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Posted at 1:41 PM ET, 02/22/2011

Indiana Dem chair confirms: Dems have fled statehouse to stall anti-union push

By Greg Sargent

It's spreading.

Democratic state legislators in Indiana have fled the statehouse in an effort to stall anti-union legislation being pushed by Republicans, and they are saying they won't come back until the offending provisions are taken off the table, the Indiana Democratic Party chair confirms in an interview with me.

Indiana Dem chair Dan Parker confirmed an anonymously sourced report in the Indianapolis Star claiming that House Dems had fled the statehouse to protest a GOP bill that would "bar unions and companies from negotiating a contract that requires non-union members to kick-in fees for representation," which would limit collective bargaining.

"Republicans have decided to bring their Wisconsin assault to Indiana, and we're not going to just sit around and take it," Parker told me, confirming that Dems went "into caucus last night and they remain in caucus today." That phrase means they are "not returning to the floor," he said.

"I have been in contact with some of them, and they are not going to allow Republicans to try to lower wages for middle-class Hoosiers," Parker continued, adding that he didn't know if they'd left the state yet.

Parker said that Dems were protesting the above provision, as well as a "right to work" measure and another one that would eliminate collective bargaining for teachers. He insisted Dems wanted those taken off the table in order for them to return.

"They will stay in caucus until these bills are removed from the agenda," Parker vowed. "They are not coming back."

By Greg Sargent  | February 22, 2011; 1:41 PM ET
Categories:  Labor  
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Comments

Greg-

What public service employees have unions besides teachers in IN, or are they the only ones?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 22, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Time for Labor to get back to having a unified front, and engaging in national strikes, until the Oligarchs feel some pain, in the only place that they can, their bank accounts.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Still waiting for the Plum Line posts about "Democratic Obstructionism" and the need for "quorum reform" in state legislatures.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 22, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

*This* may be the long game...

From HuffPo

“It is incredible that this legislation is being described as a step toward reform, when in fact, it will mark a huge step backward for most Hoosiers,” Bauer said.

Public schools in Indiana already have had to deal with $600 million in spending cuts ordered by Gov. Mitch Daniels over the past two years. Now Bauer said they will see even more cuts, thanks to pursuit of legislation that diverts state tax dollars toward private interests through charter schools and vouchers.

“As more public money goes toward for-profit schools, the funding available for public schools grows smaller and smaller,” Bauer said. “This week we will be considering a new state budget plan (House Bill 1001) that cuts support for the vast majority of schools across Indiana. That means larger classes and fewer programs and materials for those children who will never have the chance to attend a private school.”


Its no secret the disdain the Right wing has for anything that is considered "public" or in the public good.
Don't change the oil, then complain that the engine isn't performing and use it as an excuse to get rid of the car.

This is something I've suspected about Perry and his cronies here in Tx. re: public schools.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 22, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StHwAffUNxo&feature=related

Posted by: sbj3 | February 22, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats really are stupid! This comes across as looking cowardly. All of this nonsense from the Democrats will adversely affect the Democrats’ chances in 2012, both on the state level, and the federal level. The Democrats are literally shooting themselves in the foot. These Democrats running away from their responsibility is not something most American voters will soon forget.

Posted by: liberalsareblind | February 22, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Do any of the people who want to eviscerate the public school system really want to live in the society of under-educated, low-opportunity people this will produce? Just self interest should tell the haves to realize what's at stake here.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 22, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

""All of this nonsense from the Democrats will adversely affect the Democrats’ chances in 2012, both on the state level, and the federal level.""

Yeah -- standing up for the $42,000/year schoolteachers vs. the multi-millionaires in finance and insurance sure is a stupid move.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 22, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Once again Demcrats run away from democracy in a "Hugo Chavez" type action. The Dems are refusing to acknowledge the results of the 2010 elections and are now circumventing America's democracy is a vain attempt to force their way on America........but it won't work. Let the Dems scatter like roaches on the kitchen floor, eventually they will have to return, and their chances of being re-elected in 2012 is next to zero!

Look what Obama's socialist agenda has done to America - now his political party refuses to participate in Democracy.....in fact they seek to sabotage it.

Posted by: Realist201 | February 22, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The Tea Party Mantra;

Selfish Teachers Are Making All Our Billionaire Patrons Suffer.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Tax dollars shouldn't go to union dues. End of story.

Posted by: JDB1 | February 22, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

@AllBut-

Charters, as you may know, do not always outperform public schools. http://www.publicschoolreview.com/articles/123

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 22, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

How is it in the 21st century America we still have corrupt unions that force employees to join their mob and pay a dues (protection money) every payday if they want to work. I thought these "shakedowns" ended years ago.

Fortunately only 7% of the private sector belongs to unions (organized crime) but no government employees should be demanded to join a union as a condition of employment.

Posted by: fury60 | February 22, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: liberalsareblind | February 22, 2011 2:10 PM
+++++++++

Do you know what a "concern troll" is? No?

Look in the mirror.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | February 22, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

"The Democrats really are stupid! This comes across as looking cowardly"

Have you ever heard of the term "strategic retreat"? You know like the Brits at Dunkirk. Just waiting to fight another day.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 22, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Its obvious how well the scapegoating of unions by the Right has been working over the past 30 years when terms like "protection money", "thugs", "organized crime", are used. Jeez, who'd a thunk Miss Mary my kidergarten teacher was in bed with the Gambino Family...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 22, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

this is just plain nonsense:
==================
Do any of the people who want to eviscerate the public school system really want to live in the society of under-educated, low-opportunity people this will produce? Just self interest should tell the haves to realize what's at stake here.

==================


This argument only works if one is willing agree with the propounders rational reason to believe. Allbutcertain makes a dire prediction and thus levels an emotional argument, rather than a rational argument.

the underlying belief is society simply cannot function unless the status quo is maintained. Changing the school system will lead to bad consequences we are warned.

What nonsense. the American people can replace the current dysfunctional system with an approach that not only costs less, but produces markedly better results as well.

But I wouldn't expect a liberal to understand this. After all, having faith in the people is not something that liberals are capable of. Why else would they demand that the country be ruled by ivy league elites instead of by the citizens themselves?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"Do any of the people who want to eviscerate the public school system really want to live in the society of under-educated, low-opportunity people this will produce"

my biggest problem with the public schools is the politicization of education. school boards are viewed as stepping stones to higher office. Hate No-child left behind? zero tolerance policies? well, you put politicians in charge. teachers, union or not, have little to do with this problem.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 22, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

We need a new award, it could be called PROFILES IN COWARDICE. Or an instructinal book on HOW TO RUN FOR OFFICE, BUT NOT DO ANYTHING.

Posted by: Tquin | February 22, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

How about digging into Hosni Walker's history of sucking off the Tax Payer teat?

He has been an elected politician for a very long time. See if you can find out what benefits and pensions he has accrued while being paid by "Tax Payers"

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@ Comrade skip-

"ivy league elites", Like Bush I and II and Ford?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 22, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The state Dems are taking a rather muscular stance: No negotiations with terrorists. Period.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 22, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"Why else would they demand that the country be ruled by ivy league elites instead of by the citizens themselves?"

Yes, why indeed would we want well-educated people representing us instead of 8th-grade dropouts?

I'm sure when skip goes to the dentist he doesn't really care whether the guy has the education to perform his root canal. Likewise I'm sure when the toilet in his home is backing up, any citizen off the street can fix it as well as any other.

Who needs education? Go with your gut - it's never wrong, amirite?

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 22, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

We need a new award, it could be called PROFILES IN COWARDICE. Or an instructinal book on HOW TO RUN FOR OFFICE, BUT NOT DO ANYTHING.

Posted by: Tquin | February 22, 2011 2:28 PM |

.......................

George W. Bush captured that award in perpetuity. Unless you count turning an annual surplus into a huge annual deficit, and losing eight million jobs, as doing something!

"They also serve, who only stand and wait." John Milton

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Watching the wingnuts on here twist and turn to spin their points is fun I must say.

After months of Republicans unprecedented amounts of secret holds and filibusters, these same wingnuts now try and lash out at Democratic state Senators acting in a similar fashion.

And calling elementary school teachers thugs is beyond comical.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 22, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

"We need a new award, it could be called PROFILES IN COWARDICE. Or an instructinal book on HOW TO RUN FOR OFFICE, BUT NOT DO ANYTHING."

It's called the GOP Medal of Honor.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 22, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Miss Nancy is the Osama bin Laden of public education.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 22, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

"Why else would they demand that the country be ruled by ivy league elites instead of by the citizens themselves?"

Oh, that's right, people with an Ivy League education aren't real Americans are they?
This type of reverse snobbism from the rubes has a long history in this country.
I'd trust an Ivy league grad to do the right thing before I would a college drop out C student like Gov. Walker.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 22, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Time for Labor to get back to having a unified front, and engaging in national strikes, until the Oligarchs feel some pain, in the only place that they can, their bank accounts.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Problem is the Oligarchs are the Unions and they have gone well beyond their original intent.

Posted by: gr8gozo | February 22, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I think we know which side wins in the "going Galt" war about to happen. When the trash isn't collected, the potholes go unfilled, the daycare centers have to turn away parents whose li'l darlings won't be going to school for weeks on end... hey, welcome to Galt Gulch.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 22, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Problem is the Oligarchs are the Unions and they have gone well beyond their original intent.

Posted by: gr8gozo | February 22, 2011 2:35 PM

..............

Well aren't you the bright one! The Union Busters are the Unions is what you appear to be saying. Home schooled, were you?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats flee Democracy.....they lost the election but refuse to accept the results.....so they run away. America was already upset with the Dems for ramming Obamacare down their throats, and now that the Dems are sbbotaging Democracy, America will be ready to throw every one of them out of office. In the last 5 days Obama's poll numbers have collapsed because of the cowardice of the Democrats.....just think what will happen now eith the Indiana Democrats joining their cowardly Wisconsin "comrades" in Illinois......funny that they are hiding in a union controlled state that is bordering on bankruptcy.

Can't ait for the 2012 General Election, it is going tomake the midterms look like a Democratic Party landslide!

Posted by: Realist201 | February 22, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

""Can't ait for the 2012 General Election, it is going tomake the midterms look like a Democratic Party landslide!""

Carson is dead, but Carnac lives on!

:lol:
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 22, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Blame The Tea Party. The refused to accept that Democrats had won the 2008 National Elections.

The Tea Party Mantra,

Teachers should work for little, so that our Billionaire Patrons can become richer.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The unions have run all the private sector jobs out of the northeast and upper midwest. All is left is these public jobs held by social parasites.

Posted by: 12oreo | February 22, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Realist - feel free to link to Walker's platform from his governor's race where he promised to bust the unions. Good luck, because no one voted for him based on such a promise, because he never made a peep about such a thing. So it's a bit specious to suggest that Walker is just doing what the majority "elected him to do." He isn't.

As for the Democrats, they were ALSO elected to represent their constituents, a good many of whom happen to be public employees. Given that Walker's (and the entire GOP's) idea of "bipartisanship" is "do everything we want, and make it easy for us," these Democrats are representing their union constituents' interests in the only way Walker and the Republicans have made possible - by exiting the state and denying them a quorum to bust the unions.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 22, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Declare the copycat cowards as voluntarily waiving their voting duties and vacate their positions. Hold the vote without them and put the results into process.

They may never abandon their sworn posts again. At least not until they are voted out.

Posted by: battleground51 | February 22, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Another remarkably balanced posting from Greg.

So now, according to Greg, it is anti union if you prevent the union from confiscating money from non union members.

Greg, you might want to stop printing democrat talking points. You really come across as a moron.

Posted by: manbearpig4 | February 22, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

battleground would have proposed a similar sanction for Abraham Lincoln for absenting himself to deny a quorum.

Abe the coward, right?

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 22, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"The unions have run all the private sector jobs out of the northeast and upper midwest. All is left is these public jobs held by social parasites."

LOL!

Hear that folks? Unions, which are what, 15% of the work force, have completely overtaken the North East.

Also, breaking!!! Earth is once again the center of the solar system. Copernicus was wrong all along! Go figure.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 22, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

manbearpig - if Greg comes across as a moron, how do you suppose you come across, basing your entire critique on the supposition that Greg is a reporter rather than an opinion columnist? Go look at the top of the page, big guy.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 22, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Current right winger MO.

Republicans block legislation = Real Patriot

Democrats block legislation = Treason

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 22, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"The Democrats really are stupid! This comes across as looking cowardly"

Have you ever heard of the term "strategic retreat"? You know like the Brits at Dunkirk. Just waiting to fight another day.

____________________________________________________

Yeah, I know it is a strategy, but a really stupid strategy that the Democrats will pay for in 2012. Most Americans do not look kindly upon what these Democrats are doing. Most Americans will remember this as a cowardly act and a dereliction of duty.

Posted by: liberalsareblind | February 22, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out, Americans for Prosperity will now start running ads in Wisconsin:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/americans_for_prosperity_to_ru.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 22, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

then there is this:
===============
Its obvious how well the scapegoating of unions by the Right has been working over the past 30 years when terms like "protection money", "thugs", "organized crime", are used. Jeez, who'd a thunk Miss Mary my kidergarten teacher was in bed with the Gambino Family...
=====================

Maybe she knows where Jimmy Hoffa can be found. Maybe she IS jimmy hoffa!

when Obama first ascended to the throne, on or about the day of his apotheosis, I responded to those who predicted the demise of the Republicans by claiming that we on the right would buy Alinsky's book and use it for our purposes.

A trip to the blog "union news-community organizing for a new progressive era" we see, two relevant rules:
(5)Ridicule is man's most potent weapon
and
(13)Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.


so, if the actions of the Republicans seem familiar, just remember when Mr Obama took out after Rush Limbaugh. He tried to use 5 and 13. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Plus the conservative position in the struggle against the civil servant union has the added benefit of being true.

Ridiculing these folks is easy, we see waste and failure all around us thanks to our misguided government.

Isolating them, and making thier desire to extort money from us clear makes the rest of the rule easy to apply. When non gummint employees face losing their houses and jobs, freezing the greedy civil servants becomes a cake walk.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Realist201 for winning the prizes for the most ridiculous analogy of the day AND most ironic screenname, for:

"Once again Demcrats (sic) run away from democracy in a "Hugo Chavez" type action. The Dems are refusing to acknowledge the results of the 2010 elections and are now circumventing America's democracy is a vain attempt to force their way on America........but it won't work. Let the Dems scatter like roaches on the kitchen floor, eventually they will have to return, and their chances of being re-elected in 2012 is next to zero!

Look what Obama's socialist agenda has done to America - now his political party refuses to participate in Democracy.....in fact they seek to sabotage it.

Posted by: Realist201 | February 22, 2011 2:18 PM"

Realist, your description of the situation is completely bass-ackward on SO many levels, but here are a few of them:

1. The Hugo Chavez analogy only applies to Walker and his GOP cronies in the Wisconsin state legislature, not Democrats. Like Chavez and his cronies, the Republican creed is "Might makes right," and they're doing their best to use their majority to ram through legislation stripping their opponents of their political and economic rights.

2. Both union leaders and state Democratic officials have already agreed to massive pay and benefit cuts. Their reward? Gov. Walker has ruled out ANY compromise on abolishing collective bargaining rights for the public sector.

3. You accuse Wisconsin Democrats of not respecting the will of the people. Give me a break! When Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008, that just made them double down on obstructing as many votes as they could.
I'd be willing to bet money you thought that was just fine!

I could go on, but that's more than enough to confirm your hypocrisy and lack of integrity.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | February 22, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

So we really are at the point where elections apparently don't matter. If you are in the minority and don't like the way the majority is going to vote on an issue then you just take your ball and go home. How is that democracy? Isn't the appropriate response to vote against it and then use the next two years to argue that you were right and the majority was wrong so that you win in the next election and then repeal/change the law back to the way you want it. In this country when you run on an issue and win and then try to do what you said you were going to, you should be celebrated. The other side should by all means argue against it/protest against it/drum up calls to the legislature and then vote against it. But you can't just leave to stop anything getting done because you don't like it, unless the majority is doing something illegal.

Posted by: RobbJ1 | February 22, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

mike - well, at least they're consistently hypocritical.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 22, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm guessing that any Wisconsin residents who still had Walker stickers on their cars have removed them within the past week.

Wouldn't be a great idea to let the cop who pulled you over know that you consider him overpaid, underworked, and a parasite.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 22, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

then there is this:
=======================
I think we know which side wins in the "going Galt" war about to happen. When the trash isn't collected, the potholes go unfilled, the daycare centers have to turn away parents whose li'l darlings won't be going to school for weeks on end... hey, welcome to Galt Gulch.
=====================

Look at the unemployment rate jpreston. There will be lines hours long to fill the positions of the union guys that don't want to do their jobs anymore.

Getting potholes filled will move to a private firm in a matter of hours. In my town the trash is already collected by a private firm.

Private citizens will fill teacher slots quickly, even at the lower rates that will prevail after the union loses its grip on our wallets.

That's why I think the threat of a goverment shut down is empty and laughable. The last time the feds shut down nobody noticed. Who will miss the leaches this time around?

Go ahead and strike. the jobs will be filled quickly and no one will miss you.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey, remember when meatpackers were unionized, and actually made living wages?

Good thing we busted up those unions, so the meatpackers could recruit and bus in illegal workers from Mexico. Who know better than to raise a stink if Jose or Alberto loses a finger and it winds up in your hamburger. I think we'd all agree we're better off eating feces and human body parts along with our meat, while taking away the jobs of citizens and giving them to illegals, than we were back when those union thugs were operating the plants.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 22, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

mikefromarlington wrote- The unions have run all the private sector jobs out of the northeast and upper midwest. All is left is these public jobs held by social parasites."

LOL!

Hear that folks? Unions, which are what, 15% of the work force, have completely overtaken the North East.

==============================

Hey genius, that is the point. Union membership at one at one time was 1 in 3 workers. When union jobs go away, they go away. Thanks for the entertainment.

Posted by: 12oreo | February 22, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

OMG! You mean someone is standing up for people who are (gasp) not wealthy??!

Jeeves, bring me a snifter of the 100 yr old!

Posted by: fluxgirl | February 22, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

and then there is this:
=================
@AllBut-

Charters, as you may know, do not always outperform public schools. http://www.publicschoolreview.com/articles/123

============

There is no doubt that some charter schools will not perform as well as others.

What's a parent to do? Oh dear, oh dear. Well what would any consumer do if the organization they were spending money on didn't perform: change to a different one!

the liberals here a looking more and more ideologically constrained. They appear to be incapable of thinking outside the box.

In the liberal world, the students go to the school that the elites in the district assign. That's it, end of story. No debate, no objections. Don't like the school we're providing? Too darned bad honey.

here's a perfect example of how liberalism steals rights:
"Ohio mother of two Kelley Williams-Bolar was released from jail on Wednesday after serving nine days for falsifying records so that her two daughters could attend a better school.

Williams-Bolar was convicted by a jury of using her father's address to claim residency status that would allow her children to attend a higher-performing suburban school."

That story is from the true bastion of right wing nuttery: the huffington post.

so of course liberals can't imagine changing schools if one isn't up to snuff. They are used to being told what to do by the government and they firmly believe that Americans should be severely punished for trying to circumvent the system for the sake of their children.

One of the really nice things about the doings in the US today is that the citizens are getting a long hard look at a dysfunctional movement and the party it supports. And I don't mean the tea party fellows. I mean the so called progressives. Look how hard they are trying to prevent new ideas from taking root in this country. How is that progressive at all?


Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

""Hey genius, that is the point. Union membership at one at one time was 1 in 3 workers. When union jobs go away, they go away. Thanks for the entertainment.""

So, it's your position that you'd like to see people that **don't** have eight figures stashed away in some tax haven be even more miserable than they are, now? That they not use their freedom to organize and demand their slice of the pie?

You think they'll stop at coming for these people's scraps, but believe me, if your multi-millions aren't in the Caymans right now, they're coming after yours, as well. You might want to pay attention.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 22, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Replying to:

"So we really are at the point where elections apparently don't matter. If you are in the minority and don't like the way the majority is going to vote on an issue then you just take your ball and go home. How is that democracy? Isn't the appropriate response to vote against it and then use the next two years to argue that you were right and the majority was wrong so that you win in the next election and then repeal/change the law back to the way you want it. In this country when you run on an issue and win and then try to do what you said you were going to, you should be celebrated. The other side should by all means argue against it/protest against it/drum up calls to the legislature and then vote against it. But you can't just leave to stop anything getting done because you don't like it, unless the majority is doing something illegal.

Posted by: RobbJ1 | February 22, 2011 2:54 PM |"

Just out of curiosity, Robb, how loudly did you object when the GOP leaders in the U.S. House and Senate spent 2009 and 2010 filibustering and obstructing as much legislation as they possibly could? After all, to use your standard, they should have sat down and shut up after getting their clocks cleaned in the 2006 and 2008 elections, right?

Now, if you did urge the GOP to allow votes then, even on far-reaching legislation that they opposed, I commend you for consistency--and for being one of very few people to do so on the GOP side.
But if not, please explain the difference.

Oh, and by the way: The fact that unilateral abrogation of valid contracts, precisely what Gov. Walker wants to do, IS illegal is the justification for Wisconsin Democrats' move to deny the GOP a quorum.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | February 22, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"Isolating them, and making thier desire to extort money from us clear makes the rest of the rule easy to apply."
-------------------------------------------
Except they have agreed to take a cut from their exorbitant salaries (starting around $30,000 with an average around $60,000).

The middle class hasn't had a pay raise in a decade, why should union members (more specifically teachers) get one? That's quite the political slogan.

As far as the democrats refusing to show up, I generally disagree with it, but have little sympathy in light of the Republican obstruction over the last 2 years. Two can play the "he started it" game.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 22, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

As I mentioned some time ago, the present concentration on the Koch brothers (thanks mainly to Think Progress and Jane Mayer at the New Yorker) is appropriate and overdue. Overdue because they had previously remained mostly under the radar and appropriate because they've been the prime funders of front groups organizing the Tea Party.

The potential negative in this concentration on the Kochs is that we might forget about Scaife, the Coors family, the Bradley family and others who continue to spend many millions on the same bust government, bust Dems agenda.

Some of you might have read George Will's column in the Post this morning. Here's a representative (and predictable) sentence...

"This capital has been convulsed by government employees sowing disorder in order to repeal an election."

George didn't write any such sentence re Tea Party activities, did he? No "sowing disorder to repeal an election".

Walker has deep ties to the Bradley family as well as to the Kochs. Harry Bradley was a co-founder of the John Birch society and with Fred Koch (the father) was a charter member of JB.

And George Will?

" It should be no surprise that Walker’s radicalism is boosted by Bradley money. Today, the Bradley Foundation is controlled by a group of establishment Republicans, along with Washington Post columnist George Will."

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/21/zombie-johnbirch-walker/

Posted by: bernielatham | February 22, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

again jprston uses unfounded, unsupported dire predictions to argue from emotion instead of rationality.

The fact remains, new jobs in manufacturing are not being created in the union strong hold states. They are being created in the right to work states. Employers understand how pernicious unions are and will avoid them.

Kia says "proudly built in America" but not in the UAW redoubts of Ohio and MI. Oh no, Kia built its American factory in Georgia. Which, by the way is the new home of NCR a firm that was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio.

and perhaps ashotinthedark can confirm this: The Detroit Tigers play at "comerica field". Comerica bank paid for the naming rights. It is just that, well Comerica bank left Detroit for Texas, another right to work state, a few years back.

Sorry you can't handle the truth jpreston, but it is all around you.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

When Unions were strong, so was the middle class. Starting with Reagan's assault on Unions, as they declined so did the middle class. The last bastion of the middle class is now under assault, from the Oligarch's Puppets.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

And now for The Great News:

"Poll: 61% oppose limiting union bargaining power"

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-02-22-poll-public-unions-wisconsin_N.htm

"The public strongly opposes laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employee unions as a way to ease state financial troubles, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.


The poll found that 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to one being considered in Wisconsin, compared with 33% who would favor such a law. "

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Oh, we could put everyone to work, if American workers would just accept $0.50/hour wages, and no benefits, and work 12-hour days, 7 days a week.

That is, of course a more reasonable outcome (and supportable by conservatives and their policies) than the "not rich" person earning more than $250,000/year paying a few more percent on those dollars **above** $250,000 in income taxes.

Yessir, smells like freedumb to me.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 22, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing wrote-again jprston uses unfounded, unsupported dire predictions to argue from emotion instead of rationality.

The fact remains, new jobs in manufacturing are not being created in the union strong hold states. They are being created in the right to work states. Employers understand how pernicious unions are and will avoid them.

Kia says "proudly built in America" but not in the UAW redoubts of Ohio and MI. Oh no, Kia built its American factory in Georgia. Which, by the way is the new home of NCR a firm that was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio.

and perhaps ashotinthedark can confirm this: The Detroit Tigers play at "comerica field". Comerica bank paid for the naming rights. It is just that, well Comerica bank left Detroit for Texas, another right to work state, a few years back.

Sorry you can't handle the truth jpreston, but it is all around you.

======================================
Stop confusing people with the correct facts about the prosperity of right to work states.

Posted by: 12oreo | February 22, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah, I know it is a strategy, but a really stupid strategy that the Democrats will pay for in 2012. Most Americans do not look kindly upon what these Democrats are doing. Most Americans will remember this as a cowardly act and a dereliction of duty."

When you have a governor ready to ram through legislation withouit any hearings, what the WI Dems have done is the only option in protecting their sector of the voting public.
How the hell do you know what most Americans think?
What arrogance. Did you take a poll? If you're going to post here then speak only for yourself not for anyone else.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 22, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

"""I'm not one of those politicians who thinks that because I'm in public office, I have to be nice all the time. If you're not nice to me, I'm not going to be nice to you."""

~ Chris Christie (R), in an interview on Fox News

Everyone kiss the governor's big fat arse, or no patronage for you!

He reminds me a lot of Richard Nixon... if Nixon swallowed George W. Bush.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 22, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse


GOP picked a heck of a time to take on the Unions. Must be an

attempt to blow-up any potential job growth where ever it might be found.

Posted by: fiveinchtaint | February 22, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

yeah, they agreed to take a cut. That's not good enough. In a few years their cronies will be back in power and they will recoup in spades. Sorry, but that's too little.

The unions will have to collect their own dues and stand for certification every year. What is Trumka&Co ascared of anyway? Are they afraid that the teachers won't see the value in supporting the huge salaries of the union bosses?

We've had the argument about the middle class for years now. I am not concerned about the middle class. The standard of living has never been higher. I live in a poor neighborhood yet everyone has a decent car and a huge TV. What's the problem?

On another thread you asked what qualifies you to be considered a socialist. As I recall your question was something like "does thinking that at some point you've made enough money qualify me as a socialist?"

Why yes, it does. Of what business is it of yours how much a free person in this country makes? Are we free, or not?

And if you think that there is a point where people make too much, what do you think should be done about this tragic turn of events?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Another sentence worthy of attention, if you have an interesting in the depths of dishonesty that Bill Kristol is somehow able to plumb on a consistent basis. This is from a weekend column in the Weekly Standard. Note the final sentence in this quote...

"But who really wants to be the party of P.T. Barnum? Is that a sustainable model for the Democrats? *Will young people be attracted to a party that rests on cynicism and exploits fear?* "

Yes. He's talking about the Dem party.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/suckers_550420.html

This is NOT merely projection (assigning one's own negative characteristics to another). It's a propaganda technique which seeks to obscure differences and to get oneself off the hook for doing bad things through suggesting that "everyone does it" or "the other guys do it too" or "it's really them and not us".

Whatever else propaganda might have as a consequence (and goal), making people stupider is ALWAYS a consequence because false or distorted information can produce no other consequence in a citizenry.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 22, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

""And if you think that there is a point where people make too much, what do you think should be done about this tragic turn of events?""

We can look to history to tell us what **will** be done. As income inequality widens, societal stability lessens. Always has, always will. Enjoy!
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 22, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

@ Comrade skip-

"Private citizens will fill teacher slots quickly, even at the lower rates that will prevail after the union loses its grip on our wallets."

Well, there it is, folks. Why pay teachers 40K when you can get them for 20K! WhooHoo!

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 22, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Replying to:

"Again jprston uses unfounded, unsupported dire predictions to argue from emotion instead of rationality.

The fact remains, new jobs in manufacturing are not being created in the union strong hold states. They are being created in the right to work states. Employers understand how pernicious unions are and will avoid them. ...

Sorry you can't handle the truth jpreston, but it is all around you.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 3:14 PM"

A classic case of circular reasoning. OF COURSE employers regard labor unions as "pernicious"--after all, unions want workers (and not just their own members, either) to be rewarded for their participation in the company. And since that is not most CEOs' priority, to put it mildly, it stands to reason that they'll want to weaken unions any way they can.

Ditto for your point about companies moving to right-to-work states. If one's goal is to maximize profits, then that makes perfect sense. But here's the catch: If workers can't earn a decent wage, then how can they possibly buy the products and services needed to keep our economy going?

Also, what happens to the workers when the company in the right-to-work decides to move the factory to India or China or Mexico? All those non-union employees then have to work for less and less money and fewer benefits to stay afloat.

But hey, that's their problem, right, Skip?

Posted by: DCSteve1 | February 22, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"Comerica bank paid for the naming rights. It is just that, well Comerica bank left Detroit for Texas, another right to work state, a few years back"
-----------------------------------
If only I could live in the simplistic world where you live. Company leaves a union state to go to a right to work state, must be the unions fault. So what role did unions play in Comerica's decision to leave Michigan, skip? Do tell.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 22, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Many claim that Scott Walker did not promise to take on the teacher's union.

This is copied from a pdf released during his gubernatorial campaign:
"To ensure we can
retain and recruit
top quality
educators, we
must reform the
system to reward
excellent
teachers, mentor
struggling
teachers and
replace failing
teachers."

and guess who stands in the way of that? If you said "the union" you are ready for the lightning round.

What was it Albert Shanker said again?

Imagine the nerve of us taxpayers. Demanding that the government give us value for our money. We have a lot of nerve!!

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Sorry guys Unions served a great place in this country as we became an industrialized nation. Their power is corrupt and the world is changing too quickly for them to adapt. Why should it be mandatory for a teacher to join a union? Why should someone be made to feel that they have to PAY someone to look out for them? Why can't someone save that same money for a lawyer fund and or retirement fund themselves? Why? Because they believe they can't succeed through their own means and they want someone else to take care of them. The Jobs of the past don't survive in the future and the Unions obstructionism is just delaying the inevitable. Hope and Change may be what they claim but anyone who knows a how a union operates understands there is NO change and NO hope in having them do ANYTHING more than the bare minimum they negotiate in their contracts for wages that don't match the output. Yes, private sector jobs do pay more. Get off your ass and go get one or else take what the MAN and YOUR UNION GIVES YOU!

Posted by: jdb70 | February 22, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that what RATS do best? Be the first to abandon the ship.."..of State?" I can understand why Wisconsin has RATS. They make some of the best cheese ever. And even Aesop knew that where there is cheese--there are rats. But Illinois and Ohio? I guess the Dem "talking points" for the week of February 20, 2011 are very terse: "..RUN FOR THE HILLS."

Posted by: fregameeate | February 22, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

oh my , are you intimating that armed conflict could flare up?
===================
We can look to history to tell us what **will** be done. As income inequality widens, societal stability lessens. Always has, always will. Enjoy!
=============================

There is a strong chance that you were "educated" by the public school system so you may have never been taught much about the french revolution. But just to bring you up to speed, it was the jacobins that lead robespierre to the chopping block.

Just saying is all.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

@ 12oreo-

"Stop confusing people with the correct facts about the prosperity of right to work states".

Depends on how you define "prosperity"
“Right-to-work states actually have income that is at least $5,000 a year less,” said UAW community action organizer Sue Levy. “And the percentage of individuals who don’t have health insurance is substantially higher. I think there is a direct correlation there.”

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09/michigan_100_the_right-to-work.html

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 22, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Replying to:

"Many claim that Scott Walker did not promise to take on the teacher's union.

This is copied from a pdf released during his gubernatorial campaign:
"To ensure we can
retain and recruit
top quality
educators, we
must reform the
system to reward
excellent
teachers, mentor
struggling
teachers and
replace failing
teachers."

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 3:35 PM |

Skip, you have an amazing knack for setting up and knocking down straw men. The argument is NOT that Walker concealed his desire to take on unions, but that he never explicitly advocated dismantling the collective bargaining framework that has operated since 1959, under Democratic and Republican administrations alike.

It's quite likely that if Walker HAD said that outright instead of using code language like "reform the system," he would have lost the race and/or had a much smaller majority in the legislature.

So much for courage and integrity...

Posted by: DCSteve1 | February 22, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Sargent, nothing like putting up both sides, right? How much do you make as a democrat hack? The democrats are a bunch of chicken-sh!ts, who can't stand the heat. After they negotiate sweetheart deals with the unions, they refuse to even acknowledge the fact that there is no money left. All in return for more union votes and taxpayer-busting budgets.

It stinks; they stink and you stink.

Public Union busting? Yes.
Taxpayer-busting? Never again!

Posted by: jpfann | February 22, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

DCsteve is another liberal who has lost his grip on the obvious. Where, oh were is captain obvious when the left needs him so desperately?

Apparently DCsteve, you know little about how life works.

Here's a hint: companies exist to make a profit. Period. Paragraph.

got that? so yes, companies will avoid unions like the plague.

You seem to occupy this la la land where unions are delightful partners in their employer's efforts to grow market share and earn income.

which is simply not supported by recent events. The UAW paid for Barrack Hussein Obama and they expected a return on that investment. And they got it. Instead of the parasites in the UAW feeding on the dead carcasses of chrysler and GM, the tax payers stood in line to bail out the unions. Never mind that in so doing Obama ignored the rule of law and screwed the white collar workers at Delphi. We'll just ignore that little example of the unions being pernicious, won't we?

And it isn't just the salaries, it is the inflexible work rules, the number of people that must be paid for not working and all the other ways that unions leach off their employer. A union in an organization makes that organization far less effective. It is just that simple.

so, the profit motive is the sole reason for companies to exist. Since that is the case, and unions threaten that existence, the companies will flee states that have strong unions.

ashot, the bank left. MI is a strong union state. TX is not. What else needs to be said? What is the unemployment rate in MI? How about theDetroit metro area? How many private sector jobs were created in MI last year? How many in TX?

See what I'm saying over here?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark, the problem with you trying to play the "he started it" game is that the federal constitution does not include "Section 11. Two-thirds of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may meet, adjourn from day to day, and COMPEL THE ATTENDANCE OF ABSENT MEMBERS."

No federal legislator broke the law by using secret holds or filibuster.

See the difference at least?!

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

"The standard of living has never been higher. I live in a poor neighborhood yet everyone has a decent car and a huge TV. What's the problem?"

LOL! This guy Skip is on a roll. Someone must have loosened the straps on his straight jacket. So the "standard of living has never been higher?" That's why the economy is in the tank, people are maxing out their credit cards, and wages have stagnated. He must be living in an alternate reality, like one of those right to work, low paying jobs southern states.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 22, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

chuckindenton wrote- @ 12oreo-

"Stop confusing people with the correct facts about the prosperity of right to work states".

Depends on how you define "prosperity"
“Right-to-work states actually have income that is at least $5,000 a year less,” said UAW community action organizer Sue Levy. “And the percentage of individuals who don’t have health insurance is substantially higher. I think there is a direct correlation there.”

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09/michigan_100_the_right-to-work.html
====================================
I am astonished that a UAW community organizer would parade this unbiased information out. One thing for sure, citizens in right to work states aren't complaining about jobs flowing into their communities.

Posted by: 12oreo | February 22, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

ashot, the bank left. MI is a strong union state. TX is not. What else needs to be said?
----------------------------------
Yes, the bank left MI because they do much more business elsewhere. They didn't leave because of some onerus union contract they were finally able to get out from under.

Your analysis is overly simplistic and you know it. The Michigan economy has faltered/collapsed for a complex list of factors, one of which is certainly the unions. So what else needs to be said? Quite frankly, a lot.
---------------------------------------
"Here's a hint: companies exist to make a profit. Period. Paragraph.

got that? so yes, companies will avoid unions like the plague.

You seem to occupy this la la land where unions are delightful partners in their employer's efforts to grow market share and earn income."
---------------------------------------
Ummm...nobody is denying those things, they are just openly questioning whether that is what's best for our country.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 22, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

skipsailing28, yesterday and this morning at the Wisconsin Capitol Building, the left-leaning website that union supporters are using to rally protesters was blocked by the Department of Administration when users tried to access the site using the building's wireless system ; )

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

DCsteve, now you are parsing words. That's a sure sign that you are losing the argument.

The govenor said what he will do and he is doing it. Sorry that's too much for you to take.

And the good old strawman? Where oh where would liberals be if they couldn't claim every argument for which they do not have an answer is a strawman.

And speaking of setting nonsense up, just to knock it down, isn't that exactly what you do in your last, ahem, paragraph? first you engage in speculation, "It's quite likely that if Walker HAD said that outright..."

then you imagine a dire consequence:
"he would have lost the race and/or had a much smaller majority in the legislature..."

then you criticize the winner of the election for not doing something you only imagined needed to be done:
"So much for courage and integrity..."

elipsis yours, not mine.

What abject nonsense. It is based on pure speculation. Your criticism of Govenor Walker is just plain vacuous.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Ashot, aren't we really talking something like "proximal cause"? No, I doubt the bank left because IT held an onerous union contract. But the unions have hurt MI and in so doing they have hurt all businesses there.

My point remains: jobs and taxpayers are migrating away from union stronghold states and toward right to work states. I provided two good examples from Ohio: we lost a shot at KIA and Toyota, who just opened a factory in Mississippi. And NCR just up and left. What hurt the most is that our govenor at the time, Mr Strickland, didn't appear to even know that NCR was unhappy.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Skip, your version of what I wrote reminds me of the old saying, "someone who can't take yes for an answer!" Yes, I am a liberal, but I don't dwell in la-la land, as you put it.

We're not that far apart in our respective economic analyses, so let me try again to explain my position:

I have NO problem with companies or individuals trying to become rich, as long as they play by the rules and don't exploit others. But I don't see the profit motive as 100% noble, as you seem to. Nor do I believe the pursuit of wealth trumps our individual and collective responsibility as members of society to look out for ALL its members.

If that makes me a socialist in your lexicon (which I'm pretty sure it does), then to quote John Boehner, "So be it."

Posted by: DCSteve1 | February 22, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

@Comrade skip-

Talking Texas:

-Ranks 50th for having health insurance
-31% of Hispanics live in poverty
-46% of highway funds are Federal: so TeaTexans such as yourself are big hypocrites: won't tax but still want Fed. money. Fact is, w/o Federal money Texas would come to a standstill.
-6th total crime rate (per capita)
-12th highest violent crime rate (per capita
-14th highest rape rate (per capita)

You would think with all those "great" jobs, education, etc. that we have here, that folks would be doin' better than they are.

Can't wait for those gradeschool class sizes to grow...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 22, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Claw- "No federal legislator broke the law by using secret holds or filibuster."

I do see a difference, but it's a race to the bottom, right? You're just jealous the Dems are winning.

Is what they are doing against the law? My 2 second search seems to indicate that there is a way to force a quorom (I'm guessing using the police is how they do that), but I haven't seen that it is illegal to not show up.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 22, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Then time for the Dems to go.....the silly thing - they think they are doing something brave, etc...quite the opposite - ala Winconsin - the tax payers - you know - those that fund your salary - who duly elected these officials want you to return to carry out the states business - not just those whose special interests you represent...aka the unions.

Posted by: short1 | February 22, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

So now we see government shut downs are good.
The repubs. don't need to worry about that any more WI, IN all being praised by the dems and the media. At lease the repubs. are staying not fleeing like thief's in the night. Dems are showing that they are more beholding to unions then the common people. The dems know where their monies for elections come from and they will do anything to keep them happy. The vast majority of the nation knows it is time to tight ones belt and all will do it.

Posted by: tateofpa | February 22, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I love it how the free-marketers here are all of the sudden have no problem deciding that teachers get paid too much. What's too much when it comes to the CEO of Comerica, eh?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 22, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

These clowns running around hiding from their elected responsibilities reminds me of Noriega riding in circles around Panama City hiding from the US.

Posted by: 12oreo | February 22, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I hope more and more states join. This is the start of something big.


Republicans are going to learn the hard way what real grassroots protests look like (unlike their astroturfed Teabagger shout-fests that are bankrolled by right wing oil billionaires i.e. the Koch Bros).


2012 is going to be payback time for the Dictator wannabe Republican party, big-time.

.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 22, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Skip, I repeat the challenge several others have made: Please cite ANY campaign literature from Scott Walker's gubernatorial campaign in which appeared an explicit pledge to abolish collective bargaining rights for Wisconsin public-sector employees. (Sorry, generic paeans to "budgetary reform" do not count.)

If you or anyone else here can do that, providing a link to the document in question, then I will gladly concede the point. Otherwise, your statement that "The governor said what he will do and he is doing it" remains utterly false.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | February 22, 2011 4:26 PM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark, I would first check Eluding / Evading Arrest or Detention.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"Section 11. Two-thirds of each House shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may meet, adjourn from day to day, and COMPEL THE ATTENDANCE OF ABSENT MEMBERS."

No federal legislator broke the law by using secret holds or filibuster.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 3:54 PM
+++++++++++

Section 11 doesn't say it is against the law to be absent, merely that those in the legislature may "compel" absent members to be present. In other words, the Wisconsin Constitution addresses the issue by granting a power to the legislature, not by imposing a sanction on those who are absent. In fact, Article IV, Section 15 of the Wisconsin Constitution immunizes legislators from arrest or civil process, with very limited exceptions, when the legislature is in session.

So, the Republicans have a "power" with no effective means of enforcement. Enjoy that.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | February 22, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Ashot, aren't we really talking something like "proximal cause"? No, I doubt the bank left because IT held an onerous union contract. But the unions have hurt MI and in so doing they have hurt all businesses there.

------------------------------------------

Proximate cause or but for causation is important, not merely some sort of distraction. I would guess Granholm's business tax didn't help nor does the weather, the state income tax, the detroit city tax, the reputation of Detroit, the dependence on one industry that collapsed (in part because of unions). I could go on and on.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 22, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Just because you disagree with a bill does not give you the right to refuse to represent your constituents. This is beyond childish, it is now undermining the rule of law. These "lawmakers" need to get back to work or it is time to start impeachment proceedings.

As too the state of education, we all decry the sad state of the US system, which is a near monopoly of public schools, who are represented by unions who don't give a d**n about teacher or student performance, only dues and political power. The Left bemoans that Wall Street owns the Republican Party, but the truth is the Democratic Party is so deep in the pockets of unions they are tickling their nether regions.

Posted by: dgb100 | February 22, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

In the arena of public opinion unions are losing badly. Membership is at record lows, public approval is at record lows. It's a really bad time to be making noise over their contracts. It comes across as greedy and spiteful.

This was a major miscalculation by both Democrats and unions and it will seal their doom.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | February 22, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Wisconsin has two specific statutes (946.41 Resisting or obstructing officer; 946.415 Failure to comply with officer's attempt to take person into custody). I'm sure there's more.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

liberalsareblind commented:
"The Democrats really are stupid! This comes across as looking cowardly. All of this nonsense from the Democrats will adversely affect the Democrats’ chances in 2012, both on the state level, and the federal level. The Democrats are literally shooting themselves in the foot. These Democrats running away from their responsibility is not something most American voters will soon forget."
------------------------------------------

I won't soon forget it, in fact I may contribute to their campaigns for having the courage to stand up for hard-fought labor rights. If anything, I think labor unions will be more motivated than ever to get out the vote in 2012.

Posted by: kago | February 22, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with work rights... BUT RATHER UNION PAYOFF MONEY TO THE SOCIALIST DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
FDR and Reagan were right in that Unions do not belong in public employment.

Posted by: NeoConVeteran | February 22, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Collective bargaining is the antithesis of Free Market dummy. Otherwise a school could hire some hotshot young grad or superstar educator for $100K a year and fire the lack luster teacher who does little other than show up for work, which is even more than the Wisconsin teachers are doing at the moment.

Industrial Unions served a very important purpose, ensuring safe working conditions, unreasonable work time demands, and at least some equivalence of work wage to product value. Public Sector Unions do nothing but ensure our sclerotic educational system become less effective and more expensive

Posted by: dgb100 | February 22, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw1, I said "Arrest OR DETENTION."

ashotinthedark, there's also 946.12 Misconduct in public office.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Easy solution: Any representative who wants to get his paycheck must appear and be counted toward quorum in order to receive his paycheck. No show, no state credit card to charge with. Same goes for their staff. If their rep is gone, they get furloughed until he comes back.

Posted by: rightspokeBlas | February 22, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Anyway, this is beyond being just about wages and collective bargaining, this is now about saving political face. It'll be interesting to see who cracks first, my money is on the union cracking after parents get tired of skeleton crews teaching their kids and the general public becoming appauled by the astro turf Obama-goons being bussed in from union shops from all over the country. Your tax dollars hard at work!

Posted by: dgb100 | February 22, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

What is it with these legislators who think it is appropriate to leave their paid jobs (and still receive paychecks) because they have a disagreement. There are always going to be disagreements. Stay on the job and work it out.

Either return to "work" or be fired.

Posted by: Kansas28 | February 22, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

946.12 "Misconduct in public office" is a Class I Felony. Nonetheless, the members of the Wisconsin Constitutional Convention did not intend to create a legislative privilege from criminal arrest and prosecution when they included Art. IV, Sec. 15 in the Wisconsin Constitution. The phrase "treason, felony and breach of peace" in that section wad intended to mean all crimes. State v. Burke, 2002 WI App 291, 258 Wis. 2d 832, 653 N. W. 2d 922, 02-2161.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Kansas28, I am checking right now to see if either Wisconsin or Indiana provide for "recall" elections of legislators.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Art. XIII, Sec. 12 [As created Nov. 1926 and amended April 1981] The qualified electors of the state, of any congressional, judicial or LEGISLATIVE district or of any county may petition for the recall of any incumbent elective officer . . ." (Emphasis Added).

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

The very next Section in the Wisconsin State Constitution: Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.

I love to see that!

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

all you Dems....do you really want our country to start having elected legislators leave whenever their party can't win a vote??? Are you smoking something?...this is a massive betrayal of the democratic system....this can't happen...bills get presented and voted on all the time....I am scared that this is going to get ugly and violent. Clearly this is a panic situation for the Democratic party who have invested everything in funneling money to and from the public unions...it must be that important to them to break laws and betray their country

Posted by: wspence | February 22, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the Democrats are the Party Of No and the Do-Nothing Party, just as they were Nationally in 2006 when Nancy Pelosi demanded it of every member of Congress (Don't belive me? Try re-reading Perry Louis Bacon Jrs' article in TIME Aug 2006 where he thoroughly illustrates that.)
Every Governor has said that we are broke. There is no more money to spend. The Democrats are like the profligate wife who runs out shopping, returning with thousands of dollars in new purchases for clothes, shoes etc and then demands that her husband get a 2nd job to pay for her extravagance. In this case, they demand that honest, responsible citizens take the 2nd job in the guise of higher taxes so that they can continue the status quo of more spending on things "they have to have, dont you understand?" It is time for a change.

Posted by: kjp1 | February 22, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Claw- 946.12- Intentionally fails or refuses to perform a known mandatory, nondiscretionary, ministerial duty of the officer's or employee's office or employment within the time or in the manner required by law.

Are they required by law to show up when a quorum is called? I'm guessing the representatives were pretty sure they weren't committing a class 1 felony when they decided to head out to Illinois.

I'm not sure being forced to show up for a vote is a detention as it is legally understood.

But this isn't exactly my practice area.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 22, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

One word, California. Im sure ALL you pro Union Dems that think it ok for your partys ruling class to take campaign money then sit back and watch the Union TV adds dig up trash and destroy the people/ballot measures THEY TELL you to vote for/against. And ofcourse you dutifully comply,baa. This goes on EVERY election cycle here in California and its result? Billions in debt and a state run by the Teachers Union,SEIU and there puppets in secure districs. Sound good to you? you want this for your State?. Oh and I bet you cant wait to bail us out with your tax dollors, and you will,cuz you'll be told its for the children, works every time huh?

Posted by: nardnose | February 22, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

DCsteve, I never said the profit motive was noble. I said it is the baseline for companies. Lots of companies, and people, throughout man's history have acted in an ignoble manner in an effort to gain worldly possessions. That' just plain greed.

So don't attribute to me that which I did not say. I never said it was noble.

Now, as to our duty to each other. I believe this very strongly. As a devout practicing catholic I hear about the need to care for others constantly.

Where I part company with the American left is the manner in which we seek to discharge this self assumed obligation. I don't believe that the government is the proper vehicle for discharging my responsibilities. I say this as a recovering liberal.

If the government approach worked, my city would be far, far better off than it is. What troubles me most about liberalism is that its adherents are so blinkered by their dogma that they cannot see the failure of their own solutions. The welfare state has failed in its avowed mission. Why? Because transfering payments from one group to another will not cure the recieving group's principle weakness: They are no longer poor materially, but they are poor in spirit. No amount of taxpayer largesse will change that. And demanding more and more from the citizens to fund wasteful and ineffective government programs won't get me into heaven. Personal acts of faith, hope and love will.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 22, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

ashotinthedark, of course Wisconsin criminal law is not my practice area either, but you asked, so I looked up what I could find. Last I checked, ignorance of the penalty is not the same as ignorance of the law itself. These State Senators know they are doing something wrong; if not, why flee to Illinois to avoid State Patrol?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

These State Senators know they are doing something wrong; if not, why flee to Illinois to avoid State Patrol?
------------------------------------
I wasn't implying that they didn't know it was a Felony, I'm saying I'm guessing they are probably protected by the requirement that they have to show up in the time and manner required by law. as In other words, they aren't breaking the law.

Your interpretation certainly seems completely reasonable to me and to be honest when I first read it I thought "uh-oh". But to me it seems like a circular argument if they are required by law to show up, then they are breaking whatever law requires them to show up. If there is no such law, then I don't think they are violating 946.12.

They are fleeing because the police do have the authority to force them to show up, but that doesn't necessarily make it illegal not to show up. There is a difference.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | February 22, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

@ Comrade skip-

"Now, as to our duty to each other. I believe this very strongly. As a devout practicing catholic I hear about the need to care for others constantly."

Does this include spying on your fellow citizens? Do tell....

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 22, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

When the going gets tough, the cowardly scum get going.

Well, another state that Obie loses in '12.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 22, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

" George W. Bush captured that award in perpetuity. Unless you count turning an annual surplus into a huge annual deficit, and losing eight million jobs, as doing something!

Posted by: Liam-still | February 22, 2011 2:32 PM "

You make the point that the children are not getting good value from the educators

Had you learned finance or basic math, you would know there was no annual surplus, and in fact, according to the U S treasury there was a deficit when Regan Clinton and each Bush took office

Had you learned fifth grade social studies, you would also know that Congress, not the president, set's annual budgets and annual spending

Had you paid attention in Social studies or history, you would know over 6 trillion of current debt from the last 4 years was completed by a democrat controlled congress, and those lost 8 million jobs also occurred during that same 4 year span


someone should get a refund on your education costs

Posted by: JohnSpek | February 22, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

DCSteve1

You confuse the issue here.
Walker has not proposed abolishing any unions. His budget-repair bill would prohibit some government workers from joining unions and it would curtail the collective bargaining rights of most public employees. It does not abolish the unions.

BTW he did talk about this action.
http://www.nbc15.com/state/headlines/49628712.html

Posted by: tateofpa | February 22, 2011 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Why do Democrats bother to run for public office, if every time a difficult vote is to be taken they run away and hide?

Posted by: rteske | February 22, 2011 6:47 PM | Report abuse

.


I hope more and more states join. This is the start of something big.


The Thug Republican party is going to learn the hard way what real grassroots protests look like (unlike their astroturfed Teabagger shout-fests that are bankrolled by right wing oil billionaires i.e. the Koch Bros).


2012 is going to be payback time for the Dictator wannabe Republican party, big-time.


.

Posted by: DrainYou | February 22, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Government employee unions are an abomination that should have NEVER occurred. Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government. The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 22, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

@illogic-

"Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable."

Absolutely. Hosni Walker should negotiate.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 22, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

If it was the US Senate, the Dems could block the legislation the way the Republicans have. As it is, they have used the possibilities open to them and I commend them for it.

Posted by: j3hess | February 22, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm very proud to be an Indiana Democrat.

Gov. Mitch Daniels, who has been getting walloped in the race among Republican presidential hopefuls for being too "moderate," would love to shore up his Tea Party credentials by destroying the public sector unions and making Indiana "right to work" state ... although the only "rights" you have in such states is the right to have absolutely no power and to be treated like dirt. It seems "My Man Mitch" is not much of a man of the people.

I find it disturbing that the Republican governors of Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana are all pursuing union-busting measures. Was there a consensus during the last Repub govs confab that they'd launch a united front against the unions? Or is it just that the Koch Brothers own just as much in Indiana and Ohio as they do in Wisconsin?

What Indiana needs is to take a page from the protesters in Madison, Wisconsin. Tell me where the rallies will be in the southern half of the state, and I'm there.

It's tragic we've come to a time when our so-called "representatives" actively conspire with the wealthy to take the last remnants of power away from the working classes. Thank god for those Indiana Democrats who simply won't let the Repubs ram through their odious plan. They can and should continue to stay away until Mitch and his buddies agree to give up their union-busting, anti-worker bill.

Good job, Indiana Democrats. Keep sticking it to Mitch and his gang of oafs.

Posted by: ziltoid | February 22, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Time for Labor to get back to having a unified front, and engaging in national strikes, until the Oligarchs feel some pain, in the only place that they can, their bank accounts.

Posted by: Liam-still |
--------------
Pain Hell! Fire every last one of you liberal fools. The true face of the yellow cowardly libs is now on display for the country to see what scum they truly are. Actions talk and bs walks......and we see the bs libs showing their mettle. Cowards, every single one of them! You libs can say what you will about the GOP, but they have NEVER run away from their elected duties and fled to another state. The next election cycle is going to more fun than November.

Posted by: steelers01 | February 22, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Do any of the people who want to eviscerate the public school system really want to live in the society of under-educated, low-opportunity people this will produce? Just self interest should tell the haves to realize what's at stake here.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 22, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse
--------------
Care to explain how having union puke teachers paying their fair share is going to lead to a society of under educated, low opportunity people? Perhaps you would want to look at the overpaid teachers in WI who in an article published this morning, are the proud teachers of 61% of 8th graders who are not even proficient in reading? ALL UNIONS IN ALL STATES MUST BE ERADICATED!!!!

Posted by: steelers01 | February 22, 2011 8:05 PM | Report abuse

j3hess, among the other "possibilities open to them" are detonating explosives in the Capitol building and/or shooting the Governor in the head. Would you commend them for that too?

ziltoid, how is it that I (as a non-Indiana resident) know that Gov. Daniels has DEFENDED the Dems' right to deny Republicans a quorum to protest anti-union legislation and called on Republicans to drop their "right to work" bill? What do you find "disturbing" about that exactly?

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

Nonsense. the GOP didn't like what happened in 2008 so they filibustered for two years. They even stopped the President from naming the judges to Appeals Courts that he wanted. This is the name of the game. Our democracy is a democracy but it is flawed. Winner takes all is the problem. But let this and 2008 be a lesson to all of us, stop voting on emotion and anger; vote on the issues. People claim now that they didn't know Obama was going to pass health care. He said it in his campaign over and over. And people now are like, I didn't think the GOP would go this far. They said it when the elections were approaching that they weren't interested in creating jobs; they wanted to take over for 20 years and smash unions. POlitics is blood sport. The Democrats are doing the right thing. They have to; if they roll over, their supporters (remember), their supporters will abandon them. On the left, people are loving this which is their base. It is only 25 percent but that is who didn't vote in 2010 because they thought Obama was too moderate. They have to get those folks back just like the GOP had to get their base (conservatives) involved again with the opposition to health care.

Posted by: isometruman1 | February 22, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

steelers01, I think that you can tell from my posts that I am against public employee unions, but the GOP have run away too (Palin resigned, for good reasons, but what about Nixon resigning and going to San Clemente?). Keep in mind, also, there's a difference between public employees and private workers unionizing.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 8:18 PM | Report abuse

isometruman1, if the Republicans had really "filibustered" for two years, then Sotomayor, Kagan, ObamaCare, nothing would have gotten through. Look up "cloture vote" someday.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 22, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

You folks up there should show them the door when they are up for vote. Then tell them the have the right to go hide all they want to. If they aren't willing to stay home and be responsible to do their work they sure can be replaced. Anyone voting to return them is no brighter than they.

Posted by: Danniepk | February 22, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

If there is elected officials that have abondonded their posts, they should be considered to be open for immediate new elections for those open offices! (Give the deserters a fair chance to come back and try to get re-elected if they want their jobs). The Government offices should be cleared with National Guard if necessary and all signs removed from the buildings. Protests belong outside in the streets and not inside the government offices. Where are the security forces for the State? Are they hiding with the democrats (and aiding and abetting this illegal form of protest and revolt)? Single citizens should be allowed to observe the actions of their government, but groups (especially by outsiders) should not be able to stop the government from functioning; that is the way of anarchists, which is what the unions are proposing!
No need to delay the vote, if those deserters refuse to return, they are violating their oath of office and their votes are not required! These 'officials' are trying to dictate to the entire state what will be done or not done, that is not even an attempt at comprimise, that is dictation! Throw the bums out!

Posted by: TMacPen | February 23, 2011 4:03 AM | Report abuse

The cowardly, state Democrats from Wisconsin and Indiana are fleeing to Illinois, land of Obama. They want to be with their own kind around Chicago.

Illinois seeks to borrow $3.7 billion to shore up pension shortfall

Illinois' pension system is one of the most poorly funded in the nation, with less than 40 percent of its $139 billion in liabilities funded, according to state figures.

But the $3.7 billion is a small patch for a very large hole. The teachers pension alone is underfunded by nearly $40 billion. It will receive slightly more than $2 billion from the bond proceeds.

AND this is the teachers pension problem ALONE.


Result: Bankruptcy all around. Yes, they want to be with their own kind. Credit card rich and cash poor. Limosine liberals who like to spend their states dry, raise taxes, and then go begging for bailouts.

Chicagoland is their kind of place. Let them stay there, please!

Posted by: battleground51 | February 23, 2011 4:39 AM | Report abuse

I didn't think anyone could argue against this correct analysis of public sector unions.

Meticulous attention should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government. The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.

Posted by: illogicbuster | February 23, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

What is needed is a law that if congressmen are absent from the meeting of the camber by being absent several times in a row abstructing votes that they be declared to have abandoned their post and allow th govener to apoint someone to replace them for the remainder of the term. That should keep action moving.

Posted by: donc711 | February 23, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

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