One of the speakers at Daley Plaza was Wisconsin's scrappy lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch. She faces a Big Labor-driven recall election in June--as does Governor Scott Walker. She was introduced by fellow Tea Party Republican Danielle Rowe of McHenry County.
Kleefisch quickly told the spirited audience "about the great reforms that we've been able to institute in Wisconsin."
Last year Walker and the GOP enacted budget reforms that also eliminated collective-bargaining for most public-sector employees, including teachers. Big Labor responded by collecting enough signatures to force that recall election--which will occur in 50 days. "We had a $3.6 billion budge deficit, we did a budget without raising taxes," she boasted. Wisconsin no longer has a budget deficit. Illinois, led by hapless Democrat Pat Quinn, raised personal income taxes by 67 percent and corporate income taxes by 46 percent last year. And my state is still expected to end the fiscal year with an $8 billion deficit. "We love our taxpayers in Wisconsin, we respect our taxpayers in Wisconsin, and our taxpayers are darn smart," Kleefisch declared. "Because they elected a man you know as Governor Scott Walker." "Under his reforms, friends, our state and our local governments have saved over $848 million dollars and counting," she continued. That's pretty close to $1 billion. Walkers' reforms are benefiting Wisconsin's schools too, Kleefisch told the supportive crowd--which even the teachers unions' own figures show, although they are trying to hide these facts.
So what is the upcoming recall about? This is what Kleefisch told us:
"This recall election in Wisconsin is about big union power," she said. "And it is about the union bosses being able to continue to siphon dues out of union members who may not agree with them. It is about these big union bosses maintaining government control--of a government that may want to control you. It is about these big union bosses wanting to continue to spread lies and smears about their opponents."
Kleefisch stated that the recall election isn't only about her state.
"We are a harbinger, a canary in the coal mine. And we are sounding the alarm--that if the big unions can wrestle control back from We the People--then if it could happen in Wisconsin it could happen anywhere. So we could go backward--but we choose forward."
'Forward' is the state motto of Wisconsin.