Positive Signs Out of Madison Protests

Some positive early developments out of Madison.  According to Chris Bowers at Daily Kos, the Republican controlled State senate rescinded their vote to move to final passage on Gov. Walkers union bust.  This puts the bill back in play and amendable.

Other positive signs include a new statewide poll showing 65% of Wisconsin residence thinks the Governor has gone too far in his attack on public employees.  The bill is also losing support among the business community not necessarily because of the union busting but because it also drastically cuts many basic services and municipal funding.  The Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce President Tim Sheehy refuses to publicly support the bill suggesting only that public employee bargaining rights should be “narrowed.”

They have also grabbed the attention of the notorious Koch Brothers, Gov. Walker’s second largest campaign contributor.  They plan to bus-in supporters for Gov. Walker, which suggests some struggle by Walker to drum up support on his own.

More evidence that the pressure is working is the fact that Walker is trying to move his scheduled budget address on Tuesday outside of the state legislature building, which is the epicenter of the protests.  Wisconsin state law may prohibit the move, but the fact that it’s even in discussion is critical.  Walker has also announced that he will not actually present his budget at this event.  Rather he’ll give a speech and present his budget later.  That might have something to do with reports that Walker’s math doesn’t add up and that the state’s fiscal problems are solely the result of Walker paying back political cronies with taxpayer dollars.

Protests are planned throughout the weekend in Madison and the city is bracing for an influx of additional supporters.  Dozens of other protests are planned in cities outside of the state and student walkouts continue. 

Meanwhile, Democratic State Senators remain camped out across state lines. 

Now it becomes a matter of endurance.  If this kind of pressure can be sustained it will work.  It’s the only thing that ever does. 

To read more about the fight against union busting, click here

photo courtesy of marctasman via Flickr

158 comments

Helen Delahunt-Avila
Helen Avila6 years ago

Individuals need to contact John Boehner and express your distress at the way the GOP is heading. Instead of Jobs they are attacking women's health issues, the unions and protecting the wealthy. Write your grievances to AskTheLeader@mail.house.gov
Please spread this email address to your friends, ask them to write a polite but pointed letter to this guy. He won't care but he won't like emails pointing out the stupidity of their stance on everything and failure to act like responsible citizens and public employees. (we do pay their big fat wages, cadillac healthcare and bloated pensions)

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Susan T.
Susan T6 years ago

"Non-Union" Wall Street and Banksters crashed this country's economy. Detroit automakers were done in by bad management - all they wanted to make was SUV's, GM even destroying a highly successful all electric car in the 1990's (where would GM be now if they had ramped up production of that car, getting ahead of foreign car makers on that game?)

American companies AND the American government are further handicapped by the cost of paying for expensive private insurance, while European and Japanese carmakers enjoy no such costs, benefitting from the savings of their government's single payer systems.

Huge tax breaks continue to be given to massively wealthy people, who don't need them and for the most part do NOT "create jobs" with that money which sits in a swiss bank account, or maybe goes to buy an extra Jaguar or Mercedes (how does THAT benefit America?)

Meanwhile these politicians who live to serve multi-national corporations and billionaires say "we" need to make "tough choices". Translation "Let them eat cake"

Wake up America. These people will not be happy until there is no middle class, only a very insecure working class who will not try to change jobs, make demands, or have any bargaining rights. This will increase profits and decrease risk. Unless of course you AREN'T one of the lucky billionaires; then you better start growing a garden for food and get a wood stove for heat cause you are going to be screwed.

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Patricia S.
Pat S6 years ago

Joshua I,
Please don't hold your breath!

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Joshua I.
Joshua I6 years ago

Governor Walker Has Committed a crime to attempt to eliminate Union Bargaining Rights, when he threatened to call the National Guard.
18 USCA 245(1)(2)(b)(5) declares as follows:
Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, by force or threat of force willfully ***, intimidates or interferes with, or attempts to ***, intimidate or interfere with--
(1) any person because he is ***, or in order to intimidate such person or any other person or any class of persons from--
(2)(C) *** enjoying employment, or any perquisite thereof, by any private employer or any agency of any State or subdivision thereof, or joining or using the services or advantages of any labor organization, hiring hall, or employment agency;
(5) any citizen *** without discrimination on account of race, color, religion or national origin, in any of the benefits or activities described in subparagraphs (1)(A) through (1)(E) or subparagraphs (2)(A) through (2)(F), or participating lawfully in speech or peaceful assembly opposing any denial of the opportunity to so participate –
shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed, *** or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed ***
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What Are You Waithing For, ARREST Gov. Walker

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Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Paula L
You can't make assumptions based on working at a place where you told them you were only going to be working temporarily. I got bit by a dog therefore all dogs are bad, I had an acorn drop out of a tree on me therefore all trees must have acorns, I got stung by a jelly fish walking in water therefore there are jellyfish in all waters just waiting for me to walk in... Paula's logicin her post is flawed therefore all Paula's everywhere use flawed logic in their posts???

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Steven Brewer
Steven Brewer6 years ago

Marianne C
Where in any of my posts have I said it was not possible for someone to get fired from a union job? Get your eyes checked because I never said anything of the sort. You make an ass of yourself when you assume that I have no knowledge of unions and how they work. I worked in a factory with a union for 10 years until Reagan gave companies nationwide the green-light to break all agreements that had been bargained for over the previous 50 years or so. The company closed shop and moved from NY to Ohio. Another thing you assume falsely is that I have not worked, lady I have worked since I was 12 running a paper route before school and washing dishes at a diner after school. I think you are just an old biddy who has to meddle in everyone's business because she has no life of her own.

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SHARON K.
Sharon K6 years ago

I think that many people are either too young, or just do not have enough knowledge of the history of the reason that unions were formed many years ago. First of all, if unions did not exist, children might still be working 12 hours a day in coal mines. A lot of people lost their lives fighting so that today, people would not be put in positions by employers where their jobs were so hazardous, that they were maimed and killed. If you were injured on your job back then, it was goodbye with no benefits, or medical care.
And in response to the person who cited GE as to union people being able to be laid of due to downsizing, the answer is yes. However, it has to be done according to rules. If you are non-union they CAN always do what they want, and in no special seniority order. I have been Union for 29 years, and I have also held a non-union job for 12 years prior. I can tell you first hand, the Union job was far fairer. Unions may not be perfect in all places, but, remember, before you knock them look in to their history before you judge them. Look at whats going on in Wisconsin. Do you really believe that the unions, and pensions are the real problem. I BELIEVE, POLITICAL GRAFT, AND CAVING IN TO BIG LOBBIES ARE THE REAL CULPRITS HERE. I WATCHED ON TV AFTER THE COLLAPSE IN 2008, A REPUBLICAN STATED THAT THE UNION WAGES, AND THE PENSION OBLIGATIONS CAUSED IT, THE DEMOCRAT RESPONED BY POINTING OUT THAT WALL ST. AND BANKS DO NOT HAVE UNIONS.

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Marianne C.
Marianne C6 years ago

Steven Brewer:

It is absolutely possible to get fired from a union job, even when you're a member in good standing of the union. It's generally styled as "cut-backs" or "downsizing" when the business remains open, and just plain lay-offs when the business closes.

If you don't believe it, check into GE's massive downsizing and laying off during the past year. Being in the union didn't protect anybody once they started shutting down production lines.

I'm beginning to suspect you don't really know much about unions, and perhaps not much about working for a living. You seem to think that once employed, a person only loses a job because he did something wrong. That could hardly be farther from the truth. "Employment at will" is pretty much the law of the land, and an employer can fire you for any reason that isn't strictly illegal, including no real reason at all.

And please stop trying to project your own mental health issues upon other people. Its rude, it's symptomatic, and it only means your own meds need adjusting.

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Mark M.
Mark M6 years ago

The Republican'ts must play the relative small ball of slicing a billion here and there because the big whales -- the Pentagon and Medicare -- are off limits for all the reasons you can think of -- big campaign donors, jobs in the home districts, senior citizen voters, and so on. But if they really wanted to, needed to, were compelled to, forced to, if they had NO other choices they could point to to prove their deficit reduction cred, they would be focusing their energy on these monsters and not the easy-target low-dollar pinatas of NPR and PBS, Americorps and childcare and Planned Parenthood and all the rest..the Republican'ts are against any program that doesn't cost them votes or campaign donations, and which of course does not give them a propaganda outlet like Fox. If NPR or PBS were Republican't ministries, they wouldn't be on the chopping block. Conversely, if Fox was tax-payer funded, it too would avoid the chopping block. This reveals all one need to know of Republican't strategy in an x-ray: what's mine is mine and what's yours is negotiable. We should hope these corporate pimps continue to overreach and do such a good job of exposing their ties to the brutally cynical oligarchs of KochDukeExxonMonsantoGoldmanAIG that they sway enough voters to undo the brainwashing they so foolishly succumbed to last November.

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Frank S.
6 years ago

@Jaime Torquemada

“Unions are good to a point. Sure they protect workers from being abuse or being fired without a reason. But, if this country is going to get on his feet we have to compromise.”- Jaime Torquemada

“this employee has little incentive to do a good job, he knows HE cannot be fired, the quality goes down and the company suffers and one day his job goes to Asia, and the old USA go hell.”-Jaime Torquemada

Jaime, you do not have to be in a union to be a lazy employee. I personally, over the course of my time in the workforce have seen many, and none of them were in a union!

For the United States to prosper, we must first of all, get most of the republican right-wing conservatives out of political office! They are the ones that are destroying our great country, not the middle class!

Just look at all the excuses that they offer to the gullible masses for the ills of the nation. You will hear them blaming everything and everyone except for themselves! The immigrants are to blame, the democrats are to blame, now its the middle class that's to blame, next it will be the cats and dogs that are to blame! All the while the right-wing politicos, bow, and posture before their mighty and powerfully rich conservative corporate bosses.

The one good thing about what is happening in Wisconsin, is that they have finally awakened the middle class to the evil which the right-wing conservative movement has in store for the entire country!

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