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How The Wisconsin Recall Election Impacts Colorado

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DENVER (CBS4)- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker became the first governor to survive a recall when he won his election Tuesday. Now political experts on both the Republican and Democratic side say the implications of that win are far-reaching.

Unions and Democrats launched the recall effort in Wisconsin after Walker pushed through cuts in collective bargaining rights for some public employees.

That stings for big labor around the nation.

“There’s no question it was disappointing for us,” said Scott Wasserman the executive director of “Colorado Wins.” That’s a group which represents more than 31,000 state employees.

Wasserman said he’s not worried what happened in Wisconsin will happen in Colorado but does wonder how other states might react.

“I do worry that we’re going to see more brazen attacks,” Wasserman told CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd.

Wasserman pointed out Walker outspent the unions when it came to advertising in the recall election, part of that money raised through Tea Party efforts.

But Colorado’s Speak of the House sees it differently. “I don’t support unions, I don’t support public sector unions,” Rep. Frank McNulty said.

The Republican suggested the vote in Wisconsin could actually open the floodgates against unions around the nation.

“There’s no doubt what happened in Wisconsin was a shot through the hull of big money,” McNulty said. “They came in, spent a lot of money and they lost so you do see decisions like this trickling throughout the country.”

Political analysts contend those ramifications could impact the presidential race.

“This has to be a very worrisome sign for the White House,” said Eric Sondermann, a Colorado analyst.

“I think a big concern for Democrats, clearly for public sector organized labor, clearly for the White House has to be that this was something of a ‘canary in the mine shaft’ and that it was indicative of a change in sentiment that we started to see in 2010 and that is moving across the country,” Sondermann explained.

But one 27 year employee of the state said he thinks it’s still too early to read much into the Wisconsin vote.

“I see it as a big event, “said Paul Boni, “but how it translates into a trend, time will tell.”

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