Archives for posts with tag: #WIunion

In this amazing political ad from the 2010 republican primary for governor, then-candidate Scott Walker gives a pretty moving summation as to why he should be recalled later this year. In the ad, candidate Walker weaves us a tale about a people so shocked by one leader’s  poor stewardship and reckless cronyism that the people joined together to recall that leader.  As candidate Walker will tell you, it was not about anger, but about the people taking back their government so that it would once again reflect the wishes of its constituents.  Obviously, candidate Walker was referring to the recall election in Milwaukee County that led to his becoming County Executive, but as people on Twitter pointed out, with a few edits (we’d have to cut off the last minute as he starts spewing some confusing Walker logic) this really could be the first ad for the petition campaign to recall Governor Walker. Plus there’s Braveheart music and shadowy lighting:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

As always, for those of you trying to keep track of the State of Wisconsin’s grievances against Scott Walker and the republican leadership, please visit my “Save the State” page, which is regularly updated to help everyone stay informed about these crucial issues.

 

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Here are some pictures from the goings-on today at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Tomorrow looks to be another active day with the legislature coming back to session.

The rumor mill at the Capitol has been buzzing about increased security measures surrounding the building.  I heard several times that there will be metal detectors.  In fact, there was already increased security today–interestingly enough it began right before Governor Walker’s latest press conference.  Around mid-day today, the entrance to the building had been limited to two entrances (this was also new). But by 5:00 pm, people were asked to now line up and wait to get into the building.  We were told that it was at capacity. However when we got into the building it was not nearly as crowded as it had been in the past (maybe at about 50-75% the amount of people).  Could this have anything to do with the fact that Governor was giving a press conference at 5:00 pm and has consistently been drowned out by protesters in the building during his press conference?

People getting approval to enter their capitol

People wait in line to enter their capitol

Despite the sense that Wisconsinites may soon no longer be welcome in their capitol because they don’t agree with the Governor, the atmosphere in the capitol was still as enthusiastic, united and hopeful as ever.  The best mood lifter was when the firefighters union (which is exempt from the Governor’s measures) announced that it would be bunking in the Capitol overnight with fellow protesters as a sign of solidarity.  Later the crowd roared as several dozen firefighters marched through the rotunda with backpacks and sleeping mats.  They then took up residence next to the bust of Fighting Bob La Follette–and I’m sure Fighting Bob would be in seventh heaven to be honored in such a way during this struggle.

Fighting Bob joins the Local 311

Here were some other choice images:

Walker is not a Hitler, he's just a douchebag

Why can't we be friends with benefits?

Notice to Teabaggers: If you work for a private company, you have the right to organize a union. For private-sector workers, these rights are enforced by a federal agency, the National Labor Relations Board (Milwaukee office: 414-297-3861). You may not have a union, and you may not like unions, but you have the right to have a union. Why deprive state, county, city and school-district employees of this same right? I don't get it.

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Seen from the Capitol. If you do boycott, let them know why.

This week people all over Wisconsin have woken up to the dramatic changes quickly taking place in America’s Dairyland.  There have been rallies, sick outs, school kids leaving class, and dozens of peaceful demonstrations all across the state.  The reason?  Governor Walker has proposed a measure to end collective bargaining with public employee unions.  Wisconsin has a long and proud history of union participation in many aspects of people’s lives.  Not only do many people belong to employee unions, we embrace credit unions and student unions more than most states.

I’m about to run off to another protest today, but here’s the gist of why we’re all so upset:

* Unions have been offering concessions on pay, benefits and pensions throughout the recession. Instead of trying to negotiate with the unions to come to an agreement that Gov. Walker feels comfortable with, he has instead refused to even come to the table with unions and is now proposing to end collective bargaining.  This will end nearly 50 years of peaceful, effective bargaining for nearly 200,000 public workers.  These are teachers, cops, firefighters, librarians, EMTs, professors, prison guards, mental health workers, clerks–since when did these people become the bad guys?

* The changes are being rushed through. Gov. Walker announced his “budget repair” proposal on Friday and wants it passed into law by tomorrow (that’s one week).  In one week nearly 200,000 people will find their pay and benefits dramatically decreased and will have no recourse to negotiate with employers once the economy begins to improve.

* The whole thing reeks of politicking on the backs of middle-class people. Gov. Walker’s plan offers exemptions to two unions that endorsed him–essentially paying them back for the Governor’s office they helped him purchase, while punishing tens of thousands of other families across the state.

Not only that, the Governor has exaggerated the extent of the budget crisis in order to rush this legislation through before people could truly understand the damage to the state before it had been done.  Further, he is pressuring us by making threats related to healthcare that are not  based on facts. He’s a bully and a manipulator.

Fortunately, Gov. Walker grossly misjudged the level of civic involvement in Wisconsin and the passion people have for working together to find cooperative solutions.  I have never been in an employee union, but I know they have value.  The pay and benefits union members receive not only set up a comparable scale for the rest of us, but unions support middle class salaries–that money is used in all sectors of our economy.  How does it help anyone to hurt the middle class right now?

Badgers, if you care about your state, now is a great time to come rally and support each other.  Let’s not bring each other down, but build each other up and find other solutions to our problems through honesty, open debate and creative solutions.

I’ll try to keep updating through Twitter–very proud of my state that there are so many people willing to fight this massive attack on regular, taxpaying, hardworking Wisconsinites.