The Journal Sentinel is obviously not part of the "vast right-wing conspiracy." It is a generally respected paper with the standard liberal bias of any newspaper. It has had many disagreements with Scott Walker, but this weekend it throws its weight behind him with a detailed editorial supporting him in the upcoming recall election.
No governor in recent memory has been so controversial. No governor in America is so polarizing. Everyone has an opinion about Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.
Here's ours: We see no reason to remove Walker from office. We recommend him in the June 5 recall election.
Walker's rematch with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was prompted by one issue: Walker's tough stance with the state's public-employee unions. It's inconceivable that the recall election would be occurring absent that. And a disagreement over a single policy is simply not enough to justify a vote against the governor.
A Marquette Law School Poll in January showed that many people in the Badger State agree. In that poll, 72% of Republicans, 44% of independents and 17% of Democrats said recalls should be limited to criminal wrongdoing. Republican state Rep. Robin Vos has proposed tightening the recall mechanism; he should continue to push for that after the election, regardless of who wins.
Mind you, the paper thinks Walker's signature achievement to date, the Act 10 budget reforms, went too far. Yet, the paper notes, that one issue isn't enough reason to up-end the 2010 election results.
The whole recall effort is the result of a temper tantrum by public sector unions. Outraged at the thought of giving up privileges and benefits enjoyed by no other workers in the private sector, they poured out millions of dollars to manufacture anger against the first-term governor. For a brief time, it worked to pull down Walker's poll numbers. But, as the recall nears and Walker's reforms show positive results--the paper notes that the state will post a $150 million surplus this year--the voters appetite for the recall has dropped.
Next year could see a wave of Walker-style budget reforms in other states. The days of public sector unions' iron grip on state government may be coming to an end.