As the battle to preserve collective bargaining rights continues to rage in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) is beginning to find himself losing supporters, as well as justification.
First, his counterparts in other states are distancing themselves from his stance. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), a potential GOP presidential contender, went so far as to say, “I’m not sending the state police after anybody… For reasons I’ve explained more than once I thought there was a better time and place to have this very important and legitimate issue raised.”
A poll released Monday demonstrates that the public supports unions over the Gov. Walker’s proposals. The poll, conducted jointly by the AFL-CIO and Change to Win, shows that 50 percent of those surveyed disapprove of Walker’s job performance, and less than a third support eliminating collective bargaining rights for public employees.
In addition to the lack of support from fellow Republican governors facing similar situations, Gov. Walker’s proposal could cost the state of Wisconsin $46 million in federal funds. Known as “Section 13 arrangements,” this federal labor law provision causes states to lose federal funds if they eliminate collective bargaining rights that existed when the state first received federal assistance. If the governor’s proposal passes, $46 million of the $74 million that Wisconsin received in federal transit funds would be at risk.
Unions pride themselves on compromise and equity, concepts that seem foreign to Gov. Walker. As the tide turns against the governor, hopefully he can take time away from his soapbox and work toward a real solution to the problems facing Wisconsin – a solution that doesn’t punish working families.