This week’s Martinicast editorial:
So, right to work will soon be the law in Wisconsin.
It’s basically inevitable that the measure rapidly making its way through the capitol, which basically says an employee can’t be forced to pay dues to a union as a condition of employment, will pass.
While he’s been reluctant to prioritize the legislation, did not himself propose it to the legislature, and has called it a distraction from his own policy objectives, the governor will sign it. His hand is forced.
Morning Martini wrote before that if right to work is taken up, it would be because the governor has lost at least some control over the legislative process to ambitious conservatives in the legislature.
In their ranks are Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. Some activists speculate Vos might be interested in the governor’s mansion – Walker has said he won’t run again in 2018. But considering his spectacular rise in the GOP presidential nomination process, he might not be around long enough anyway.
Fitzgerald resides in the congressional district of Jim Sensenbrenner, who was first elected to Congress in 1978. If the congressman retires any time soon, it would leave a chasm for his replacement.
A conservative will eventually replace Sensenbrenner – it’s a safe district for a Republican. In 16 elections since his first, he has never won with less than 62 percent of the vote. A bold push of right to work is just what Fitzgerald needs to position himself as the bona fide next-in-line.
Earlier we speculated that Walker feared an Act 10-like meltdown in Madison that would result from right to work. That’s the result of the governor’s renowned strategic savvy. But the fallout has been muted, to say the least.
While a scant few thousand gathered today and will tomorrow in Madison to protest, sing, and chant, they’re mostly the same old bleacher shouters. Meanwhile, Dem politicians have offered limp denunciations. The best One Wisconsin Now can muster is that “Right to Work is Not Right for Wisconsin.”
In the final tally, right to work will be regarded as anti-climactic. It also won’t create a trillion new jobs tomorrow – in fact its economic impact is being oversold by some. The reaction and protests weren’t a biggie. There will be no recalls or vacations to Rockford.
What right to work will do, however, is boost the careers of some bold conservatives. Vos, maybe. Fitz, definitely. And because of the ho-hum reaction muting the governor’s concerns over chaos at the capitol, Scott Walker – who now can claim Wisconsin has made America a 50/50 right to work nation – is, in a most unlikely way, the biggest winner out of the right to work maneuver.
LISTEN (apologies for the gaffes…)