Gary is an author, trial lawyer, Mequon-area resident and town of Cedarburg supervisor. He is a columnist for the News Graphic and writes for several Wisconsin area magazines and is a national columnist with The American Thinker and PJ Media. He lives with his wife, Lisa, and has three sons ages 18 to 28. Gary won Ozaukee County in his bid for the Wisconsin Assembly's 60th District in 2011, but came up just 58 votes short.
The public employee temper tantrum masquerading as a recall election is history. Thanks to the greed and over-reaching of the public employee unions, Wisconsin is now not only the birthplace of the Republican Party, but the place of the rebirth of the Republican Party. States like Ohio, California, Michigan, and New Jersey - drowning in debt, deficit, and unfunded public pensions - have gathered the courage to do something about the stranglehold of public employee unions, thanks to the courage shown in Wisconsin. The obnoxious blue fist of the belligerant labor unions can be tossed in the attic as tens of thousands of faithful union members defect from their neutered unions. We have much to be thankful for.
Let's forget for a moment the more than 33,000 jobs created under Governor Scott Walker, as was just reported on May 16, 2012 by the Department of Workforce Development.
Let's ignore the fact that Walker's policies have allowed the unemployment rate in this state to plummet to its lowest mark since 2008.
Let's temporarily look beyond the fact that with the one-sided black hole of collective bargaining for public school teachers in mothballs, school boards and communities have taken back control of their school districts and the out-of-control spending legacies left behind by self-centered public employee unions and are now able to make decisions which are best for students and taxpayers, rather than unions.
Let's not talk about the fact that thousands of teaching positions have been saved throughout Wisconsin, while public employees are getting axed by the union busload in Michigan and Illinois.
Let's pretend for a moment that the most liberal of all Wisconsin newspapers - the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - didn't just this week fully endorse Scott Walker, saying, "We see no reason to remove Walker from office. We recommend him in the June 5 recall election."
Let's ignore that free market competition has finally been restored to Wisconsin government-sector health insurance markets and has forced WEA Trust to deal fairly with school districts because it finally has to compete with private health insurers for union business.
Let's forget that the legacy of a $3.6 billion Wisconsin deficit left behind by years of union-controlled Democrat Party rule has been magically transformed into a $275 million surplus.
Let's not even mention that Act 10 has led to smaller class sizes and allowed the best and brightest teachers to maintain their jobs over lazier, less-qualified, more senior teachers.
Let's not mention that Wisconsin school districts have realized huge savings through either the implementation of collective bargaining changes or the simple threat of it, according to the Education Action Group Foundation.
Let's look beyond the fact that all of the aforementioned benefits were made possible by simply limiting collective bargaining to wages and requiring teachers and other public employees to contribute a paltry 5.8% to their state pensions and at least 12.6% of their health care premiums - a sweetheart deal 99% of private sector employees would give their right arm for.
Instead, let's focus on the simple, glorious fact that Wisconsin's Act 10 has paid significant dividends to Wisconsin taxpayers, according to a new analysis by the Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy Research, at Suffolk University in Boston.
Act 10, which implemented sane limits to collective bargaining for most unionized public employees, has saved Wisconsin taxpayers more than $1 billion, according to The Economic Impacts of the Wisconsin Budget Repair Act. The study is set to be released this week (May 23, 2012) by Beacon Hill Institute, a prominent free market think tank.
Let's celebrate the public repudiation of the ill-advised recall efforts and Wisconsin's independence from the union stranglehold which had almost caused our state to tap out over the last three decades. We have taken back our state and given courage to states around the country to follow our lead, requiring the AFL-CIO to warm up its buses and organize protests in all 50 states.
Wisconsin spoke on June 5 and supported the man who has made all of the above possible. Governor Scott Walker. What a difference one brave man can make!