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Wisconsin recall vote, implications for national labor unions

by AirTalk®

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Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, right, and Democratic challenger Tom Barrett participate in a televised debate Thursday, May 31, 2012, in Milwaukee. Jeffrey Phelps/AP

Wisconsin voters head to the polls today in a crucial recall vote. It's being described as a referendum on GOP Governor Scott Walker's efforts to restrict the collective bargaining rights of public workers and a measure of the power and influence of the unions.

The recall vote marks the seventh time state voters had been asked to cast their ballot in the last 14 months on a range of matters. Even with suspected voter fatigue, a turnout of 60 to 65 percent is expected, according to the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. The recall comes at a cost: over 63.5 million dollars have been spent by candidates which pits Governor Walker against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. More than half of that figure relates to donations to the Walker campaign alone. In addition to the battle of the candidates, it also pits the on-the-ground organizing chops of Democrats against the fund raising prowess of Republicans; all of which have wider implication for November's presidential election.

How do you think this recall could impact on the 2012 presidential election? What ramifications could it have for labor unions and collective bargaining?


J.R. Ross, Editor of, an online site for political news and analysis in Wisconsin

Jonathan Wilcox, Republican Strategist; former speech writer for Governor Pete Wilson

Darry Sragow, Democratic Strategist; Attorney and Managing Partner of the law firm SNR Denton in Los Angeles

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