Pretty strong passage in this USA Today editorial commenting on the election results:
Among the many lessons Democrats should take from their drubbing on Tuesday is that they need a different relationship with public-sector labor unions.
Labor has long been a key Democratic constituency. But the GOP's sweep of governor races shows how unions — specifically those representing government employees — are also a serious albatross around the party's neck.
This can be seen in how Republican Gov. Scott Walker has made a name for himself by taking on powerful public unions — in the blue state of Wisconsin, no less. Shortly after being elected, Walker signed into law reductions in benefits and a measure that severely limited the unions' ability to bargain collectively. He then went on to survive a labor-led recall effort in 2012, and this year won re-election comfortably....Voter discontent with a bloated public sector can also be seen in the Republican pickups of governorships in Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts.
What these states have in common is huge public employee pension obligations that are either dramatically underfunded, like Illinois', or are being kept (more or less) afloat with burdensome taxes. These pension obligations compete for funding with education, job training, parks, public transit, law enforcement and other issues dear to the hearts of liberals. And they deliver benefits at much earlier ages and massively higher levels than the people paying for them could ever hope to get.
In Illinois, the state's underfunded pension was front and center during the campaign. While the legislature last year finally passed modest restraints to the program's cost growth, coupled with tax hikes, the matter was far from resolved. This year's election played out as unions fought the pension measures in court and as voters rebelled at having to pay significantly higher taxes while labor rejected any changes.
Democrats need to make clear to public employee unions that, while they may support the working man and working woman, they cannot continue to promise the moon.
And they don't even mention Rhode Island, another state where a politician who won — Democrat Gina Raimondo — took on public employee unions over pensions.