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February 18, 2011 02:56 AM UTC

At Least It's Not Your Besieged State Capitol

  • by: Colorado Pols

We just noted how Democrats in the Wisconsin state senate have fled the state, throwing a temporary spike in plans by that state’s Republican governor to end collective bargaining by Wisconsin employees. But as our friends at the Washington Post report, there’s an additional dimension to the story worth talking about:

For the past four days, thousands of public employees and their supporters have gathered in and around the Wisconsin state capitol to protest Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s budget cuts.

Walker, who has only been governor for the past six weeks, is pushing a proposal that would eliminate collective bargaining rights for public workers and make them pay half the costs of their pensions and at least 12.6 percent of their health care coverage. The changes amount to about a seven percent salary cut.

Democrats insist the move is a political power play and that Walker created the budget gap with his own tax cuts.

Republicans counter that voters asked for change when they kicked out Democrats in November. For months, they have been holding up public employees as prime examples of government waste…

So, instead of new Gov. Scott Walker, picture Gov. Tom Tancredo, and a gold-domed Capitol.

How much different would it be?


22 thoughts on “At Least It’s Not Your Besieged State Capitol

  1. “Republicans counter that voters asked for change when they kicked out Democrats in November.”

    But the landslide in 2008 wasn’t legit and Republicans were righteous in resisting take over the the Communist Democrats.

    How come Republicans starting talking about 2nd amendment remedies after 2008 if the people had decisively elected Democrats to carry out a change in direction for this country?

    This stale argument is the carefully orchestrated narrative that if Democrats are in power they need to listen to the minority and not do anything too extreme but if Republicans are in power they have a MANDATE to carry out extreme policies.  I’m glad the people in the streets are calling bullshit on this.

    It’s odd that Fox News has unleashed their counter protesters yet.  It is going to be harder to get Republican goons on the streets if this protest continues to grow.

  2. pick the right time to move back to Wisconsin. He’s the on-the-ground analyst on tonight’s PBS News Hour — the story starts at about 21 minutes into the broadcast, if you’re looking for it online.

  3. Look at Laura Bradford’s bill HB11-1007.… (apologies if there’s a session token in there, the Legislature web site is not cut-and-paste friendly)

    It’s not quite as extreme as what’s going on in Wisconsin, but it’s the first bullet in the war to dismantle the State personnel system.

    Bradford’s bill only exempts a small group of people from the State system, but it’s all about divide and conquer.

    At the House hearing on the bill, the Republicans attacked as unionists anyone who spoke against the bill

    1. Tooting my own horn again, but….I’ve spent 14 years writing about the state personnel system, especially how it pertains to higher ed.

      The numbers are approaching staggering: since 2006, higher ed has managed to exempt more than 5,000 positions in higher ed, most which would have been part of the atate personnel system prior to 2004 legislation. Before 2004, only 500 employees in all of higher ed had been exempt.

      1. Anyone else remember the Texas 11?  Yep, that went well didn’t it?  The Dems will be portrayed as running away from their responsibilities to their constituents and spending time in a-Scotts themed Hooters instead.  

        Meanwhile the teachers union will show their dedication to the slogan “Children First” by continuing to ignore their duty to teach, incidentally depriving the poorer children of their government lunches.  The Republicans in Wisconsin couldn’t ask for better fodder for the next election.

        1. Unlike Texas, this bill has stirred up a massive hornet’s nest of protesters who don’t seem like they’re interested in going away any time soon.  I have only two friends who’ve moved to Wisconsin, and they’re both out in the protester crowd.

          The Wisconsin 14 need only stay long enough to convince Republicans in the Senate to withdraw the bill in such a way that it would take them several days to pass it again.  My guess is, that could be done without the quorum being present, through leadership/committee rules and such.

          In the meantime, the schools close, other services degrade (anyone know if trash pickup or building maintenance is becoming an issue yet?), and people several steps removed from being directly affected become aware of just how important defeat of this bill is to the people who perform these public service jobs.  You can be relatively certain that the police and firefighter’s unions will not be endorsing Scott the next time around…

    1. TABOR needs to go.

      In Colorado labor leaders get treatment that makes Egypt look like the garden of eden. They get arrested,beaten, deported, and murdered. Folks should learn about Colorado history.

  4. It’s about time middle class people in this country said enough is enough!

    I totally understand the need for tough spending decisions as we experience the ongoing hangover from the recession. But the point is the sacrifice needs to be SHARED and while I see ordinary working people stepping up to the plate, where in the hell are the millionaires and billionaires.

    The 25 top hedge-fund managers got an average of $1 billion each, but paid an average of 17% in taxes because so much of their income is considered capital gains, taxed at 15% thanks to the Bush tax cuts.

    I’m not talking about punishing the rich for being flush…I’m just saying they should pay their fair share like the rest of us.

    What’s your tax rate? I’m betting it’s nowhere near 17%…

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