The power struggles between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the leaders of the states public unions has resulted in a dramatic decline in the power and influence of organized labor in the state that was a pioneer in the public employee unionization effort.

That proved to be a hot topic Tuesday on the Rochester Today show with Tom Ostrom and Andy Brownell on KROC-AM. 

The all out political war between Walker and the unions has been a disaster for the unions and has pushed Walker to the top, or near the top of the current list of potential Republican presidential contenders. Despite millions of dollars from union interests nationwide spent on lobbying and campaign advertising, the Republicans and Walker have continued to enjoy victories at the ballot box and in the courts since the Wisconsin Governor successfully pushed through legislation stripping the public employee unions of much of their bargaining powers several years ago.

Whether that seismic changes that have taken place in the Badger state will spread across the Mississippi River remains a big question mark. The public employee unions remain a powerful force in Minnesota politics, which have traditionally not been as "bare-knuckle" as Wisconsin politics, but future fights over the cost of fully funding public employee pensions could bring about a shift in public opinion.

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