Lame duck state government

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.

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The Sound Off Sister was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and special trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; a partner in the Florida law firm of Shutts & Bowen, and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law. The Sound Off Sister offers frequent commentary concerning legislation making its way through Congress, including the health reform legislation passed in early 2010.


  1. Lynn on December 19, 2010 at 1:50 am

    I can't feel sorry for the other states, we have a dead duck state government!

  2. Plainvillian on December 19, 2010 at 4:33 am

    For the 25 years I've lived in Corrupticut, the states economy and prospects have steadily declined while the strength and control of the Democrat party has increased.  The two phenomena are directly connected.  In the last election, the voters of Corrpticut once again voted for Democrat majorities in both legislative houses and for all constitutional offices.


    Elections have consequences.  For our little state, the consequences will be less Federal support from an increasingly conservative Congress and more taxation and control from a Democrat state government unable to control spending and onerous regulation.  More people and businesses will vote with their feet.

  3. joe_m on December 19, 2010 at 7:05 am

    My youngest is in the 11th grade, after he graduates and is off to college, I'm out of here.

    We'll move to a solvent state that does not tax us to death and beyond.

    I know the pickings are limited but there are a few states.

    So tired of having to pick the lessor of 2 evils. We need a few states to secede.

  4. sammy22 on December 19, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I believe the secession notion was settled in 1865. As for finding a better state to go to, perhaps ND would work, w/ its mild winters and balmy summers.

  5. JollyRoger on December 19, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Unfortunately, we'll still have our Sustinet-Care, and if anyone dare lower our state's bond rating- our AG will litigate, our legislature will raise taxes, and we'll offer more welfare so we can attract more voters which will lead to more congressional representation…    Oh, nice article on municipal debt bubble- Happy Holiday Comrades:

  6. winnie888 on December 19, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    I never thought I would feel so strongly about leaving CT, but it's finally happened.  Yeah, the federal stuff gets under my skin (DREAM Act, Bush tax rate extensions & whether or not they were going to happen), but the stuff that CT is made of now is going to have an immediate impact on all of us. Income tax, sales tax and property taxes will all increase under Malloy & the dems that still control our state legislature. All the people here who constantly griped about Rell will soon remember what it's like to have a dem. gov. in this state.

  7. Dimsdale on December 21, 2010 at 4:17 am

    lynn: "dead duck" state government?  Come to MA, where we have a perpetual "lame ass" Democrat dominated state government!  (yeah, I know that is redundant!)


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