Heartland Institute Reacts to Gov. Scott Walker’s Victory in Recall

June 06, 2012

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) Tuesday staved off a recall prompted by reforms of the state’s budget and public-sector unions. The following statements from experts and policy advisors to The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based free-market think tank, may be used for attribution.

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“All across the country overly generous public pension funds are bankrupting municipalities and states. The results from Wisconsin show that voters realize these out-of-control public employee benefits must be reined in if states are going to be able to balance their budgets.

“What Gov. Walker has accomplished in turning a $3 billion deficit into a surplus is nothing short of amazing. I hope other state leaders will follow Walker’s lead and make the hard but right decisions to protect taxpayers by cutting spending even when those decisions are not necessarily the politically popular ones to make.”

John Nothdurft
Director of Government Relations
The Heartland Institute

“Walker’s seven percentage point margin of victory over Barrett was better than Walker did when originally elected in November 2010. And Barrett’s loss was a blow to public-sector collective bargaining, deserved after the unions’ bad behavior in Madison a year ago.

“Barrett ran an entirely negative campaign – all he had was anti-Walker rhetoric. He had no plan to increase jobs or cut government spending. Implicit in his platform was that he’d have to raise taxes, though he could hardly say that out loud. And yet 46 percent of Wisconsinites – almost 1.16 million people – voted for him.

“Walker’s victory was solid, and Republicans who worked hard to drive turnout deserve to celebrate.”

Maureen Martin
Senior Fellow for Legal Affairs
The Heartland Institute

Ms. Martin is a resident of Green Lake, Wisconsin.

“The victory of Scott Walker begins a new era reaffirming Lincoln’s ringing words that governments are of the people, by the people, and for the people – not prisoners to narrow special-interest groups like public employee unions.”

Richard Vedder
Professor of Economics
Ohio University
Policy Advisor, Economics
The Heartland Institute

“In the birthplace of progressivism and unions, a Wisconsin majority said America will not go down like Greece. Walker won because his reforms have worked so spectacularly, balancing the budget without tax increases, while enabling property taxes to decline for the first time in 15 years.”

Peter Ferrara
Senior Fellow for Entitlement and Budget Policy
The Heartland Institute

“This recall was ultimately about freedom. It was about whether people should be able to decide for themselves whether to send money to a union or have it forcibly taken from them by government for the benefit of government unions. Wisconsin citizens should be congratulated for voting for freedom and against coercion.”

Steve Stanek
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor
Budget & Tax News

“The recall election explicitly pitted tax consumers against taxpayers. The taxpayers won. That dynamic seems likely to be repeated on the large scale in this fall’s elections.”

S.T. Karnick
Director of Research
The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.