Wisconsin 14 to Remain AWOL

Today (Tuesday) is the deadline imposed by Gov. Scott Walker for a return of Democratic senators who are in Illinois holding up a vote on a budget bill that’s become a workers’ rights flashpoint. Walker says if the 14 Democrats fail to return today, he will start the process of notifying thousands of state workers that they are in danger of losing their jobs.

State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) is one of the so-called “Wisconsin 14.” He says they will stay away until the governor gives some indication he is ready for serious dialogue.

“It’s totally up to Governor Walker. I mean, we all want to be home. We didn’t want to have to do this in the first place, and as each day ticks by- I don’t know if it’s 10 or 11 days now- we want to be home.”

Walker is set to deliver his postponed budget address today at 4:00 p.m. at the State Capitol. After hundreds of thousands of protesters at the building over the past two weeks, the governor has limited access, citing security concerns. Others say it’s an attempt to squash the protests.

The bill at the center of the drama (SB 11) would strip most collective bargaining rights from most public workers in the state. It would also cut millions of dollars from scores of social programs.

Erpenbach says the Wisconsin 14 will not be bullied by the governor, or by Republican leaders in the Senate who are threatening to cut office support and take over approval of payments to the Democrats’ staffers.

“They’re really clamping down now at the Capitol. I wish they wouldn’t. And those orders are coming from Governor Walker- and it’s like he’s looking to pick a fight.”

Walker says he needs to stand firm to close a $3.6 billion deficit, although opponents say the unions have already agreed to the financial help the governor wants.

This post was originally published by the Public News Service.

Related Stories: 

Police Defy Order to Clear Protestors From Wisconsin Capital

Wisconsin GOP Won’t Negotiate Union Busting

Public Against Union Busting


Photo courtesy of WxMom
Written by Glen Garnder of the Public News Service


Helen Delahunt-Avila
Helen Avila7 years ago

Look and see who else is a union member!!

When it comes to the Wisconsin union fights, right-wing pundits Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have a couple of things in common. For starters, have all voiced their opposition to the plight of public employee unions in the state.
On Feb. 18, Limbaugh said on his radio program, "We are either on the side of the Wisconsin protesters or we are on the side of our country." Hannity has featured several guests critical of the union and its supporters, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, on his Fox News television and radio shows.
On the Feb. 18 edition of "The O'Reilly Factor," O'Reilly stated, "Governments can't afford to operate" because of "union wages and benefits." But it turns out that opposing workers' rights isn't the only thing these blowhards have in common.
As it turns out, all three of them belong to the American Federation Television and Radio Artists union (AFTRA), which is the AFL-CIO affiliate for television and broadcast workers.
Yes, you read that right. While Hannity, O'Reilly and Limbaugh have been railing against union workers in Wisconsin, all three of them belong to an AFL-CIO affiliate union.
A report voted to the front page of Reddit Friday claimed that Hannity, Limbaugh and O'Reilly were union members, as well as Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter. Right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin called it the "stupid lie of the week," insisting that neither she nor the "other Fox News personalit

Helen Delahunt-Avila
Helen Avila7 years ago

Ok I am really sick of these lazy jerks and their entitlements. Are we supposed to keep handing out this welfare year after year? They don’t pay taxes; they live like leaches off the rest of us; they complain incessantly about what they sacrifice without merit and complain about being downtrodden, and that they are taken advantage of and misunderstood. We need to contact our state and federal representatives and ask them why they continue to support this drain on our resources. Please be sure to mention those who complain the loudest in your email:
ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips . In addition, big banks, the Koch Brothers, and Corporate Farms including Tobacco are also upset that we do not understand their need to create jobs. Unfortunately, they lay their workers off because they do not make enough money from our subsidies aka welfare to pay them an actual living wage, which those unappreciative blood suckers of society don’t understand.

Dan B.
Dan Brook7 years ago

The regressive Republican Party of No is mean-spirited, thuggish, religiously fanatical, scientifically ignorant, corrupt, hypocritical, xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic, evolution and global warming denying, authoritarian, selfish, greedy, lacking compassion, warmongering, and otherwise dangerous.

NEVER vote for Republicans.

Charles Temm JR
Charles Temm JR7 years ago

Aside from the "non partisan" title regarding 'union busting' posing as news...this is just more BS from the Dem political playbook.

Defending "democracy" does not involve running from the issue/fight. All these legislators have done is proved they don't have the intellectual ammo to even fight in the war of ideas for their beliefs. They have abandoned their positions and won't return "until the governor is ready for serious discussions" That is childlike and proof of how moronic this whole debate has gotten.

The voters of the state rejected the Dem/union agenda. For those surviving Dems to refuse to even participate now in the process shows us all the wisdom of that.

Gov walker told them all to return or the pink slips start going out. The unions/these Dems could care less, let some be fired so the rest can have their demands met. That is typical and its totally unworthy of any public support here or elsewhere.

john hall
john hall7 years ago

Doug D.
your a damn fool for bashing farmers they do it for the love. get your dead butt out and farm the land you wont because your to good to do it . this is why we have million's of illigals in this country because to many american's think it's beneath them

Helen Delahunt-Avila
Helen Avila7 years ago

Every single Republican voted to keep the billions in subsidies for the 5 largest oil companies, which means we pay taxes to support them. (“ Subsidies- financial assistance paid to a business or economic sector paid by the government (i.e. taxpayers) to producers or distributors in an industry to prevent the decline of that industry”- Wikipedia). Please write to republican representatives and senators from your state and john Boehner (johnboehner.com) and to the rnc.org and ask them to give you one GOOD reason for voting for this. And remind them that it is not about the jobs because in the past 6 years they have substantially reduced their jobs. (tell them that in your message). The oil companies made over a trillion dollars in profits. Please tweet, facebook, email everyone you know and ask them to do the same and pass it on to their friends. Somehow, this party of no seems to think we are to stupid to figure out who owns them.

jim h.
James h7 years ago

The Dems have walked out here in Indiana as well. I recently got a letter with a statement by Milo Smith, our local republinazi saying the Dems are insulting the people of Indiana by being absent so the work "of the people" isn't getting done.

I srote him it was the republicans who were an insult to the people in this state. The republicans have no interest in anything to do with the people. Their interest is doing what the republican party wants, people's will be damned.

Doug D.
Doug D7 years ago

@Doris K The family farm is inefficient and a burden to society. You would be much better off selling the farm to a large corporate farming company and then working as hired hands. Then you could unionize and quit your bitching about not being able to be in a union. Remember it's the public, and that includes the union workers, that are paying for all those frickin subsidies you get which helps you to be able to keep your farm. If so many farmers are Republican, maybe the Dems should start contacting their Reps and encourage them to end subsidies as that would save the states a bundle and help get states' budgets in order. If public union workers are taking it up the back end, you can bet farmers won't be getting it too long after.

Jose M. C.
JOSE M. C7 years ago

A taxpayer sits at a table with a union member and a CEO. There are a dozen donuts on a plate. The CEO takes eleven of the donuts, then turns to the taxpayer and warns him, "You'd better watch out, that union guy wants your donut."

Susan McKowen
Sue McKowen7 years ago

Hurray for the Wisconsin 14! Keep it up!