March 29, 2011- Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald bragged that Republicans had busted government employee unions "once and for all" in a fundraising letter sent to his supporters.
In contrast to his earlier rhetoric, which focused on the need to curb public employees union rights to balance the state budget, Fitzgerald said the unions have "ruined California and Illinois, but they're not going to ruin Wisconsin."
"That is because Republicans faced down Big Labor's bully tactics and a Democratic walk-out in the state Senate to break the power of unions like WEAC and AFSCME once and for all," he continued.
Wisconsin Democratic state senators had attempted to stall the Republican anti-union legislation by fleeing the state. The Wisconsin Senate needs a minimum of 20 members to be present to vote on legislation pertaining to fiscal matters. Republican senators eventually stripped all fiscal legislation from the bill and passed it on March 9 while the Democrats were absent.
Fitzgerald also said that union supporters had tried "to intimidate and scare my family. They packed the State Capitol with raging mobs of union protesters – many from other states – who had been worked into a frenzy by union leaders."
The senate majority leader warned that he would probably be targeted by a recall campaign next year. Under Wisconsin law, any elected official who has served at least one year of their current term can be recalled from office. On March 14, the Wisconsin Democratic Party said it had collected nearly half of the signatures needed to recall eight Republican state senators who are currently eligible.
"I must be prepared to deal with this possibility," Fitzgerald said.