This past week we saw, at least for a time, what happens when the party in power is shellacked, as the President called it, by the majority of the American public. In the Senate, Harry Reid (D. Nv.) brought a 1924 page Omnibus bill to the floor with an expected price tag of $1.2 trillion. Americans were not happy.
But, this type of insult to the voters apparently wasn’t confined to the federal level. State Democratic governors who lost the election to Republicans have engaged in the same conduct, this time to help the state employee unions.
In Iowa, Republican Gov.-elect Terry Branstad wants the state’s largest employee union to reopen the new contract it agreed on with departing Gov. Chet Culver last month. Mr. Culver, a Democrat, approved the deal several weeks after he lost his re-election bid to Mr. Branstad, who previously served four terms as governor. The contract includes a series of pay increases beginning July 1. [emphasis supplied]
Wisconsin Gov.-elect Scott Walker found himself in a similar position. That state faces a $3.3 billion deficit in its next two year budget, as well as a $150 million shortfall for the remainder of this fiscal year. In spite of that, Democratic lawmakers called a rare special session this past week to approve a new union contract negotiated last month by out-going Democratic Governor Jim Doyle. Curiously, state union employees had been working without a contract for the past 18 months, but, after the election, time seemed to be of the essence.
Here is what happened in Wisconsin.
In the state senate, Russ Decker, a Democrat who lost his re-election bid last month, cast the deciding vote against the deals, which had been approved by the state house. ‘The people of Wisconsin have spoken, and they have said they want someone else to make these decisions for them,’ Mr. Decker said. [emphasis supplied]
Wow, a politician who actually was paying attention on November 2. And, how did his Democratic colleagues in the senate react? They swiftly removed him as senate majority leader.