On Wisconsin: Semanko urges Idaho GOPs to stand up to unions, back Luna laws

As Wisconsin voters go to the polls today to decide the future of Gov. Scott Walker, Norm Semanko predicts Idaho will be "the next battleground."

The state GOP chairman says Idaho will be the scene of a battle over state superintendent Tom Luna's Students Come First education overhaul.

Wrote Semanko, in an email to Idaho Republicans: "Idaho's teachers union has already hired a big-labor, union boss from back East to come to Idaho and overturn all the progress we’ve made through the Students Come First education reforms. These recalls and referendums are not about what’s best for children. They’re about who is going to run our schools: local leaders or national union bosses."

This spring, the opponents of the Luna laws hired David Williams to run the campaign aimed at repeal. As Dan Popkey reported last month, "Williams was deputy campaign manager of We Are Ohio, which won 62 percent of the vote in November to overturn a law restricting collective bargaining rights for 360,000 public employees."

Here's Semanko's full message:

Have your heard what's happening in Wisconsin today? Listen up. It's critical to Idaho's future too.

Governor Scott Walker’s career is on the line for doing the right thing, the responsible thing. He stood up to the unions and balanced his state's budget by returning local control to locally elected leaders. National labor unions are working hard to defeat these bold reforms. They think local control means union control. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Why is this important? What is happening in Wisconsin today has a huge impact on Idaho. As soon as this election is over, Idaho will become the next battleground. Idaho's teachers union has already hired a big-labor, union boss from back East to come to Idaho and overturn all the progress we’ve made through the Students Come First education reforms. These recalls and referendums are not about what’s best for children. They’re about who is going to run our schools: local leaders or national union bosses.

Like Governor Walker, we must defend our state from union control. We must protect our schools from returning to a status quo education system that is full of policies that do not put students first. We must vote yes for Idaho students in November!

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Ah yes, all those wicked evil labor unions threatening Idaho

Norm, don't worry. Idaho Democrats did them in 2+ decades back when they basically abandoned the working folks of Idaho, to go drink the Left's kool-aid in the tony salons of Sun Valley, McCall, Moscow, etc. It's been all downhill since, except for the periodic "I took the wrong meds" outbursts from that blow-hard, and legend-in-his-own-mind, Cecil Andrus.


have you been drinking? The Norm type GOP cultists did in the unions by pushing "Right to work" through the Idaho legislature despite the best efforts of a Democratic minority. Follow the money with that law and the Luna law, also passed despite the best efforts of a Democrat minority, and it will take you right to the fat cats who get more while Idaho taxpayers and kids get less. Right to work and go to school for less, anyone?

More of the same

Let's face it, when your livelihood and income are threatened it's time to lash out at the most vulnerable. Let's make sure that someone else has to pay for our mistakes. Semanko wants to make sure that teachers will be dependent on "the system" for the rest of their lives by hacking their pay and benefits. I'll bet he wouldn't stand for anyone trying to take his employment negotiating rights away from him. Immoral Ba$turd.


Every has their own "employment negotiating rights".
Pretty tough to take aways someone's right to say, "yes I'll come to work for you tomorrow".

Unions lead to all kinds of employment inefficiencies. Every person I know working in a union HATES it-- until they need protection.

Since when is a deputy campaign manager a "big union boss"?

Defend our state from union control? Where does Semanko live? When has Idaho been in danger of a union controlling our state? Give me a break.

This kind of thing is what I find most annoying about partisan communications. Each side uses the such exaggerated, alarmist messaging that I find it difficult to take either seriously.

I guess scaring people makes it easier to raise money for the party.


you are all for local control? Such as Washington County Commissioners wanting a say-so in regulating gas and oil drilling within their own county? You know, the regulations that you and your flunky State of Idaho regulator friends, stripped them of?
I don't see unions as a threat in this state. What I do see, is people like you Semanko, being a threat and of questionable character to any orgnization that you and your kind, are associated with. One example being the antics that you demonstrated while with IWUA.

Idaho unions...

...it wasn't Democrats or Republicans that clipped the wings of labor unions in Idaho. Unions are impotent in Idaho because Mormon workers are scabs and won't walk a picket line. I guess when you have half a dozen mouths to feed you can't afford to miss a paycheck. Though, its still sad too see a group or people so accustomed to subjugation that they refuse to stand up for their own best interests.

Mr. Semanko pick a new target

Unions are demonized and teachers are demonized by individuals like Mr. Semenko. Why? Because it is an effective propaganda ploy. I hope that the citizens of Idaho are smart enough to see through this ruse. The recent events involving Heritage Charter School in Caldwell are only the beginning. When this unfolds we will see that those who are the most agressive to take tax dollars are the very same individuals who espouse free enterprise for the rest of us. Too many "conservatives" are feeding at the trough.

Uh Oh. 60/40 Walker blowout.

...and the look on Ed Shultz's face...Priceless.

The middle class

Does not create jobs.


They shop, eat, recreate, worship and pay taxes with their *own* money. Money earned by WORKING, not getting public assistance or dividends on their investments!


That is one of the all-time most ignorant posts I've ever read here. This economy runs on the middle class. Weak middle class equals weak economy equals less jobs. Strong middle class equals strong economy equals more jobs. Open your eyes. Even shrub knew this ("Go shopping").


Crying, crying, the Union thugs and their DemocRATS are looking at what is coming... your days of extortion are over... take back America! Take it back from the union corruption, take it back from the sellout democrats...Ooooooobama... see ya.

2 possibilities

Let’s see…progressive Wisconsin votes to support Gov. Walker and the lieutenant Governor from a union led recall by a larger margin than they were originally elected with. Republicans also win all 4 Senate races to retain control of the Wisconsin Senate.

Hmmm…I guess that could mean one of two things: Wisconsin has been taken over by extreme, radical, fascist, ignorant, far-right Republicans?

Or…Maybe, just maybe…Even in a Democratic, progressive stronghold, the people
realize that budgets must be balanced and sweetheart union deals can’t continue?


Maybe the Republicans lost one of the four recall senate races, and the Democrats won control of the senate, putting the skids on Walker's agenda.