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Posted at 4:20 PM ET, 03/ 4/2011

Are Wisconsin Republicans preparing to break with Walker?

By Greg Sargent

I don't know if these reports are true or not, and we should treat them with caution. But we now have two news outlets, one local and one national, claiming GOP defections from Governor Scott Walker may be in the works. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Conservatives in Wisconsin are getting nervous that three Republican state senators may defect on the collective-bargaining reform vote. It's still anyone's guess as to when that vote will take place because Democrats remain in exile to prevent the necessary quorum. But Republicans in the Senate hold a 19-14 majority, so GOP Gov. Scott Walker can afford to lose no more than two Republican senators on this pivotal vote.

On Wednesday, Republicans held a "unity" press conference that was attended by all but one senator, Dale Schultz. But a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showing that 62% of respondents oppose curtailing collective-bargaining rights for public-sector workers over health care, pensions or other benefits suggests that the GOP position may be losing some support among independent voters.

Separately, WEAU, an NBC affiliate in Wisconsin, reports that "four moderate Republicans are wavering and could break with the GOP and vote against Walker's budget repair bill."

I haven't been able to confirm either of these yet. But there are two points worth making. The first is that the drumbeat of polls showing strong opposition to Walker's rollback of bargaining rights may be starting to shift the landscape. The Journal report hints that Repubicans are growing nervous about opposition to Walker's proposals among independents. The key here is that public opinion on this standoff has caught a lot of people off guard.

Also: If the reports above are true, that could bear out the notion, articulated to me earlier today by a spokesman for the Wisconsin Democratic Party, that Republicans are well aware that Walker's impending layoffs could damage them more than Dems. Walker told the fake Koch on the prank call that he woud be ratcheting up the layoff threat to pressure missing Dems into returning. But Dems are refusing to budge despite the fact that the layoff threat is now very real. And there are indications that the layoffs could exacerbate the current public opinion dynamic, rather than turn it around. That may well be spooking Republicans who continue to stand by Walker.

UPDATE, 4:41 p.m.: I should have added that the drive to recall GOP senators has also picked up in the last few days. So you have pressure on numerous fronts.

By Greg Sargent  | March 4, 2011; 4:20 PM ET
Categories:  Labor  
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Comments

Greg is too humble. The R's are clearly scared of the violence union thugs are ready to unleash at Greg's instigation.

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | March 4, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

#UNIONBUSTINGFAIL

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 4, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

In other words: Who knows?

But the damage has been done. The workers have found their voice.

Posted by: Alex3 | March 4, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Nice try, but not even the Wisconsin Senate Democrats who left the state believe that. From today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"State Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) said Friday that he doesn't expect enough Republicans to cross the aisle and block Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair bill.

"There isn't one of them who wants to be the 17th vote to defeat this," Jauch said in a telephone interview from Illinois. "That would be the political death-knell to them.""

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/117421183.html

Posted by: elliotstearns | March 4, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Or it could be a trap to get the Democrats to come back to the capital and then have the vote.

Cue Admiral Ackbar.

Posted by: jnc4p | March 4, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"The workers have found their voice."

If only they had a candidate. The Democrats need to get busy choosing someone to run in 2016. The pro-labor = pro-business = pro American recovery chatter has to get on the airwaves.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@oldabandonedbeachhouse: The only violence I've seen so far has been from Scott Walker's brownshirt brigade.

Posted by: LewisinLA | March 4, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

There is at least one GOP senator who seems ready to cave. I posted this yesterday. It a radio interview he gave 2 days ago.

GOP Senator Dale Schultz Rips Into Walker, Calls Union-Busting "Classic Overreach"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gTYJTTm3Y0

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

what a victory for the unions and democrats if they win this. and the victory will be the rules don't matter. only the righteousness of the cause.

@ jnc4p -- i had the same thought. hold vote, vote against measure, then when the clerk asks "is there any senators who wishes to change his vote," change vote.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 4, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

@oldabandonedbeachhouse: The only violence I've seen so far has been from Scott Walker's brownshirt brigade.

Posted by: LewisinLA
---------------------------------
I'm 90% sure beachhouse was joking. Assuming he/she was, I thought it was pretty funny.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"Or it could be a trap to get the Democrats to come back to the capital and then have the vote."

More than likely. I wouldn't trust the word of any of these GOP senators.The yahoo who seems to do much of the talking for them on MSNBC is a real joke. If the rest are like him then I think they would rather take their chances on a recall election than to show they somehow caved.
Frankly, I think Walker and the GOP will win the war (for now), but in a year or so will lose the battle.

Posted by: filmnoia | March 4, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Wisconsin Democrats need to be cautious here, they need to have a public assurance from the majority leader of the state Senate that the legislation revoking any aspect of collective bargaining has been pulled from the legislative agenda for this session. The state Democratic party has to continue the petition drives to recall as many of the 8 eligible republican senators as possible to prevent this legislation from coming back.

Posted by: bucknackt1 | March 4, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

@ jnc4p -- i had the same thought. hold vote, vote against measure, then when the clerk asks "is there any senators who wishes to change his vote," change vote.

Posted by: NoVAHockey
-----------------------------------
I don't think there's a non-hypocritical response I can provide to this, so I'll just nod my head in silence.

There is no way that State Congresses across the country aren't going to revist their rules to prevent walk outs from becoming common place. They have to right?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | March 4, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully they'll cave on the rest of the crazy in the bill. To mention just a two nuggets, selling powerplants without competitive bidding, giving the Secretary of State the power to override any state laws concerning Badgercare. The "budget repair" bill is a huge power grab by Walker, aided and abetted by the classic Republican Rubber Stamp legislature.

And how about Fitzgerald, installing his daddy as head of the State Troopers when he couldn't win a county sheriff's election? What is this, Alaska?

Posted by: dpc2003 | March 4, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats must not make the same mistake the Republicans did, figuring, so long as we win in 2012,
2016 will take care of itself.

A labor candidate can win.

The DNC needs to get a 2016 committee together, but first, someone with a lot of experience communicating with vegetables has to get with Tim Kaine.

Too bad L. Ron is dead.

http://home.snafu.de/tilman/cos_fun/flubbard.html

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Hi everybody! Outstanding comments!

The Republicans have created a bit of a Gordian knot. Even if enough Republicans flip, there will be no chance of the Dems not launching a massive campaign against them either for a recall, or for the next election. And caving would completely alienate enough of the base to guarantee a bad loss in either a recall or the next general election. So, they lose either way. Now the focus has to be on the ultimate effect on the Republican Party in Wisconsin, and the party will lose it's base if it's seen to back down. While I think in less than a week the R's fold, I'm surprised they've lasted this long, there really is no inncentive now to do so.

As for the Democrats, I don't think, as long as Walker is Govenor, can they really ever trust that they won't be double crossed by the Republicans? I don't think so. They have to wait for a complete compitulation, in writing, by at least 3 R's to insure not double cross. And even then, you know how Us R's are, pure evil! Can you ever trust the Devil?

This is over Thursday, in the Democrats favor.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | March 4, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"i had the same thought. hold vote, vote against measure, then when the clerk asks "is there any senators who wishes to change his vote," change vote."

Political suicide.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

With typical Republican/Teabagger arrogance Walker took office, backed by billionaires (the Koch crooks), and decided to force through a radical agenda. Walker has proven that even a cowed, unemployed, discouraged and dishearted population will fight back against the billionaire funded/Teapublican agenda when they go too far.


Walker will be recalled barring another massive influx of Koch Brothers cash, or a scandal that forces him out earlier than next winter and given his record, either is a real possibility. Let his recall be a warning to the radical right wing lunatic fringe - you do not represent the people of this country, and no amount of Fox News Propaganda, or corrupt Citizen's United Cash (Koch Brothers, Dick Armey, Karl Rove etc) will outweigh the democratic process.

Posted by: DrainYou | March 4, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

"They have to right?"

Not at all. Walk outs don't happen often because they don't need to. The people walking out better be darn sure the public will support them when they return. It is an all-in bet and most times, most places, neither side wants to force that condition. In general, rhetoric aside, in spite of all the posing, there is a lot more bipartisan deal making than people think.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Scott Walker for President 2012
doesn't sound like the TEA thinks he is doing anything wrong.

Posted by: dottydo | March 4, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the recall is ON for the 8 GOP thugs!

Posted by: angie12106 | March 4, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Republicans want to return America to the Golden Age of Robber Barons and Union Busting. According to them, Union organizers are Commie trouble makers and you should call out the National Guard and beat the creap out of them.

If only the union members who became Reagan Democrats understood what evil they were unleashing on America when they supported Ronnie Raygun for President. His anti-union, anti-tax, anti-government extremism destroyed California and set the stage for the destruction of America.

Posted by: thebobbob | March 4, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"Wisconsin Democrats need to be cautious here, they need to have a public assurance from the majority leader of the state Senate that the legislation revoking any aspect of collective bargaining has been pulled from the legislative agenda for this session."

Not only that, but bring the rest of the bill concerning the no bid selling of power plants and Badgercare back to being debated. In return, the Dems can back off their recall drive.

Posted by: filmnoia | March 4, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

"There is no way that State Congresses across the country aren't going to revist their rules to prevent walk outs from becoming common place. They have to right?"

speaking of the federal senate, which is the model ... the rules are designed to protect the minority and the individual senators. and the federal quorum rules can compel attendance. the senate it's not designed to move quickly, but to debate and build consensus and make sure everyone has had a say.

and it used to be that you didn't move to really screw over the minority, because one day it would be you. it's designed to work on collegiality. it breaks down if that's lacking. it's different than the house, which is basically a rubber stamp machine for the majority.

these Dems should have filibustered and made speeches and used every procedural roadblock they can think of. that's all fair game. if the R's couldn't over-come a filibuster, or screwed up the procedure, that's too bad for them. but this just sets a bad precedent.

in my mind, this is about process. but it's become a partisan debacle. nobody wins in this one. think there's any chance of any bipartisanship in the WI senate after this -- even on "easy" wins? i don't.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 4, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Wisconsin just better get Republicans out of power before they redistrict and turn their state into another totalitarian state governed by imbeciles.

Here's what we are dealing with in Texas and an obvious example of the nonintrusive government that TPs like to talk so much about:

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/news/2011/03/texas_approves_bill_requiring_sonogram_before_abor.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: Beeliever | March 4, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

It's Been A Bad 2011 for the Teapublicans So Far:

Walker and Repuppies get caught on the side of Evil State Govt against the little people in Wisconsin.......again.
Bush-Dolt " Concience Clause " for Health workers junked by Executive Order - no legislation necessary.
The Great "CONSERVATIVE" hero Hosni Mubarak just eliminated, other conservative loved middle east dictators are doomed.

Reading Constitution aloud on C SPAN Skit Bombs.
John "Orange" Boner loses his Jet Engine.
Pin-Down on Tax-Cuts for Uber rich-RePiggies.
Sarah Palin slapped down like a Monkey.
Jared the Tea-Party Assassin in Arizona.

Health Care Repeal Fails (unless the activist Right Wingers on the Supreme Court decide to overturn hundreds of years of case law, again, for their right wing corporate overlords (Koch Brothers)
Texas going Bankrupt.
Abortion Repeal Fails.
Egypt/Libya & Obama dominates news & blows Repuppy focus off track.
Chump-Change Boehner Budget Cuts not going anywhere.

Craigslist Pervert Republican Resigns.
John Kyl Resigns.
Republican Oil Spill.
Gay Republicans causing fits in GOP.
Tea-Baggers causing internal Trouble for the Standard Rich RepugCorporate Pigs.
No interesting or credible Presidential Candidates.

Not good days for the Teahadists.

.

Posted by: DrainYou | March 4, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

OT

"Romney's '08 Iowa Chair On What Went Wrong: 'He Became Almost A Caricature Of Himself'"

From Romney's 2008 Iowa chair Daniel Gross:

"No one questions his CEO abilities, but last time, he dove so far to the right trying to appeal to Christian conservatives that he became almost a caricature of himself. I think a number of people are skeptical of his ability to connect with the average voter."

National Journal reports Gross "hasn't jumped aboard" Romney's 2012 effort yet. As the magazine suggests, that's something of a common problem for Romney. Though he's among the biggest names in the nebulous GOP 2012 field and as close to a frontrunner as the Republicans have, NJ's Beth Reinhard reports that "nobody assumes he'll win."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/romneys-08-ia-chair-on-what-went-wrong-he-became-almost-a-caricature-of-himself.php?ref=fpb

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Heya Greg,

Its been a while since I rattled the bars around here. How well did I peg the DADT/Dream Act/Budget Vote back in December? Not perfect, sure. But who is perfect? Think I can be that lucky twice? Probably not!

My take? The Republicans, (as paranoid Democratic Senators are expressing they suspect) may be just faking this break to trick the Democrats home. If so, and it does not work, expect another trick or two. Since the Country Watched ObamaCare get passed on new levels of chicanery, I sense that the idea of playing nice was only for a while after the Congresswoman was shot. The gloves seem to be off on both sides on this one!

What trick would I play? Actually, I'd be above board and just go for the KILL! Do a totally non-fiscal, not designated for public versus private, accross the board "Right to Work" bill. Start the debate and just push it through. Done right, the Democrats would catch wind just in time to be too late to vote to block such a bill. It would only need a majority for quorum, not 3/5ths like the current one does.

Deadly. Mean. And the correct message to those Senators hiding out over state lines: BUSTED!!!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | March 4, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ugz7W17GQOs&feature=player_embedded

LOL

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 5:24 PM | Report abuse

clearbrook: "What trick would I play? Actually, I'd be above board and just go for the KILL! Do a totally non-fiscal, not designated for public versus private, accross the board "Right to Work" bill. Start the debate and just push it through. Done right, the Democrats would catch wind just in time to be too late to vote to block such a bill. It would only need a majority for quorum, not 3/5ths like the current one does."

Yup, sounds like a perfect recipe to kill off the GOP in Wisconsin for a generation.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"in my mind, this is about process. but it's become a partisan debacle. nobody wins in this one. think there's any chance of any bipartisanship in the WI senate after this -- even on "easy" wins? i don't.

Posted by: NoVAHockey"

Probably not. But Republicans have to realize that just because they have majorities in the Wisconsin Congress doesn't mean they can pass the laws they want.

That being said, Republicans could already have had a significant win. Break their contracts with the unions while allowing the richest citizens to not sacrifice a penny. Pretty damn good, no? Just that Walker is an idiot who doesn't know how to take a win.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 4, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"Romney's '08 Iowa Chair On What Went Wrong: 'He Became Almost A Caricature Of Himself'"


You mean like a lame SNL skit? Mitt is not just an empty suit, but an empty wardrobe.

Posted by: filmnoia | March 4, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse

You know, I see a lot of talk about RECALLS for Republicans, like that option is ONLY available for their benefit. This is not the only place that idea is geting thrown around. I invite you to read the Wisconsin Constitution on the matter. There *are* some Republicans who that *could* work for. Look again and tell me how these recalls come into being. Do you think that the Democrats who did not have to be re-elected this time are not equally vulnerable to recall? Think again!

Keep talking it up. Maybe more conservatives will like the idea and steal it from you. Frankly, I think that in this war with the opinion that the average voter has about the Democrats FleeBagging move has them (the Democrats) HIGHLY vulnerable. I'd bet that more of them would loose than Republicans. Think about it. 3/5 quorum for the Republicans with the net change of only ONE seat! Then the Democrats could cross the lines and party on the Union dime, and nobody would worry about nothing getting done, EXCEPT the constituents that they are supposed to represent!

I like that idea. I like it a LOT!!!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | March 4, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Keep talking it up. Maybe more conservatives will like the idea and steal it from you.
--------------------------------------------------------
More proof that conservatives have no ideas. Bwahahaha!!!

Shhhhhhhhhhhh...don't give them any ideas.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 4, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

What Mullah Walker is attempting to do in Wisconsin is typical of todays Teabagger Republican governors. They blame a sector of the middle class (union workers) for all the countries (states) economic problems and get the middle class and poor fighting among themselves for leftover economic crumbs.


Once they've got that misdirection in place they proceed to selling off the states assets at pennies on the dollar and handing out unpaid for, deficit ballooning, Tax Cuts to the Billionaire and Mega Corporation class of the state (the Koch Brothers). And because of those unpaid for tax cuts for the rich the states economic health never improves, thus giving the extremist Republican governor another excuse to cut more middle class services (Police, Fire, Garbage-service, Teachers etc) again.


I hope the protests against these goon Republican governors spread all over the country. I want the extremist Republican party to see what real middle class grassroots anger looks like in their face (unlike the astroturfed Teabagger shout-fests that are bankrolled by right wing oil billionaires i.e. the Koch Brothers). 2012 is payback time for the extremist Teapublican party, and I can't wait.

.

Posted by: DrainYou | March 4, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

suekzoo1,

I think I touched a nerve, didn't I? I have seen the polls saying that a majority of the people don't want "Public Sector" Employees to be stripped of ALL their collective bargaining rights. Neither do I. Now check out the "Right to Work" polls. Owch! An even *bigger* majority thinks that Unions' ability to force people to join the Union and Pay dues or not have a job really stinks!

"Yup, sounds like a perfect recipe to kill off the GOP in Wisconsin for a generation."

Oh, man!!! Have you got a spare bowl of the stuff you are smoking? Or is it in that funny colored drink you have there? Who do you think you are scaring? Kids on the playground? Sorry, but some of us learned that a Bully talks tough, but has probabaly got a glass jaw. Face it. "Right to Work" is *very* popular right now and is the Unions #1 glass jaw!

I'd figuratively hit that Bully square on the jaw and watch him drop. But that may not be Walker's style. Everybody has their own way. Yours seems to be to try and scare people with the vaguest of threats. Doesn't work like it used to, does it?

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | March 4, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Just remember recalls are a double edged sword. Im sure a few of those Democrats that are held up in ILL. probabaly didnt win blow out elections and could lose in a recall as well.

The other thing is the polls that are being done on this situation are all very suspect. One of the polls had a combination of 36 percent of the respondents were either union members or in the household of a union member. Then they had the nerve to further weight the poll.

I seriously doubt that 36 percent of WI residents are union members or in union households.

I bet the poll results would be dramatically different if the question was phrased to be sympathetic to the taxpayer.

The local paper in Madison says the average teacher in the Milwalkee school district makes 100,000 dollars in salary and benefits in other words total compensation.

I bet if you asked the average taxpayer in a poll the following:

Your average school teacher makes 100k per year in total compensation are you willing to pay X number of hundreds of dollars more so they make 105k next year.

The teachers union would not fare very well.

Posted by: bjeagle784 | March 4, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

12BarBluesAgain:

Touche! I like a sense of humor. I think that very few people here, on either side of any given issue, have many ideas. But, although I was being sarcastic, there is a grain of truth in it. Keep talking recall. Run a straw poll on how the DEMOCRATS would do if recalled. Then keep talking recall if the Democrats looked vulnerable and I'd call them stupid as most are for continuing to talk about it even with your joking reference making it sound like no big deal...

I like to laugh! Thanks!

Cheers!

Posted by: Clearbrook | March 4, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

The longer the Democrats can stay away, the bigger martyrs they will become to the American workers and the middle class.

Walker is defeated no matter what he does at this point. In less than three months he turned himself into a lame duck governor and probably will face a recall next year. Another major TP FU.

Posted by: Beeliever | March 4, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Then keep talking recall if the Democrats looked vulnerable and I'd call them stupid as most are for continuing to talk about it even with your joking reference making it sound like no big deal...
-----------------------------------------------
Huh?

I recognize the words as English, but you need to reassemble them into subject-verb-direct object. Punctuation would help.

I'm just proposing ideas, which seem to be in short shrift according to some.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 4, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

The recall efforts in WI actually began some time ago (2/24) and they were first aimed at the Democrats.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/116853618.html

"The clock is now running for groups trying to collect enough signatures to trigger recall elections against seven Democratic senators, state officials said today.

"Reid Magney, spokesman for the Government Accountability Board, said local groups have officially registered recall committees with his agency to try to recall Sen. Bob Wirch of Kenosha and Jim Holperin of Eagle River."

Posted by: sbj3 | March 4, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

The recall efforts in WI actually began some time ago (2/24) and they were first aimed at the Democrats.
--------------------------------------------------
Well, there you go. Conservatives **do** have ideas.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 4, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, man!!! Have you got a spare bowl of the stuff you are smoking? Or is it in that funny colored drink you have there?"

I worry people around here accuse each other of being on drugs and or being drunk too frequently for it to be a matter of happenstance...it would be disturbing if it were true, but that would account for a lot of the perseveration, gee-whiz observations of the obvious and obsessive fascination with irrelevant detail. Greg might have to get a D&A testing program going here if what Clearbrook says is true.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Many of the signs seem to suggest that a recall effort will succeed. At a minimum there will be votes on some of the seats, and it's quite likely that at least 3 to 4 of the seats could be flipped.

If the GOP State Senators move on this issue, it would probably take some steam out of the recall effort, but the longer they wait the less leverage they'll have.

Posted by: JPRS | March 4, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

"I worry people around here accuse each other of being on drugs and or being drunk too frequently for it to be a matter of happenstance."

Well, Mardi Gras is right around the corner...

Posted by: DDAWD | March 4, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

When is Walker planning on making these layoffs anyways? I thought it was supposed to be today?

Posted by: DDAWD | March 4, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

@shrink/ddawd: Concerning drug use.

Charlie Sheen night - free admission to anyone who brings a clean drug test.

http://offthebench.nbcsports.com/2011/03/04/bakersfield-condors-charlie-sheen-night-to-featute-tiger-blood-icees-sheen-mask-on-a-stick/related

Posted by: sbj3 | March 4, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

""The clock is now running for groups trying to collect enough signatures to trigger recall elections against seven Democratic senators, state officials said today.

"Reid Magney, spokesman for the Government Accountability Board, said local groups have officially registered recall committees with his agency to try to recall Sen. Bob Wirch of Kenosha and Jim Holperin of Eagle River.""

Well, one of Scott Walker's favorite lies is that he and the GOP campaigned on eliminating collective bargaining. It wasn't true then, but if these recall petitions go through, it certainly will become a campaign promise. We'll see how voters respond to this promise.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 4, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh don't tell the Republicans voters!

They think, if you have way waaaay too much money, you must have worked really hard to earn it all.

They earned it. Case closed.

"If the charges are true, then the rampant wrongdoing that many suspect in the financial world will have reached one of the most elite boardrooms."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/opinion/04fri3.html

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse


"The [charges] are another sobering warning..."

Coincidence? I think not!

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

If the S.E.C. charges are true, the dealings between Mr. Gupta and Mr. Rajaratnam would take this alleged scheme of insider trading to the pinnacle of finance. They are another sobering warning that insider trading may be pervasive, from relatively low rungs to the top.
---------------------------------------------
Well, duh. I don't think it is a secret that Wall Street bigwigs have friends, and friends get phone calls.

The only thing that bothers me is that it is (relatively) easy to target inside traders, but not so easy to go after the entire Wall Street establishment who are busy doing a wealth transfer from us to them. That's the biggest inside trade of all.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 4, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats need to find and identify candidates immediately. Then they need to proceed to recall the GOP at full speed. They need to launch a total blitzkrieg against this madman and his lieutenants.
Sweep them out at the first possible moment. And none too soon.

Posted by: TOMHERE | March 4, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"Oh don't tell the Republicans voters!

They think, if you have way waaaay too much money, you must have worked really hard to earn it all.

They earned it. Case closed.

"If the charges are true, then the rampant wrongdoing that many suspect in the financial world will have reached one of the most elite boardrooms."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/04/opinion/04fri3.html"

Hi shrink! Hope all is well! I forget, who got more campaign contributions from those in the Wall Street financial world? Barry or McCain? And who controls the Justice Department again?

Unbelievable comments today everybody! Truly breathtaking! I thank you!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | March 4, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/03/happy_hour_roundup_199.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | March 4, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

"alleged scheme of insider trading to the pinnacle of finance!"

Impossible! Outrageous! Call Obama's buddies and see if it is even possible. Peter Orzag is at Citi, a TARP confection, but wait!, don't call, there is a cooling off period in which people who just left their political jobs for their private sector recliner can't talk to their political buddies, not directly anyway. See, Tom Daschle did it right. He didn't become an employee or a lobbyist, he was a consultant in between leaving office and lobbying I mean writing I mean coordinating the production of the ACA.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_state_surveys/wisconsin/wisconsin_poll_support_for_budget_cutting_not_for_weakening_collective_bargaining_rights

Rasmussen (yes, THAT Rasmussen) cannot twist the argument to favor the Republican Walker's stand on collective bargaining.

If this holds, expect the GOP rat pack in the legislature to toss Walker over the side, for their own political survival.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | March 4, 2011 6:44 PM | Report abuse

If we had an honest media instead of the leftists distorting MSM we're stuck with Walker wouldn't have to worry.

Posted by: Cryos | March 4, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

oldabandonedbeachhouse share's my sentiments, that the esteemed Mr. Sargent is serving to highlight the failure of a particular political power in Wisconsin and the boy-child Governor who has misled them.

Posted by: photoglyph | March 4, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

re:
Greg is too humble. The R's are clearly scared of the violence union thugs are ready to unleash at Greg's instigation.

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse

You have a point, as I recall those teachers could be pretty rough. If the Wis. republicans arent careful they might get expelled.

Posted by: bproulx451 | March 4, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Talk about whistling thru the graveyard. If the Democrats win this arguement, the state goes broke and they all lose their jobs. Is that considered a win?

Posted by: sportsfan2 | March 4, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

@elliotstearns CLEARLY you're not a local, and you must not communicate much with the senator's staffs. The tide is clearly turning, and while the easy route is to read the J-S, it has long been known a)where their editorial bias lies; b) what sorts of people participate in their online feedback process. Just today, it is becoming widely known that the bill's ambiguous language may allow for a governor-led raid of the state retirement system. ENRON, much?? We may love our cheese curds and beer, but we're not stupid...oh, and LOTS of us managed to graduate from college/grad school, unlike Gov. Walker.

Posted by: NeedToRead333 | March 4, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Governor Walker will be remember in history as the man who help rally the forces of people and the Unions into a single cohesive poltical force to protect the working class of the USA. It has taken the Corporations and the GOP over forty years to tear it down and it took the Governor only a couple a weeks to revive it. He actions will also destory the political careers of his fellow Republicans due to the recalls happening now in their districts, the damage is all ready done and cannot be averted. The lesson learn here is to listen and be a Statesman not a Politcal Hack. Govenor Walker will also be remember in history for the Wisconsin's "Idiot Protection Act".

Posted by: rimsh0t | March 4, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Notice that, unlike with the ignorant Tea Baggers, the pro-union protest signs are actually written in proper English.

Posted by: bibleburner | March 4, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

How did the DNC translate those Talking Points from Swahili to English so fast?

Posted by: fregameeate | March 4, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

YES... BE VERY CAREFUL trusting anything from Walker's kangaroo court! Get it in writing... Aside from that, it is not just about worker's rights to collective bargain anymore. The people saw the other ridiculous cuts in education, and plan to sell states power plants, and all sorts of other wild and crazy plans. I would venture a guess that the Democrats should not and will not come back for this one change in that bill. I think it is fair to say that Walker and his Brain (Pinky and the Brain) have lost a sense of dignity and respect for the people. He is unable to have power of governor over the people of whose faith he has lost. I say it is time to ask him to step down, or FIND THE PROOF IN HIS CRIMES AND FORCE HIM OUT. Recall is to far down the line when we see what he is all about and able to do.

Posted by: TessTy | March 4, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't trust any Republicans that say they will vote with the Democrats on this important issue. It sounds very fishy. Let the Republicans craft another bill. The governor has poisoned the well to the point that no one can trust the Republicans to do the right thing. They'll entice the Dems back to the capitol building just to turn the tables.

Posted by: EarlC | March 4, 2011 10:45 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, after we get democracy in the Middle East, maybe we'll get it in Wisconsin.

Posted by: observator1000 | March 4, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse


I'd be ashamed to be seen in Walker's presense, and I'd cross the street to avoid him. He revealed himself as just a little Koch lapdog. I predict either impeachment, or he's already a lame duck governor!

Posted by: surfer-joe | March 4, 2011 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Scott Walker told everyone just what he is in his telephone chat with the person he thought was his money man. Listening to him speak about how he was going to take down the unions, using his big bat, bringing in thugs to infiltrate the ranks of the public servants who teach his children, police his state, man his fire stations and ambulance service, let us all know this snotnosed punk is no politician and a lousy American too boot.

What you say when you think no one else is listening, lays bare your character and clearly Walker lacks judgment, compassion, civility and even citizenship. He is no patriot and not even a good person. He is a young fool too full of himself and his position and too self-assured that billionaires like the Koch brothers will have his back.

I've got news for him, when you throw the middle class workers to the hounds, you will lose. I don't know what has happened to the republican party, but they have gone to the dogs. I remember congressmen with statesman-like stature, now they have dimwits like Palin, Hucklebee, and adulterous leeches like Gingrich and company. Scott Walker is a bootlicker and a terrible governor.

Posted by: papafritz571 | March 4, 2011 11:52 PM | Report abuse

A public employee, a tea party member, and a greedy CEO sit at a table with a dozen cookies on a plate. The CEO reaches across, take 11 of the cookies,then looks at the tea partier and says, "Watch out for that union guy: He wants a piece of your cookie."

Posted by: katahdin1 | March 5, 2011 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Vote in Haste and Repent in Leisure! To the wonderful Democrats who have left the state because of the 'dictatorship' of Gov. Walker - be VERY cautious with your return, there is no shot gun riding side saddle to protect you. Walker has become the 'voice' of the Republican Party - he is NOT to be trusted in any way. Where are the petitions to rid this glorious state of this imbecile?

Posted by: rbsher | March 5, 2011 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Walker wont back down. He'll follow through with his threats, layoffs and the quorum vote, and brazen through with canned talking points.

If he wins in the elimination of collective bargaining he'll further radicalize a labor movement that seems to have suddenly found its voice, especially since other republican governors will do the me-too thing that is the foundation of GOP identity.

If some state senators act I survival mode and CB is preserved, and even of the momentum endures and Walker is recalled, he'll be the darling of the Cybelle-cult tea party movement, the neanderthal who stood up to the "union thugs" and will command high speaking fees at AEI and Heritage, just for showing up in a suit and jumping up and down on the stage.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 5, 2011 1:51 AM | Report abuse

When I was a little child I had an irritant little spoiled neighbor called Scott. I smashed him in the face. Ahhh, memories.

Posted by: eaglehawkaroundsince1937 | March 5, 2011 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent wrote: "I don't know if these reports are true or not, and we should treat them with caution. But we now have two news outlets, one local and one national, claiming GOP defections from Governor Scott Walker may be in the works."

Thanks for the gossip. I don't know if it's true or not, so I treat the report with great caution, but I heard from reliable sources that Greg Sargent is an embedded member of the Democrat Party. Again, don't jump to conclusions because it may well be false, but be advised and on your guard.

Posted by: thatstevensguy | March 5, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"I don't know if these reports are true or not...", but I have a political agenda to advance so I'll proceed as though they are so I can assert that which I don't know to be so but desperately wish was. Shouldn't you be writing for some trash-filled gossip rag? Oh wait... I stand corrected. Proceed!

Posted by: KGC2 | March 5, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

"Greg is too humble. The R's are clearly scared of the violence union thugs are ready to unleash at Greg's instigation"

No its really because they know they've lost... not to mention the fact that there is this inconvenient thing called the constitution and the first amendment that makes collective bargaining completely legal.

Posted by: mcp123 | March 5, 2011 1:39 PM | Report abuse

While I'm not a real fan of unions, I am less a fan of those Republicans who would take us back to a lord and serf society.

And the people in the tea party - if only they understood that for so many of them the future of their children will be in working for near minimum wage in a big box store, while the chinese take over the world.

Of course the Koch's of the world will simply be hobnobbing with the chinese politburo. Its all about money.

On fox news I saw something about how the Koch's of tea party had given the metropolitan opera many millions. Really pocket change for those who own energy businesses that gross close to 100Billion $

Think of them and the tea party every time you fill up at the pump, and you will understand

Posted by: SJames6621 | March 5, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Fat Elivis from NJ needs to shut his big pie-hole. He has done nothing in NJ but hold highly choreographed townhalls where he stands up on stage and yells at teachers while allowing no push back from the teachers to be heard. After that he puts it up on youtube, as if his yelling at people who aren't allowed to talk back to him makes him some sort of hero. He cut a much needed NJ-NY transpotation project, killing thousands of jobs and making NJ's transporation/communter problems to NY worse.


And he messed up the paper work on getting funds for NJ schools, thus causing more teacher layoffs because he didn't know which boxs to check off. Christie is sacrificing the future of New Jersey for special interests and mistaking his bluster, bloviating and ideological certainty for leadership.

Posted by: DrainYou | March 5, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Fat Elvis from NJ needs to shut his big pie-hole. He has done nothing in NJ but hold highly choreographed townhalls where he stands up on stage and yells at teachers while allowing no push back from the teachers to be heard. After that he puts it up on youtube, as if his yelling at people who aren't allowed to talk back to him makes him some sort of hero. He cut a much needed NJ-NY transportation project, killing thousands of jobs and making NJ's transporation/communter problems to NY worse.


And he messed up the paper work on getting funds for NJ schools, thus causing more teacher layoffs because he didn't know which boxs to check off. Christie is sacrificing the future of New Jersey for special interests and mistaking his bluster, bloviating and ideological certainty for leadership.

Posted by: DrainYou | March 5, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"Or it could be a trap to get the Democrats to come back to the capital and then have the vote."

More than likely. I wouldn't trust the word of any of these GOP senators.The yahoo who seems to do much of the talking for them on MSNBC is a real joke. If the rest are like him then I think they would rather take their chances on a recall election than to show they somehow caved.
Frankly, I think Walker and the GOP will win the war (for now), but in a year or so will lose the battle.

Posted by: filmnoia
-------
Actually the last sentence needs a change: Walker and the GOP may win the battle but in a year or so will lose the war.

It seems that there are indications of wavering but who knows what the end game will be.

Posted by: beeker25 | March 5, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Either way whether Gov. Walker invokes it by a common sense measure or it plays out that we run out of money. The Unions are bye bye no more funds no more mooching.

Posted by: Lanche | March 5, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Either way whether Gov. Walker invokes it by a common sense measure or it plays out that we run out of money. The Unions are bye bye no more funds no more mooching.

Posted by: Lanche | March 5, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Bobbob wrote:
Republicans want to return America to the Golden Age of Robber Barons and Union Busting. According to them, Union organizers are Commie trouble makers and you should call out the National Guard and beat the creap out of them.

If only the union members who became Reagan Democrats understood what evil they were unleashing on America when they supported Ronnie Raygun for President. His anti-union, anti-tax, anti-government extremism destroyed California and set the stage for the destruction of America.

--------------------------------------
I believe there is a misunderstand regarding the Governor. Initially I was told by the press that the Governor was against collective bargaining ... however I have since learned that is not exactly true. He is only against collective bargaining of non-taxable benefits but not annual taxable wages. That to me means that it is up to Mom & Pop businesses, small businesses & the self-reliant to pay the taxes on such benefits out of their pocket. I do not think that is equitable ... therefore I agree with the Governor NO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ON INCOME THAT IS NOT TAXABLE. I can not afford any more dependents

Posted by: buckaroo5 | March 5, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

DrainYou wrote:
It's Been A Bad 2011 for the Teapublicans So Far:

Walker and Repuppies get caught on the side of Evil State Govt against the little people in Wisconsin.......again.
Bush-Dolt " Concience Clause " for Health workers junked by Executive Order - no legislation necessary.
The Great "CONSERVATIVE" hero Hosni Mubarak just eliminated, other conservative loved middle east dictators are doomed.

Reading Constitution aloud on C SPAN Skit Bombs.
John "Orange" Boner loses his Jet Engine.
Pin-Down on Tax-Cuts for Uber rich-RePiggies.
Sarah Palin slapped down like a Monkey.
Jared the Tea-Party Assassin in Arizona.

Health Care Repeal Fails (unless the activist Right Wingers on the Supreme Court decide to overturn hundreds of years of case law, again, for their right wing corporate overlords (Koch Brothers)
Texas going Bankrupt.
Abortion Repeal Fails.
Egypt/Libya & Obama dominates news & blows Repuppy focus off track.
Chump-Change Boehner Budget Cuts not going anywhere.

Craigslist Pervert Republican Resigns.
John Kyl Resigns.
Republican Oil Spill.
Gay Republicans causing fits in GOP.
Tea-Baggers causing internal Trouble for the Standard Rich RepugCorporate Pigs.
No interesting or credible Presidential Candidates.

Not good days for the Teahadists.

-----------------------------------------
Which side of the fence?

If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a Republican doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a Democrat doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a Republican doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Democrats demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a Republican reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A Democrat will delete it because he's "offended

Posted by: buckaroo5 | March 5, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

teabaggers are men who have thoughts about being boned by a another man. They are terrified by the thoughts that enter their minds, where they are told to wear women's underwear and submit to their wife's bull. Nothing else can explain this.

Posted by: fmamstyle | March 5, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Scott Walker went to Wisconsin he was looking for some rights to steal
He was in a bind cause he was way behind and was willing to make a deal
When he came across these two young boys sitting on a money pile and thought hey that looks hot. Scott jumped up on the pile and a said, "Boys let me tell you what! I guess you didn't know it, but I'm a greedy bastard too, and if you care to make a deal I'll sell my soul to you. Now you make some pretty good money boys, but wait till you make the laws too. I'll make these piles grow that much I promise you!
The boy jumped up and said, "Well my name's Charles and this here is my brother Dave, and if you don't mind we would like to bust a union or two."

Posted by: Serraph105 | March 11, 2011 12:05 AM | Report abuse

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