Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has adopted a Southern strategy—touting the “accomplishments” of the most conservative governors from the states of the old Confederacy—as he enters the critical final weeks of the historic Wisconsin recall election.
Walker, who has aggressively challenged Wisconsin’s progressive tradition, is bringing in Southern governors who promote union-busting policies and economic-development strategies that raid Northern states and move jobs to states where organized labor is restrained and wages are kept low.
Next week, the Wisconsin governor who last year led the fight to strip collective-bargaining rights away from public employees and teachers, will campaign with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who proudly describes herself as “a union buster.”
In an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Wednesday (following an interview with Walker), Haley proudly declared: “There’s a reason South Carolina’s the new ‘it’ state. It’s because we’re a union buster.”
Haley has been the chief proponent of so-called “right to work” laws that undermine the collective bargaining and organizing rights of unions. She dismissed union members as “thugs” and said: “I’m not going to stop beating up on the unions.”
That’s a big deal in the Wisconsin recall race, as Walker has been under pressure to explain his appearance in a video where he and a wealthy donor are seen discussing strategies to make Wisconsin a low-wage “right to work” state.
The South Carolina governor recently promoted a package of “reforms” that will give South Carolina the toughest right-to-work laws in the nation.
And Haley wants to take right-to-work national: “Barack Obama doesn’t appreciate right-to-work states. Mitt Romney appreciates right-to-work states,” she said after endorsing Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination. “I need a partner in the White House.”
Jindal has been a leading proponent of “corporate raiding” strategies that are used to move jobs from Northern states to the South.
And Jindal’s Louisiana has raided Wisconsin.
In 2009, Gardner Denver closed its manufacturing facility in Sheboygan, Wisconsin—where the company and its predecessor (Thomas Industries) had produced pumps and air compressors for seventy years—and left 366 workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union members and non-union employees, without jobs.
Where did there jobs go? Monroe, Louisiana.
Why? Because Louisiana state government gave away massive tax breaks and other benefits to the company.