Last year Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker became the hero of the right when he pushed a bill through the state legislature that terminated a great portion of the collective bargaining rights for most state employees. Liberal activist organizations joined state workers unions, along with numerous unions from all over the nation, to quickly gather 900,000 signatures on petitions spearheading a move to recall the governor.
Many thousands of volunteers from both sides of the aisle descended upon the Badger State to do everything they felt necessary for and/or against this recall election. They arrived by the bus loads thereby giving more than just a few bus drivers a great opportunity for extra pay. Along the way, the rest-stop concessions and gas stations did very well financially. Finding a hotel room in the cities of Madison, Milwaukee and Racine, was not an easy task. Lines outside of restaurants were long and we know that many of the supermarkets quickly ran out of staple food items.
Then, of course, millions of dollars were donated to the cause — 46 million from the right and 16 million from the left. Huh? Is that all these wealthy unions could come up with? To protect their own interests they could have and should have provided a lot more.
Most of this money was spent on radio and television ads putting producers, directors, script writers, cameramen, actors, as well as voice-over, lighting, and sound people to work. Anyone and everyone connected to a studio, from secretaries and security to janitorial staff, received thicker pay envelopes with quite a bit more than their usual salaries inside.
Then, of course, there was the purchase of the airtime necessary to broadcast and telecast the advertisements over and over and over again.
The unsuccessful effort to unseat the hero of the right has passed. It’s all over but the shouting, the whining, the excuses, and the bragging.
But, besides the governor, let’s talk about the real winner in this entire episode: the ECONOMY. Even though it was temporary, more people — regardless of which side of the aisle they favored — were put back to work and did pretty well financially. Perhaps there should be more of these expensive political struggles.
I’m not shy. Those of you that know me are aware that I like to talk. In fact, telling stories is pretty much how I started writing. An authoritative woman who was married to a famous writer liked what I had to say and encouraged me to put down the bubbe meintse I just told her on paper. I followed her instructions and submitted it to Newsday. A nice pay check followed and a career was born. To this day I bend the ears of those around me.
There were lessons learned by all parties involved in this attempted recall. Governments learned that they can challenge the unions with a good chance that they can win. Unions (may have) learned to cooperate with governments that are deep in debt and need to cut back on greedy demands. My favorite lesson came from the New York Times of all places. The paper of record sent the following message to lawmakers: “It’s safer to take on left-wing interest groups than conservative ones” and “safer to cut government than to increase revenue.” I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net wondering, is the Old Grey Yenta finally coming to her senses?