By GROVER G. NORQUIST from the SEPTEMBER 2012 issue
Posted: October 2, 2012
Republicans control 24 states. Where are the rest of our Scott Walkers and Bobby Jindals?
IN LESS THAN TWO YEARS, the governor of Wisconsin has reformed public sector unions so that they can no longer withhold union dues from every worker’s paycheck; ended teacher tenure; required government employee unions to be re-certified each year; signed legislation that made Wisconsin the 41st state with “shall issue” concealed carry; cut over $800 million from the state budget; and expanded parental choice in education by removing the 22,500-student cap on the Milwaukee Parental Choice program and extending the program to include the city of Racine. The governor of Louisiana, elected in 2007 and re-elected last year, has helped usher Republican majorities into the state house and senate; signed legislation that gives more than half of the state’s students (380,000 out of 700,000 total) a voucher for the amount the state government spends per pupil; signed a strict ethics law; and moved government worker pensions to a blend of defined contribution and defined benefit.
But Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal are only two of 29 Republican governors. They are only two of 24 Republican governors who enjoy the company of Republican-controlled state legislatures. In theory, in two dozen states for 2011 and most of 2012, if the Republican governor, house speaker, and senate leader could agree on any particular reform, it would be the law of the land now. Why are we not reading about the groundbreaking Reaganite agendas passing in 24 states? Why are we not hearing the howls of the labor union bosses and trial lawyers in two dozen states?