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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 25, 2012/ 4 Sivan, 5772

Overreach by Unions in Wisconsin

By Linda Chavez



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Wisconsin recall election of Republican Gov. Scott Walker is not going quite like the unions and the Democratic Party expected. Back in 2011, many pundits thought that the governor had overreached when he took on public employee unions, restricting — though not eliminating — collective bargaining rights. But he did so because he inherited a state in dire financial shape with a deficit of $3.6 billion and public employee pensions and benefits that threatened to bankrupt the state.

When a Republican-controlled legislature tried to pass legislation to rein in the abuses, Democratic representatives literally fled the state to make a vote impossible. As a result of some clever parliamentary footwork that separated fiscal items in the bill so that a quorum would not be required to pass the legislation, Walker managed to get the bill passed. The unions sued, unsuccessfully, and the bill became law, incurring the wrath of Wisconsin's powerful unions — public and private sector. They launched a successful recall petition drive and, for awhile, it looked like Walker might pay for his temerity with his job.

The latest polls in the state show Walker in the lead against his opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, by 5-8 points. What's more, Walker has raised vastly more funds than Barrett, some $25 million to Barrett's $831,000 (though unions and Democratic groups will spend much more on his behalf). But the real problem for Barrett is that Walker's medicine, though unpleasant for many union members, has helped bring the state's economy back to a more healthy position.

Even in a heavily union state like Wisconsin, union membership is tiny compared to the total labor force. And when it comes to public employees, most taxpayers realize that they are actually footing the bill for salaries and benefits, which more often than not exceed their own.

When many workers have no health insurance, they may feel chagrined at having to fork over more taxes to pay for Cadillac policies for union members whose own healthcare contributions are much smaller. When most employees get two weeks paid vacation if they're lucky, they may resent paying full time salaries to teachers who work only nine months a year and spend only five hours a day in the classroom with weeklong holidays, professional development and snow days off.

It's still possible for the Democrats and unions to pull off a victory if they are more successful at voter turnout than the Republicans. Unions are more than willing to bend the rules when it comes to spending union dues to get out non-union voters. The state can expect a huge influx of out-of-state union staff to work on getting out the vote — they're already there in big numbers.

And it's likely that the Democrats will revert to some old tried-and-true tactics to get unlikely voters to the polls. In 2000, some Democratic operatives handed out cigarettes to homeless people for voting. This year, both sides have been accused of offering people food in return for voting early in the recall election. And so-called "walking around money" — actual cash surreptitiously passed to voters, which is illegal — is a problem with a long history in politics.

One advantage Walker may have, however, is that early voting — once touted as a boon to get more disadvantaged, Democratic-leaning voters to participate — hasn't always worked out that way. It's true that Democratic operatives can visit nursing homes and "help" elderly voters to fill out their mail-in ballots or other places, like homeless shelters, where they're more likely to get extra votes for Democratic candidates who promise more social benefits. But making voting somewhat easier has also made it possible for busy, gainfully employed or more affluent retired people to participate in higher numbers, which favors the GOP.

If Walker does survive the recall election June 5, it will put the state of Wisconsin in political play for the GOP in the presidential election. It seemed unlikely that Wisconsin, which went for President Obama by 14 points in 2008, would be a tossup this year. But the Republican base has been energized by the unions' attempt to oust Walker. Independents, and even some fiscally conservative Democrats, may also jump ship from Obama in the fall. If so, the electoral map looks better for Mitt Romney, which is why some in the Obama campaign are worried that their friends in the labor movement may have overreached.

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JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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