Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker LYING About State Budget for Union Busting!

TAX CUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From AP 1-31-11

Wisconsin Gov. Walker signs tax cut bill into law

MADISON, Wis. — Companies that relocate to Wisconsin won’t have to pay income taxes for two years under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Scott Walker.

The measure joins three others Walker has signed in his first month in office that he said will send a message that Wisconsin is more business friendly. Walker, a Republican, has seen his legislative agenda speed through the Republican-controlled Legislature even though he has yet to explain how he’ll pay for everything in light of the state’s projected $3 billion budget shortfall.

Walker is expected to tout the early successes, and start talking about how he’ll tackle the budget, in his first State of the State address on Tuesday night. Lawmakers were scheduled to be back at work on Wednesday voting on more Walker priorities.

Even though the tax cut bill he signed Monday and other parts of his legislative agenda have garnered bipartisan support, Democratic critics say much of what Walker is doing is more symbolic than substantive.

For example, only $1 million in tax breaks are expected to be given out to qualifying businesses that relocate to Wisconsin under the bill Walker signed Monday. Another tax cut Walker is backing that’s tied to every new job created would come with a tax benefit of only between roughly $90 and $315 per  job.

So the Democrats have finally grown a pair, and gotten out of DODGE.  Walker only needs ONE Dem for a quorum to pass his legislation. It’s called a BOYCOTT!

to get his quorum,  Governor Walker sics the Po Po on the WI Democrats.  Imagine that, sending out law enforcement to pass legislation to gut worker’s pay and destroy their bargining rights.

**And mad props to Rachel Maddow for her BRILLIANT reporting on the FACTS! 

The major papers and other cable networks have been  misleading, fraudulent, and downright negligent in their coverage of Governor Walker and the state of Wisconsin.

Watch it here:

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110 Responses to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker LYING About State Budget for Union Busting!

  1. Pingback: Scott Walker: Stars In “TOTAL RECALL” ‘Round Midnight; Wisconsin Tells Walker “You Ain’t got to Go Home, But You Gotta Get The Hell Out of the Governor’s Mansion” | 3CHICSPOLITICO



  3. dannie22 says:

    Watching Rachael. This ish is nuts!!

  4. dannie22 says:

    Just read on Twitter that all union leaders are having an emergency meeting. Possibly planning a general strike.

    Power to the people.

  5. Ametia says:

  6. Ametia says:

    Posted at 4:12 PM ET, 03/ 2/2011
    Four national polls show solid support for public employees
    By Greg Sargent
    The First Read gang reports that the forthcoming NBC/WSJ poll, like other previously released surveys, will show strong public opposition to rolling back public employee bargaining rights:

    In the poll, a whopping 68 percent find it acceptable requiring public employees to contribute more of their pay for retirement benefits; 63 percent are fine with requiring these employees to pay more for their health-care benefits; and 58 percent are OK with freezing public employees’ salaries for one year.

    But just 33 percent say it’s acceptable — and 62 percent say it’s unacceptable — to eliminate these employees’ collective-bargaining rights as way to deal with state budget deficits.

    Yes, the poll finds strong majorities want public employees to pony up more for benefits. But the Wisconsin public employee unions have already agreed to this. On the core question at the heart of the standoff — whether it’s acceptable to roll back bargaining rights — a strong majority, 62 percent, is with the unions.

    It gets better. I asked the First Read crew to send over the question’s exact wording, which they graciously did. It asks whether people find it acceptable to “eliminate public employees’ right to collectively bargain over health care, pensions and other benefits when negotiating a union contract.”

    That wording is a pretty fair approximation of what’s being proposed in Wisconsin. So this should silence the talk in some quarters that polls showing strong support for the public employees are rooted in the public’s lack of understanding of the issue. What’s more, this is now the fourth national poll to find the public supports public employees against governors looking to roll back their bargaining rights. Gallup, the New York Times and Pew (to a slightly lesser degree) have all found the same.

    Some folks on the right got very excited this morning because a new Quinnipiac Poll finds that more support limits on the bargaining rights of public employees than oppose it, 45-42. But the question wording asks whether people favor “limiting” bargaining rights. That word lends itself to open-ended interpretations and doesn’t do justice to how transformative the proposal actually would be. And as noted above, NBC’s more accurate description elicits far more opposition.

    Indeed, the verdict is clear: Americans support public employees in this standoff. Whether that will impact the outcome of the fight, of course, remains to be seen. But the bigger story here — one that will ripple far beyond what happens in Wisconsin — is that public employees are not proving the easy scapegoat many predicted they would be, and when faced with the question of whether their fundamental union rights should be taken away, Americans have stepped up and answered with a firm No.


  7. Avenger says:

    I bet Carter is pissing in his pants with joy. Obama has replaced him as the most inept president in history. Carter, the peanut farmer lost Iran. Obama, the Kenyan, is about to lose the whole middle east. What a clown. Where did they dig this guy up. His qualifications are: “community organizer’.

    • Ametia says:

      I see the trolls have come out to play today. What do you want to contribute in regards to Governor Walker and Wisconsin? Address the thread topic or scoot.

  8. Whiner says:

    Those dasterly Republicans trying to save the taxpayers money from those greedy communist, union, pukes. How dare they? Call Barack O’Carter and ask him where the jobs are. How about those “shovel ready’ jobs her promised? What a joke!!

  9. Ametia says:

    DA sees no criminal liability in fake donor phone call to Walker
    Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 1:00 pm

    Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said Tuesday that he has not launched a formal criminal probe of a phone call between Gov. Scott Walker and a New York blogger posing as billionaire donor David Koch.

    But at a news conference, Ozanne said he would be interested in knowing more about what conversations the governor had with others about planting instigators in the mass of peaceful demonstrators outside the Capitol.

    “At this time I do not find any criminal liability,” Ozanne said, although he added that he was concerned about the statements Walker made to “Koch.”

    More than anything, Ozanne said, the statements “spoke directly to (Walker’s) character.”

    Ozanne also said he has not launched a probe concerning the actions of 14 Senate Democrats who have been hiding in Illinois in order to delay a vote on Walker’s budget repair bill, which would end collective bargaining for most state employees on all issues but salary.

    “That it frustrates the majority (party) does not make it a crime,” Ozanne said.

    Ozanne also said he has not received any complaints about the controversial vote on the bill taken by Assembly Republicans and is not certain what, if anything, would be in his power to prosecute on that issue.

    Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney also spoke about law enforcement’s role in keeping the peace at the Capitol. He said that when the state Department of Administration decided to block access to the Capitol, he pulled his deputies from that duty because it is not their job to act as “palace guard.”


  10. Wisconsin Lawmakers Seek To Criminalize Prank Phone Calls That Make Scott Walker Look Bad


    Last week, Ian Murphy of the Buffalo Beast won the week when he called up Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and pretended to be billionaire David Koch. We were pretty impressed by the level of access afforded to the influential Koch dealer. You go ahead and try to get a governor on the phone for a long and rambling conversation that easily, powerful teachers’ unions!

    Wisconsin lawmakers at the center of the conflagration over Walker’s “budget repair” bill have been quick to address the problem that lies at the heart of the Koch prank call, and are responding to it by demanding greater transparency over the special interests and influence peddlers who have direct access to the statehouse moving to criminalize prank phone calls:

    Sen. Mary Lazich, R-Waukesha, and Rep. Mark Honadel, R-Milwaukee, authored a bill that would prohibit tricking the call’s recipient into believing the caller is someone they are not for malicious purposes.

    “While use of spoofing is said to have some legitimate uses, it can also be used to frighten, harass and potentially defraud,” Lazich and Honadel said in an e-mail to legislators.

    The bill language forbids a caller from intentionally providing a false phone number and convincing the person receiving the call that it comes from someone other than the actual caller.

    The bill would make it illegal to defraud, cause harm or wrongfully obtain any information of value from using a caller identification service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information. It would also prohibit individuals from masking their voices or providing a fake phone number to the call recipient, said Jason Vick, spokesperson for Honadel.

    You got PUNKED! Keep your hands clean, mofo!

    3D spinning LOL

  11. John Boehner: Unions Have A ‘Machine Gun’ Pointed At Heads Of Local Officials


    WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) weighed in on the labor protests rocking the Midwest on Sunday, saying that the current system of collective bargaining is too tilted in favor of labor unions.

    “In some of these states, you’ve got collective bargaining laws that are so weighted in favor of the public employees that there’s almost no bargaining,” Boehner said in an interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network. “We’ve given them a machine gun and put it right at the heads of the local officials and they really have their hands tied. And I think what you’re seeing in these states is they’re trying to bring some balance to these negotiations that when you look at the pay of public employees today and you look at their retirement benefits they are way out of line with many other working Americans.”

    Boehner placed part of the blame for the current situation on the Obama administration, who, along with the Democratic-controlled 111th Congress, “bailed out the states where they could avoid making the tough decisions,” he said.

    “Well, there are no more bailouts coming from Washington,” Boehner said. “We’re broke. We’re broke! We don’t have money to dish out to the states, so all these governors are trying to find ways to balance their budgets, which they’re required to do.”

    Gun analogy, Boehner? Is that necessary? What happen to tone down the rhetoric? No good mofos!

    • Ametia says:

      No GO, John BONER! The gun rhetoric is not going to work. Notice this muthaphucker did not say one word during the RACIST TEABAGGERS rants and rallies and bringing guns to townhalls that PBO spoke at in 2009-2010.

      Notice that since they RETHUGS won the House last November, the teabaggers are quiet. The GOP/REPUBLICAN Party=TEA PARTY.

      Now that the Dems are protesting, they want to attach the gun rhetoric. GTFOH Boehner

    • dannie22 says:

      And u John have a drink in yr hand. No jobs though.

  12. Dear 3 Chics:

    Do you realize that – according to the magazine “International Socialist Review” more than 307,000 municipal and state employees got laid off – NOT due to the actions of some “evil Republican governor” but BECAUSE the government entity to which they were employed could no longer afford to employ them.

    With or without their UNION – they STILL lost their jobs.

    It seems that you need to decide if YOUR real goal is to advance the interests of the people – who seek to advance their interests through employment and then by union membership OR if your goal is to defend the UNIONS – all the while looking past the painful truth that surrounds you.

    Think about it. If you consider the fate of the city of Detroit. Their payroll was pared down without national protests. You choose to battle over union representation but appear to be silent on the issues surrounding the viability of the government entity in question.

    • Ametia says:

      Make no misstake about it, CF, this idea of union busitng is just the tip of the iceberg. When the folks of WI, OH, FL, IN, and any other region decided they were going to send in the clowns in 11-2-10, they are now having to deal with the consequences of their actions.

      We post here at 3Chics provide information and entertain and on occassion discuss . Could you please provide a link to the above? Thanks CF

      • When the folks of WI, OH, FL, IN, and any other region decided they were going to send in the clowns in 11-2-10, they are now having to deal with the consequences of their actions.

        Please tell it! Karma is a bitch! She demands to be paid.

        RobM @ JJP said it best: “I suspect there are numerous conservative white workers who always thought the union protected them from the niggers. Now they are the one niggerized.”

        Plantsmantx added: Even more of them thought conservative politicians were out to inflict pain on people of color only, and not whites. Most of of them still think that. Most of the people who are Teabaggers primarily because there’s a black man in the White House (in other words, most Teabaggers) have deluded themselves into thinking that they, as white people, won’t suffer from insane far right wing policies.

        Plants nailed it!

      • Ametia says:

        Plants certainly did NAIL it. What these folks fail to comprehend, or refuse to acknowledge is that, they are poor white trash, as far as the GOP are concerned, because they are not filthy RICH. That’s the only interest the Republican Party is invested in. The Corporate RICH.

  13. Wisconsin Protesters Stage Largest Rally To Date..


    MADISON, Wis. — Chanting pro-union slogans and carrying signs declaring “We are all Wisconsin,” protesters turned out in cities nationwide to support thousands of public workers who’ve set up camp at the Wisconsin Capitol to fight Republican-backed legislation aimed at weakening unions.

    Union supporters organized rallies from New York to Los Angeles in a show of solidarity Saturday as the demonstration in Madison entered its 12th straight day and attracted its largest crowd yet: more than 70,000 people. Hundreds banged on drums and screamed into bullhorns inside the Capitol as others braved frigid weather and snow during the massive rally that flooded into nearby streets.

    “I want to thank you for coming out here today to exercise those pesky First Amendment rights,” actor Bradley Whitford, who starred in television’s “The West Wing,” said as he rallied his hometown crowd. “This governor has to understand Wisconsin is a stubborn constituency. We fish through ice!”

    Republican Gov. Scott Walker has introduced a bill that includes stripping almost all public workers of their right to collectively bargain on benefits and work conditions. Walker has said the bill would help close a projected $3.6 billion deficit in the 2011-13 budget, and argues that freeing local governments from collective bargaining would give them flexibility amid deep budget cuts.

    The bill has sent Democrats and unions into an outrage. They see it as trampling on workers’ rights and as an attempt to destroy Democrats’ strongest campaign allies.

    Some protestors have even been sleeping in the Wisconsin Capitol. Police planned to let protesters stay overnight Saturday into Sunday but are expected to finally close the building Sunday afternoon for cleaning.

    “Wisconsin is opening up people’s eyes a little bit,” said Jay Van Loenen, a teacher who attended a rally in Denver that attracted about 1,000 people. “So I think that the move is to try to get people more involved in their unions and create a stronger front so that if something happens here, we are prepared.”

    • Ametia says:

      Yes, these folks are going to have to do the HEAVY LIFTING now. I’s one thing to scream about Civil Rights, etc., they are REALLY going to have to fight for their rights. And Plants with 100% right. Some of these WORKING-CLASS white men never thought they’d find themselves defending their right to bargin for fare wages et.al.

      This only happens to POC and women. When are they going to learn that the GOP=CARESONLYFORTHERICH&POWERFUL.

  14. Walker shows no sign of conceding in Wisconsin battle Warns of layoffs of government workers if accord isn’t reached to curb collective bargaining


    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday that government workers’ collective bargaining rights have caused unsustainable costs and stuck to his demand that bargaining rights be curtailed for most public workers.

    “If we do not get these changes, and the Senate Democrats don’t come back, we’re going to be forced to make up the savings in layoffs and that to me is just unacceptable,” he said.

    Walker has been locked in a battle with his state’s public sector unions for the past four weeks over his proposal to strip the unions of most of their collective bargaining rights. His measure would apply not only to state employees but to those of local governments and school boards around the state.

    Recall this mofo!

  15. Pingback: Let’s get this clear about Wisconsin Governor Walker: 1. He’s a liar 2. He’s a paid stooge of the Koch Brothers, 3. He’s a bully. | Top US News Today

  16. Ametia says:


    According to pro-labor protesters in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) may be taking a page from former Egyptian Dictator Hosni Mubarak and cutting off internet access to key protest organizers within the state Capitol building.

    If you are in the Capitol attempting to access the internet from a free wifi connection labeled “guest,” you cannot access the site defendwisconsin.org. The site has been used to provide updates on what is happening, where you can volunteer, and where supplies and goods are needed to support protesters. Administrators of the website were notified on Monday that the page is being blocked. Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate says that the site was put on a blacklist typically used to filter out pornography sites so that protestors inside the Capitol could not access this key site.


  17. Pingback: Let’s get this clear about Wisconsin Governor Walker: 1. He’s a liar 2. He’s a paid stooge of the Koch Brothers, 3. He’s a bully. - Jack & Jill Politics

  18. Ametia says:

  19. Ametia says:

    Billionaire Brothers’ Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Dispute

    WASHINGTON — Among the thousands of demonstrators who jammed the Wisconsin State Capitol grounds this weekend was a well-financed advocate from Washington who was there to voice praise for cutting state spending by slashing union benefits and bargaining rights.
    The visitor, Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, told a large group of counterprotesters who had gathered Saturday at one edge of what otherwise was a mostly union crowd that the cuts were not only necessary, but they also represented the start of a much-needed nationwide move to slash public-sector union benefits.

    “We are going to bring fiscal sanity back to this great nation,” he said.

    What Mr. Phillips did not mention was that his Virginia-based nonprofit group, whose budget surged to $40 million in 2010 from $7 million three years ago, was created and financed in part by the secretive billionaire brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch.

    State records also show that Koch Industries, their energy and consumer products conglomerate based in Wichita, Kan., was one of the biggest contributors to the election campaign of Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a Republican who has championed the proposed cuts.


  20. Ametia says:

    Paychecks To Be Withheld From Absent Wisconsin Senators
    Source: WMTV – NBC15 (Madison, WI)

    State senators who miss two or more session days will no longer get paid through direct deposit. They’ll have to pick up their checks in person on the Senate floor during a session.

    The new rule is aimed at forcing the return of 14 Senate Democrats who have been hiding in Illinois since Thursday. They fled the state to stall a vote on an anti-union bill, and have threatened to stay away until Republican Gov. Scott Walker agrees to compromise.

    Read more: http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/Paychecks_To_Be_Wit

  21. Ametia says:

  22. Despite Walker’s Claims, Wisconsin’s Pension Fund Among Nation’s Healthiest


    WASHINGTON — While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has painted a dire picture of his state’s pension obligations, Wisconsin’s pension fund for public employees is among the nation’s strongest, according to a report by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

    The Pew report, issued last year, concluded that Wisconsin is a “national leader in managing its long-term liabilities for both pension and retiree health care.” Walker has cited the fund’s lack of sustainability as grounds for his plan to revoke collective bargaining rights for state employees, but that proposal has sparked outrage among state employees and drawn tens of thousands of protesters to the state’s capitol.

    “We’re going to ask our state and local workers … to pay a little bit more, to sacrifice, to help to balance this budget,” Walker said in a Sunday interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, adding that he would be forced to lay off 5,000 to 6,000 state employees if his budget plan was not approved, as well as a comparable number of local public employees.

  23. Ametia says:

  24. Wisconsin: It’s not just collective bargaining, Medicaid is on the line too


    Widely overlooked in the battle for worker rights in Wisconsin are the voices of people like Barbara Vedder:

    I’m scared … I don’t want to go to a nursing home.

    … because what’s not being talked about in Wisconsin is the end-around attack against Medicaid that’s in Republican Governor Scott Walker’s budget:

    What has been widely ignored about Walker’s bill (in part because of the speed with which he’s fisting it down Wisconsin’s gullet) is a sneaky provision that paves the way for him to cut, or eliminate, Medicaid and BadgerCare healthcare benefits for low-income people.

    … in short: Walker’s administrative rules change would allow the Department of Health Services, via the overwhelmingly GOP-controlled budget committee, to change state laws unilaterally, skipping the legislative process altogether.

  25. Trenton Rally Planned To Show Support For Wisconsin Workers


    STATE – The New Jersey State AFL-CIO is planning a rally at the Trenton State House on Friday to show support for Wisconsin workers.

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is attempting to eliminate collective bargaining rights for most public employees.

    Some Wisconsin workers will join New Jersey labor leaders Charles Wowkanech, New Jersey State AFL-CIO president, and Laurel Brennan, New Jersey State AFL-CIO secretary treasurer and National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka at the event.

    “At this rally, we will stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity and speak out against the attacks on working families and assaults on collective bargaining rights which are taking place in Wisconsin and other states around the country,” said Wowkanech in a statement. “We will also send a message to Gov. Christie that he bargain in good faith and not balance the budget on the backs of middle class families.”

    The rally is planned for noon on Friday, Feb. 25 at the New Jersey State House, 125 West State Street in Trenton.

  26. Wisconsin Voters Side With Protesters, Oppose Walker, Poll Shows


    WASHINGTON – New polling conducted for the AFL-CIO and shared with The Huffington Post shows Wisconsin voters siding with the state workers, unions and protestors by large majorities and expressing net disapproval of Republican Governor Scott Walker.

    The Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research conducted two surveys among likely voters in Wisconsin this past week, one fielded between Wednesday and Sunday last week (604 live interviews, margin of error +/- 4%) and the second fielded Saturday and Sunday (402 live interviews, margin of error +/- 5%).

    Both surveys began with questions about Walker’s performance as governor and more general popularity ratings of Walker, Senate Democrats and other players on both sides of the controversy. The results of the two surveys on these questions were within sampling error of each other: Walker’s approval rating is now net negative, with the disapproval rating reaching or slightly exceeding 50%. Meanwhile, the favorable ratings of “Democrats in the State Legislature” are slightly better and net positive (47% favorable, 38% unfavorable on the Saturday-Sunday sample).

  27. Ametia says:

    Wisconsin G.O.P. Plans to Work Without Democrats- ****Sounds familiar. PBO’s been working without the GOP since he took office 1-20-09

    Published: February 21, 2011

    MADISON, Wis. — With the Capitol braced for another week of protests and deadlock over a budget bill that would severely restrict public employees’ unions here, the top Republican in the State Senate announced that the body would resume consideration of other matters.

    The move seemed intended to increase the discomfort of the Democratic state senators who have fled the state as a way of preventing a vote on the union legislation. Starting Tuesday, those senators, who are in Illinois, will have to watch from afar as Republicans continue the work of governing without them, taking up matters from the mundane to the controversial.

    “By not being here, they’re basically deciding to let things go through the body unchecked,” said Scott Fitzgerald, the Senate majority leader. “They’re not here to represent their constituents. We’re here to work.”

    The issues scheduled for consideration in the Senate on Tuesday were routine: an appointment by the governor, tax breaks for dairy farmers and a resolution commending the Green Bay Packers for their Super Bowl victory. But Mr. Fitzgerald said more significant legislation could also be in play, including a bill requiring voter identification that Democrats strongly oppose.


  28. Packers Captain Charles Woodson Stands With Wisconsin’s Workers


    Already multiple members of the Super Bowl winning Green Bay Packers have taken public stands against the frightening, dictatorial, anti-union rampage of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. These pro athletes have chosen to link arms with the tens of thousands of nurses, teachers, and firefighters standing as one against Governor Walker’s efforts to destroy their unions and drive them into poverty. It’s been remarkable to see a steady stream of players from the only non-profit, fan owned team in American sports, lend their voice to this fight.

    Yet none of the Packers who’ve spoken out, have had the profile, respect, or cultural currency of the latest member of the team to stand strong with Wisconsin’s working families: Charles Woodson. Woodson is the team’s defensive icon. A former Heisman trophy winner at the University of Michigan, NFL defensive player of the year, and perennial pro-bowler, his voice will evoke cheers at the capital and shockwaves in the Governor’s office. The team’s defensive captain is also the acknowledged emotion leader of the team, charged with pumping them up at halftime and making speeches after the game. He was the person who said during the playoffs, “The President [a Chicago Bears fan] doesn’t want to watch us in the Super Bowl? We’ll go see him! Say White House on three!” This much watched youtube moment, certainly takes on a different meaning right now.

  29. Ametia says:

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: No compromise on union rights
    By MEREDITH SHINER | 2/21/11 4:04 PM EST

    MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took a hard line Monday against any compromise to break the stalemate over union bargaining rights here — a sign of just how dug in both sides are ahead of a lopsided legislative session Tuesday that will be marked by the continued absence of all Democratic lawmakers.

    Protesters flooded the Capitol for the eighth day Monday to mark their opposition to Walker’s call to strip collective bargaining rights from public-sector unions to close the state’s budget gap, a fight that has drawn the attention of activists from the left and the right.

    GOP Sen. Dale Schultz had told The Associated Press that the Senate could temporarily take away bargaining rights to get through Wisconsin’s next two-year budget, then immediately restore them.

    But Walker flatly rejected that plan in an interview with MSNBC on Monday, sticking firmly with his established line that collective bargaining must go.

    “It will never get to me because, other than that one state senator, all the rest of the Republicans are firmly behind our proposal,” Walker said, calling the idea unacceptable. Walker is slated to hold a press conference at 6 p.m. Eastern time.

    Walker’s comments contributed to the sense that no one knows just how long the impasse will continue, or how it might end. Wisconsin’s 14 Democratic senators have been hiding out of the state since Thursday to avoid being hauled back into the Legislature by the sergeant at arms, but Republicans are saying they’ll call the Legislature into session Tuesday to try to move forward.

    There had been some fear from Democrats earlier Monday that Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald might try to break the collective bargaining provisions from the overall budget bill and hold a vote on the legislation’s most controversial piece, because it technically does not involve the budget and would not require a quorum of 20 members. But, for now, Fitzgerald does not intend to do so, according to local reports. A spokesman for Fitzgerald did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Fitzgerald said Republicans may try to force the Democrats to return this week by calling a bill to the floor that would require voters to show identification at polling places — a bill Democrats oppose because they fear it will disenfranchise some voters.

    “You have shut down the people’s government, and that’s not acceptable,” Fitzgerald said of the Democrats.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49919.html#ixzz1EdyHDHCq
    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49919.html#ixzz1Edy59r27

  30. Ametia says:

    Have you heard about 16.896?

    The fight in Wisconsin is over Governor Walker’s 144-page Budget Repair Bill. The parts everyone is focusing on have to do with the right to collectively bargain being stripped from public sector unions (except for the unions that supported Walker running for Governor). Focusing on this misses a large part of what the bill would do. Check out this language, from the same bill (my bold):

    16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).
    The bill would allow for the selling of state-owned heating/cooling/power plants without bids and without concern for the legally-defined public interest. This excellent catch is from Ed at ginandtacos.com (who, speaking of Madison, took me to the Essen Haus on my 21st birthday, where the night began to go sideways). Ed correctly notes:

    If this isn’t the best summary of the goals of modern conservatism, I don’t know what is. It’s like a highlight reel of all of the tomahawk dunks of neo-Gilded Age corporatism: privatization, no-bid contracts, deregulation, and naked cronyism. Extra bonus points for the explicit effort to legally redefine the term “public interest” as “whatever the energy industry lobbyists we appoint to these unelected bureaucratic positions say it is.”

    In case it isn’t clear where the naked cronyism comes in, remember which large, politically active private interest loves buying up power plants and already has considerable interests in Wisconsin. Then consider their demonstrated eagerness to help Mr. Walker get elected and bus in carpetbaggers to have a sad little pro-Mubarak style “rally” in his honor. There are dots to be connected here, but doing so might not be in the public interest.
    It’s important to think of this battle as a larger one over the role of the state. The attempt to break labor is part of the same continuous motion as saying that the crony, corporatist selling of state utilities to the Koch brothers and other energy interests is the new “public interest.”


  31. Ametia says:

    February 20, 2011
    Wisconsin Power Play

    Last week, in the face of protest demonstrations against Wisconsin’s new union-busting governor, Scott Walker — demonstrations that continued through the weekend, with huge crowds on Saturday — Representative Paul Ryan made an unintentionally apt comparison: “It’s like Cairo has moved to Madison.”

    It wasn’t the smartest thing for Mr. Ryan to say, since he probably didn’t mean to compare Mr. Walker, a fellow Republican, to Hosni Mubarak. Or maybe he did — after all, quite a few prominent conservatives, including Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santorum, denounced the uprising in Egypt and insist that President Obama should have helped the Mubarak regime suppress it.

    In any case, however, Mr. Ryan was more right than he knew. For what’s happening in Wisconsin isn’t about the state budget, despite Mr. Walker’s pretense that he’s just trying to be fiscally responsible. It is, instead, about power. What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin — and eventually, America — less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy. And that’s why anyone who believes that we need some counterweight to the political power of big money should be on the demonstrators’ side.

    Some background: Wisconsin is indeed facing a budget crunch, although its difficulties are less severe than those facing many other states. Revenue has fallen in the face of a weak economy, while stimulus funds, which helped close the gap in 2009 and 2010, have faded away.

    In this situation, it makes sense to call for shared sacrifice, including monetary concessions from state workers. And union leaders have signaled that they are, in fact, willing to make such concessions.

    But Mr. Walker isn’t interested in making a deal. Partly that’s because he doesn’t want to share the sacrifice: even as he proclaims that Wisconsin faces a terrible fiscal crisis, he has been pushing through tax cuts that make the deficit worse. Mainly, however, he has made it clear that rather than bargaining with workers, he wants to end workers’ ability to bargain.

    The bill that has inspired the demonstrations would strip away collective bargaining rights for many of the state’s workers, in effect busting public-employee unions. Tellingly, some workers — namely, those who tend to be Republican-leaning — are exempted from the ban; it’s as if Mr. Walker were flaunting the political nature of his actions.

    Why bust the unions? As I said, it has nothing to do with helping Wisconsin deal with its current fiscal crisis. Nor is it likely to help the state’s budget prospects even in the long run: contrary to what you may have heard, public-sector workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere are paid somewhat less than private-sector workers with comparable qualifications, so there’s not much room for further pay squeezes.

    So it’s not about the budget; it’s about the power.

    In principle, every American citizen has an equal say in our political process. In practice, of course, some of us are more equal than others. Billionaires can field armies of lobbyists; they can finance think tanks that put the desired spin on policy issues; they can funnel cash to politicians with sympathetic views (as the Koch brothers did in the case of Mr. Walker). On paper, we’re a one-person-one-vote nation; in reality, we’re more than a bit of an oligarchy, in which a handful of wealthy people dominate.

    Given this reality, it’s important to have institutions that can act as counterweights to the power of big money. And unions are among the most important of these institutions.

    You don’t have to love unions, you don’t have to believe that their policy positions are always right, to recognize that they’re among the few influential players in our political system representing the interests of middle- and working-class Americans, as opposed to the wealthy. Indeed, if America has become more oligarchic and less democratic over the last 30 years — which it has — that’s to an important extent due to the decline of private-sector unions.

    And now Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to get rid of public-sector unions, too.

    There’s a bitter irony here. The fiscal crisis in Wisconsin, as in other states, was largely caused by the increasing power of America’s oligarchy. After all, it was superwealthy players, not the general public, who pushed for financial deregulation and thereby set the stage for the economic crisis of 2008-9, a crisis whose aftermath is the main reason for the current budget crunch. And now the political right is trying to exploit that very crisis, using it to remove one of the few remaining checks on oligarchic influence.

    So will the attack on unions succeed? I don’t know. But anyone who cares about retaining government of the people by the people should hope that it doesn’t.


  32. Ametia says:

    Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 02/21/2011
    This goes far beyond Wisconsin
    By Greg Sargent
    Paul Krugman frames the stakes in the Wisconsin standoff:

    In principle, every American citizen has an equal say in our political process. In practice, of course, some of us are more equal than others. Billionaires can field armies of lobbyists; they can finance think tanks that put the desired spin on policy issues; they can funnel cash to politicians with sympathetic views (as the Koch brothers did in the case of Mr. Walker). On paper, we’re a one-person-one-vote nation; in reality, we’re more than a bit of an oligarchy, in which a handful of wealthy people dominate.

    Given this reality, it’s important to have institutions that can act as counterweights to the power of big money. And unions are among the most important of these institutions.

    You don’t have to love unions, you don’t have to believe that their policy positions are always right, to recognize that they’re among the few influential players in our political system representing the interests of middle- and working-class Americans, as opposed to the wealthy. Indeed, if America has become more oligarchic and less democratic over the last 30 years — which it has — that’s to an important extent due to the decline of private-sector unions.

    And now Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to get rid of public-sector unions, too.

    Absolutely, but another crucial piece of context here is that people on both sides of this fight view it as a precedent-setter for other similar efforts that are currently being planned to roll back public employee union rights in other states. As I noted here last week, and as Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman report out in more detail today, one key reason national unions are staking so much on this fight is that a victory by labor here could put other governments mulling similar efforts on alert: If they move forward, they can expect another massive war on the scale of the one in Wisconsin. This is why ActBlue has already raised $250,000 to support the efforts of Wisconsin Dems who are holding out against Governor Scott Walker.

    The flip side of this is that if labor loses after elevating the Wisconsin battle into a national battle, anti-labor activists will seize on it to embolden other governments to move forward. Indeed, I spoke to one anti-labor activist who said he’s relishing a defeat for labor in Wisconsin, because it will stiffen the spines of other governments eyeing similar efforts. In other words, what happens in Wisconsin could have major ramifications for whether the phenonemon Krugman describes — the undermining of one of the last institutions representing the interests of middle-class and working-class Americans — will continue apace with the further erosion of public employee rights in other states


  33. Ametia says:


    Wisconsin governor rejects negotiations on controversial budget bill By the CNN Wire Staff
    February 21, 2011 8:40 a.m. EST

    MADISON, Wisconsin (CNN) — Wisconsin’s growing demonstration over a budget bill continues Monday with guitarist Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine fame planning to play for the protesters a day after Republican Gov. Scott Walker signaled no retreat on the measure. Supporters call the bill vital, but opponents label it union-busting.

    The growing crowds gathering daily in Madison, the state capital, over the issue exceeded 50,000 on Saturday, according to an official estimate, and shows no sign of abating.

    “History is happening in the streets of Madison, Wisconsin and I’m going to be there,” said a statement by Morello, who will perform in his solo identity as The Nightwatchman.

    Calling the proposed budget law “unjust,” Morello said he will join “teachers, students, firefighters, policemen, Green Bay Packers, nurses, steel workers, construction workers and religious groups that are filling the streets to protest.”

    He referred to Walker as “the Mubarak of the Midwest” in reference to the Egyptian leader ousted by popular protest, and accused the governor and unnamed corporate allies of trying to “rob American workers of their fundamental rights.”

    The budget repair bill proposed by Walker to address a $137 million shortfall through June 30 would increase contributions of state workers to their pensions and health insurance benefits. It also requires collective bargaining units to conduct annual votes to maintain certification, a costly procedure, and eliminates the right of unions to have dues deducted from worker paychecks.

    Last week, 14 Democratic state senators essentially boycotted the legislature and went to Illinois to prevent a quorum from passing the bill. The measure’s opponents say they won’t allow a vote unless Walker negotiates on the plan to eliminate collective bargaining rights for everything but wages.

    Walker rejected such a deal Sunday in an interview on “FOX News Sunday.”

    He called the Democratic complaint of union-busting “a red herring” and said significant changes were needed for budgetary reasons, but that powerful public employee unions had been able to block the necessary adjustments.


  34. Ametia says:

    guess Bob Woodruff couldn’t help himself, after that traumatic brain injury he sustained. SMGDH

    ABC’s This Week Neglects To Identify Wisconsin Protester As GOP Official
    by Tommy Christopher | 4:12 pm, February 20th, 2011

    While the idea of a liberal or conservative bias in the media is a hotly-debated subject, viewers of Sunday’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour were treated to a stunning example of the mainstream media’s true bias, toward laziness and conflict. In a reported segment about the protests in Wisconsin, ABC’s Bob Woodruff blows it in reporting on Tea Party counter-protesters, creating the impression that there are two equal sides to a coin that’s actually a Krugerrand on one side, and a molecule-thin dime on the other.

    Woodruff starts out by pegging the protesters as “mostly teacher’s union members,” (significant numbers of them were workers from other unions and schoolchildren), and pegs their numbers at around 68,000. He then says, as he dubs this a “tale of two rallies,” that a Tea Party crowd arrived that was “smaller in size, but not conviction.”

    Set aside, for a moment, the value of the phrase “but not conviction” (the same could be said of that crazy John 3:16 guy). What does “smaller in size” mean? 67,000? 6,700? Six or seven? Woodruff doesn’t bother to say, and while there are published reports that put the Tea Party contingent at several hundred, you would never get the idea from Woodruff’s reporting that the Tea Party crowd was orders of magnitude smaller.

    Woodruff also says the crowd “came in from all around the state,” but fails to mention that they were bused in by Tea Party groups, despite the fact that he shoots part of his story aboard one of the buses!

    Most egregiously, Woodruff interviews Lou D’Abbraccio, identified only as a “Tea Party supporter,” aboard one of the buses, and while he identifies D’Abbraccio’s opposite number in the report as a chemistry teacher, he never mentions D’Abbraccio’s occupation. D’Abbraccio is a business consultant and an official with the Racine County Republican Party, and a former campaign chair for the McCain Palin ticket. Chemistry teacher vs. political operative kinda changes the story a little, doesn’t it?


    This is what America is passing off as the news, folks!

  35. Ametia says:

    Scott Walker is on MSNBC No surprises here that this SNAKE is being giving the mic to continue SPREADING his lies. Chuckie Todd won’t ask the tough questions, like what about the TAX BREAKS you gave to corporations? How are those KOCH BROTHERS making out, since they funded your CaC ass?

  36. Ametia says:

    Exposing the Republicans’ 3-Part Strategy to Tear the Middle Class Apart — Let’s Stop Them in Wisconsin
    RobertReich.org / By Robert Reich
    GOP forces are trying to deflect attention from the growing wealth transfer to the richest 1 percent while the jobs and wages of everyone else languish.
    February 20, 2011 |

    The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.

    By splitting working America along these lines, Republicans want Americans to believe that we can no longer afford to do what we need to do as a nation. They hope to deflect attention from the increasing share of total income and wealth going to the richest 1 percent while the jobs and wages of everyone else languish.

    Republicans would rather no one notice their campaign to shrink the pie even further with additional tax cuts for the rich – making the Bush tax cuts permanent, further reducing the estate tax, and allowing the wealthy to shift ever more of their income into capital gains taxed at 15 percent.


  37. Ametia says:

    Dems Closed Much Larger Budget Shortfall In Wisconsin Without Destroying Worker Rights
    Brian Beutler | February 18, 2011, 4:09PM

    We know that Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker is framing his bid to roll back public sector worker rights as a necessary measure of fiscal austerity. And we know that’s basically bogus. But how bogus? And how accurate are the dire warnings of fiscal crisis? And how standard are the tools Walker’s using to address it?

    The answers in order: very, overblown, and unconventional.

    “Unconventional or nuclear, depending on your point of view,” said Pat Kreitlow, a former Democratic senator in Wisconsin, who helped pass the state’s current budget.

    There’s been a lot of confusion about what Walker’s doing — but he’s definitely not passing a budget. He’s pushing optional legislation in a vehicle that’s meant to tweak the budget in the event of a budget emergency. To the extent that there is an emergency, Walker essentially created it, giving him the chance to pass a bill that would permanently deny public workers collective bargaining rights, while he’s still riding the wave of his own post-election popularity.


  38. Ametia says:

    WI Business Communtiy Starting to Turn on Gov. Walker


  39. Ametia says:

  40. Ametia says:

    February 18, 2011
    As some 30,000 protesters overwhelmed the state
    Wisconsin Is a Battleground Against the Billionaire Kochs’ Plan to Break Labor’s Back

    The war on Wisconsin employees isn’t just about the budget or Wisconsin: Koch toady Gov. Walker is just one soldier in the billionaire’s offensive to kill labor.

    As some 30,000 protesters overwhelmed the state capitol building in Wisconsin today, Democratic state senators hit the road, reportedly with State Police officers in pursuit. The Dems left the state in order to deprive Republicans the necessary quorum for taking a vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s bill to strip benefits and collective bargaining rights from state workers.


  41. Ametia says:

    From Field Negro:

    …”At some point during this debate folks are going to have to start looking at the “haves” and their sacrifices. The only folks making a sacrifice right now are “have- nots” and the hard working folks in the middle. Americans seem to know it, but you would never hear about it in the press.

    The new demons for wingnuts are public sector employees, such as school teachers, police officers, health- care workers, and firefighters. According to wingnuts, it is their pension plans and onerous salaries that are holding us down. They are the reason America can’t rise out of this recession.——Not a war that was never paid for, tax breaks and shelters to major corporations, and tax cuts for the very wealthy among us who do nothing towards reinvesting in the economy. Not “hyper-speculation” on Wall Street which…well, we all know that story by now.

    But the okie doke continues, and everyone of you are falling for it.

    Here is an example:

    Public sector employees are much better compensated than private sector employees. That might be true, but there is a reason for that: Public sector workers are older and better educated than private sector workers, so yes, it makes sense that they would make more in terms of pay.
    Here is another myth:

    Social security is going broke any day now, and it is imperative that we raise the age of retirement here in A-merry-ca. This, of course, is false, and it is just another wingnut talking point you all have been hoodwinked into believing. I have to co-sign with Robert Reich who writes that social security is not responsible for the federal deficit, and it took in more in payroll taxes than it paid out. —–BTW, it actually lends what it has left over to the…wait for it… federal government.

    I could give you more, but I think you get the point.

    As I watched those protesters in Madison I kept thinking about Tahrir Square. Could it happen here? People won’t really protest, take to the streets, and call for a revolution unless they lose all hope. (“A hungry mob is an angry mob.”) That’s why all those tea party protesters were such a joke. After fighting Obama- power all day they went home to their leather sofas, flip flops, and tea by the pool. Those union workers are about to lose their jobs and their homes. They might be feeling something else in their gut.

    I feel it too. But the thing is, most of the people in A-merry-ca are afraid of that feeling.”

  42. Ametia says:

    Friday, Feb 18, 2011 07:45 ET
    War Room What Wisconsin’s governor is really threatening
    By Stephanie Taylor

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has declared war on state workers, almost literally.

    First, he proposed a state budget that would cut retirement and healthcare for workers like teachers and nurses, and strip away nearly all of their collective bargaining rights. But even more significantly, he announced last Friday that he had alerted the National Guard to be ready for state workers to strike or protest, an unprecedented step in modern times.

    This would be the first time in nearly 80 years that the National Guard would be used to break a strike by Wisconsin workers, and the first time in over 40 years that the National Guard would be used against public workers anywhere in the country. The last time was the Memphis sanitation strike in 1968, just before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

    The outrage was immediate across labor message boards, Twitter and Facebook pages. Over the last two days, tens of thousands have protested in front of the capitol building in Madison in defiance of the governor, some even camping overnight.

    To understand the visceral, emotional nature of this outcry, you have to understand the history of the National Guard and the labor movement — and what this means for the relationship between labor and the state today.

    During the late 1800s and early 1900s, governors often mobilized the National Guard during strikes. Sometimes the Guard was genuinely neutral, assigned to buffer the dangerous zone between strikers and their employers. Other times, the Guard was explicitly charged with breaking the strike. During these instances, violence often erupted between strikers and soldiers with terrible, bloody results.

    National Guard soldiers clashed with strikers in Buffalo, N.Y., Birmingham, Ala., Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Salt Lake City and Telluride, Colo., at the turn of the 20th century. In just two years, between 1911 and 1913, the militia was mobilized against coal miners in West Virginia, textile workers in Massachusetts, textile workers in New Jersey, and copper miners in Michigan. During an infamous bloodbath in 1914, soldiers killed striking coal miners and their families in Ludlow, Colo., including at least six men, two women and 12 children.

    Continue reading
    During the 1934 Auto-Lite strike in Toledo, a battle raged for five days between 6,000 strikers and 1,300 members of the Ohio National Guard, leaving two strikers dead and more than 200 injured. Three years later, during the famous occupation of General Motors in Flint, Mich., the governor ordered thousands of soldiers to the factory, as the workers swore to resist them by force.

    And in Wisconsin, Gov. Albert Schmedeman used the National Guard to disrupt a 1933 strike by dairy farmers, sometimes with bayonets and tear gas, when they tried to raise the price of milk. Newspapers reported that he was preparing for a “bona fide war.” The Guard mobilized again the next year during a strike by the United Auto Workers. It was the last time the National Guard would be used during a strike in Wisconsin. Until, possibly, now.

    The use of the National Guard against workers is supposed to be a relic of the past, nearly unimaginable to us. That’s because of an uneasy understanding, evolved over time, between citizens and the state over the use of state force against civilians. In her excellent book “Army Surveillance in America, 1775-1980,” historian Joan Jensen argued that this understanding “maintained restraint, sometimes precariously, in using the army to defend the government from the domestic population.”

    In other words, Jensen argues that the concept of voluntary restraint by the executive branch — as opposed to codified legal restraint — is still largely the governing principle at work when deciding whether to mobilize a domestic military force. So Gov. Walker’s action is significant because it is an expanded interpretation of the power of the executive office. This would introduce once again the idea that a governor could use the military to impose his personal, political will on a state.

    The cultural and historical significance of Gov. Walker’s action can’t be ignored. When he proposes using the National Guard to break a strike, he conjures a period of American history in which labor and capital were locked in violent, terrible struggle, when income inequality had reached epic heights, and workers had to bleed to organize. This is a step backward, not forward, in the march of American progress.

    Stephanie Taylor is a co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and a doctoral candidate in American history at Georgetown. Her research focuses on the relationship of labor and the state in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.


  43. Ametia says:

    Fri, 18 Feb 2011 03:01:00 ET
    Why FDR would support the Wisconsin protests
    A labor historian explains: Roosevelt opposed government unions, but by the ’50s he would have changed his mind
    Most observers of the political scene have been stunned at the ferocious protests erupting in response to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to take collective bargaining rights away from public sector workers. Suddenly, everyone sees the clash as a pivotal test case. The right has wanted to break the power of public sector unions for decades — if Walker can do it in a state with one of the proudest records of labor activism in the nation, it won’t be long before dominoes start falling elsewhere.
    The conservative argument is that government workers should have no right to extract wage and benefit concessions from the taxpayer, and the fact that they can do so at all is a relatively recent phenomenon that should be rolled back. Government unions didn’t even begin to get collective bargaining rights until the late 1950s, and as right-wing bloggers never tire of pointing out, even as great a liberal as President Franklin D. Roosevelt is on record as opposing collective bargaining for government workers.
    With Wisconsin making news, Salon decided to find a labor historian who could provide some context for this week’s events. Georgetown University professor Joseph McCartin, author of “Labor’s Great War: The Struggle for Industrial Democracy and the Origins of Modern American Labor Relations, 1912-21” and an expert in the history of public sector unions, spoke with Salon by phone on Thursday afternoon.
    I was surprised to learn today that FDR opposed public sector unions.
    The quotation you refer to is in a letter he wrote to a postal worker leader in the 1930s. It has been a bit blown out of proportion. Roosevelt absolutely did not favor collective bargaining for federal workers and especially did not favor the right to strike. But like many people, had he lived into the postwar era, he might well have changed his mind. Because a consensus developed pretty quickly after World War II that collective bargaining in the public sector was actually a positive thing. That consensus really took shape between the late ’40s and ’50s.
    The arrival of collective bargaining in the private sector through the Wagner Act of 1935 and the solidification of unions in major industries led to a stabilization of labor relations by the 1950s. The dire industrial warfare that some people had warned would come about through the Wagner Act obviously didn’t happen. Instead collective bargaining settled down into a rather routine process, in which major employers like U.S. Steel or General Motors actually found the process was a net positive for them. They elicited feedback from their workers, and they elicited a cooperative arrangement between the union and the company on the shop floor. For workers, that arrangement was governed by a contract that took some of the arbitrariness out of the relationship that had been there between workers and their bosses.
    So collective bargaining basically was seen by both sides in the 1950s — labor and management — as a pretty good thing. You add to that the sensitivity that many Americans felt to the idea that some workers would be denied rights, and the fact that the union movement by the 1950s seemed less threatening, in general, in part because those elements of the labor movement that had been linked to the Communist Party in the 1940s had been pretty much marginalized or eliminated by then — all those things came together to change opinions. Had Roosevelt lived into that period I’m pretty sure he would have changed along with people of both parties, Republican and Democrat, who generally gravitated in the direction that collective bargaining was a net good.
    The right takes a much more cynical view. Their argument is that this all goes back to New York Mayor Robert Wagner figuring out in 1958 that he could lock down political support from government unions if he granted them collective bargaining rights — and ever since then public sector unions and Democratic politicians have worked hand in hand.
    That’s not really an accurate representation. The main point that should be understood is that many cities had been informally negotiating with unions before they formally recognized them, beginning actually with Philadelphia even before New York. There had been a consultation relationship that existed to some extent in some cities. To argue that it was a cynical ploy, I think is wrong, because that eliminates the whole debate that was developing over the course of the ’50s among people who had no stake in this politically. Experts on public employment and employment management — the sort of cutting-edge thinking in the ’50s by public sector managers was that bargaining would actually help them gain efficiencies and help them improve worker morale, cut down on turnover and generally foster a better workplace, a more effective workplace. Wagner was hardly just trying to make a cynical political power grab; there was a generally emerging body of thought that said this is good government.
    And I think that body of thought was generally right. Because what happened for the most part over the next 20 years was that collective bargaining worked pretty well in the public sector. The fear-mongering that broke almost immediately when Mayor Wagner signed that act in 1958 never played out.
    But what about the key difference between private sector and public sector unions? Private sector unions are bargaining for a share of a company’s profits. But in the public sector … the government is a nonprofit. You’re bargaining for a share of the taxpayer’s pocketbook?
    It’s a significant difference and it is a difference that entails certain political sensitivities. It’s easier for the public to support a striking auto worker than it is a striking sanitation worker who is not picking up your trash. However, if you look at the rise of public sector unions throughout the ’60s and up through the mid ’70s, there was general public sympathy for them and that sympathy grew out of the fact that when you looked closely you could see that public sector workers were not paid as much as their counterparts in the private sector, and especially when you compared them to private sector union workers, they lagged behind.
    That same sympathy doesn’t seem to be as widespread today. What changed?
    A lot of this was really produced by the events of the last few years. There was a tremendous loss in the stock market that left a lot of pension funds looking underfunded, and that set off a lot of alarms in people. Now I’m not going to say that there aren’t some workers in some places that have gotten some pensions that aren’t really fully justifiable but that is different than saying that the whole principle of collective bargaining is wrong.
    But an even more important factor is basically a 20- or 30-year period of failure in the private sector. What we are really looking at here is a private sector that for quite a long time now has not generated a lot of rising income for the great majority. It has not generated stable benefits for its workers, it has not generated increasing retirement security — in fact we’ve had income stagnation or decline, we’ve had rising indebtedness, we’ve had growing insecurity for retirement. The private sector has failed on a massive level. And the tenuous position that so many American workers find themselves in as a result of that now makes it suddenly appear that public sector workers are just living off the fatted calf. I think some of it has to do quite simply with the way in which so many nongovernment workers have been suffering, and legitimately so. You can go to those folks and say: Why are you paying for the pension of the guy down the street? You don’t have one!
    That seems to be a real political liability for public sector unions.
    It is a real liability, but it is liability that is not the result of union munificence, or that came from squeezing the taxpayers; it is a liability that basically flows from the fact that the private sector has done so poorly at creating a really broad growing thriving middle class in the past 20 years. And without a broad growing, thriving middle class, government workers are increasingly isolated and increasingly under threat and it is easy to play the dynamic this way, unfortunately for them.
    What do you think of how this has all blown up in Wisconsin in the last few days?
    Well, it’s hard to know yet how this will turn out. I’ve been amazed at the level of protest that is now developing around it. It could be that the effort to actually take collective bargaining away from people will be seen for what it is — it’s not really a budget-solving move, as much it is a raw political power grab, quite simply to basically say we are going to destroy this wing of the labor movement. Maybe folks will see it for what it is. It’s not clear how this will go. Certainly there are folks poised to go in a similar direction in Ohio and elsewhere.

  44. Ametia says:

    Now supposedly the PO PO from one state can go into another state and haul your ass back to WISCONSIN????!!!

    Posted at 11:36 AM ET, 02/18/2011
    Cops now pursuing missing Wisconsin Dems, senator alleges
    By Greg Sargent

    Wisconsin state police have visited the home of at least one of the missing Wisconsin state senators in an apparent effort to force him to return to the capitol to vote on the proposal to roll back public employees’ bargaining rights, a Democratic senator alleged to me in an interview.

    State Senator Chris Larson, one of the Democrats who is remaining in Illinois to stall the vote on Governor Scott Walker’s measure, tells me that another Dem Senator — who he declined to name — returned home late yesterday to try to get some sleep. That Senator’s staff reported to Larson that police visited his home, but that the Senator had managed to slip away before cops could apprehend him.

    “Police were sent over to his house, but he was able to get out of there,” Larson told me.

    Larson said that Republican leaders in the State Senate — who couldn’t immediately be reached for comment — would be the ones to ask the State Police to make such a visit. He said he had also received unconfirmed reports from other Democrats that police were visiting other homes, too.

    Most of the Senators remain in Illinios, Larson added, meaning they may be out of reach of cops. But if Republicans have now unleashed an effort to get the cops to haul these Dems back to the capitol, it will only up the tension and urgency of this standoff.

    More when I learn it.


    • Ametia says:

      The chicken’s have come home to roost! The GOP’s getting a feel for what it’s like to actually GOVERN.

      Obstructionist, tax cuts, smaller government liars.

  45. dannie22 says:

    I have many thoughts about this but my first thought is how many of these folks who are out there marching right now actually voted for this clown?!?!

    • Ametia says:

      I hear you Dannie. That was my first thought too, and then my other thoughts took over, for instance, the hard working Democrats with families who did get out and vote, but not for this clown.

      The DEMOCRATS who are finally standing UP to the RETHUGS and standing UP FOR the people of their states.Politics is LOCAL.

      • dannie22 says:

        Yea I hear u Ametie. I’m hear in Ohio and a lot of folks who did vote don’t deserve what this clown is trying to do. Fortunately folks r waking up and demonstrations are starting to happen.

        I do have one question. How many times do the repubs hv to get reelected, before white folks realize the repubs are no good? I mean I know these folks hate us black folks but how could folks not know that these clowns didn’t have their best interests at heart? 30 yes wasn’t enough? They need 30 more ?

  46. Ametia says:

    And just so folks don’t get it twisted as to where President Obama stand on the Wisconsin issue… ***LOOKING@YOUEDSHULTZ**

    Obama joins Wisconsin’s budget battle, opposing Republican anti-union bill
    By Brady Dennis and Peter Wallsten
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Friday, February 18, 2011; 12:00 AM

    MADISON, WIS. – President Obama thrust himself and his political operation this week into Wisconsin’s broiling budget battle, mobilizing opposition Thursday to a Republican bill that would curb public-worker benefits while planning similar action in other state capitals.

    Obama accused Scott Walker, the state’s new Republican governor, of unleashing an “assault” on unions in pushing emergency legislation that would nullify collective-bargaining agreements that affect most public employees, including teachers.

    The president’s political machine worked in close coordination Thursday with state and national union officials to mobilize thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals.

    Their efforts began to spread, as thousands of labor supporters turned out for a hearing in Columbus, Ohio, to protest a measure from Gov. John Kasich (R) that would cut collective-bargaining rights.

    By the end of the day, Democratic Party officials were working to organize additional demonstrations in Ohio and Indiana, where an effort is underway to trim benefits for public workers. Some union activists predicted similar protests in Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


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