POLITICS

Morning Examiner: Dems Wisconsin Apocalypse

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

A lot could happen between now and the June 5th, but if the numbers in Wisconsin stay where they’ve been for the past month, the Democratic Party and organized labor are heading toward a self-created disaster that could have major implications in November.

Yesterday, Public Policy Polling, a liberal pollster paid by the liberal blog Daily Kos, released their latest results from the Democrats effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. In the first results taken by PPP since the Democratic primary ended last week, PPP found Walker beating Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett 50 percent to 45 percent. This figure matches both what PPP found a month before and what conservative pollster Rasmussen Reports found last week.

Worse for Democrats, the PPP poll showed Obama leading Romney by just one point, 47 percent to 46 percent. In 2008, Obama beat McCain by 14 points, 56-42, and Walker defeated Barrett 52-46 in 2010. This means that, at least in Wisconsin, the 2012 electorate is looking much much more like it did in 2010 than it did in 2008. If that holds true nationally, Obama will lose big.

And the national implications do not end there. If Walker holds on, he will be a model for Republican governance throughout the country. He only became a national Democratic target after he took on government unions by denying them the ability to take money directly out of government workers’ paychecks and forcing them to contribute more money to their health and retirement benefits. Thanks to these reforms, Wisconsin will have a $154-million surplus next year.

Contrast the Wisconsin experience with California, where government unions control the Democratic Party and Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown was forced to announce this Sunday that his state would face a $16 billion deficit next year and tax hikes were needed to close the gap.

The examples of Wisconsin and California offer a sharp contrast to American voters this November: Do they want the high tax, high spending, government union-controlled future of California, or the low tax, low spending, government surplus future of Wisconsin?

Campaign 2012
Nebraska Senate: State Sen. Deb Fischer beat front-runner Attorney General Jon Bruning last night in the Republican primary for Nebraska’s U.S. Senate seat. Bruning had been the establishment favorite, but big spending by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts and an endorsement from Sarah Palin helped push Fischer over the top.

Massachusetts Senate: Elizabeth Warren’s claims that she had no idea Harvard University was billing her as a Native American, but a 1997 Fordham Law Review piece described her as Harvard Law School’s “first woman of color.”

Romney: At a campaign event in Des Moines, Romney warned that, “A prairie fire of debt is sweeping across Iowa and across the nation and every day we fail to act we feed that fire with our own lack of resolve.” Romney said Obama was driving the country into “a financial crisis of both debt and spending that threaten what it means to be an American.”

Obama: According to financial disclosure forms revealed yesterday, Obama is worth $8 million and has between $500,001 and $1,000,000 in a “JP Morgan Chase Private Client Asset Management Checking Account.” And campaign manager Jim Messina announced in an online video on Wednesday that Obama has raised $43.6 million in April, putting them on pace to hit their 2008 total of $746 million raised.

Around the Bigs
The Wall Street Journal, Boehner Draws Line in Sand on Debt: House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that any increase in the government’s borrowing limit must be accompanied by spending cuts and other budget savings of greater value, and he rejected tax increases as part of any deal to reduce the federal deficit.

The Wall Street Journal, Greece Teeters as Talks Fail: Greece’s future in Europe’s common currency was in doubt after a last-ditch effort to form a new government failed and the country’s political turmoil sparked $898 million in bank withdrawals.

The Washington Post, Hollande proposes ‘new pact’ for Europe in inaugural address: Newly installed socialist French President Francois Hollande declared Tuesday that he wanted to “renegotiate” Europe’s response to its economic crisis to include more government spending.

Politico, Moderate Dems frustrated by no budget: Senate Democrats are ripping into Republican budget plans but still refusing to offer one themselves — a move that’s frustrating a handful of centrists in their own party. During a closed-door meeting with the Democratic caucus Tuesday, Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad picked apart the four GOP spending proposals, later describing them as “partisan” and “radical.”

Righty Playbook
Commentary‘s Seth Mandel notes that Obama has inserted himself into the White House website biographies of almost every former president.

Hot Air reports that Franciscan University has become one of the first Catholic institutions to drop their health care plan thanks to Obama’s birth control mandate.

At National Review, Reihan Salam notes that Obama’s signature tax proposal, the Buffett Rule, actually makes Bain Capital’s business model more profitable.

Lefty Playbook
Talking Points Memo‘s Brian Beutler worries that House Republicans are flirting with debt limit debacle 2.0.

Salon‘s Green Greenwald highlights Andrew Sullivan’s creepy and hypocritical description if Obama as his “father figure.”

The Washington Post‘s Sarah Kliff reports that repealing Obamacare will cost health insurers $1 trillion in revenue.

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