Leave it to teabaggers to overstep (what else is new?). The republican governor of Wisconsin picked a fight with public employee unions in a state with a strong tradition of support for organized labor.
From Uppity Wisconsin:
End Game? Walker Doesn’t Have One
Thu, 02/17/2011 – 10:55am | Jud Lounsbury
Here’s what happened: Walker looked over to the legislature and noticed that both houses were heavily Republican and then looked at WEAC, AFSCME and the other public sector unions and his dim bulb lit up: Let’s kill those guys!
The problem, is that its not as easy as voting and signing something into law. What Walker failed to grasp when he started on this foolish journey is that it would provoke the biggest strike in Wisconsin history and grind the state to a complete halt.
There is no end game where Walker can come out of this as a winner. Not now. He had the unions ready to make deep concessions and he would have come out budget contract talks smelling like a rose. Not now.
Now, the state will be shut down for a week or two, a beligerent Walker will finally cave, and the Unions will come out of this stronger than before.
Wisconsin Gov. Walker Ginned Up Budget Shortfall To Undercut Worker Rights
Brian Beutler | February 17, 2011, 1:47PM
Wisconsin’s new Republican governor has framed his assault on public worker’s collective bargaining rights as a needed measure of fiscal austerity during tough times.
The reality is radically different. Unlike true austerity measures — service rollbacks, furloughs, and other temporary measures that cause pain but save money — rolling back worker’s bargaining rights by itself saves almost nothing on its own. But Walker’s doing it anyhow, to knock down a barrier and allow him to cut state employee benefits immediately.
Furthermore, this broadside comes less than a month after the state’s fiscal bureau — the Wisconsin equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office — concluded that Wisconsin isn’t even in need of austerity measures, and could conclude the fiscal year with a surplus. In fact, they say that the current budget shortfall is a direct result of tax cut policies Walker enacted in his first days in office….
From the AFL-CIO blog:
Crowd Swells in Madison
by Mike Hall, Feb 17, 2011
Just got off the phone with the Frank Emspak of Workers Independent News (WIN) labor radio and he says it looks like today’s crowd in Madison, Wis., to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) attack on workers’ rights could grow bigger than yesterday’s. About three blocks from the main plaza by the Capitol, the streets are jammed. In fact, there are so many people, cell phone coverage is spotty at best…
Oh, and the coverage from old media? Via Twitter:
awesomefactory David Summers
National vs. local story RT @Slfriend79: The So Called Liberal MSM: TeaParty = Constant Coverage / Union Workers In WI = Crickets #wiunion 1 minute ago
@CNN 10s of 1000s of American citizens march on their capitol & Dem senators leave the state to avoid quorum. Where have you been? #wiunion 2 minutes ago
cbl2 clarice andrews
Ich Bin Ein Cheesehead ! #wiunion #solidaritywisconsin 2 minutes ago