Walker sends letter to unions: Layoffs will begin next month if the fleebaggers don't come home

Let’s play hardball.

The measure “may be able to be rescinded and layoffs avoided” if 14 Senate Democrats return to the state Capitol, officials said.

“Without Senate action within 15 days, individual employees may begin to receive potential termination notifications,” said spokesman Cullen Werwie.

Walker has warned that the state may have to lay off 1,500 state workers — unless the absent lawmakers return to the state Capitol…

Walker repeatedly said he was “frustrated” by the intransigence of the 14 Democratic senators trying to stymie the bill by not showing up to vote. He blamed a core group of “extreme” dissenters for standing in the way of compromise…

“Gov. Walker is holding off as long as possible (on sending out layoff notices) pending hopeful developments with Senate Democrats,” said Andrew Welhouse, a spokesman for Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

It’s smart of him to hold off. The way the polling’s been going, there’s no guarantee that the public will blame the fleebaggers for any layoffs that result from the budget impasse rather than Walker. But since his patience is wearing thin and he’s looking to show he means business, why not … split the collective bargaining bill off from the broader budget bill and pass it independently? They actually don’t need a three-fifths quorum to do that, per a prior ruling by the state’s Attorney General. CB technically doesn’t count as a “fiscal” issue, so a simple quorum would suffice. Walker’s holding off on that too, I assume, because he wants to stress the point that limiting collective bargaining is crucial to long-term fiscal solvency. If they pass the CB reform separately (especially if they do it before addressing the budget), it leaves the left in position to say, “See? This had nothing to do with the budget after all.” So he and the Senate Republicans are stuck there too — for the moment. Who knows how thin their patience will be by this time next week.

Here’s a nifty little “messaging” effort from Heritage on collective bargaining and public-employee unions. This is, emphatically, a “fiscal issue.”