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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

They Did What?

Mar 9th, 2011

by F. Grey Parker
The Wisconsin Republican majority has used a parliamentary trick to separate banning the right to collectively bargain by public sector unions from the so-called "budget" bill.

That they have done so in this manner not only contravenes the will of the citizens of Wisconsin, but also runs contrary to the opinions of a majority of all Americans.

Donate to the ACTBLUE effort to help recall Gov. Scott Walker.

Our AFL-CIO contact in Madison - "This is a tactic designed to inflame. We will remain peaceful. However, motions by every major public union outside of public safety are under discussion tonight to strike."

From CNN:
"...the move drew howls of outrage from outside the chamber, where pro-union demonstrators chanted "Shame" and "You lied to Wisconsin" as the bill passed. Thousands more began to converge on the building, and a chorus of horns from passing cars echoed in the streets around the Capitol after the vote."

From ABC:
"Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate voted Wednesday night to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers after discovering a way to bypass the chamber's missing Democrats.

All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker's so-called "budget repair bill" — a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall.

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday split from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, which spends no money, and a special conference committee of state lawmakers approved the bill a short time later."

Greg Sargent gives some cogent early analysis at WaPo:
"There's no quibbling with the fact that if it does stand, Walker and Republicans will have gotten their way in the short term fight. But let's recall an important fact: Republicans control the governorship and state legislature. The fact that they were forced to resort to this trick is itself a concession that they had lost the battle as they themselves had previously defined it. And in so doing, they were forced to pull a maneuver that will only lend even more energy to the drive to recall them.

This kind of conduct is exactly what recalls are for. Let's review the record. This latest move is in direct contradiction of a recent pledge by the head of Wisconsin senate Republicans not to pass the bill without Democrats present. By treating the collective bargaining piece as a non-fiscal provision, Republicans have also revealed that Walker's repeated claims that the anti-union push was all about the budget to be a complete falsehood."

Keith Olbermann has a piece up at his new site likening this to nothing less than the beginning of the end of the Republican brand:
"The Right will claim victory. Good workers who were under the illusion that their public service earned them just as much protection from irresponsible and uncontrolled management as any private employees, will have their lives and families damaged and risked. But the Republicans have overplayed their hand in a way that seems startling even for them, and they shall inherit the proverbial wind. They have taken another step, neither to be retraced nor erased, towards their political suicide – an event that cannot come a minute to soon for the real America of fairness, the sanctity of a contract, rules, and equal opportunity."

CNN's Spitzer has a point about this cynical move by Wisconsin Republicans proving that collective bargaining has nothing to do with current state level budget crises.

1 comment:

  1. Oh it is practically fiscal, but it is not legally fiscal. After all, nothing is sweeter than the dish of ruthless technicality.