Bad and good unions and becoming president

Try this one on. Sheryl Sculley for president.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker got me thinking on this. You see, not so awfully long ago, Walker was running Milwaukee County much as City Manager Sculley has responsibilities for day-to-day operations of more populous San Antonio. Right; his was an elected position but it was essentially the same kind of job as Sculley’s.

Walker has become a national darling to conservatives for taking on his state’s public sector unions, most notably teachers. Sculley is fighting the good fight against public sector unions, too — those representing the city’s police and firefighters.

Before Walker was county executive, he was a state representative. But think about it. About five years ago Walker was Milwaukee County’s version of Sculley. And now he’s wooing Iowans so he can become president. The Koch brothers, among others, love the idea.

Walker has the early gaffes to prove he is actively campaigning. You know, evading an evolution question, how he’s not sure President Obama is a Christian and how, at a dinner in his honor, he raised no fuss when a former presidential aspirant questioned the president’s love of country, refusing to repudiate Rudy Giuliani’s statement later.

Some find this disqualifying. But no one who knows Walker should have been surprised. I wasn’t. Walker was a semi-frequent visitor when I served on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board and his exploits got much news coverage.

Walker is quite comfortable with this kind of combat. His complaints about journalists’ alleged gotcha questions and the liberal media don’t surprise either.

Here’s what else I know about Walker.

He’s that guy in high school who just knew he would be president of the United States. You knew this because he told you. Often.

Some are trying to make the case that because he didn’t graduate from college, Walker isn’t all that smart. They’re wrong. He’s intelligent — and very political. It would not surprise me if those gaffes were strategic; his reaction to the outcry over them certainly was. He used the backlash from the Giuliani moment to raise money among conservatives. Anti-education or a failure because he was a college dropout? No, only liberal elites would reach any such conclusion.

So, back to Sculley for president.

I know, you’re thinking Walker’s ascension from county executive to presidential candidate makes a better case for Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff in the White House. But, since the commissioners hired a guy to run the county day to day, Sculley’s job is more like county executive than Wolff’s. Besides, Wolff has not battled unions quite as Sculley and Walker have.

Sorry, Judge. Maybe in 2020 (if Sculley doesn’t go for a second term). Meanwhile, start burnishing that résumé; fight with a union. Pick the “right” union, though.

Walker is being talked about as our next president because he beat up teachers, among other public sector unions. But for a profile in courage, look to Sculley, not Walker. He exempted firefighters and most law enforcement officers from his gutting of collective bargaining.

Oh, and the Wisconsin Legislature is now pushing a right-to-work bill to cripple private sector unions. If it’s approved and Walker signs it, this also should surprise no one. The measure would likely make cop and firefighter unions a rarity in their ability to force even those who don’t want to join pay dues.

Got it? Cop and firefighter unions, good. “Liberal” unions, bad.

Which is puzzling. When you get right down to it, unions serve the same function no matter who they represent. So, what thanks has Sculley gotten for taking on San Antonio’s expensive sacred-cow version of the military-industrial complex?

Surely, the Koch brothers are paying close attention and will be funding PACs for her any minute now. And then Sculley should bypass running for governor and go straight for president. Maybe Julián Castro can join the ticket.

o.ricardo.pimentel@express-news.net

http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/opinion_columnists/o_ricardo_pimentel/article/Bad-and-good-unions-and-becoming-president-6119440.php