“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, March 25, 2011

Karl Rove On The Midwest Governors & Collective Bargaining Repeals

I actually received a comment from a Hoosier on yesterday's post. It's refreshing to know that my sentiments are shared by those enduring such behavior by their state legislators.

On this general topic, Karl Rove wrote an insightful piece in his weekly Wall Street Journal column. He noted that, thanks to Scott Walker's being the first Midwest governor to move decisively to pass public union-limiting legislation, Wisconsin drew all of the attention.

Thus, Ohio's John Kasich was able to propose and have passed much more sweeping legislation with comparatively little publicity. Rove, with his ability to focus on operational details, essentially contends that the public unions, on a national basis, can't support two full-fledged opposition campaigns at once. Thus, while Walker of Wisconsin bore the brunt of the public attention, Kasich of Ohio was able to get Ohio's legislature to enact its public union-limiting laws almost unnoticed.

Rove alluded to something else that, being Illinois-born, I can confirm, and have in prior posts. Whereas Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and Ohio can fluctuate between parties and conservative/liberal leanings, the upper Midwest states of Minnesota and Wisconsin are different. They've always had a much more prominent, distinct quasi-socialist left which reacts differently than the normal Democratic parties of the lower Midwest states. Thus, it's not all that surprising that Wisconsin's teachers' union acted out so brazenly during their walk-off.

Even now, as my reader commented, Indiana is in the spotlight for right-to-work legislation, having already limited public union collective bargaining by governor Mitch Daniels' executive order several years ago.

You might even consider that union leaders, too, chose Wisconsin as the relatively softer target, since they didn't switch their focus to Ohio when Kasich began his efforts to limit public unions.


Rita said...

And I just heard tonight that FL governor just signed into law stripping teacher's tenure and allowing more charter schools.

Indiana really doesn't swing D vs R as much as you might think. Evan Bayh was actually a fairly conservative governor and my brother tried to warn me not to vote for him in the Senate. I only made that mistake once. He may have been labeled a Blue Dog by Washington, but he turned his back quickly once he had to toe the line in D.C.

I honestly believe he knew Indiana was throwing him out in 2010 so he rigged his announcement of not running at the last minute so the Democratic Party could select who they wanted rather than actually having a Primary elected candidate.

I think he knew Pence would run against him and would win by a landslide. I wanted Pence to run for Prez, but it looks like Mitch will and Pence will easily be our next Governor.

C Neul said...


I'm reasonably familiar with Indiana politicians, having grown up in downstate Illinois.

I agree with you regarding Bayh's retirement announcement timing, and think I may have even written about that. It was clearly done as an inside job.

I must say, though, I found Dan Coates' move rather disingenuous. I'm not a big fan of Senators returning to the scene. In NJ, our own Frank Lautenberg is essentially serving his time from a coffin that's ready to use at anytime. He's a disgrace to our state and the Senate. And he, too, ran after flagrant violation of primary rules by the Dems, with the cooperation of the Democratically-controlled State Supreme Court, which just waved Lautenberg through and tore up the state Constitution.

I hope Pence is an effective governor. He certainly appears to have conviction. Despite your feelings, I don't think he'd hav gone anywhere with a Presidential bid. These days, governors are best-prepared, and any of the three GOP who are likely to run would have challenged Pence's executive non-experience.

I'm of course interested in how Daniels will fare on the national stage.


Rita said...

C: I REALLY wanted Pence, he's conservative, eloquent and votes his conviction. And although I think it's the most inane reason to vote someone into office, I think he would have been electable because he "looks the part". He'll be a contender in 2016 or 2020.

I like Mitch, but haven't made up my mind about whether I would like him more that West or Rubio. I think he will be hurt by the very reason I noted above. Dumb Dumb reason, but you know it's true. But he's damned smart, knows the Washington scene and I don't think he can be bought.

I don't believe Palin or Bachmann can win the election, they both attract too much negativity among moderates and liberals. We'll get another four years of Obama if either of them win the Primary