On Scott Walker, Wisconsin, and the Budget Repair Bill: Is the Story Over Yet?

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

I have already written three posts about Governor Scott Walker, his budget repair bill, and the protesters in Wisconsin. People have been interested in the Wisconsin story and have left nearly 1,800 comments at my three posts. I’ve even received requests to write up another post so that we could continue the discussion on the subject. I think there are others like me who believe the Wisconsin/Walker story is not over yet.

As I did last week, I’m posting links to some articles on the subject for you—as well as excerpts from some of the articles.

Democrats immediately file suit to halt challenges (Journal Sentinel)

By Jason Stein, Don Walker, and Patrick Marley

Excerpt: Wisconsin is now among the vanguard of Midwestern states embarking on a new era with their rules for public unions. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, signed an executive order in 2005 to eliminate collective bargaining for state employees. Ohio is working on a measure to rewrite its collective bargaining law with public-sector unions.

But the fight in Wisconsin isn’t over – Democrats and unions are already filing lawsuits against the proposal and recall actions against GOP senators who approved it.

“It’s just the beginning,” said Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar). “This is the civil rights issue of this century.”

********************

Wisconsin’s Legacy of Labor Battles (New York Times)

By Kate Zernike

Excerpt: In her book, “Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950,” Professor Feurer recounts how companies in the electrical industry in St. Louis started a network known as the Metal Trades Association in the first part of the 20th century to fight union organizing. The association had been alarmed by union protests that erupted violently with the Haymarket Square riot in 1886 and the demands for an eight-hour day, which started with the 1894 Pullman strike in Illinois — an early effort by Eugene V. Debs, the former Indiana legislator and future Socialist Party candidate for president.

“That left a legacy of the 1930s and ’40s for employers to form deep right-wing networks,” Professor Feurer said.

That network, she argues, was the precursor to the Midwestern groups that have now been assisting the fight against the unions in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana: the Bradley Foundation, based in Milwaukee, and Koch Industries, based in Wichita, Kan. David H. and Charles G. Koch, the billionaire brothers behind the energy and manufacturing conglomerate that bears their name, have been large donors to Mr. Walker in Wisconsin, as has their advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, which first opened an office in Wisconsin in 2005.

********************

Opposition gears up for more protests, lawsuits as Walker signs anti-union bill (The Bellingham Herald)

By Ryan Haggerty and Michael Muskal

Excerpt: Even as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Friday signed into law a bill that sharply curbs collective bargaining for most public employees, his opponents were preparing for more demonstrations, court battles and political infighting over what has become a national test of labor’s power.

Organizers were hoping to attract tens of thousands protesters to the Capitol on Saturday for a rally featuring the return of Democratic lawmakers who fled the state on Feb. 17 in an effort to block the measure from passing. Along with the rally, Democrats are planning to ask the courts to overturn the new law and they have begun circulating petitions to recall some lawmakers. GOP supporters are circulating their own recall petitions, directed at the Democrats.

********************

Op-Ed: The GOP’s costly Wisconsin Koch binge is a wake-up call (Digital Journal)

The Big Shakedown: Wisconsin and the GOP’s Vision for America’s Future (Common Dreams) 

Dane County sues state to block budget bill (The Cap Times) 

Union Bill Is Law, but Debate Is Far from Over (New York Times) 

My Previous Posts

Scott Walker: A Fiscally Responsible Governor or a Politician Who Is Playing Favorites?

Is the Scott Walker Story Just the Tip of the Koch Brothers’ Political Iceberg?

Wisconsin, Scott Walker, and Protesting Workers: The Story Continues

492 thoughts on “On Scott Walker, Wisconsin, and the Budget Repair Bill: Is the Story Over Yet?

  1. http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2011/07/wisconsin-schools-buck-union-cut-health-costs

    whoops, looks like the end of collective bargaining was a good thing. the only people hurt were union bosses and democrat politicians.

    Unions pick the insurance company, insurance company raises rates and donates money to democrat politicians who vote to retain unions who keep the insurance company which raises rates.

    What a circle that is.

    Bang that drum now. ROFLMAO

  2. Otteray,

    Thanks for the link. It didn’t take long for Rick Snyder to begin implementation of that EFM procedure.

    I’m wondering if those employees who are out of work have any legal recourse.

  3. It continues to become more bizarre by the day. An Emergency Financial Manager appointed by Walker has just taken over the government of Benton Harbor, MI, “firing” the duly elected officials of the city. The EFM has the power to void all contracts, especially those pesky ones involving union workers. The writer clarifies that while the officials are not technically fired, in effect they really are because they have had their jobs and positions taken from them.

    The latest development is the ACLU is starting an investigation

    Read more here:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/15/967374/-UPDATEDx2And-so-it-begins-Emergency-Financial-Mgr-fires-entire-government-of-Benton-Harbor,-MI

  4. More from Fitzwalkerstan:

    After Pledging To Not Raise Taxes, Walker Proposes Hiking Taxes And Fees On The Poor And Students
    By Zaid Jilani
    Think Progress, 4/16/2011
    http://thinkprogress.org/2011/04/16/walker-tax-hike/

    One of the most important ideological commitments of the modern conservative movement is an opposition to tax increases. It is with this ideology that then-Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker signed Americans For Tax Reforms’ “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” a vow not to raise taxes on the people of his state.

    Yet in his newly proposed budget, now-governor Walker appears to have already broken this pledge. While the budget would lower taxes overall — it includes $83.3 million in tax cuts “primarily for businesses and investors” — it would make up for lost revenue by eliminating tax credits and exemptions that primarily benefit the poor and even some in the middle class.

    Wisconsin’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau — the state’s equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office — finds that this would amount to a $49.9 million tax increase on people who receive these credits over the next two years:

    Low and middle income people would lose tax credits worth about $49.4 million over two years, the new Legislative Fiscal Bureau report said.

    Those affected most by Walker’s proposal would include low-income families who qualify for the earned income tax credit program, and low-income homeowners who receive tax rebates under the homestead tax credit.

    In addition to eliminating these tax credits, Walker also has proposed a spate of new fee increases. The “bulk of the fee increases are for tuition at University of Wisconsin campuses, totaling more than $105 million over two years.”

    It appears that Walker is less committed to keeping taxes down on everyone than he is to cutting taxes for some of society’s most fortunate members, while raising them on some of its most vulnerable. He joins many other conservative state legislators across the country who are cutting taxes on the richest while slashing services and raising taxes for Main Street America.

  5. Elaine,

    I just require an over-sized bathtub because I do many things in the same…and one is to read…. the best place in the house… maybe TMI….but hey….it is the way it is….

  6. Wisconsin Union Law Challenge Dismissed By Judge While Additional Lawsuits Remain Pending
    By SCOTT BAUER
    Huffington Post, 4/14/2011
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/14/wisconsin-union-law-challenge_n_849394.html

    Excerpt:
    MADISON, Wis. — A judge on Thursday dismissed one of three lawsuits challenging Wisconsin’s divisive law restricting union bargaining rights, but left open the possibility it could be filed again with slightly different plaintiffs.

    Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi dismissed the lawsuit filed on behalf of the county by Democratic County Executive Kathleen Falk. The judge said Falk can’t sue because state law forbids an agency or arm of government – like a county – from challenging the constitutionality of state laws.

    Falk and Dane County Board Chairman Scott McDonell, however, also have requested to challenge the law as private citizens. Sumi said she was not yet considering that request and a hearing on that issue had not been scheduled as of Thursday.

    Falk’s lawsuit alleged both that lawmakers broke Wisconsin’s open meetings law and violated the constitution by passing the collective bargain bill without the proper quorum.

  7. I heard something on the radio where they were saying that in Waukeshaw, the Republican suburb where the deciding votes were reported late, that turnout was supposedly over 95% which is reportedly a statistical abnormality.

  8. It could be worse.

    Christie could have installed a car wash in the governor’s mansion.

Comments are closed.