In any case, Walker’s exclusion of fire and police unions was political; it wasn’t a matter of something for something.
How can you tell Walker excluded police and firefighters for political rather than political reasons? Well, it’s safe to say his reasoing has has been not only evolving, but contradictory. On NPR, he worried about police and fire striking, but here he says,
“Currently, we’ve had a long tradition and when it comes to fire and police service in the state of Wisconsin. Statutes are very different when it comes to whole series of rights and responsibilities,” Walker said.
. That’s the political equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and saying Nah, nah, nah, I can’t hear you!”
And in response to the endorsement question, Walker misleads with the following:
There are 314 fire and police unions in the state. Four of them endorsed me. All the rest endorsed my opponent.
There may be 314 fire and police unions locals in Wisconsin, but there aren’t 314 police and fire unions.
So did Walker exempt some unions for their support? It’s doubtful. Had he included the state police, he would have had to deal with a broadening of his opposition. Walker might have had to face the possibility of police picketing, a complexity that would have been hard to navigate politically, especially since police and fire fighters are well-liked and have even enjoyed some sanctification since 9/11.
Liberal commentators (that includes my personal hero Paul Krugman) are correct in pointing out that the exempting state police and fire personnel from the abolition of collective bargaining was politically motivated, but the inferernce that it was some sort of deal is not supported by the evidence.