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Forum Post: Wisconsin!

Posted 2 years ago on March 11, 2012, 2:44 p.m. EST by bensdad (8977)
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John Nichols The Nation / OpEd Published: Sunday 11 March 2012 Nation of Change

“A year ago, when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law his plan to undermine collective bargaining rights for state, county and municipal employees and public school teachers, the prediction from the governor and his allies was that the mass movement to oppose Walker's antilabor agenda would fade.”
A year ago, when Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law his plan to undermine collective bargaining rights for state, county and municipal employees and public school teachers, the prediction from the governor and his allies was that the mass movement to oppose Walker's antilabor agenda would fade.
The governor and his allies were wrong. As the state prepares for a recall election that could remove Walker from the governorship along with his lieutenant governor and four Republican state senators tens of thousands of union activists and their supporters rallied once more Saturday at the state Capitol in Madison.
It was an epic turnout, estimated by Governor Walker's Department of Administration at 35,000 and by organizers at closer to 60,000.
Whatever the actual number, there was no question that the crowd filling the great square around the Capiol was the largest to gather since the mass mobilizations of February and March, 2011. The protests of last year drew the attention of the nation and the world and helped to encourage pushbacks against antilabor legislation in Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Arizona and other states.
They featured an ongoing peaceful occupation of the state Capitol that served as one of many inspirations for the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The resilience of the Wisconsin movement has few precedents in recent American labor history.
Most news sources are funded by corporations and investors. Their goal is to drive people to advertisers while pushing the corporate agenda. NationofChange is a 501(c)3 organization funded almost 100% from its readers–you! Our only accountability is to the public. Click here to make a generous donation. "They didn't think we could sustain it," said Wisconsin AFLCIO President Phil Neuenfeldt. "Not only have we sustained it. We've gotten stronger."
Neuenfeldt was referring to the movement that submitted more than one million signatures to recall Governor Walker (46 percent of the electorate in the last gubernatorial election), 840,000 signatures to recall Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and another 100,000 signatures to recall key Republican senators. "Look at what a difference a year makes," declared Mary Kay Henry, the president of the Service Employees International Union, who marveled at the size of Saturday's crowd of union members, farmers, small business owners, students and retirees that surrounded the Capitol.

"Governor Walker and the Koch Brothers started something last year, but they're not going to like how it ends. When it ends there is going to be a pro middleclass governor and lieutenant governor and a proworker majority in the Senate."

What Walker started was an assault on more than 50 years of commitment by Wisconsin leaders, Democrats and Republicans, to protect the rights of workers and their unions.
On Saturday, as tens of thousands of Wisconsinites marched in remembrance of the uprising against Walker’s agenda, there was much talk about the upcoming recall election — and that was important.

But it was equally important that the issue focus remained on renewing the state’s collective bargaining law. There was a recognition that the Wisconsin fight has never been, and can never be, about partisan politics alone. Not when basic rights are at stake.

Collective bargaining is a part of Wisconsin history, an example of this state’s "forward" progressive values. “I was around in 1959 when Wisconsin became the first state in the United States, the first state in the Union, to adopt a law to permit public employees to collectively bargain,” explains the senior member of the state Legislature, Senator Fred Risser, DMadison. “Back then, Wisconsin was known as a progressive, innovative state.”
Risser’s serious about renewing Wisconsin's reputation as a progressive, innovative state, And he has joined with a much younger legislator, state Representative Mark Pocan, DMadison, to propose legislation that would fully restore collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin.

Pocan says this is a first order of business necessity. “For half a century, we have had good working conditions with our employees because of the collective bargaining law,” explains Pocan. Governor Walker’s attacks on collective bargaining rights have created chaos, dissension and a sense of crisis that has stalled innovation and economic growth in Wisconsin.
Saturday's rally served as a reminder that there is broad recognition among Wisconsinites that restoring collective bargaining rights is the place to begin renewing a tradition of cooperation, efficiency and good government to a state that has long recognized that labor rights are human rights.

45 Comments

45 Comments


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[-] 3 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

Walker is looking to start a criminal defense fund. Looks like the scandal that has snared 6 of his top aides is drawing ever closer. When he goes down I hope his connection with the Koch's is widely published. Bet they'll be giving generously to his defense fund.

[-] -3 points by Takecareofyourself (-15) 2 years ago

Yes, employee control of the govt must be restored. The idea of having govt serve its people first and employees second is just crazy and wrong. LOL.

[-] 3 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

In any case, I'd rather not have a crook and a rip-off artist like Walker running the government.

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[-] 3 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

It is imperative that Walker and the Koch brothers lose.

[-] -2 points by Takecareofyourself (-15) 2 years ago

What's imperative is that government once again negotiate at arms's length with labor, with labor not controlling both sides of the table. What's imperative is to restore the simple idea of running government for its citizens and not just its employees. What's imperative is to block the unions from hand picking their next boss and corrupting the system.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

general population should control the government

Unions vote for workers in unions

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

I know. don't vote for your committeeman as head of the school board.

That ought to take care of that problem.

That was easy, now get your lazy ass back to the bargaining table.

[-] 0 points by Takecareofyourself (-15) 2 years ago

Sure, voting helps. That's what brought Walker and the hope for reform. But it's tough. Observe the unions. It's possible to protect reform, but the other side throws everything they have at stopping it and keeping control of govt in employee hands.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Walker is an asshole. He broke Wisconsin's budget to do what he did, and they have been bleeding jobs ever since.

Now you want to take a shot at the unions???

Lower their standard of living? RAPE their pensions? screw up their working conditions and compromise health and safety?

What kind of shit is that?

[-] 0 points by Takecareofyourself (-15) 2 years ago

The rape is of the non-government employees that pay for it and get a govt more oriented towards serving its workers than them. That's what kind of shit.

[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Um, I hate to break this to you, but those same workers you're bitching about, are also very much tax payers. Indeed, the way you're bitching about being under compensated, they pay more than you do!

So get yourself in a union, and stop being jealous to the point of being on a vendetta.

You haven't a word to say about lowering working conditions.

It makes you sound like a cheap hack.

[-] -2 points by Takecareofyourself (-15) 2 years ago

Umm, at least show me you have some math skills. When they pry an extra dollar out of govt, they keep most of it. Are the other taxpayers they take it from supposed to be as impressed as you are? LOL

Join the party is your response? That's a better idea than advocate reform and a restoration of the simple idea that govt work for its people and not just its employees? That's truly sad.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

You know what?

I'm done with your buzz words.

You're just going to repeat yourself over and over, and ignore the truth in most of what I've posted.

That's very sad, and it's very ugly.

If you can come up with something besides a repetition of think tank propaganda, let us know.

Until then you are a hack, and I will treat you as such.

I've been patient with you, sparing even, in spite of your insults.

Union YES!

Get one today, you jealous hack.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

I's don't even got a job

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

me neether. I like bein retired.......:)

[-] -1 points by Takecareofyourself (-15) 2 years ago

Rather than show up to bitch in Madison, they should just find a neighbor that doesn't work for govt and make their case to him instead. After-all, he's the one paying for it. He's the one with less job security. He's the one with already far less retirement security. Yeah, make the case, see how it turns out. LOL.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Hey look!!!!

You've managed to repeat yourself, yet again.

You've managed to present the Koch point of view, yet again.

You should just give them all your money, after all they know everything better that you do.

Who need a stable effective government when you have corporations to lead the way.

CCCC!

[-] -1 points by Takecareofyourself (-15) 2 years ago

You've managed to make it clear that govt's first priority is to the people that work there, not the people it's supposed to serve.

Go ahead, bang on your neighbor's door. Make your pitch. Madison is for cowards. You have a great case, i'm sure your neighbor will understand. LOL

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

I think it would be more appropriate for you to knock on those doors and attempt to explain the mass jobs exodus, that Walkers agenda has gifted the public with.

Is it just Walker doing what the Kochs want him to do in an attempt to drive down labor costs?

You never explained why the POS had to go to places like Texas to find funding for his agenda either.........Why couldn't he find it in Wisconsin?

Telling, that.

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[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

If Wisconsin cannot oust the Koch brothers, the power has no chance of returning to the people. Wisconsin is not the only state with this problem.

[-] 0 points by onetime (-67) 2 years ago

States will always be in turmoil as long as there is unions present

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

Get back to me when you get an argument together.

[-] 0 points by onetime (-67) 2 years ago

I do have a discussion with you every once in a while but you usually always go off topic or something, when you know you are wrong

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

I am not wrong. You have repeatedly failed to offer anything of substance.

It's repetitive and boring. So, get a valid argument together and then try again.

[-] 0 points by Takecareofyourself (-15) 2 years ago

If the unions hand pick another boss, government will continue to serve its employes first and its people as an after-thought.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

What's with the buzz word crap again.

Can't you think straight?

It's really a sign of weakness. a sign of fecklessness.

Why be that way?

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 2 years ago

What a line of crap.

[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

The Kochs aren't going to like this. They've spent a bundle trying to buy Wisconsin.

You have to wonder how they will react, once they lose.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

If you read the new Bill Press book, you will see kochs have launched hundreds of attacks on America.
Wisconsin and tp are just two . Their army is huge, their wallet is fat
OWS has helped light the candle on this conspiracy
The question is -
how many of us are willing to do what our dear friends in the tp did so well-
POLITICAL ACTION

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Sooner, rather than later, we will have to move beyond protest marches, into those dangerous and uncharted waters.

To resurrect an old term.

NO FEAR!

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

I hear you - but koch & the tp took over - and destroyed the Rs -

despite the "radical" label, I believe we are much closer to the heart and soul of America [ of course excluding the csa ] but we can't get our act together -

they have the money - and they know how to use it
we have the people - and we don't

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

It's actually holding together better than I thought it would.

We'll have to see what gears up in the spring.

NO FEAR!

[+] -4 points by onetime (-67) 2 years ago

I hope that Gov Walker can hold his ground on this one. Public unions are bankrupting States and they need to go

[-] 3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Walker bankrupted the State.

Did you miss that while watching FLAKESnews?

The truth is what you miss out on by watching that crap.

[-] -3 points by onetime (-67) 2 years ago

Wisconsin is not the only State that is under water because of the unions, there is many more just like it

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Yeah, somehow, most of those States elected Koch sponsored teabagger asshats.

That doesn't change the fact that Walker bankrupted Wisconsin as a way to screw as many people as possible for the good the Kochs.

Wisconsin has been bleeding jobs since the jerk got elected.

[-] -2 points by onetime (-67) 2 years ago

What about all the other States that are failing because of the no good unions?? Please stick to the subject instead of going back to Gov Walker

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

Are you this unfocused?

Please note the title of the thread.

Walker is screwing the the great State of Wisconsin for the good of the Kochs.

Please also note, that besides the Kochs, Walker had to go out of State to find funding for his evil agenda.

If that isn't telling? what is?

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 2 years ago

The Kochs don't really like Americans much, other than the level of wealth they can extract from us.

Ever notice that they profit from corporations that contribute to global warming, and they also profit from the storm damage it creates by owning Georgia Pacific?

Talk about a need to keep them separated.

I guess it's not a conflict of interest, when it's so damn profitable, and they can pay for the laws that make it so.

They are MAJOR contributors to ALEC.

[-] 2 points by fiftyfourforty (1077) from New York, NY 2 years ago

Win loose or draw on the recall, Wisconsin is showing the way forward.

[-] 2 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

I wish NYC OWS would take actions to show our support for the recalls

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6440) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

I hope that nobody in Wisconsin thinks voting is just selling out to the system, if we lose this one it will really hurt.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

You hit my rawest nerve - I have met far too many NYC OWS people -
who are very informed & very smart -
who are more interested in venting their anger at "the system"
than keeping more Rs out of the government
by direct action towards politicians or voting


republiclan SCOTUS gave us bush, the Iraq war, and Citizens United
I wish I could convince them that we don't need more scalias & thomases


any ideas?

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (6440) from Phoenix, AZ 2 years ago

Search "user:factsrfun" when I get’em I put them up here.

Take anything you like and spread it, none of these ideas belong to me, I just push words around, the ideas are really just the truth trying to be heard.

Of course there are a number of good posts on here, some give us news to help inform people, some a different way to look at things, the key is if we take what rings true and tell it to each other, that’s how we win.

[+] -4 points by Takecareofyourself (-15) 2 years ago

The employees are outraged that their boss no longer automatically does their bidding and sells out the people. Reform is here. The corruption of the union running both sides of the negotiating table is being challenged. But special interests this powerful don't go down easy and that's what the protests and recalls represent.

Government should work for its people, not just the people that work there. On Wisconsin! This might be your last hope at reform. If the unions win, you're a goner.