Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who faces a recall in June along with Gov. Scott Walker, said Wednesday that the election’s outcome will send a message to the country, noting, “What happens in Wisconsin has potential to affect every state in this nation. We’re a harbinger. We’re a canary in a coal mine,” Kleefisch said on Fox News. “Because what happens in Wisconsin has potential to affect every state in this nation whether Wisconsin voters choose to go forward or backward, back to the failed policies of the past that got us in the budget crunch that we fixed in the first place.” Kleefisch argued that the Walker administration had come into office facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit and had made the difficult but necessary decision to fix the budget crisis without raising taxes. “We asked our public sector employees to contribute 12.6 percent toward their health care, about the national average, 5.8 percent toward their pension, which is about half the national average, and we made some changes to collective bargaining, which was [a] financial [issue] to us,” she said.
Asked by host Bill Hemmer about the accusation that Republicans in Wisconsin are “picking on” the unions, Kleefisch adamantly denied the charge. “No, no, absolutely not. In fact, we can’t have a class of haves and have nots based on whether you work in the public or the private sector here in Wisconsin,” she said. “We’ve seen savings of $848 million between state and local governments and taxpayers come up to us every day and say thank you .”
She continued on to warn that potentially losing the recall election “speaks volumes about where this nation is going,” but insisted that she doesn’t believe the GOP will come out damaged in June.