Radio talk show host Vicki McKenna has changed her political stripes since college.
“I was an avowed Marxist … a liberal Democrat … and a Bill Clinton volunteer and voter before the Republican Revolution of 1994,” she told The Daily Caller’s Ginni Thomas in a recent phone interview.
The self-described “converted conservative” helped galvanize, educate and activate the grassroots in Wisconsin during the recent battle over Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s reform agenda through her popular talk radio show broadcast in Madison (1310 WIBA) and Milwaukee (1130 WISN).
McKenna had up-close-and-personal encounters with organized labor after last fall’s election brought Walker to power along with a Republican House and Senate in what is normally considered a blue state. All at once, Wisconsin’s leaders became focused on real economic and fiscal changes to deal with their budget problems.
Besides reducing tax burdens and cutting spending, one of those changes was entirely new: “shared sacrifice” by government employees. Instead of respecting the ballot box, Wisconsin’s organized left rebelled, physically occupying the state Capitol building at one point and forcing recall elections for several members of the Wisconsin legislature. Their tactics ultimately failed, however, and Wisconsin voters have now rejected their agenda three times in nine months.
On Labor Day, in particular, what happened in Wisconsin needs to be told and re-told because it could happen in any state. Below, McKenna discusses the significance of Wisconsin’s recent battles, the delinquency of the media, the mistakes of the left, and the inspiring tale of a 14-year-old she profiled on-air as “the Liberty Angel.”
Vicki McKenna’s Labor Day message to America
“Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you don’t own your labor. What we have learned here in Wisconsin over these past several months is that there is a substantial group of people that somehow want to convince our citizens that they own your labor.”
How did it feel being on the scene between two mobs?
“It wasn’t two mobs that descended on our capitol April 16. It was a mob, with a mob mentality using intimidation tactics of 35,000 people, and it was a rally of taxpayers trying to take back that capitol of about 15,000.”
What was the biggest mistake made by the unions and their allies in Wisconsin?
“They didn’t understand that there’s a lot of frustration. People who hear them complain, it’s coming off as whining.”
What really happened in Wisconsin last November? Part 1
“This was building and building and building over eights years of a Democrat governor and the last four years of his tenure with a Democrat-controlled legislature. It was a $3.6 billion budget hole. It was tax increase after tax increase … So the state of Wisconsin, much like what happened in other states, we roared back, and the tea party was very integral in making November happen.”
What really happened in Wisconsin last November? Part 2
“On the ground it felt like you were in a foreign country, a hostile foreign country, particularly if you lived in Wisconsin or worked near the capitol.”