We are in the midst of a six-day series about the union/collective bargaining/budget bill going on at the state Capitol now.
Our story for Thursday is comparing Wisconsin to Missouri, and the differences in how state government and public employees are treated. I am writing to request permission to use one of the photos from your website from the Feb. 24th [26th] rally at your state Capitol…it’s the one of the woman with a shirt that reads: “Wisconsin teachers educated me…”
We responded that we would give them permission and sent them a higher resolution version of the image. The photo appeared along with the story this morning. They credited the photographer and Show Me Progress:
Okay, you say, big deal, we got a photo credit with another news organization. That’s a story?
There’s more. Some of the comments accompanying the Wisconsin State Journal story are cringe inducing:
I live in WI for a reason, because it’s nice to live here. If I wanted to live in a dump like MO then I’d move to MO. I’m happy to pay for a nice state to live in.
I’ve known some people from Missouri and I dread the day we have an educational system like theirs.
Wow this state is turning into Missouri a.k.a the worst state in the area? I’m sure this makes the un-educated republicans very pleased to see education is being thrown on the back burner!! I swear that inbred fox valley area just keeps growing and growing like cancer!!!!!!
Hey! Two words. Joe McCarthy. Wisconsin had Joe McCarthy, Missouri has John Ashcroft. McCarthy didn’t sing, so we’ll call it a draw.
The point is ,we need to be more like Missouri- in fact we to out-Missouri Missouri. They have a lot a meth labs – we need more here! Poor education in Missouri ? I think with Scott Walker’s culling of our own LAZY, UNION THUG teachers we will be able to overtake them there too. Environment?, please. I’m thinking of changing my own oil over a storm drain today. Let it run in the lakes !! If we put our minds and hearts into it , we can do this. because in the end , our taxes will be lower , and that is truly what’s important.
And, our General Assembly just loves puppy mills.
I lived in Missouri for about a decade. It’s a fine state with mostly friendly people and has a lot going for it. I miss it in some ways. But there are reasons I moved back to Wisconsin eight years ago. One of them is the education system…
I think the teacher of the woman in the picture forgot to tell her you only capitalize the first word of each sentence. So much for the union teacher.
Uh, it’s a protest sign, not an essay. So much for critical thinking skills in Wisconsin. Score one for Missouri.
I prefer UW quality over U of Missouri. I prefer strong elementary and high school education and don’t care to lower our standards to Missouri. I prefer Wisconsin the way it is. I’m willing to pay for that. Walker please move to Missouri and implement your backward thinking ideological policies there.
We don’t want him. We’ve already have more than our share just like him here.
After the posturing is done reality will hit. Truth is we will be lucky to sink only to Missouri’s level…
That really hurts. We’re the low bar right before abandoning all hope?
…we can do better than Missouri- we want to be like Mississippi.
It’s nice to have standards.
She spelled all those words correctly? That’s surprising. I think a non-union teacher asked her to insert “of.”
Again, it’s a protest sign.
All that disdain hurts. After all, some of us live in Missouri.
The inherent weakness in the greed and avarice of the super wealthy is that enough will never be enough.
“…One thing is certain, Madison is only the beginning…”
“…The rich have overplayed their hand…”
“…The only thing that’s broke is the moral compass of the rulers…”
“…And, and that is the thing that the rich hate the most about America. No matter how hard they try to buy the votes, no matter how hard they try to own the political process, when it comes down to it, it’s one person, one vote. And there’s a hell of a lot more of us then there are of them. And never forget that, never forget that…”
Because posturing about something going on in Wisconsin and Illinois is more important than dealing with Missouri’s budget and job creation initiatives in our state:
@anonMOlib Anonymous MO Liberal
Seems unconstitutional RT @KOMUnews SJR 22/HJR 33 would vacate the office of lawmakers if they leave the state to avoid a vote 3 hours ago
Three individuals were sitting in a bar. Their conversation moved to their opinions of what constituted the greatest inventions. The first person advocated for the wheel, for, they said, without the wheel we would not have transportation or machinery. The second person differed and offered fire as the best example, stating, without fire we could not forge steel to make wheels and machinery. The third person said, “The thermos. The first person responded, “The thermos? The thing that keeps hot things hot and cold things cold?” The third replied, “Yes, but how does it know?”
SJR 22 Provides that a member of the General Assembly shall vacate his or her office if such member leaves the state during a legislative session for the purpose of avoiding any official duty or vote
LR Number: 1753S.01I Fiscal Note:
Committee: General Laws
Last Action: 3/3/2011 – Second Read and Referred S General Laws Committee Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: Upon voter approval
Current Bill Summary
SJR 22 – This proposed constitutional amendment, if approved by the voters, would require a member of the General Assembly to vacate his or her office if the member removes himself or herself from the state during a session of the member’s respective body for the purpose of avoiding any official duty or vote.
INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES CRAWFORD (Sponsor), LARGENT, ENTLICHER, SMITH (150), GOSEN, BERRY, ALLEN, KELLEY (126), HAEFNER, LICHTENEGGER, LAUER, BROWN (116), BROWN (85), DAVIS, LANT, WHITE, ROWLAND, FRAKER, CONWAY (14), FREDERICK, HOUGHTON, FRANKLIN, WELLS AND DUGGER (Co-sponsors).
1841L.01I D. ADAM CRUMBLISS, Chief Clerk
Submitting to the qualified voters of Missouri, an amendment to article III of the Constitution of Missouri, and adopting one new section relating to a member of the general assembly removing himself or herself from the state for the purpose of avoiding any official duty or vote.
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring therein:
That at the next general election to be held in the state of Missouri, on Tuesday next following the first Monday in November, 2012, or at a special election to be called by the governor for that purpose, there is hereby submitted to the qualified voters of this state, for adoption or rejection, the following amendment to article III of the Constitution of the state of Missouri:
Section A. Article III, Constitution of Missouri, is amended by adding one new section, to be known as section 13(a), to read as follows:
Section 13(a). If any senator or representative shall remove himself or herself from this state during a session of the member’s respective body for the purpose of avoiding any official duty or vote, his or her office shall be deemed vacated.
[emphasis in original]
“…for the purpose of avoiding any official duty or vote…”
The teabaggers announced they’d be in Jefferson City after MoveOn publicized their noon rally:
…The left via moveon.org and OFA are organizing protests in Jefferson City this Saturday, so the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition is joining the call from Tea Party and 9-12 groups across the state to counter protest on the capital steps.
When: 10:30AM Saturday, February 26th
Where: Steps of the Capitol Building in Jefferson City
Speakers are still being scheduled for Saturday. We will meet about 10:30AM to stake out our ground….
We made the drive to Jefferson City, timed to arrive at the capitol at about 11:00 a.m., which we did.
The teabagger rally site on the south side of the capitol at 11:04 a.m.
It was a little after 11:00 a.m. I approached a state trooper and what appeared to be a Jefferson City police officer who were standing back watching the teabaggers. I asked them if the rally had started yet. One of the officers told me, “The speakers are supposed to start at eleven.”
We walked over to the north side of the capitol, the announced site of the MoveOn organized labor rally scheduled for noon. There were a few people gathering. An individual pointed out to the river and told us that there was a bald eagle perched in a tree.
A bald eagle looking over the Missouri River.
We can all thank the Endangered Species Act for that moment of Zen.
After about fifteen minutes I walked back to the teabagger rally site. They had started. A speaker was droning on about the communists who sponsored the rally on the other (north) side of the capitol.
The teabagger rally site on the south side of the capitol at 11:20 a.m.
After a few minutes of teabagger rhetoric I walked back to the north side of the capitol to interview people participating in the MoveOn organized labor rally. And thanks to the teabaggers I had another question I could ask in those interviews.
It turns out that MoveOn and the organized labor folks were more punctual. They started at noon.
The MoveOn organized labor rally across from the north side of the capitol at 12:02 p.m.
IBEW, Local 2, from St. Louis.
Together we bargain, alone we beg.
People continued to arrive after the start of the rally. I even heard a few people, laughing, say that they had gone to the south side of the capitol and realized after a few seconds that they were at the wrong rally.
Slightly late arrivals to the MoveOn organized labor rally – at 12:03 p.m.:
The Koch brother are not our kings, don’t let them buy our democracy (left). Public or private workers have the right to organize (right).
Teachers are not parasites on the system.
Thank a union.
Walker is not healthy for children and other living things.
On this Saturday the 26th of February the communist organization moveon.org is organizing a rally in Jefferson City to support destroying our nation through deeper debt in the name of “protecting the working man”….
I heard one of the speakers at the teabagger rally say the same thing, so, I thought I’d talk to some of the good working people at the MoveOn organized labor rally on the opposite side of the capitol.
The MoveOn organized labor rally on the north side of the capitol in Jefferson City.
Show Me Progress: So, why are you here today?
Robert Shoemyer : I heard there was gonna be a rally here to support the people of Wisconsin.
Show Me Progress: And you decided to show up?
Robert Shoemyer : I decided to show up.
Show Me Progress: What does, uh, what does collective bargaining mean for you?
Robert Shoemyer : I farm. And, but, collective bargaining, I mean, I’ve always been in favor of collective bargaining. I mean, without labor nothing would happen. So, I mean, you have to have your salesman, you have to have your labor. But then that’s it.
You’ve got to love the Teamsters.
….Show Me Progress: …What’s your affiliation.
Rod Herrmann: I’m with the Gas Workers 11-6 out of St. Louis. We represent with Laclede Gas, a public utility.
Show Me Progress: Uh, why are you here today?
Rod Herrmann: In support of unions and all working people. We deserve a fair shake. Uh, feel like, uh, we’re getting railroaded here a little bit and, uh, you know, we want to, we want an honest wage for an honest day’s worth of work. And, uh, it seems like the working man is being pushed down and put back.
Show Me Progress: What does collective bargaining mean to you?
Rod Herrmann: It means a contract with good benefits, good wages. Uh, you know we’re not asking for the world, we’re just asking for what we feel we deserve. Uh, it’s a, it’s a tough situation out there now a days with, uh, being competitive. And, uh, unions, uh, when they bargain, they bargain for safety, uh, productivity, we know, we’re not against any of those issues. And those are what big business wants and we spend a lot of money on training our members in safety and productivity. Something we all want.
Show Me Progress: The group on the other side, uh, uses rhetoric, uh, that sort of labels, um, the people over here. One of the terms that one of speakers said was that, uh, that there are, there are communists over here. Trying to, you know, agitate. Have you run into any communists that you know of?
Rod Herrmann: No, I don’t think there’s a communist in this group. Jimmy Hoffa pretty much sums that up for us in his day, uh, you know, there’s no communists here, uh, they’re basically riding the backside of the union worker that’s blazed the trail, uh, for the future of my kids and my grandkids. Uh, they’re just looking for a free ride.
Show Me Progress:All right. Well, thank you very much for your time.
Rod Herrmann: Thank you.
Show Me Progress: Why are you here today?
Wayne Parsons: To stand up for the, uh, for the people up in Wisconsin. Show ’em that I’m their side, we’re on their side and we believe like what they believe.
Show Me Progress: Um, what does collective bargaining mean for you?
Wayne Parsons: That means, to me, that means you’ve got people that can stand up against the bullies, that they can’t overrun you, and that you can fight for a right to, to, you know, to receive what you deserve.
Show Me Progress: …The, the folks on the other side, um, they use some interesting rhetoric. Uh, they’ve said that, uh, that they think that the communists are, are, uh, organizing this group over here. Have you noticed any communists around here?
Wayne Parsons: Ah, I don’t believe there’s, really, I don’t really believe there’s any communists in America. And one thing about it, we’re all Americans. We’re not communists, we’re not socialists, we’re Americans. We’re people. You know, we want to be free. Communism is not free. We want to be free. We don’t want the rich man to tell us what we should do or not do. We want to be able to, to be free.
Show Me Progress: …Well, thank you very much for your time.
Wayne Parsons: Thank you.
Show Me Progress: Why are you here today?
Chad Smith: Well, standing up for the middle class, for what’s right. It’s just plain common sense really.
Show Me Progress: Uh, what’s your affiliation?
Chad Smith: Uh, IBEW, Local 2.
Show Me Progress: And Local 2 is where?
Chad Smith: In St. Louis.
Show Me Progress: St. Louis.
Chad Smith: Yes, sir.
Show Me Progress: What does, what does collective bargaining mean for you?
Chad Smith: Well, it means my whole life. It means, uh, everything that the middle class has to work for. I mean, without it, you know, you got corporations, they got millions to sit around and have attorneys on retainer and, uh, regular working Americans can’t afford to have attorneys on retainer. And that’s what unions are there for, so, to make a level playing field for everybody.
Show Me Progress: Now, now the folks on the other side use some rhetoric that’s, uh, they think that, that, that this organization over here, this, this crowd here is, uh, basically being prompted by people that have motives, uh, other than what you state. They use the term, calling the people that are organizing this communists. Have you noticed any communists over here?
Chad Smith: I haven’t seen a one. Actually, I , I seen the guys on the south side and, uh, it’s pretty much, you know, basically all I got to say about them is, uninformed voters.
Show Me Progress: Well, thank you very much for your time.
Chad Smith: Thank you.
Bobby Wright: I’m from Local 1887 in St. Louis, UAW. Uh, we came down to show our support for the Wisconsin fourteen and the Wisconsin, uh, public service employees. And, uh, we think what’s going on here’s an attack on the middle class. I think it’s shameful of where our government’s headed. It seems to be organized by corrupt corporate agenda. And, uh, basically I’m just fed up with it. You know, I’m out here, show my support for what’s going on in Wisconsin.
Show Me Progress: Uh, what does collective bargaining mean for you?
Bobby Wright: Collective barg
aining means for me, is that, uh, as a worker on the lowest level we can collectively get a voice on, uh, efficiency and operations within corporations ’cause we are on the front lines of, of their ability to make money. In my opinion, uh, as a union employee we don’t thrive unless the company survives, so we’re, we’re, our best interest is that the company stays involved and, in collective bargaining issues so that we can progress as a, as a community within the corporation. And talking away that right pretty much, uh, leads to what I would call a dictatorial state, not necessarily Democracy. And that’s just my opinion and, and, you know, the way it’s headed I think the more information that gets out there I think we’re headed to a renewed labor movement. And I think it’s best what’s for the middle class. It’s a shrinking conglomerate. And, uh, and any time we can step forward as a society and start to get informed on what goes on at the highest levels I think we’ll be better off.
Show Me Progress: All right, thank you very much for your time.
Bobby Wright: Thank you.
Uh, I don’t think communists wear jackets like these, at the MoveOn organized labor rally on the north side of the capitol:
Sprinkler Fitters and Sheet Metal Workers.
American Federation of Teachers.
United Steelworkers of America.
Sheet Metal Workers.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers.
Those are working people’s jackets.
A right wingnut bumper sticker, on a vehicle parked near the teabagger rally on the south side of the capitol:
And, and communists, too, so there.
There is a distinct difference between the south side and north side groups, eh?
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.
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’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….
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