GRAYSLAKE, Ill. (CBS) — About 15 Lake County Young Republicans cheered in a Grayslake bar as they watched Scott Walker win his recall election over Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts Walker’s 20-point margin of victory gratified the group. Many had worked phone banks for Walker or walked subdivisions for him in Kenosha County.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports
Among them is Tom Weber, who is running for the Lake County Board. He said it was a shot in the arm for Republicans everywhere, and it was personally educational.
Weber says he has met Walker, likes him and says Walker has answers that elude Illinois politicians. He says if Wisconsin, with its progressive heritage, can do a turnabout, it gives him hope that Illinois can do so also.
Another of the volunteer-candidates was Don Castella, who is seeking a state senate seat in Illinois but worked a phone bank in Kenosha for the past week. He says Walker’s victory solidifies Illinois’ standing as a “political backwater,” but said it shows grassroots efforts can overcome strident and vocal opposition.
Castella says Wisconsin has changed its financial picture and says even Gov. Pat Quinn is saying that Illinois must do something soon about pension obligations. But he says it won’t happen until the leadership in the General Assembly.
Walker was elected in 2010 – defeating Barrett – and quickly moved to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights away from the state’s unionized government workers, in what he said was spurred by a need to balance the state’s budget.