More Than They bargained for, Scott Walker, Unions and the Fight for Wisconsin by Jason Stein and Patrick Marley. This is a much more balanced account than Scott Walker’s campaign autobiography, Unintimidated. When Walker was first elected governor, he attempted to balance the Wisconsin budget by mandating that state employees contribute more money toward their benefits. He did so in a regressive manner, mandating that lower paid employees contribute about 11.3% of their take-home pay and higher paid employees contribute about 8.5%. Both instances represented pay cuts. Scott was successful in implementing his reforms which included the removal of state employee bargaining rights. Walker survived a recall election, in part because he had more campaign money in his support than did his opponent. Walker’s anti-union stance was shaped, at least in part, by his experience as the chief executive in the county surrounding Milwaukee. This book is filled with details about the demonstrations in the Capitol Building in Madison. If you interested in learning more about Scott Walker, this is a good book to read.
As I continue to read American history, I am more convinced than ever that the Republican Party is the party of corruption, election fraud or both, with rare exceptions. That is not to say that Democrats are the party of purity, but as representatives of the 1%, Republicans have more temptations to succumb to. Until we divorce money from politics, we will continue to experience election fraud and corruption in what are supposed to be free and fair elections in our supposed “democracy.”
In 2010, a TEA Party year, Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman, both ran for high office in California and both lost. Fiorina ran for the US Senate and Whitman for Governor of California. They also have in common the fact that they were or are CEO’s of HP (formerly Hewlett-Packard). Whitman went from CEO of eBay to CEO of HP while Fiorina went from CEO of HP to GOP candidate for president. Under both their tenures, HP has struggled and many employees have suffered, often by losing their jobs or by having salaries and benefits cut. If you are considering Fiorina for president, talk to a HP employee or former employee first.
At some point, it will be obvious that the GOP candidate for president does not have a chance in 2016. Then the slate of possible candidates will rapidly disappear since no one will be willing to run a certain losing race. The younger ones among them will want to wait for a more propitious year. At that point, the GOP will turn to Mitt Romney as their candidate. Mitt will run to save the GOP from themselves. In return, he will demand and get the right of first refusal in 2020 if he decides to be a candidate again. In other words, the GOP establishment will promise to support Mitt in the future for saving their bacon in 2016. The TEA Party will then die a messy death in isolation from the regular GOP.
President Obama is expected to accept the renaming of Mt. McKinley to Denali during his upcoming visit to Alaska. The State of Alaska renamed the mountain in 1975 and has asked that the Federal government accept the name which was the mountain’s name prior to 1896. Republicans are expected to protest the renaming of a mountain named in honor of a Republican president by a Democrat, especially this Democrat.