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Posted at 2:46 PM ET, 02/18/2011

Polling public employee unions

By Greg Sargent

Ben Smith flags a corporate-funded poll that asks:

"Do you think government employees should be represented by labor unions that bargain for higher pay, benefits and pensions ... or do you think government employees should not be represented by labor unions?"

Sixty-four percent said they don't think "government employees" should be represented by labor unions.

Pew, by contrast, asks the question this way and gets a very different answer:

...when you hear of a disagreement between state or local governments and unions that represent government workers, is your first reaction...

To side with the governments 38

To side with the unions 44

The question wording that puts some separation between these workers and the government they work for garners them and their unions more sympathy.

I also wonder how polling would be impacted if the question wording made it clearer that these workers are employed by government to carry out services for the public, rather than making them sound like faceless government bureaucrats. My bet is if you asked people whether they think cops, firefighters, teachers and other public employees should be represented by unions who are aggressively representing their interests, you'd find a fairly significant level of support.

By Greg Sargent  | February 18, 2011; 2:46 PM ET
Categories:  Labor  
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Comments

And it figures that Drudgico would use a corporate funded pollster.

Posted by: PhilPerspective | February 18, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Greg.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 18, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"My bet is if you asked people whether they think cops, firefighters, teachers and other public employees should be represented by unions who are aggressively representing their interests, you'd find a fairly significant level of support."

The public supports the idea that people should be able to form unions. I'm not so sure that they support the idea of public workers such as teachers or firemen going on strike. The phenomenon of public worker unions is relatively new and does not have a long history in America.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 18, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"The question wording that puts some separation between these workers and the government they work for..."

Fine. But Oregon's Governor just got elected to a third term and had the President of Oregon AFSCME on his campaign staff.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

How about these for polling questions -

1)Do you believe in contracts?

2)Do you believe workers should be able to negotiate their wages and benefits?

3) Should American tax dollars be put toward building new schools, new roads, and new hospitals in the U.S. or Afghanistan?

4) What is a better use of tax dollars - funding teachers, police officers, and firefighters, or cutting the tax burden on trustfund babies like Paris Hilton?

5) Would you prefer your child's teacher to have a Masters in their field, or a GED?

6) Do you believe buildings should have fire exits, or should workers suck it up and work through fires?

7) Do you believe in weekends, or do you think workers should be required to work 7 days a week?

Posted by: beenjammin | February 18, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Some more related data:

"The public is split on the subject of teachers unions. A 1998 Gallup Poll asked whether teachers unions helped or hurt the quality of American education. The response: 27 percent said they helped, 26 percent said they hurt, and 37 percent said they made no difference. (Ten percent said they didn't know.)"

http://www.brookings.edu/events/2000/0411education.aspx

Posted by: sbj3 | February 18, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2 " "The question wording that puts some separation between these workers and the government they work for..."

Fine. But Oregon's Governor just got elected to a third term and had the President of Oregon AFSCME on his campaign staff."

If you haven't already you might want to read this article in National Affairs.

http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-trouble-with-public-sector-unions

I'd be interested in your take.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 18, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

So you know, for balance, the laughable loser, NBA brick thrower Chris Dudley had a registered lobbyist for the pesticide industry in his campaign.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

In addition to a measure blocking all funding for Planned Parenthood, House Republicans have passed the following amendments to the Continuing Resolution:
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/260121/pp-defunding-passes-andrew-stiles

To block EPA regulation of pollutants, 249 to 177

To defund implementation of Obamacare (Rep. Rehberg), 239 to 187

To block the use of any 2011 funds for Obamacare implementation (Rep. King), 241 to 187

To prevent the payment of salaries to public officials charged with implementing Obamacare (Rep. King), 237 to 191

To prohibit the IRS from using funds towards enforcing Obamacare provisions (Rep. Emerson), 246 to 186

*elections have consequences*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse


Well, they'd have to work out some kind of compromise (which may exist already-I don't know) where public safety employees have collective bargainig but still protect the public.

Isn't it hypocritical for them to not be "allowed" to strike either legally or for safety reasons while teachers can?

In the end, police vote for the GOP and send $ the same way teachers sent it to the Democratic Party.

So, are we finlly at the point where we are going to *restrict* free speech by limiting campaign contributions?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 18, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, the PR war re unions is going to head into high gear now. In terms of budgets and deficit, it is a diversion with no real significance but as we can see, that's not the propaganda line being pushed. This is a typical and well-worn strategy from the right and the corporate sector it represents - create a straw man and yell loudly and constantly about it.

I think the consequences here are potentially quite significant. If the modern right, acting consciously or not, in the service of corporate ideology can manage to get enough Americans to believe that it is their neighbors who are the cause of their economic travails (internal traitors) rather than the greedy, power-hungry basstards who are sucking the citizens' wealth up for themselves, then we've got a situation not much different from the way that authoritarian tyrants, in possession of power and wealth and craving more, have always managed to steer attention and revolutionary urges away from themselves.

This is a serious fight.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 18, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING: Senator Bingaman (D-N.M.) will retire from the Senate
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/145123-sen-bingaman-to-reitre-

Bingaman is the fourth senator to caucus with the Democrats to announce his retirement this election cycle. The others are Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Jim Webb (D-Va.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

*TEA-tastic!*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Kaddafi-

Great, hope you enjoy that tainted drinking water...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 18, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Wait, I'm confused:

Gov. Goodhair in Tx wants to use *federal* pollution standards arrived at by and enforced by...wait for it, the EPA to justify a $100 surcharge on new gas guzzlers. Yet, the Teanut Gallery doesn't want the EPA to regulate. Wish y'all could get your story straight.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 18, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"The PR war re unions is going to head into high gear now. In terms of budgets and deficit, it is a diversion."

This person obviously does not live in California or New York or New Jersey and has no clue about the impact of public worker pensions on state budgets.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 18, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Arab (and Persian) dictators now regret their radicalization of The Street. The Chinese know better.

The ME rulers mobilized the 'Death to America' crowd on cue and that whole mechanism is now directed against the people who thought it was a good idea, a good idea to distract and even stoke the rage of subject populations with external enemies. Political backlash, despots never think it will happen to them.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 3:17 PM | Report abuse

So you know, for balance, the laughable loser, NBA brick thrower Chris Dudley had a registered lobbyist for the pesticide industry in his campaign.

Posted by: shrink2
++++++++++

And if you do the math, Chris Dudley got paid about $10,000 for every point he scored in his NBA career. Then he was caught on camera saying that he didn't think waiters should be paid minimum wage.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | February 18, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

One point re teachers and teachers' unions and general attitudes towards them...

There is a structural factor here that I've seen emerge in my lifetime (education is my degree and my brothers both taught and worked in ed administration in British Columbia). As women in increasing numbers began to move out of the home and into the workforce, schools increasingly came to gain the function of child-minding or baby-sitting. A teachers' strike forty years ago presented far fewer problems for families as many more mothers were at home. But now, with so many women working, there's a scramble to get the kids looked after when a strike is called.

As I said, this is simply a structural feature but it's real and has worked against a previous respect that was accorded to educators and schools.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 18, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Prepare to watch progressive toady heads explode...

Gov. Scott is preparing to file suit to declare AWOL Democratic legislators to have vacated their legislative seats. They are clearly derelict to their oath of public duty.

Gov. Scott will then make emergency appointments.

There will then be a quorum to proceed.

*TEA-rific!*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

chuck: "they'd have to work out some kind of compromise (which may exist already-I don't know) where public safety employees have collective bargainig but still protect the public. "

The interesting twist to what's going on in WI is that the public safety employees (fire and police) are not being affected by this legislation....they are EXEMPT, and will keep their rights to collective bargaining.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 18, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

KDE,

So huzzah for more unwanted pregnancies, right? Or are you not aware that Planned Parenthood does far more with respect to birth control than abortion?

Posted by: bearclaw1 | February 18, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Hey bernie, my mom has an Ed.D. We must be elitists.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

chuck: "Gov. Goodhair in Tx wants to use federal pollution standards arrived at by and enforced by...wait for it, the EPA to justify a $100 surcharge on new gas guzzlers."

He's gotta make up his budget shortfall somehow....and think how many trucks there are in TX....

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 18, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Sue-

Thanks. Yeah, I know they are exempt. One wonders for what reason beyond campaign contributions...

I mean, either all the public employees are "scumbags" who are "overpaid" or they are not.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 18, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Scott is preparing to file suit to declare AWOL Democratic legislators to have vacated their legislative seats.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 3:20 PM
+++++++++++++

How cute. "Governor Scott." We call him by his first name now. It's like "Miss Nancy" on Romper Room. Only with a decidely dictatorial bent.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | February 18, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Sue-

And, he probably thinks there are enough trucks to do it. Idgit.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 18, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

and think how many trucks there are in TX....

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 18, 2011 3:24 PM
++++++++++++

That's right! You can't even spell trux without TX!

Posted by: bearclaw1 | February 18, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"The phenomenon of public worker unions is relatively new and does not have a long history in America."

It's long enough. Maybe not as a percentage of the lifetime of the USA, but certainly significant as a percentage of the lives of pretty much everyone living right now.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 18, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Part of the public's opinion is what they feel is the real issue. if you look at the Conservatives on here, they are constantly talking about individual benefits and how union workers make $x and get y benefits. This means this is how Hannity et al are framing the issue. So part of the public opinion is based on whether the public is aware of the real story or whether they are only exposed to the Conservative lies.

Posted by: DDAWD | February 18, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

[bearclaw1 hacked: "Planned Parenthood does far more with respect to birth control than abortion?"]

That's why we're not sending $350 million of tax dollars to a “non-profit” that puts young girls in harm's way. Planned Butcherery made $63 million in profits by performing over 300,000 abortions last year. It’s time (once and for all) to stop for taxpayers to finance these butchers.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

@sbj - Unlike the movement on which you've hung your hat, I am unwilling to consider or treat you as a disgusting, vile and ungodly sexual pervert.

I am also unwilling to buy the book-keeping methodologies implemented by Republicans to tell a story that has anything but the communication of truth as its goal.

And I'm not about to grant any credence to a propaganda campaign funded implemented by big money PR firms funded by international corporations that insist Nobel laureate economists are fools and Rush Limbaugh is an economic genius.

Posted by: bernielatham | February 18, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

for DDAWD:

"All of this was changed in 1958 when an aide to New York Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr. suggested that city workers could be a large enough voting bloc to ensure his reelection. Wager signed an executive order authorizing city workers, notably those of the transit system, to unionize and bargain collectively. As the percentage of Americans working for the government grew, other politicians began to see support for public employee unions as a way to get votes. State politicians around the country allowed public employees to unionize shortly after Wagner’s executive order. President John F. Kennedy allowed federal government workers to unionize starting in 1962."

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/philg/2009/09/07/history-of-public-employee-unions/

Posted by: sbj3 | February 18, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

chuck: "either all the public employees are "scumbags" who are "overpaid" or they are not."

The real hilarious thing is that police and firefighters, generally speaking, have better deferred compensation and pension plans than teachers do. So there'd be a whole lot more money to squeeze out of them to start with.....

OTOH...cops have guns and firefighters getting pi$$ed could be very very bad for communities...

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 18, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"all the public employees are "scumbags" who are "overpaid"
Don't forget neckless thugs!
And I like do like their jackets.

Here is an important example.

http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/popup.cfm?master_key=104&preview=&user=

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

In Bernie's world Jerry Brown is a Republican:

"Finally, Brown asked public employees and their unions to accept the reality of larger employee contributions.

"Several unions have agreed to larger employee contributions for their members,” Brown said. “Taxpayers are living with cuts and making sacrifices to deal with the reality of California’s budget crisis, state workers are going to have to do the same."

"Pension reform can be hard to talk about,” Brown added. “In the long run, reform now means fewer demands for layoffs and less draconian measures in the future. It’s in the best interest of all Californians to fix this system now.”

http://www.jerrybrown.org/node/965

Not sure what my sexuality has to do with anything? Really, Bernie!

Posted by: sbj3 | February 18, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile over in DC, Benen has a summary of the cuts the house GOP wants:

* Cut Head Start, which provides at-risk children up to age 5 with education, health, nutrition, and other services, by an amount equivalent to the cost of serving 157,000 children.

* Cut Pell Grants, which help students afford college, by nearly 25 percent, affecting all 9 million students who receive them.

* Cut, by more than half, Workforce Investment Act funding to provide job training, job search, and other employment assistance for low-income adults and workers whose jobs have been eliminated.

* Cut, by more than half, two funds that help communities pay for sewage and wastewater treatment and for upgrading facilities that ensure safe drinking water.

* Cut funds for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by 22 percent, for the Food and Drug Administration by 10 percent, and for the Food Safety Inspection Service by 9 percent.

And then there are the cuts to, of all things, nuclear security and counter-proliferation programs, which Senate Republicans fought just last year to increase, and which many experts believe would do serious harm to U.S. national security.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_02/028072.php

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 18, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

So, why won't Little Hosni come to the table?
http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/wis-dem-unions-willing-to-come-to-the-table----but-walker-refused-video-1.php?ref=fpb

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 18, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

sbj: ""Finally, Brown asked public employees and their unions to accept the reality of larger employee contributions.

"Several unions have agreed to larger employee contributions for their members,” Brown said. “Taxpayers are living with cuts and making sacrifices to deal with the reality of California’s budget crisis, state workers are going to have to do the same."

Yeah, so? Brown negotiated with the unions, and got concessions. He NEGOTIATED. He didn't refuse to like Little Hosni who just wants to push through legislation that lets him dictate.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 18, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Keep growing that underclass, GOP. You just might get your "Tahir Square" yet!

Texas places 5th in income inequality and has been creating an ever-increasing underclass, with dismal results such as:

High dropout rates that can lead to higher incarceration rates (of course, building new corporate owned prisons is a Republican favorite),

Record teen pregnancy - Texas is the country's leader in second pregnancies among teenagers, and

One of the highest percentages of minimum wage and low wage workers in the country.

Republicans talk about "shared sacrifice", while decreasing incomes and killing social programs that keep families and the elderly out of poverty, are par for the course. One in five Texas children go to bed hungry each night while Republicans remove trillions of tax dollars from coffers
in a time of unprecedented need to care for the weakest in our society.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 18, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Benghazi - Reports are going around the city that more tanks are coming from nearby Deriana...tanks are reportedly parked outside the court house. One resident said they fear there will be a massacre tonight. BBC

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

One of the themes that the liberals are using as a smokescreen is there dubious contention that somehow the Govenor and the legislature "created" the crisis.

That nasty piece of work suzie provided a link to a report from the WI "fiscal Bureau"

Among the bureaucratese from the document emerges the fact that the legislature allowed the taxpayers to deduct from their income tax the amount the contributed to an HSA.

In the minds of the lefties here, that was the wrong thing to do. Rather than allow the prudent tax paying people of the state to keep their money and set some aside incase illness, the liberals think that they citizens must continue to pay high taxes so that the union thugs (and people are what they do kids) can have free healthcare, free pensions and free viagara.

that is what the liberals have descended to. They are defending the status quo wherein the union members are the wife beaters and the tax payers are co dependants who must suffer the beatings or else.

It seems that those days are over. Poor liberal babies. but by all means, whine and snivel and carry on. It is as music to the ears.

Once again, let's remember the immortal words of Albert Shanker.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 18, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

did ALL the unions agree suzie my dear?

If not, which ones did and which ones didn't? Did Brown get enough concessions to rescue the state?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 18, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

test

Posted by: lmsinca | February 18, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

[ChuckinDenton drooled: "Keep growing that underclass... You just might get your "Tahir Square" yet!"]

Equality of misery. That's been the Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) triumverate plan since they took Congress in 2006.

Scariest. Jobs. Chart. Evah.
http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-percent-job-losses-in-post-wwii-recessions-2011-2#ixzz1D0XiSm00

Pelosi-Obama-Reid (POR) Economy

Grade: F- (Massive Fail)

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"Brown negotiated with the unions, and got concessions. He NEGOTIATED."

This is a wasted effort. Republicans don't care what people think. They look to The Bible and to the hagiography of beatified Republicans...and Reagan simply destroyed the air traffic controllers union.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow, sorry about the test post, thought I was banned or something. Moderators ate three posts with no nasty words.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 18, 2011 3:58 PM | Report abuse

did ALL the unions agree suzie my dear?

If not, which ones did and which ones didn't? Did Brown get enough concessions to rescue the state?
-------

WTF, idjit? The whole budget problem was not caused by nor can be cured by the unions concessions.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 18, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I haven't heard any justification for the exemption of police and fire yet...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 18, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"Reagan simply destroyed the air traffic controllers union. "

Yeah, and he raised taxes six of his eight years, too.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 18, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

chuck: "I haven't heard any justification for the exemption of police and fire yet..."

Ask Skippy! LOL

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 18, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"Reagan simply destroyed the air traffic controllers union."

And yet the Republic survived.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 18, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Mia Moore of DFA writes about her mother, a long-time speech pathologist in Milwaukee public schools: "For 25 years, her teachers' union has accepted wage increases that barely match the rate of inflation in order to maintain quality health insurance and pension benefits when they retire. They've negotiated in good faith with their school board and Governor Walker is now using dictatorial tactics to wipe it away."

Collective bargaining being imperiled is a huge issue. But let's not forget the facts about these pension plans (fully funded as I keep pointing out) and healthcare benefits. They are solid programs that have made it possible for people to work at important jobs that pay relatively low wages.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 18, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

But now, instead of air traffic control company management being in the government service scale, they are rich!

I don't even know why we argue this stuff (humans enjoy exchanging symbols?). Republicans have two goals: theocracy and the rich get richer. Republican voters, that is a little more complicated. Theocracy, sure, but I think they don't really understand how money works. I don't get it. It's a mystery.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Republicans: Pitting the middle class against the middle class.

Posted by: AllButCertain | February 18, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

In other words suzie my dear, you don't actually know. And rather than be an adult and say so, you go to liberal behavior standard 1, right.

yes I think you, like so many here, are just plain nasty. But hey, that's OK. I know that your calls for civility were lies. Just like so much else you say.

the situation in WI is a real watershed. We have an opportunity to see the nature of the American left. And, as so many have said in the past, it is all about power. The left wants the power to tax and tax and tax and they will defend even the silliest waste of tax payer money.

Just look at the way the lefties here are defending the union thugs in WI. It is clear proof that the movement has lost its way. It is not about 'social justice' it is about power.

It is important to understand this. Know the enemy.

Oh my, I used a martial term!!! such a lack of civility.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 18, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Imagine you're a Wisconsin resident who voted for Walker and you still have the bumpersticker on your car. It's sitting there in the driveway when the fire department shows up to put out the cooking fire, and all the firemen can immediately identify you as one of those people who thinks public employees are shiftless leeches who are overpaid.

Or maybe you're in an accident, and the bumpersticker is there to tell the cop that shows up at the scene and has to determine who's at fault that you think he's a parasite.

I'm guessing that within a week, you'll be able to find very few Wisconsin residents who will admit to having voted for this asshat. Kind of like by the time 2008 rolled around, *no one* had voted for Little Boots.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 18, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"""Finally, Brown asked public employees and their unions to accept the reality of larger employee contributions.""

This is the way it's supposed to work, not stripping them of their right to bargain. Locally, our fire and police have taken hits as well. We negotiated a 10% cut in pay and loss of some benefits via medical insurance. It was that or go to 3 man engines and layoffs. We're still cutting back firefighter personnel through attrition though and have indefinitely put off the new fire station.

The thing is there's plenty of pain to go around, public and private, as long as you don't count the top 1%-5% of the population or the MOTU's.

Posted by: lmsinca | February 18, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

All, this is pretty fascinating, an age-targeted ad ripping House GOPers for voting to defund health reform:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 18, 2011 4:16 PM | Report abuse

skip - "thugs?" Identify the "thuggish" behavoir. Protesting? No one has been arrested or injured. Where's the "thuggery?"

On second thought, never mind, you lying SOS. You'll just pull some diversionary argument out of your rectum and continue whining about how ill-behaved everyone else is. As if a lying SOS deserves to be treated like a lady at high tea.

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

of course you don't get it shrink. The term you are searching for Epistemic closure. It applies to you I believe.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 18, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

For the benefit of sue and lmsinca who may not understand my response to Bernie. Bernie wrote:

"The PR war re unions is going to head into high gear now. In terms of budgets and deficit, it is a diversion."

I was responding to his mistaken notion. I made no claims about how Brown addressed the situation, only made the point that unfunded public union pension plans are a BIG part of California's state budget problems.

Posted by: sbj3 | February 18, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

what's an SOS jennie? and does it take one to know one? can you get anymore childish?

I didn't think so.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 18, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"Finally, Brown asked public employees and their unions to accept the reality of larger employee contributions."

Jerry Brown is a true blue Democrat who is acting in good faith in tough times. This is what is meant by "shared" sacrifice.

What's going on in WI is nothing of the sort. It is an orchestrated plan for the next election cycle.This is why the Dems and labor are drawing a line in the sand in WI. Seems what the Right Wing wants is to go back to a feudal society of the South circa 1850, and have an industrial
worker environment from the 1870s.
Real "good" old days.
The Right doesn't understand American history (or much of anything else). It was the union movement of the late 19th and into the 20th century that created the middle class. Get over Horatio Alger, it's a myth. If you don't have a thriving middle class you then have a third world country.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 18, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

lmsinca, it was govenor moonbeams who actually gave the state employees the right to bargain. This is a mess he made. He owns it.

There is an old saying: if you sup with the devil, use a long spoon.

The politicians in America supped with the devil. They allowed the civil service employees to unionize and bargain. The net result of that is the mess we're in now.

The employees of the government don't need a union and shouldn't be allowed to organize. Why? As FDR points out, the employer is the people. So the unions have pitted the civil service workers against the people.

It is important to note the behavior of each group in WI. Who trashed the streets and engaged in uncivil behavior? the taxpayers? or the union thugs the taxpayers putatively employ?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 18, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

[ChuckinDenton drooled: "So, why won't Little Hosni come to the table?"]

er, maybe because their Dem legislators abdicated and ran out the state?

Try harder to keep up.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

[JennOfArk shrieked: "thugs?" Identify the "thuggish" behavoir. Protesting? No one has been arrested or injured. Where's the "thuggery?"]

“Public employees” in Wisconsin remind me of Castro and his goons in Cuba. There, the dictatorship sends its loyalists to the homes of those suspected of not being loyalists. They scream, beat on things, denounce, and threaten. The idea is, the “disloyal” Cubans are supposed to quake in their homes, and they do. These tactics are called actos de repudio — “acts of repudiation.” They are a mainstay of the regime.

In Wisconsin, the schoolteachers and other “public employee” beauties are going to the homes of Republican lawmakers, screaming, denouncing, etc.

The situation has gotten very bad. Republican lawmakers have received threats, and credible ones: threats to their physical well-being. They are not disclosing their movements, whether they are sleeping in their own homes. They are working with law enforcement on how best to protect themselves and their families.
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/260040/be-republican-lawmaker-madison-jay-nordlinger

This is not democracy. This is thugocracy.

Try harder to keep up, Jennie.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Duchess, I'm so sorry I hurt your tender fee-fees. We all know you're the model of civility and good manners. Why, I bet you even hold your pinkie out when you're sipping from your bone china teacup!

"SOS" means Sack O' Sh_te. Fitting, don't you think?

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 18, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Kaddafi - so, now anyone who participates in a peaceful protest is a "thug" if they say things that make you or actually *important* people uncomfortable?

And you nutbags call yourselfs "tea party patriots". After those thugs who dumped private property into the harbor.

Moron.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 18, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"Who trashed the streets and engaged in uncivil behavior? the taxpayers? or the union thugs the taxpayers putatively employ?"

I guess it's true what others have said here, you really are off your meds aren't you? Quick take some thorazine, and while you're at it try not to foam at the mouth.

Please tell us how the WI protesters actions are any different than your sainted Tea Partyers, other than the fact they aren't dressed for Halloween. What "union thugs?"
The nurse who works at a state hospital or a teacher, and what thuggish , i.e. violent behavior, has been reported? Think hard, real hard, but take that thorazine first with some Maker's Mark. It goes down smooth.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 18, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

According to Webster's, a "thug" is a "brutal ruffian or assassin."

Again, no reports of violence, injuries or murder from WI. So according to Webster, these folks aren't "thugs".

Of course, Kaddafi is another lying SOS who thinks words mean whatever he decides they do, just like he thinks reality is dictated by his fever dreams rather than, you know, boring old facts 'n stuff.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 18, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

TGIF! This day just keeps getting better and better.

House Defunds ObamaCare...

House Defunds Planned Parenthood...

And now...

Federal Court Pimp Slaps Obamateur on Deep Water Drilling Permits
http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/18/news/economy/oil_drilling_permits/index.htm

A federal court ordered the Obama administration Thursday to act on five deep water drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico within 30 days, calling the delays in issuing new decisions “unreasonable, unacceptable, and unjustified.”

*TEA-haw!*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

"In Wisconsin, the schoolteachers and other “public employee” beauties are going to the homes of Republican lawmakers, screaming, denouncing, etc."

Yeah, kind of like those anti abortion protestors in Wichita who march in front of doctor's homes? I'm sure you're OK with that.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 18, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Shorter Kaddafi:

"House throws meaningless crumbs that stand no chance of being passed into law to stupid people like me. We WIN!!11!!eleventy!!1!"

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 18, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

[JennOfArk drools: "no reports of violence"]

There are police investigations of violent threats (criminal assault) against legislators and their families. There is nothing non-violent about assaults, potty-mouth.

FLASHBACK 2008: Remember when Leftists publicly demonstrated how spitting, rock-throwing, poison-spraying, and Cub Scout-harassing were "the highest form of patriotism"?
http://michellemalkin.com/2008/09/02/rnc-protest-update-spitting-rock-throwing-poison-spraying-and-cub-scout-harassing/

*plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Doh!

Since when is a "violent threat" the same thing as an ACTUAL assault, poopyhead?

Sweet christ, how do you manage to tie your shoes?

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 18, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"Again, no reports of violence, injuries or murder from WI. So according to Webster, these folks aren't "thugs"."

Jenn -

You see what the resident Right Wingers are doing here. You use the word "thugs" enough and it becomes a fact , at least in their minds. The have learned the use of the repetitive mantra from Fox News. It seems to work at times with the low information voter and your general dimwits, but it doesn't work here.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 18, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

[JennOfArk drooled: "Since when is a "violent threat" the same thing as an ACTUAL assault, poopyhead?"]

Pottymouth confuses assault (threat of violence) with battery (unlawful physical contact). Isn't that sad?

Ganesha akbar! Does your brain work for peanuts?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Also. Too. Since police are just now INVESTIGATING reports of violent threats, how do you know who made the alleged threats? Was it someone who was at the state capitol protest? How do you know there were any threats made at all, rather than just typical GOP making s**t up?

Please enlighten us on the wonders of your awesome psychic powers, poopyhead.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 18, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2 "But now, instead of air traffic control company management being in the government service scale, they are rich!

I don't even know why we argue this stuff (humans enjoy exchanging symbols?). Republicans have two goals: theocracy and the rich get richer. Republican voters, that is a little more complicated. Theocracy, sure, but I think they don't really understand how money works. I don't get it. It's a mystery."

I take it you are completely disregarding the libertarian wing of the Republican party?

Posted by: jnc4p | February 18, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

jnc4p - maybe he was only referring to the adults in the party.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 18, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Look, if The Obamateur can call legitimate democratic legislative action "an ASSAULT on unions", I think we can safely assume death threats against Wisconsin legislators don't qualify as "non-violent."

Your silly denials of the police investigations are facile, pottymouth.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Again, DOH!

I didn't deny there were INVESTIGATIONS. But, because I'm not a dishonest, lying, stupid SOS, I don't equate an open INVESTIGATION with a proven CONCLUSION as you do. You don't know FOR A FACT that any threats were made to anyone. Not at this point. All you KNOW from what's been said is there were CLAIMS of threats. Those CLAIMS are now under INVESTIGATION, though no CONCLUSION has been reached.

But you're PSYCHIC, so you already know that 1)the claims are factual and 2)the same people who made the alleged threats were in the group of protestors at the capitol, whom YOU labelled "THUGS", though there has been no violence or injuries at the site of the protests, based on your PSYCHIC CERTAINTY that violent threats HAVE been made, and they were made by the same people you're calling THUGS.

Poopyhead is a very accurate term for you, I'm thinking. Because that ain't soft-serve ice cream filling up your cranium.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 18, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

This is what is known about the union coordinated thuggery campaign.

Hopper has received threatening phone calls and e-mails. These are threats of a physical nature. “We are working with law enforcement in my district. They are watching my home and my business.” Other Republicans have had their homes and businesses threatened, too. The unionists have demonstrated outside those homes and businesses.
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/260040/be-republican-lawmaker-madison-jay-nordlinger

Deny all you want, pottymouth. Union thugs have earned their notoriety for these thuggish intimidation campaigns.
http://biggovernment.com/libertychick/2010/04/08/union-thuggery-and-theatrics-when-is-enough-enough-already/

When Tea Party protesters repeatedly held rallies to express their concerns about the government’s takeover of entire industries, they were smeared as "dangerous extremists."

But when SEIU protesters chased down bank executives with knives and cleavers at the American Bankers Association last October, they were applauded and hailed as heroes by onlookers, the media, and even members of Congress. (Meanwhile, the executives were actually from small and medium sized community banks, not the big dogs).
http://www.flickr.com/photos/seiu/sets/72157622546258517/detail/

Don't deny and condone anti-democratic thugocracy your whole life, pottymouth.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

The liberals here are on the run. They cannot defend the deal that the union thugs in WI currently enjoy so they are trying mightily to change the subject.

Instead of defending this, filmnoia is demanding that I defend the tea party. A blatant attempt to change the subject. It is called a slide off. Sorry, but the actions of the thugs in Madison speak for themselves.

One of the more interesting aspects of this is the costs involved. As more states start introducing legislation to change the deal the unions will be spread thinner. They cannot be disruptive everywhere at once. Further, this kind of action takes money. And although the unions confiscate a huge amount of money from their members (who cannot avoid paying the dues thanks to current law) that amount is finite.

Staging the kind of astro turf in Columbus and other state capitals while keeping up the nonsense in Madison will force the unions to delve deeply into their war chests. That is a good thing. The less money the unions have the less influence on politicians they can buy. And the less influence on politicians they have, the safer our wallets will be.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 18, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

This ham-fisted thuggery is orchestrated by union thug handlers. The cited EVIDENCE demonstrates this-- don't beat the messenger, pottymouth.
http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-spokane/is-the-president-responsible-for-threats-and-violence-wisconsin

Recall, it was SEIU union-goons (inspired by Obama's calls to "punch back twice as hard") who actually assaulted black tax protester, Ken Gladney, while screaming racial epithets.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTXBOgPCh9w

*so progressive*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Remember when smashing an innocent woman in the face with a brick was "the highest form of patriotism"?
http://michellemalkin.com/2007/10/20/anarchy-in-georgetown/

Don't miss the anarchist flashback compendium.

Own the SEIU union thuggery, Leftists.

*so progressive*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Other Republicans have had their homes and businesses threatened, too. The unionists have demonstrated outside those homes and businesses.

Funny how there is no outcry from kdaffy when anti choice protesters drive legal healthcare practices out of a town (through both protest and violence) or protest at the homes of clinic workers or doctors. Putting the photos of doctors on "wanted" posters or bulls eyes on them, publishing their addresses, license plate #s, etc. is all legitimate 1st amendment activity in rightwingnutistan.

Posted by: srw3 | February 18, 2011 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Your revolution is over, progressives. Condolences.

The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir.

The bums will always lose. Do you hear me, Lebowski? The bums will always lose!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBFaaDmpieI&feature=related

*Hippies Smell*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, how do you tie your own shoes?

I'm done with you, poopyhead. It's impossible to have a rational discussion with someone who believes they are psychic.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 18, 2011 5:42 PM | Report abuse

@ss28: They cannot defend the deal that the union thugs in WI currently enjoy so they are trying mightily to change the subject.

First, thuggery is mostly the province of the bosses and their hired goons. The history of the US labor movement in the US amply demonstrates this.

I am ready to defend workers rights to collective bargaining with employers, whether it is the govt or not.

I defend the 8 hour work day for lots of employees (although since I am an "exempt" employee, I don't get overtime).

I defend the 5 day work week, (even though I often work on weekends).

I defend child labor laws.

I defend workplace safety regulations.

I defend sick leave with pay.

None of these things existed prior to the union movement. These are the things that unionization brought to the US. I defend them.

I defend the wage and benefit packages unions negotiated with the state. When their contract is up, the two parties get to agree on a new set of wages and benefits. There is only a crisis in WI because the militia calling governor pushed through a bunch of tax cuts without paying for them and blew a gigantic hole in the budget. Before he started his reign of terror, WI had a balanced budget. Now he wants state employees TO COVER THE DEFICITS THAT HE CREATED, MOSTLY THROUGH TAX CUTS FOR BUSINESSES. It is a microcosm of how repiglicans created historic deficits through reckless wars and unpaid for tax cuts FOR NEARLY A DECADE, not caring a whit about the debt or deficits, until Obama became president...Then suddenly the debt became the monster that could only be slain by gutting the federal programs that they don't like even though discretionary non-defense spending is a small fraction of total govt spending.

Posted by: srw3 | February 18, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

@ss28:The less money the unions have the less influence on politicians they can buy. And the less influence on politicians they have, the safer our wallets will be

Funny how there is no danger when the corporatists, oligarchs, and plutocrats continually use their massive fortunes to buy up congresscritters, or use their personal wealth to try and buy a seat. I don't know about ss28 but the Bush years didn't do anything good for my wallet, but Casino Jack, Ralph Reed, and Co seemed to do pretty well until their little bribery scheme fell apart. Did you know that the republicans in the house hired many industry lobbyists from industries who are directly affected by actions taken by the "people's" house?

Posted by: srw3 | February 18, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of how the question was worded, Federal Employees should not need to be part of a Union. Unions basically were created to negotiate "fair wages and benefits" during a time when there were few laws the regulated equal opportunity, minumum wages.

If the Federal Government funded by the Taxpayers is not trustworthy to pay fair wages that are equal to the pay of the public sector and provide benefits that are provided by the average private company; then they shouldn't be allowed to adminster the various programs currently under their responsibility.

Posted by: fedupwithgovernment | February 18, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Pottymouth confuses assault (threat of violence) with battery (unlawful physical contact). Isn't that sad?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 18, 2011 4:57 PM
++++++++++

"Assualt" as KDE has defined it was a crime at common law. KDE is apparently unaware that Wisconsin has abolished the common law crimes.

Har. Har. Har.

Idiot.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | February 18, 2011 6:38 PM | Report abuse

It seems that those days are over. Poor liberal babies. but by all means, whine and snivel and carry on. It is as music to the ears.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 18, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

---

We leave that to you, Skippy.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 18, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

"It's impossible to have a rational discussion with someone who believes they are psychic."

Jenn, that is not right. And you don't have to be psychic. These people are Republicans and they are talking to us. To me, it is like working on one of those humongous space antennas. We are receiving communication from out there and we must be careful to keep listening. In psychiatry 101 class, I was told, if you want to help, the purpose of your conversation, the most important purpose, is to try to encourage the next conversation.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 18, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

All that this proves - period - is that you can get whatever answer you want by how you ask the question - which is why polls are garbage. A) Do you think the US should provide aid to Africa even though we are in financially tight times ourselves? B) Do you agree with a stance that children should die hungry in Africa because the United States, richest nation in the world, won't send aid? C) Do you think it is important, especially in this financially unstable time period, that the United States seek to shore up our own economy before continuing foreign aid, such as to Africa? Bet you get three different answers - crooked manipulation. Like for instance the case put forth int he article - one theme is do you support unions, the other is do you support government or the people (pretty easy to see and it is dishonest to bend the second question to indicate support of union s when it's obviously more about the people vs. the Gov.

Posted by: fidelity1 | February 19, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

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