Rally on behalf of Wisconsin workers and unions
Rich Gardner | 02.24.2011
People gathered at the Municipal Services Building Plaza opposite City Hall. It was a lunchtime gathering, so it didn't last very long. The declaration for the gathering was "Today I stand with the teachers, nurses, and all public employees of Wisconsin who are fighting for their rights."
YouTube video from Monique Frugier.
Wisconsin Assembly Passes Bill Stripping Union Rights From Public Workers. Wisconsin Senate hasn't acted yet, but this is not good news.
Saturday's rally at Love Park. Destroying the public workers union was supposed to be a trojan horse for gutting state budget.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was duped by a liberal blogger pretending to be right-wing billionaire David Koch and said a number of troubling things. Primarily, that he didn't object to putting "troublemakers" into the crowd and causing a disturbance that might end up endangering public safety. He appeared to be concerned entirely with the damage it might cause him politically. And why the heck is the governor of a state apparently coordinating strategy with an out-of-state donor? Walker had a few um, rather, interesting statements on the call. With Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate out of state and thus denying Republicans a quorum, House members have submitted some 50 or so amendments to the budget repair bill that would deny collective bargaining rights to unions. None of the amendments have succeeded.
I reviewed a piece from our local paper:
"The AP article “Layoffs threatened in Wis.
” demonstrates once again why the left blogosphere/the netroots exist. This is a piece that is very highly slanted against the unions in Wisconsin, it simply accepts all of the conservative talking points at face value and completely fails to explain that the unions have already agreed to all of the demanded conditions (Pension and health care concessions) with the sole exception of the right to bargain collectively. Unions can't surrender that last item without losing their whole reason for existence.
"The piece adopts the passive tense when it describes how Governor “Walker warned that state employees could start receiving layoff notices.” No indication there that the Governor himself would decide exactly which workers would be let go. How do we know that layoffs wouldn't be part of an automatic and uncontrollable process?
"Later in that same paragraph, we read that “Walker wouldn't say which jobs he would go after first.” In other words, the Governor has complete discretion as to which jobs he'll cut in response to union “insubordination.”
"Nor does the piece explain that the $137 million that Wisconsin is short on and that has allegedly caused the crisis there was created entirely by the Governor's own actions. The Wisconsin Capital Times showed on February 16th that the Governor “did not inherit a budget that required a repair bill” and then specified the spending that he and his cronies engaged in, knowing full well that the Wisconsin budget would thereby be pushed into a deficit by their actions."
We get a chart showing just how Walker plans to attack unions in his current budget. Not a very pleasant picture at all. Very disturbingly, Walker wants to take Medicaid spending away from the state legislature and put it directly under the Governor's office. "This is blatant overreach on the part of conservatives who are coming at state budgets with all the drunken gusto of Tea Party fever."
Link to complete story with pictures