now, Republicans in Wisconsin’s senate have a narrow 17-16 majority.
Democrats appeared concern that just missing capturing the senate majority could take the wind out of the sails of supporters who the Party needs to potentially establish a recall election for Governor Scott Walker, a Republican.
It should be noted that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Editorial Board wrote an interesting piece about Governor Walker’s budget reforms which also included reforming the unions’ collective bargaining power in Wisconsin:
But the news is good for many. The latest example is Milwaukee, where the most recent estimates show the city with a net gain of at least $11 million for its 2012 budget. That will take a slice out of the city’s structural deficit, which is created by costs rising faster than revenue, and will reduce cuts that Mayor Tom Barrett and the Common Council must impose.
The city projects it will save at least $25 million a year - the figure could be as high as $36 million in 2012 - from health care benefit and pension changes it didn’t have to negotiate with unions because of the changes wrought by the new law that ended most collective bargaining for most public employees.
That certainly will help the city deal with the $14 million in cuts in state aid in the 2011-‘13 state budget.
City officials were loath to give Walker any credit. “It’s a false question,” Barrett said when asked whether Walker was right in his contention that his bargaining changes more than offset the impact of his aid cuts. Barrett said most people would agree that public employees should pay more of their health care and pension costs, but Walker didn’t have to eliminate almost all of their collective bargaining power to do it.
Anytime a politician like Mayor Barrett attacks a question as “false” it is easy to see what is really going on. Mr. Barrett knows very well Walker’s reforms only benefitted his city.
Some are asking why the Journal Sentinel edit board waited until the night of the elections to post this piece, given the positive nature the numbers reveal about Governor Walker’s reforms.