Patrick B. McGuigan
Tuesday night (June 5), not long after television networks projected a dramatic victory for Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin’s historic recall election, likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney cheered the results in a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK and other news organizations around the nation.
Here in Oklahoma, conservative leaders have led a chorus of praise for Walker’s steadfastness and ultimate triumph. In his statement, Romney said:
“I congratulate Scott Walker on his victory in Wisconsin. Gov. Walker has demonstrated over the past year what sound fiscal policies can do to turn an economy around, and I believe that in November voters across the country will demonstrate that they want the same in Washington, D.C.
"Tonight’s results will echo beyond the borders of Wisconsin. Gov. Walker has shown that citizens and taxpayers can fight back – and prevail – against the runaway government costs imposed by labor bosses. Tonight voters said ‘no’ to the tired, liberal ideas of yesterday, and ‘yes’ to fiscal responsibility and a new direction. I look forward to working with Gov. Walker to help build a better, brighter future for all Americans.”
Mark Costello, Oklahoma commissioner of labor, traveled at his own expense to Wisconsin to campaign in support of Walker. In an interview Wednesday (June 6), Costello told CapitolBeatOK,
“This was the most significant non-presidential election in this century. What happened in Oklahoma in 2010 happened in Wisconsin on Tuesday.
“It has often been said, and there is some truth to it, that all politics is local. The Wisconsin outcome is another indication that, increasingly, all politics is national.
“Courage was on the ballot, and courage won. This will stiffen the backbones of politicians. If courage won, then the community organizers lost.
“Anyone who does not think this is a harbinger of November is not paying attention. On this same day, voters in two California cities approved substantive reform of government pensions. No one, not any one, wants to witness the “Greece-ification” of America.
“Governor Walker’s opponents tried to recall him, and they failed. You can’t recall the laws of math or of economics, and Americans are learning there should no longer be two classes of Americans – working taxpayers who pay the bills, and government employees who spend the money.
“Another thing that was on the ballot was state sovereignty, and sovereignty won. Many referred to “collective bargaining rights” as being central to the fight in Wisconsin, but those are privileges, not rights. The question presented was: is the sovereign sovereign, or it is subservient to the labor union bosses?
“The state chose through its elected representatives, facing a multi-billion deficit, to take those collective bargaining privileges away, and the sovereign right of the state to make that decision was upheld in this election.”
Also here in Oklahoma, Michael Carnuccio of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs reflected on the results. In a statement sent to CapitolBeatOK soon after Walker’s victory was clear, Carnuccio said:
“The election results this evening bring victory far beyond the borders of Wisconsin. The message sent by the voters’ endorsement of Governor Walker’s leadership is straightforward – our country needs strong states, and those states desperately need courageous leaders.
“Scott Walker found victory tonight because he governed with the motto ‘it’s not about the next election, it’s about the next generation.’ We need that steadfast commitment to principle in Oklahoma. So, if you take anything from the election results in Wisconsin this evening, let it be this: we all won.”
OCPA sponsored Walker’s visit to Oklahoma in April for the organization’s annual “Citizenship Dinner” at the National Cowboy Museum and Western Heritage Center. The speech drew a packed house of pro-Walker conservatives – and several hundred anti-Walker demonstrators on N.E. 63rd Street in front of the venue.