Walker gives 24-hour deadline to fleebaggers

posted at 1:36 pm on February 28, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

If the Wisconsin state Senators who fled the state intended on highlighting their opposition to Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill, then the governor offered his congratulations on their success.  In his statement this morning, though, Walker also told the fleebaggers that any further delay would cost the state $165 million in a lost opportunity to restructure the state’s debt — and that continued delay will force Walker to cut jobs to save money:

“According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, if Senate Democrats refuse to return to Wisconsin and cast their vote the next day the option to refinance a portion of the state’s debt will be off the table,” the statement says.

In addition, Cullen Werwie, the governor’s spokesman, said in a statement: “Senate Democrats claimed they fled the state to slow down the process so the public had enough time to learn about the budget repair bill. If that was their true intention, they have been successful.

“Now they have one day to return to work before the state loses out on the chance to refinance debt, saving taxpayers $165 million this fiscal year. Failure to return to work and cast their votes will lead to more painful and aggressive spending cuts in the very near future.”

Werwie said he was giving the Democrats 24-hour notice. He added that the governor will delay sending out layoff notices “as long as possible.”

With Walker raising the stakes, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel provided its readers with the context of spending on public employees:

But by any measure, as Walker has noted and most state employees acknowledge, the state will continue to provide rich health-insurance benefits compared with the private sector, where nearly 40% of employers don’t offer health benefits at all.

Under Walker’s bill, state employees – including elected state legislators, who receive the same benefits – would pay about $600 more for single coverage, raising their share of that cost to about $1,000 a year. For family coverage, they would pay $1,476 more, raising their share of the cost to about $2,500 a year.

The proposal would increase their share of the premium to 12.4%. But that would still be well below the share paid by employees in the private sector, who by one estimate pay an average of 19% of the cost for single coverage and 29% for family coverage.

It also is less than the 28% of the premium paid on average by federal employees.

The union has accepted these changes in principle, now that Walker has pushed his budget-repair bill with collective-bargaining reform built into it, as Walker promised during the election.  The PEUs would rather accept cuts in the near term than the ability to browbeat the state and localities in later negotiations.  However, these are the very same financial changes that unions characterized as … well

“We certainly aren’t the haves, in spite of what he says. I just see this as all political posturing,” said Marty Beil.

Beil is executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union , which represents 22,000 state workers in various departments including corrections, universities, mental health, and social work.

It’s like the plantation owner talking to the slaves. We’ve moved in Walker’s mentality from public service to public servitude,” Beil explained to FOX 11. When asked “Do you really think comparison to plantation owner and slave is accurate?” Beil replied: “I do. I really do because here he sits as the incoming governor, basically issuing mandates about what he wants to happen. Governors and employers don’t do that especially in the modern era of labor relations. We sit down at a table to talk about things.”

The police reversed course yet again today and finally closed the state capitol building to visitors, ending the protests inside:

The state Department of Administration tightened rules on access to the statehouse Monday morning after deciding the night before not to force out hundreds of demonstrators who were camped out in the rotunda. Some of those protesters from the weekend are still in the building.

Protesters lined up outside the King St. entrance to the Capitol Monday morning, waiting to be let in, while others began to march around the building.

“We are going to let people in in a measured way, but we have to get this building cleaned up,” Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch said Monday.

On Tuesday, Gov. Scott Walker will deliver his budget address in the state Capitol’s Assembly chambers to a joint session of the Legislature and the Walker administration said Monday that part of the restrictions on public access were in preparation for that.

Walker addresses a joint session of the legislature tomorrow night, in what will surely be showdown moment between himself and the fleebaggers.  If they don’t send someone to provide a quorum at that point, Walker will almost certainly announce layoffs and blame them on Democrats who won’t participate as a minority, but instead insist on dictating to the majority.  Unfortunately for everyone, there seems to be no way for fleebaggers to save face at this point.  Walker is obviously not retreating from his position — and since he has the votes necessary to pass the bill, he doesn’t have to retreat.

Eventually, the absent Senators will have to return or possibly end up forfeiting their seats in the legislature.  Walker has until the end of June to pass a budget, and it’s difficult to see how the fleebaggers can justify their continued obstinacy, or how they can justify returning after the layoffs and higher debt payments have already occurred.  They’d do less damage to themselves now by returning today and declaring a public-relations victory.


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Stand firm. It’s all a conservative needs to do to win. For decades it is what we’ve begged for.

A bonus?

It weeds out the squishes.

pugwriter on February 28, 2011 at 2:24 PM

ernesto on February 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Did you get your talking points late again today because your union buddies are out there threatening Fox News reporters?

Knucklehead on February 28, 2011 at 2:25 PM

I’d be interested in learning who has been paying for the expenses of the ‘fleebaggers’ while they’ve been camped out in another state other than WI. Is it the unions? The DNC? Moveon.org? AFL-CIO? Certainly the Senators aren’t footing the bill on their own…or are they?

lyfsatrip on February 28, 2011 at 2:26 PM

ernesto on February 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

You betcha! Take deep breaths, ernie. Use a paper bag if necessary. Relax.

a capella on February 28, 2011 at 2:27 PM

1) What is the definition of “senate body?” Is a quorum needed?

2) IF the seats were declared vacated, but the dems sued… wouldn’t they have to come into the state to sue?

MeatHeadinCA on February 28, 2011 at 2:07 PM
I don’t know. Since it’s none budget related, it would appear the simple majority would be sufficient.

WisRich on February 28, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Here is the statute:

Article XIII, §10
Vacancies in office. Section 10. [As amended April 1979]

Article XIII, §10 ¶(1)
(1) The legislature may declare the cases in which any office shall be deemed vacant, and also the manner of filling the vacancy, where no provision is made for that purpose in this constitution.

WisRich on February 28, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Excellent play by Walker:

- Fabricate a budget crisis by cutting taxes and opening loopholes

ernesto on February 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

See, you won’t even recognize the problem so you can’t offer a coherent solution. You are a corporatist shill.

ExpressoBold on February 28, 2011 at 2:28 PM

I saw an interview with one of the ‘fleebaggers’, where the reporter said “some people have said you should be fired – what do you have to say to that”?

His answer was “you can’t fire us for doing our jobs”.

They’re insane, and we’re trying to ‘negotiate’ with insane people.

Squiggy on February 28, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Knucklehead on February 28, 2011 at 2:25 PM

You won’t find ernie out on the streets war zone carrying crosshairs signs and getting a little bloody slapping women around. He’s handling the keyboard stuff. Safer.

a capella on February 28, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Here is the statute:

Article XIII, §10
Vacancies in office. Section 10. [As amended April 1979]

Article XIII, §10 ¶(1)
(1) The legislature may declare the cases in which any office shall be deemed vacant, and also the manner of filling the vacancy, where no provision is made for that purpose in this constitution.

WisRich on February 28, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Of course, this would be the mother of all nuclear options. :0

WisRich on February 28, 2011 at 2:34 PM

You have a point about the bathrooms, but lay off the crock pots. I love mine.

parteagirl on February 28, 2011 at 2:20 PM

I like mine too, but I don’t take it to the state capitol.

SKYFOX on February 28, 2011 at 2:34 PM

This whole disgusting episode of fleebaggering should get other states cracking on laws preventing this from happening. Something simple like an elected state rep/senator cannot leave the state for more than 72 hours while the legislature is in session. If he/she does leave, he/she forfeits the seat immediately and a new election is scheduled in 15 days to replace the fleebagger.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Is there something we can mail to a list of awol teachers and legislators?

Like pink slips or fleepaper or a teabag or something?

dhunter on February 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM

How about fleas?

silvernana on February 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Is there a source on Walker promising collective-bargaining reform during the election?

I keep hearing talking points that he never mentioned this, and would like some rebuttal material.

Chomsky Dance Recital on February 28, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Here’s one where a union guy said that unions would not accept paying anything for pensions via collective bargaining, and Walker said “The only way we’re going to get spending under control is to fundamentally change the way we govern, enacting long-term solutions that reduce the cost of government,” he said. I think he borrowed the “fundamental change” line from another politician, but I can’t quite put my finger on who…

forest on February 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Ernie, why don’t you do what Meade at Althouse does? He gets right out there and interviews people. Finds out what they’re thinking. Takes risks. You’re a young guy. You should be there. This is a big f**ing deal, if I may quote my VP. You should be there. We know you are passionate about it.

a capella on February 28, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Related-

Instapundit dug around and found that police unions like the one in Los Angeles are coming out in favor of the union thugs in Wisconsin.

Link

Expect more scenes like the one depicted in Atlanta in the Quotes Of The Day thread, where the union thug blindsided a Tea Party member then got the cop to run interference for him as he ran away.

teke184 on February 28, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I’m sure they’ll each have a doctor’s note for the 24hr flu.

Christien on February 28, 2011 at 2:37 PM

- Fabricate a budget crisis by cutting taxes and opening loopholes

ernesto on February 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

LOL. Ernie dude, even for you this is bordering on insanity.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 2:40 PM

Excellent play by Walker:

Yes… It’s been leadership vs. kicking the can down the road for the next guy, and it’s about time.

- Fabricate a budget crisis by cutting taxes and opening loopholes

Even Diamond Jim Doyle knew and acknowledged the $300+ million shortfall in the current budget. No tax cuts or supposed “loop holes” have added to this deficit.

- Blame workers and propose ending collective bargaining

Blame falls where it belongs… On the PEU and its ability to influence and control things about the employment of its members that shouldn’t be within their abilities to decide on. Collective bargaining does not end and will remain in place for wages.

- Workers offer budget balancing concessions

“Workers” are once again fooled by the people that are supposed to be on their side within the union. If it were not for the change to having dues taken directly out of the paychecks and the ability finally granted for workers to decide whether or not to join the union, the protests wouldn’t be happening. This is fabricated from the fear of union heads losing their chokehold on power.

- End collective bargaining anyway, AND allow the state to sell any utilities it owns at any price

There is no end to collective bargaining. Repeating a lie will not make it truth. And selling utility facilities is one way to turn over what to the private sector what the private sector has succeeded in providing. There is no need for the state to own utilities.

- Witness mini revolt

Witness illegal strikes and lies by those who support them.

- Threaten to fire people, while continuing to blame workers.

ernesto on February 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

The “threat” is real. If the savings cannot happen by way of restructuring debt, the requirement by law that the budget be balanced will be made by the reduction in the workforce. Those that ran and those that enabled those who ran from their responsibilites will be at fault if they allow it to happen. Unfortunately, the union won’t care when their members lose their jobs. They never cared about them in the first place.

Steel on February 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Excellent play by Walker:

ernesto on February 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

I agree with this part. The rest was squid waste, and not worthy of pasting.

Chomsky Dance Recital on February 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM

teke184 on February 28, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I ask again. How can we be a nation a of laws when law enforcement openly favors one segment of society over another? This thing gets bigger and bigger.

a capella on February 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM

forest on February 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Thanks sir/maam

Chomsky Dance Recital on February 28, 2011 at 2:43 PM

I like mine too, but I don’t take it to the state capitol.

Bwwaaahaaa! I agree that they shouldn’t be taken into the state capitol. It just sounded like crock pots in general were being maligned. I couldn’t let that stand, not while I’ve got dinner simmering in mine as we speak.

parteagirl on February 28, 2011 at 2:44 PM

ernesto is still laboring under the delusion (intentionally) that the government is a for-profit, privately-owned company.

I can understand how statists and Democrats can be led to believe that watching their elected officials in action, but that’s not now it works in real life.

Government is not a business, ernesto. The government is FORCE.

To ignore this crucial difference between FORCE and free association in the private sector is to misunderstand the entire nature of the debate.

Which you’re doing quite expertly.

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Excellent play by Walker:

- Fabricate a budget crisis by cutting taxes and opening loopholes

ernesto on February 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Yeah, fabricated budget crisis. The GOP in DC has done the same thing, by the way. Of course, you have to ignore reality to come to this kind of conclusion, but you’re pretty adept at that, so…

Midas on February 28, 2011 at 2:46 PM

This happening, in Wisconsin, is almost a miracle, and one payoff for us going to all the Tea Parties.

Walker will have a big future if he keeps on the way he’s started. Glad to hear his MO is following through. We are all looking for the guy who walks like he talks, and follows through.

jodetoad on February 28, 2011 at 2:46 PM

To ignore this crucial difference between FORCE and free association in the private sector is to misunderstand the entire nature of the debate.

Which you’re doing quite expertly.

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 2:46 PM

But remember, Ernie is an independent who doesn’t like extremists on either side. Tee hee.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 2:49 PM

4. Public unions are unnecessary.
The primary purpose of private-sector unions today is to get workers a larger share of the profits they helped create. But with a power greater than their numbers, these unions have destroyed the manufacturing sector, forcing jobs overseas by driving labor costs above the price consumers here will pay. The government is a monopoly and it earns no profits to be shared. Public employees are already protected by statutes that preclude arbitrary hiring and firing decisions.

The primary purpose of public unions today, as ugly as it sounds, is to work against the financial interests of taxpayers: the more public employees are paid in wages and uncapped benefits, the less taxpayers keep of the money they earn. It’s time to call an end to the privileged class. And the White House makes a mistake if it thinks it can grow a manufactured and uncivil unrest into a popular movement. Voters will not follow those who flee.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2011 at 2:50 PM

To ignore this crucial difference between FORCE and free association in the private sector is to misunderstand the entire nature of the debate.

Which you’re doing quite expertly.

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Yep, and while ernesto holds their coat, they pick his pocket. He’s almost the perfect mark.

Mr. D on February 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Americans certainly can afford a tax increase
ernesto on January 27, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Have to go for the good quotes with ernesto.

Bishop on February 28, 2011 at 2:52 PM

But remember, Ernie is an independent who doesn’t like extremists on either side. Tee hee.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 2:49 PM

He is a socialist, at best.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2011 at 2:53 PM

It’s like the plantation owner talking to the slaves.

Tell me, which one is free to go if he pleases, and which one is stuck with the other? The state government or the state worker?

Count to 10 on February 28, 2011 at 2:54 PM

You betcha! Take deep breaths, ernie. Use a paper bag if necessary. Relax.

a capella on February 28, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Look at ernesto. See that his face is blue? It’s because he’s so dumb that he doesn’t even know how to breathe properly without instruction. You’re so mean to act like he’ll understand what you are telling him. Shame on you!

So, if you want him to take deep breaths, someone has to teach him how first. I would like to volunteer some of those great WI educators for the job, but something tells me they don’t know what breathe the way normally developed human beings are able to do without the need of any conscious effort means, either.

Bizarro No. 1 on February 28, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Nice post!..:)

Dire Straits on February 28, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Americans certainly can afford a tax increase
ernesto on January 27, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Well the 47% of Americans who pay $0 income tax certainly can. The 53% of us who actually pay taxes can’t.

angryed on February 28, 2011 at 2:57 PM

teke184 on February 28, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I ask again. How can we be a nation a of laws when law enforcement openly favors one segment of society over another? This thing gets bigger and bigger.

a capella on February 28, 2011 at 2:41 PM

At least one bright spot out of this is that a good number of comments on that organization’s announcement were members openly asking if the organization has lost its marbles, as they have no love for the MoveOn/SEIU crowd.

Organizations taking this kind of stand against the wishes of the membership opens the eyes of the membership to the kinds of people they’re in league with.

teke184 on February 28, 2011 at 2:59 PM

He is a socialist, at best.

Schadenfreude on February 28, 2011 at 2:53 PM

ernesto is just a shill for greedy corporist unions and union-owned health insurance companies.

darwin on February 28, 2011 at 3:01 PM

I wonder how many people understand that when public union employees pay taxes, it’s still a net loss in revenue because they’re paid from taxes.

Public union taxpayer paid from – state pile of money

state pile of money comes from – taxpayer

Public union employee pays taxes with taxpayer money

Result: steadily increasing decline in tax revenue.

darwin on February 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Do the Dems actually think they are going to win this one?

Even IF, we were to roll over completely for the Left, it would just be a few short years before we would be back in an even worse situation.

Do the Dims actually think that their running the society into a fiscal brick wall will want us to put them in charge of clearing up the wreckage?

Have they actually thought this through, or are they relying on the own deluded theories?

Insert witty screen name here on February 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Have they actually thought this through, or are they relying on the own deluded theories?

Insert witty screen name here on February 28, 2011 at 3:06 PM

door #2 monty

cmsinaz on February 28, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Enough already, START laying off state workers NOW!!!

mmcnamer1 on February 28, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Why not subpoena democrat senators to testify before a state senate committee (like the committee of the whole). An appearance fixes the quorum, and a failure to appear becomes a serious offense. Since $165M is on the line, I don’t see how issuing subpoenas would be seen as heavy-handed. It also gives dems an excuse for ending the embarrassing exile.

Mark30339 on February 28, 2011 at 3:13 PM

- Threaten to fire people, while continuing to blame workers.

ernesto on February 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Too bad you can’t read, or you would see that what you wrote is a pack of lies…learn to read, then you can comment at the adult table.

right2bright on February 28, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Fleabagger rumor: they will be out for 45 days.

Further, WI voters are tired of the occupation of their capital, and tired of listening to both sides – want it over now, and move on.

If true, then becomes no win situation for Walker.

Friendly21 on February 28, 2011 at 3:15 PM

ernesto is just a shill for greedy corporist unions and union-owned health insurance companies.

darwin on February 28, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Actually not, he is basically a very ill informed, not too bright poster.
He is fun, and reminds of us of how the liberal mind tries to comprehend very simple ideas…something complex like this is way beyond most liberals ability. If it doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker, it is just too confusing for them.

right2bright on February 28, 2011 at 3:16 PM

“It’s like the plantation owner talking to the slaves. We’ve moved in Walker’s mentality from public service to public servitude,” Beil explained to FOX 11. When asked “Do you really think comparison to plantation owner and slave is accurate?” Beil replied: “I do. I really do because here he sits as the incoming governor, basically issuing mandates about what he wants to happen. Governors and employers don’t do that especially in the modern era of labor relations. We sit down at a table to talk about things.”

You volunteer to serve at the public’s expense.

The public elects representatives to decide how much to pay you, and what benefits you get.

The government elected by the will of the people is sovereign. You don’t get to ‘negotiate’ with the will of the people.

If you don’t like what the representatives decide, then quit, it is still a free country. You don’t get to stay at a job and demand a higher pay than the public is willing to pay. There is no ‘modern era’ in this at all: you do not have a right to dictate pay and benefit terms to the public.

If you think you do you are an Aristocrat.

Americans don’t really like Aristocrats or an aristocracy. Thinking you can dictate your will upon the public is not going to end well for you.

ajacksonian on February 28, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Americans certainly can afford a tax increase
ernesto on January 27, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Including your mother?

ladyingray on February 28, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Fleabagger rumor: they will be out for 45 days.

Further, WI voters are tired of the occupation of their capital, and tired of listening to both sides – want it over now, and move on.

If true, then becomes no win situation for Walker.

Friendly21 on February 28, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Well I was wrong, I thought they would be back by last Friday…simply because now it becomes political suicide for the Dems.
This will be a total win for Gov. Walker, nobody but hard core liberals will accept the fleabaggers running away from what they were elected to do…yes, elections do have consequences.

right2bright on February 28, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Got those fleebaggers in the crosshairs by the short hairs !!! LMAO!!!

sonnyspats1 on February 28, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Americans certainly can afford a tax increase
ernesto on January 27, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Wait…I thought we were all on our way to making 3rd world wages in this country.

That’s what you said in an earlier thread, and were convinced it was true.

So which is it – we’re all super rich and can afford more taxes, or we’re all sliding downhill and will be scraping dirt soon?

And since you believe the latter, why on Earth would you raise taxes on everyone now that we’re all making less money?

UR DOIN IT WRONG.

ernesto, you need to just get off these union threads and take a breath or two. You’re making yourself look like more of an ignoramus than usual today.

Good Lt on February 28, 2011 at 3:29 PM

ernesto sure is suffering from this, and without being personal, I hope it gets a lot worse for him as this much needed change happens in other states as well.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 28, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Actually not, he is basically a very ill informed, not too bright poster.
He is fun, and reminds of us of how the liberal mind tries to comprehend very simple ideas…something complex like this is way beyond most liberals ability. If it doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker, it is just too confusing for them.

right2bright on February 28, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Yeah, I enjoy him and he does us all a service here.

a capella on February 28, 2011 at 3:42 PM

ernesto on February 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

You’re funny.

Oh, BTW ernie, I have had almost 2 feet of Global Warming in the past 72 hours, followed by an ice storm. My non union public employees already have it all cleaned up.

Del Dolemonte on February 28, 2011 at 3:46 PM

“It’s like the plantation owner talking to the slaves. We’ve moved in Walker’s mentality from public service to public servitude,” Beil explained to FOX 11.

Wow, that’s exactly what Dark-Star said!!!

I find it odd that people who think the public should work for their benefit, no matter what their demands, think they’re the ones being treated like slaves.

runawayyyy on February 28, 2011 at 3:49 PM

I know how we can get the frown off of poor ernesto’s face:

Start a union for illegal aliens! Yeah, collective bargaining for lawbreaking border jumpers. That’s the ticket.

Brotherhood of
Undocumented
Border
Breakers in
America

Happy now, ernie?

hillbillyjim on February 28, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Unfortunately for everyone, there seems to be no way for fleebaggers to save face at this point.

Why is this unfortunate for the fleebaggers?

INC on February 28, 2011 at 4:09 PM

For decades Americans have watched the quality of the education in public schools decline while the amount of spending on public school education has skyrocketed. What accounts for the disparity between amount of funding vs. performance?

Here’s the dirty secret about how teacher’s unions use collective bargaining. While everyone focuses mostly on the FINANCIAL side of the coin, there are plenty of other things unions are using their collective bargaining power for.

And before we discuss what it is, we need to remember something about the basic nature of a Public Employee Union, and especially of teachers unions:

These unions exist for one purpose: TO ENSURE SECURITY FOR THEIR MEMBERS AND TO MAKE THEIR JOBS MORE REWARDING AND EASIER. Period. Full stop.

How many times have you ever heard somebody say “Teachers and administrators need to do something to improve the public schools.”

Here’s a new flash: quality control and job performance oversight are NOT what PEU’s exist for. It’s not the job of the teachers unions to worry about how well teachers are doing their job. The teachers union’s job is to ensure more pay, better benefits, and job security for it’s members. AND THAT’S IT. That’s all the union is supposed to do.

Well if it’s not the job of the adults who actually WORK in the public schools to ensure quality control in the schools, whose job is it?

It’s the job of the elected legislators, who represent the taxpayers who are footing the bill for the public schools. It’s THEIR job to be the quality control board for the public schools and to have oversight on the job performance of the employees there.

This brings up the question: if it’s the job of the elected representatives to have quality control oversight of the public schools, why are so many public schools in such sad sack shape? Are they not doing their jobs? Are they making no efforts to improve the performance of the public employees under their purview, and ensure that America’s public school children get the best education possible?

And here’s the brutal truth: PLENTY of state representatives have been TRYING to bring much needed reforms to the public school system for DECADES and getting NOWHERE because the teachers unions use their collective bargaining power to thwart them.

Time and again people who would bring reform to the public schools run headlong into a battle with teachers unions who are determined to maintain the status quo because it’s in their favor.

Unions exist to make life EASIER and more beneficial for their members. Every time state law makers try to bring change to the public schools, the teachers unions go “You are NOT going to be allowed to make the job of our members harder, more time consuming and less rewarding.” And then they use their collective bargaining to reject attempted reforms.

What does this mean?

The public schools are NO LONGER under the control of the elected representatives of the taxpayers. They are under the control of the unions. And remember: UNIONS DON’T EXIST TO WORRY ABOUT QUALITY CONTROL. Is performance declining? Well gee that’s a shame. But it’s not the union’s job to worry about that.

But even thought it’s not the job of the union to exercise quality control over the schools, they sure can make it their job to thwart, frustrate and fight the people who DO have that job.

Which is exactly what they HAVE been doing.

True reform to the public schools is NOT HAPPENING until the de facto control of those schools is wrested away from the teachers unions and it is given back to the people who should really have it.

THAT is the other half of this fight over collective bargaining.

manofaiki on February 28, 2011 at 4:10 PM

That Capitol building must stink to high-heaven by now. Anyone know if the janitors are unionized?

OmahaConservative on February 28, 2011 at 4:22 PM

That Capitol building must stink to high-heaven by now. Anyone know if the janitors are unionized?

OmahaConservative on February 28, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Poetic justice, no? Too funny if they are…

hoosiermama on February 28, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Just found this video on teachers unions and its pretty spot on.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Na1rj5kQyg

ColdWarrior57 on February 28, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Wow! Some idiot liberal caller on Hannity just said Wisconsin’s government is in the black and that they have some of the lowest taxes in the Country! Hahahahahahah!!! Wonder how many of those protesters camping out in the Capitol actually think the same thing. No wonder Obama was elected President, with stupid people like this voting.

Susanboo on February 28, 2011 at 4:46 PM

That Capitol building must stink to high-heaven by now. Anyone know if the janitors are unionized?

OmahaConservative on February 28, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Poetic justice, no? Too funny if they are…

hoosiermama on February 28, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Guess they’ll be Flea Partiers if they can’t get cleaned up.

tomg51 on February 28, 2011 at 4:47 PM

I’d be interested in learning who has been paying for the expenses of the ‘fleebaggers’ while they’ve been camped out in another state other than WI

I’ve seen nothing, but my guess is that they are out there on the Wisconsin tax-payers dime. Can’t the Gov cut off those state credit cards?

oldleprechaun on February 28, 2011 at 4:50 PM

- Fabricate a budget crisis by cutting taxes and opening loopholes

ernesto on February 28, 2011 at 2:21 PM

So he became Governor on January third, and he’s fabricated a budget trick, opened loopholes, staged a crisis, put the state in debt… and did all that in what? Two weeks?

BWAHAHAHAHA

Please tell me you’re a conservative mocking the liberal trollers here and not really this idiotic. Did you bother to figure out how long Walker had been Governor? Do you know how long it has been since Jan 3, 2011?

gekkobear on February 28, 2011 at 4:53 PM

ColdWarrior57 on February 28, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Loved it!

oldleprechaun on February 28, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Susanboo on February 28, 2011 at 4:46 PM

This is how the unions keep their folks in line and keep the union dues coming in. It’s been going on for over 400 years. The unions tell their members that the school board is always hiding money and they have plenty of it to raise salaries. Yep. It works every time. Very few of those teachers even realize that they are paying taxes that pay their own salaries.

BetseyRoss on February 28, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Sorry 400=40

BetseyRoss on February 28, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Is there something we can mail to a list of awol teachers and legislators?

Like pink slips or fleepaper or a teabag or something?

dhunter on February 28, 2011 at 1:57 PM

How about fleas?

silvernana on February 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Excellent idea, if properly packaged.

Barnestormer on February 28, 2011 at 5:02 PM

“Now they have one day to return to work before the state loses out on the chance to refinance debt, saving taxpayers $165 million this fiscal year. Failure to return to work and cast their votes will lead to more painful and aggressive spending cuts in the very near future.”

And if fuel prices stay where they are (or higher most likely) and thus the cost of everything, then it’s going to be even worse for the next fiscal year.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 28, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Let’s fire all the teachers who did not show up for work and let them reapply for their jobs.

Then only hire back the best. Let the deadwood go.

No more collective bargaining for Public Unions.

Uniblogger on February 28, 2011 at 5:13 PM

“It’s like the plantation owner talking to the slaves.

Too true, I just think he has the roles reversed… the taxpayers are now slaves to the unions…

LASue on February 28, 2011 at 5:21 PM

And if fuel prices stay where they are (or higher most likely) and thus the cost of everything, then it’s going to be even worse for the next fiscal year.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 28, 2011 at 5:12 PM

http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2011/02/using-gas-prices-to-forecast.html

a capella on February 28, 2011 at 5:28 PM

is there a source on Walker promising collective-bargaining reform during the election?

I keep hearing talking points that he never mentioned this, and would like some rebuttal material.

I would think a simple mention of the powerful “Hope and change” words would suffice…”

Don L on February 28, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Nice jab from Walker.
———————

Gov. Walker: Statement in response to President Obama’s misunderstanding
2/28/2011

Madison– Today President Obama again weighed in against Governor Walker’s proposal to balance the state’s budget deficit by having state government workers contribute a modest amount toward their own pensions and pay 12.6 percent toward their healthcare premiums.

In response to the President’s comments, the Governor’s Press Secretary Cullen Werwie issued the following statement:

I’m sure the President knows that most federal employees do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits while our plan allows it for base pay. And I’m sure the President knows that the average federal worker pays twice as much for health insurance as what we are asking for in Wisconsin. At least I would hope he knows these facts.

Furthermore, I’m sure the President knows that we have repeatedly praised the more than 300,000 government workers who come to work every day in Wisconsin.

I’m sure that President Obama simply misunderstands the issues in Wisconsin, and isn’t acting like the union bosses in saying one thing and doing another.

WisRich on February 28, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Wow! Some idiot liberal caller on Hannity just said Wisconsin’s government is in the black and that they have some of the lowest taxes in the Country!

Hahahahahahah!!! Wonder how many of those protesters camping out in the Capitol actually think the same thing. No wonder Obama was elected President, with stupid people like this voting.

Susanboo on February 28, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Rachel Madcow was spouting that same lie on MSLSD last week.

When she was busted and got called on it, she blamed her lie not on herself, but on…homphobes. Newsbusters covered it the other day. She was absolutely pathetic on-air; only her fellow hemlock drinkers would believe her explanation.

Yep, you can’t make this stuff up, kids.

Del Dolemonte on February 28, 2011 at 5:45 PM

They’d do less damage to themselves now by returning today and declaring a public-relations victory.

Me thinks they’re way past both of those now except the looniest of the lefty loons.

chickasaw42 on February 28, 2011 at 5:55 PM

Looks like Ernesto has been snorting flea powder again.

GT on February 28, 2011 at 6:02 PM

It’s interesting a Moody’s Analytics study is being quoted to suggest the U.S. House Republican plan to cut $61 billion in borrowing and spending this year would destroy 700,000 jobs over two years.

And yet the same Moody’s study, authored by Mark Zandi, one of the architects of President Obama’s 2009 “stimulus,” says the Democrats will have to cut $400 billion a year if the economy is ever to stabilize.

So, it seems, the Republicans aren’t doing nearly enough. They should be cutting $400 billion in spending and let the private sector reorganize in a reality-based economy.

J_Crater on February 28, 2011 at 6:03 PM

- Fabricate a budget crisis by cutting taxes and opening loopholes

I didn’t think people were this stupid until I saw all the lefty hysteria.

But I can understand – their side has been the one actually manufacturing crises for decades. So it’s hard to spot a real one when it comes along.

It’s about d@mn time Walker played hardball with these usurpers of our vote. Then he needs to go on a tour of the state and explain his budget to the people directly.

englishqueen01 on February 28, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Public sector unions should be made illegal. Schools should be turned over to the private sector under some local government supervision……………..and, if the many school teachers in my family knew I wrote this, I would probably be burned at the stake.

SC.Charlie on February 28, 2011 at 7:09 PM

No tax cuts or supposed “loop holes” have added to this deficit.

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/2011_01_31Vos&Darling.pdf

At least 20m this year, and 140m next year. The cuts are intended to “improve the business climate of WI” (quoting Walker) by giving corporate tax incentives. This “incentive”, however, is not nearly high enough to encourage businesses to move shop, and who would want to move their family into a state where the education budget just got slashed in half?

On the PEU and its ability to influence and control things about the employment of its members that shouldn’t be within their abilities to decide on. Collective bargaining does not end and will remain in place for wages.

You’ve clearly never attended a school board meeting. Collective bargaining exists with the benefits so it’s not “The state of WI v Joe Schmo the teacher” when it comes to pension/benefit discussion. How is a single employee supposed to negotiate something like that individually with the State? You’d get nothing but strong-armed. And the last part of your statement shows that you don’t have any sort of idea as to how collective bargaining works/how school districts function (but I’m seeing a lot of that here). Collective bargaining for wages is virtually non-existent, it only functions to keep everyone honest. School districts provide salary to individual teachers based on 1v1 negotiation, which is impacted by things such as experience, need of the teacher, etc. Two teachers with everything in common will have different salaries in the same school, and in many cases vastly different salaries in neighborering districts.

If your make-believe idea that collective bargaining affects wages were true, teacher salaries would be uniform. They most certainly are not. Again, go attend your first school budget meeting. It mostly focuses on budget, teacher pay, how many the district can afford, etc. If the district can’t pay for it’s teachers, it offers to lower salaries or cut positions. The union has virtually no power here. The union is only important in negotiations with the state.

There is no end to collective bargaining

The group think is strong with this one. Read any journalistic, non-opinion article on the subject, please.

And selling utility facilities is one way to turn over what to the private sector what the private sector has succeeded in providing.

http://tinyurl.com/4jn8omg

The bill will allow Walker to unilaterally sell any public utility for any price without taking any bids. Why would a state pass a law allowing the sale of state-property through no-bid contracts, with virtually no oversight? It’s either incredibly dumb or incredibly corrupt. For the record, the largest utility providers in the state are owned by Koch, so that’s where the conspiracies are coming from. Still pretty interesting, considering how much money he got from them.

Those that ran and those that enabled those who ran from their responsibilites will be at fault if they allow it to happen.

The budget has nothing to do with it. The Democrats agreed to do everything Walker wants to balance the budget. He’s holding out to score the political points by breaking up the union (and you need to decide, will or won’t the plan break up the union? You keep going back and forth, bub) and is willing to sacrifice jobs for it. Just settle the budget and debate the union-busting over the course of the year.

Rainsford on February 28, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Anyone see this poll coming out? By a 52-45 margin, Wisconsin voters say they’d vote for the democrat for governor if they could have a “do-over.” EXCEPT, Public Policy Polling had to make their sample 32% union members to get that result — in a state where about 15% of residents belong to a union. These democrat pollsters are just shameless. They’ll sell every last ounce of their credibility to prop up their party. When you’ve got to massage a poll that badly, your are seriously losing the argument.

Rational Thought on February 28, 2011 at 7:21 PM

…here he sits as the incoming governor, basically issuing mandates about what he wants to happen. Governors and employers don’t do that especially in the modern era of labor relations. We sit down at a table to talk about things.”

As has been pointed out many times, government is power and the government doesn’t negotiate laws with labor unions. They may listen to union concerns, but they negotiate with other legislators elected to make law.

RJL on February 28, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Rainsford on February 28, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Listen bub. I’m in one of the freaking unions his bill will screw and I want it gone. I *hope* his plan kills them dead. They’re corrupt, and only concerned with their money. They’re willing to give $130,000,000 in concessions? Then why the hell should anyone be paying dues?

Nuke them from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

Vancomycin on February 28, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Talk about vacating your seat, how about the three Senators that were running for office of the President? I think it was McCain that came back for a vote once. I don’t think either one was doing their jobs.

mixplix on February 28, 2011 at 7:36 PM

- Fabricate a budget crisis by cutting taxes and opening loopholes

Ernie, cutting taxes and loopholes didn’t make the state’s shortfall. There just isn’t any effing money!

Sekhmet on February 28, 2011 at 7:44 PM

it was so peaceful without the Huffpo trolls such as ernesto the past few days. He is such a pathetic joke.

Sporty1946 on February 28, 2011 at 8:02 PM

mixplix on February 28, 2011 at 7:36 PM

How I long for the good old days when a pol would resign his seat if he wanted to run for a higher office. The days of ethical behavior is over I guess.

Sporty1946 on February 28, 2011 at 8:05 PM

The budget has nothing to do with it.

Rainsford on February 28, 2011

Your right man, it has nothing to do with the budget, the issue is: the minority position refusing to participate in the legislative process, a duty that each member swore under oath to perform; a duty that is essential for any healthy democracy to insure that the minority is represented in all acts of legislation. Debate the bill and win or lose on the merit of your argument. Cast your vote to represent the people of your district…

equanimous on February 28, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Rainsford quit being a union shill and get a real effing job.

CWforFreedom on February 28, 2011 at 8:11 PM

f*cking dooshbag

how about you collect internet sales tax: 120 million into the kitty

how about you end just 10% of property tax exemptions: 70 million into the kitty

how about you end retarded corporate tax dodging: 100+ million into the kitty

what the f*ck is wrong with you people

Dave Rywall on February 28, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Anyone see this poll coming out? By a 52-45 margin, Wisconsin voters say they’d vote for the democrat for governor if they could have a “do-over.” EXCEPT, Public Policy Polling had to make their sample 32% union members to get that result — in a state where about 15% of residents belong to a union. These democrat pollsters are just shameless. They’ll sell every last ounce of their credibility to prop up their party. When you’ve got to massage a poll that badly, your are seriously losing the argument.

Rational Thought on February 28, 2011 at 7:21 PM

I always tell you folks, PPP stands for Piss-Poor Polling.

slickwillie2001 on February 28, 2011 at 8:47 PM

For the record, the largest utility providers in the state are owned by Koch, so that’s where the conspiracies are coming from. Still pretty interesting, considering how much money he got from them.

Yes, considering that each of the Obama Party fleebaggers received a far greater amount proportionately from unions than Walker ever did from the Kochs.

For the record, Scott Walker received $43k from the Kochs, which represents approximately 0.46% of the $9.2 million he raised. In contrast, the Obama Party fleebaggers received an average of 18% of their total campaign contributions from unions.

So since union shill and puppet Rainsford says that receiving 0.46% of your total campaign contributions from a particular donor puts you completely under their control, we can say that the Obama Party fleebaggers who received roughly thirty-six times that amount are completely owned, controlled, and operated by the unions and are acting solely to screw the state and the taxpayers over for the benefit of their union masters.

Now watch Rainsford spin and spin and spin — or maybe he’ll try to talk about how his elevator ride with John McCain makes him a conservative.

northdallasthirty on February 28, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Seriously, enough with the name calling.

Golden rule people. I don’t care about the hypocrisy of the other side.

We should be leading by example, not lowering ourselves and following their poor example.

Ideas will win the argument, not names.

Are we the good guys, or what?

Pablo Snooze on February 28, 2011 at 9:06 PM

what the f*ck is wrong with you people

Actually, Barack Obama himself says that raising taxes would threaten our economic recovery.

You might want to straighten out your talking points, Dave Rywall. After all, what you’re advocating, according to Obama, would torpedo our fragile economy.

northdallasthirty on February 28, 2011 at 9:06 PM

I can’t believe we have libtards here still pimping Rachel Madcow’s claim that there is no fiscal crisis in Wisconsin. It’s an opinion shared by only libtards, because even Politifact took names and kicked libtard butt in explaining that the state is in a hole when Walker took over.

LIBTARDS QUIT LYING!!!

But the remainder of the routine memo — consider it the fine print — outlines $258 million in unpaid bills or expected shortfalls in programs such as Medicaid services for the needy ($174 million alone), the public defender’s office and corrections. Additionally, the state owes Minnesota $58.7 million under a discontinued tax reciprocity deal.

The result, by our math and Lang’s, is the $137 million shortfall.

The tax cuts will cost the state a projected $140 million in tax revenue — but not until the next two-year budget, from July 2011 to June 2013. The cuts are not even in effect yet, so they cannot be part of the current problem.

http://politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/18/rachel-maddow/rachel-maddow-says-wisconsin-track-have-budget-sur/

Apologetic California on March 1, 2011 at 2:51 AM

The budget has nothing to do with it. The Democrats agreed to do everything Walker wants to balance the budget. He’s holding out to score the political points by breaking up the union (and you need to decide, will or won’t the plan break up the union? You keep going back and forth, bub) and is willing to sacrifice jobs for it. Just settle the budget and debate the union-busting over the course of the year.

Rainsford on February 28, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Absolute nonsense. The budget repair bill configures the repairs necessary for both the current and future budgets to be balanced properly, rather than on borrowing and raiding of other funds. It is necessary to limit the stranglehold the public unions have on mandating costs/benefits to too many aspects of their members’ contracts. It is a shame that public unions have now become like the corporations of old that they and others stood against when change was necessary. Now… change is necessary to reverse their ills and self-destructive practices, especially the ones that are harmful to those that they claim to represent and to the taxpayers who fund everything they do.

Steel on March 1, 2011 at 9:20 AM

No tax cuts or supposed “loop holes” have added to this deficit.
http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/Misc/2011_01_31Vos&Darling.pdf

At least 20m this year, and 140m next year. The cuts are intended to “improve the business climate of WI” (quoting Walker) by giving corporate tax incentives. This “incentive”, however, is not nearly high enough to encourage businesses to move shop, and who would want to move their family into a state where the education budget just got slashed in half?

Rainsford on February 28, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Way to try and confuse the issue. Tax incentives for companies coming in have NOTHING to do with the current shortfall in the budget. This shortfall was known and acknowledged by all before Walker took office. Try being at least intellectually honest in the future.

You’ve clearly never attended a school board meeting. Collective bargaining exists with the benefits so it’s not “The state of WI v Joe Schmo the teacher” when it comes to pension/benefit discussion. How is a single employee supposed to negotiate something like that individually with the State? You’d get nothing but strong-armed. And the last part of your statement shows that you don’t have any sort of idea as to how collective bargaining works/how school districts function (but I’m seeing a lot of that here). Collective bargaining for wages is virtually non-existent, it only functions to keep everyone honest. School districts provide salary to individual teachers based on 1v1 negotiation, which is impacted by things such as experience, need of the teacher, etc. Two teachers with everything in common will have different salaries in the same school, and in many cases vastly different salaries in neighborering districts.

If your make-believe idea that collective bargaining affects wages were true, teacher salaries would be uniform. They most certainly are not. Again, go attend your first school budget meeting. It mostly focuses on budget, teacher pay, how many the district can afford, etc. If the district can’t pay for it’s teachers, it offers to lower salaries or cut positions. The union has virtually no power here. The union is only important in negotiations with the state.

Rainsford on February 28, 2011 at 7:11 PM

More tripe, eh? Tell me… Who do the teachers negotiate with? Who are they the employees of? Who pays their salaries?

And I love your “You’ve clearly never attended a school board meeting.” BWAHAHAHA! You have absolutely no idea of who I am, what I’ve seen or where I’ve been. Your ego is amusing. Want to try and read my palm while you’re at your divinations?

My “make-believers” about teachers salaries? Again… who decides on their wages? I’ll give you a hint… “all politics is local.” Uniformity? Clearly you’ve never tried to understand anything about teachers and their compensation (wages and benefits). Sad, Rainsford. Sad.

“There is no end to collective bargaining”
The group think is strong with this one. Read any journalistic, non-opinion article on the subject, please.

And selling utility facilities is one way to turn over what to the private sector what the private sector has succeeded in providing.
http://tinyurl.com/4jn8omg

The bill will allow Walker to unilaterally sell any public utility for any price without taking any bids. Why would a state pass a law allowing the sale of state-property through no-bid contracts, with virtually no oversight? It’s either incredibly dumb or incredibly corrupt. For the record, the largest utility providers in the state are owned by Koch, so that’s where the conspiracies are coming from. Still pretty interesting, considering how much money he got from them.

Rainsford on February 28, 2011 at 7:11 PM

What exactly does selling of utilities to private companies have to do with collective bargaining remaining in place for wages? Oh, that’s right. NOTHING! Care to remain on topic? No? Shame.

Play your conspiracy theories like a good, little soldier. It’s predictable, worthless and weak. I’ve seen you do better than that, but this is what you’re reduced to now given the lack of facts to support you. Vitriol, hyperbole, distraction and lies are what you’re left with. Hopefully you improve and learn something before opening your mouth next time. How does the saying go? “Better to have people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Educate yourself in the future rather than parroting talking points.

Steel on March 1, 2011 at 9:38 AM

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