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Posted at 1:01 PM ET, 03/ 4/2011

Will Walker layoffs backfire on Wisconsin Republicans?

By Greg Sargent

It's been widely assumed that once Governor Scott Walker starts sending out pink slips to public employees, it will increase pressure on fugitive Dems to return to Wisconsin and vote on Walker's measure rolling back bargaining rights.

But what if the opposite is true? What if the layoffs will actually increase pressure on Republican Senators to reach a deal with Dems and labor?

I'm told that Wisconsin Dems are mapping out an aggressive plan to make that happen, if and when layoffs start happening -- one designed to pin the blame for them direcly on Republican Senators.

"We don't think Republicans want these layoffs to happen," Graeme Zielinski, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Democratic Party, told me this morning. "They're going to eat this, and it's dawning on them."

Pressed on whether the layoffs would increase pressure on Dems to return, Zielinski said Dems strongly regretted the impact layoffs would have on communities, but rejected the idea that it force Dems to come back.

"The public is not going to blame us for these layoffs -- when they're on a totally arbitrary timetable and have nothing to do with the fiscal solvency of the state," Zielinski said. He added that Dems would respond aggressively, characterizing the Dem pushback as follows:

"This was totally preventable. Walker gave $140 million in tax breaks to corporations that don't need it, and yet he laying off teachers in your own back yards and ending the summer recreational program in your neighborhood."

"They will own these policies," Zielinski said of Repubicans.

The basic idea here is that polls suggest that Wisconsinites have already made up their minds about the ongoing standoff. On the core issue of bargaining rights, they side with labor and Dems, and against Walker. Dems think layoffs won't change that dynamic; if anything, if Dems can persuade the public that the layoffs are the fault of Walker's unreasonable insistence on an unpopular and extreme proposal, that dynamic could be exacerbated in their favor.

Also: One labor official tells me that if and when layoffs start, they will aggressively highlight the moment on the fake Koch call in which Walker explicitly said he'd use the threat of layoffs to ratchet up political pressure on Dems. I'd say it's very possible the politics of layoffs will backfire on Wisconsin Republicans in a big way.

By Greg Sargent  | March 4, 2011; 1:01 PM ET
Categories:  Labor  
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Comments

""They will own these policies," Zielinski said of Repubicans.

The basic idea here is that polls suggest that Wisconsinites have already made up their minds about the ongoing standoff. On the core issue of bargaining rights, they side with labor and Dems, and against Walker. Dems think layoffs won't change that dynamic; if anything, if Dems can persuade the public that the layoffs are the fault of Walker's unreasonable insistence on an unpopular and extreme proposal, that dynamic could be exacerbated in their favor."

This is probably a pretty accurate read on the situation. Once the public employee unions signaled that they were willing to go along with the salary and benefit cuts, then Walker lost his main argument against the unions (i.e. that they were being unreasonable and not shouldering their fair share).

In terms of enacting a legislative priority that's not popular in the public opinion polls, this is a mirror image of the health care fight after the town hall protests and Scott Brown won in Massachusetts.

Anyone know if the Wisconsin legislature has a fixed session term or if it stays in session all year?

Posted by: jnc4p | March 4, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Off topic (sorry, Greg) but too funny not to post:

"In an online forum, Jennings told readers: "[Sens.] Chuck Schumer [D-N.Y.] and Harry Reid [D-Nev.] both called me back personally in 2004 to try to get me to run for Orrin Hatch's Senate seat."

"... Jennings continued: "I am not making this up. Win on a game show and you can apparently run for the US Senate. That was when I realized the Democratic Party was f@#$ed in '04."

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/147471-dems-sought-jeopardy-champ-to-challenge-sen-hatch

Posted by: sbj3 | March 4, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey, the feds flipped a witness! Once you get one member of a criminal gang to testify against others, often the whole syndicate comes down.

"Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein has agreed to testify for the U.S. government at the upcoming trial of Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The criminal trial of the Sri Lankan-born Rajaratnam, 53, is scheduled to start on March 8 in Manhattan federal court, part of what U.S. prosecutors call the biggest probe of __insider trading at hedge funds__.

The long-running case took a new turn two days ago when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged former Goldman director Rajat Gupta with providing inside information to Rajaratnam. Gupta called the charges baseless.

The U.S. government would use Blankfein to establish evidence linking information about Goldman that was shared among board members and executives with Gupta, the Journal said.

Blankfein's testimony would be used as a bridge establishing the origin of the tip allegedly provided by Gupta to Rajaratnam, who the government says traded on the information."

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone know if the Wisconsin legislature has a fixed session term or if it stays in session all year?"

Looks like it's an all year session, with a break in July.

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/leginfo/session.htm

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@suekzoo1 ""Anyone know if the Wisconsin legislature has a fixed session term or if it stays in session all year?"

Looks like it's an all year session, with a break in July.

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/leginfo/session.htm"

That works against the Republicans. Their best tactic at this point would have been to argue that the clock was running out and the Democrats needed to come back before the session ended to resolve the budget issues.

Posted by: jnc4p | March 4, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

This kind of thing is going to help harden the protesters and supporters of the union against Walker and the GOP:

"Video Apparently Shows Wisconsin Rep Getting Tackled By Officers"

WKOW in Madison, Wisc., posted some stunning video Thursday night, apparently showing state Representative Nick Milroy (D) being tackled by Capitol police as he tried to enter the building.

According to KWOW, "Milroy was trying to get clothes from his office but police would not let him into the building."

Capitol Police Public Information Officer Tim Donovan told TPM this morning he had not yet heard about the incident.

Late Update: Mary Lou Keleher, a staffer for Milroy, told TPM that the representative was not arrested last night.

"He was just restrained," Keleher said.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/video_apparently_shows_wisconsin_rep_getting_tackl.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

@suekzoo1 "This kind of thing is going to help harden the protesters and supporters of the union against Walker and the GOP"

I don't think there's much more room for the protesters to "harden" against Walker, given their operating assumption that he's doing all this on behalf of the Koch brothers, etc.

I think Greg's right. Everyone in Wisconsin who has an opinion has made up their mind about which side they are on at this point.

Posted by: jnc4p | March 4, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I'd say opinions are hardening:


Rasmussen Poll: Almost Six In Ten Wisconsin Voters Disapprove Of Gov. Walker

In the poll, 57% of respondents said they disapprove of Walker's job performance -- including 48% who say they strongly disapprove. Meanwhile, only 43% said they approve of the job Walker is doing.

Not surprisingly, respondents who said they belong to a public union sided heavily against Walker, with roughly eight in ten giving him negative marks on job performance. Yet not only were public sector union members opposed to Walker, but a majority of private sector union members also disapproved of the governor by a 53% to 43% margin.

Also interesting to note -- the overwhelming opposition from people with children in Wisconsin public schools. Sixty-seven percent of people in that demographic disapprove of Walker, including 54% who strongly disapprove.

The Rasmussen poll of 800 likely Wisconsin voters was conducted March 2.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/rasmussen-poll-almost-six-in-ten-wisconsin-voters-disapprove-of-gov-walker.php?ref=fpi

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 1:27 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Hey everyone: THE SUPREME COURT IS DEAD!

It is no longer needed now that 7 conservatives in the Senate will be the arbiter of which bills are "Constitutional".

-DeMint throws new wrench into legislative process-

A bloc of Senate conservatives, led by South Carolina's Jim DeMint, flexed their muscles Thursday, pledging to block any bill they alone deem wasteful or unconstitutional.

Seven other GOP senators joined DeMint's effort, including three freshman he helped elect in November, and veteran Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.

"I'm proud to stand with my fellow conservative Senate colleagues to require thorough review of bills to prevent secret passage of wasteful spending and unconstitutional legislation," DeMint said.

...

Ilona Nickels, a former analyst for the Congressional Research Service and C-SPAN who's written extensively on government, said she's troubled by the group's vow to block legislation it deems unconstitutional.

"It's a stretch for any senator or group of senators to definitively declare a measure as constitutional or not," Nickels said.

"Constitutionality of a bill is a legitimate and frequent part of congressional debate on whether or not to pass it," she said. "But the final arbiter of what is or is not constitutional is, of course, the Supreme Court. The Senate or the House can't settle that question on its own."

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/03/03/109805/demint-shows-new-clout-in-threat.html

Cool, eh?

Do you think they know that the Supreme Court and federal judiciary are... um... ya know... PART of the Constitution?

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 4, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

They should have been running ads to this effect for the last week, in preperation of the layoffs.

"Walker tells fake-Koch that he'll fire people simply to try and apply pressure to his political opponents."

I know they've been focusing on the current PCCC ad (which is very good), but they should have had something to prep the ground for this message. Then when he does lay people off, it's nothing but follow through.

Either way, I agree that this is a really dangerous move for Walker to take. It could work for him, sure. But I'd say odds are 70/30 that instead it pulls his numbers down even further. If the message that he simply fired people out of politics takes hold (it is true after all), then he's going to be looking at some seriously bad numbers in no time at all.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | March 4, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"Everyone in Wisconsin who has an opinion has made up their mind about which side they are on at this point."

It's those who are undecided or squishy that can be swayed. So far, I haven't seen Walker do anything to help his case among voters who are not locked in. Those are the people who may ultimately decide his fate in a recall attempt come January 2012.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

And now the walk out tactic is being utilized by individuals, much like the Senate holds.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/03/AR2011030305129.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2011030305924

(The "Wisconsin Flee Party" is rather pithy though).

Note the case in Maryland where two Democrats walk out to block a Democratic Majority from passing a same sex marriage bill. Here we have the majority party blocking the majority party.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/01/AR2011030106453.html

The moment the Republicans do it, I'm sure we'll get a lengthy Plum Line post on the need to address this type of obstruction through fleeing the state to deny a quorum.

Posted by: jnc4p | March 4, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how you can blame the Governor for the Rep getting tackled. He pushed an officer. I don't know if he showed his id before he tried walking through the door that was blocked by an officer, but you lay your hands on a cop and you are going to eat the ground. He's an idiot who got what he deserved.

Posted by: Bailers | March 4, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know how you can blame the Governor for the Rep getting tackled. "

You can certainly blame the Governor for defying the court order to reopen the building. That congressman held office hours outdoors on the capitol step for two days because Little Hosni did not follow a lawful order.

And it was a capitol police officer. Those guys know who the congress people are.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Once again Greg is cheering on the liberals, democrats and union thugs.

He should be blogging about the baby democrats running away from their constitutional duties and the union thuggery during the demonstrations.

But no. Greg is an ideologue. Willing to misrepresent, lie and obfuscate to advance his freedom killing agenda.

Heck of a job Greg. I guess when they were handing out integrity you fled the state like your beloved WI democrats.

Posted by: manbearpig4 | March 4, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

What will backfire is creating a civil war in a fairly moderate, easy-going state with a lot of civic pride.

Posted by: jack824 | March 4, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"And it was a capitol police officer. Those guys know who the congress people are."

This happened at one of the House office building a few years back. of course, that episode had the racial element to it to (cynthia mckinney). but seriously, how dare those cops not recognize their betters.

funny how politicians don't like getting manhandled by cops but don't say thing when a SWAT team raids the wrong house.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 4, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Mr. manbearpig, did you make this up all by yourself?

"freedom killing agenda"

You should send this in to the Republican Party leadership, you know the people on TV and radio, because that is creative, I bet they'd pick up on that turn of phrase.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"What will backfire is creating a civil war in a fairly moderate, easy-going state with a lot of civic pride. "

Sadly for the GOP, the backfire against them could last a generation.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 4, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Just too funny. Greg reads the tea leaves, determines that no matter what the Republicans are gonna suffer and the folks here swallow it whole.

the Democrats can be as aggressive as they chose. So What? Two things won't change: the Republicans hold a majority in the Legislature and the state is broke.

both Lyndon Johnson and Nancy Pelosi freely sacrificed the careers of Democrats in congress to achieve thier legislative vision. If the Republicans get this done and lose a few seats, so what? The law still stands and Democrats will be in the position of having to raise taxes to fund the brats who trashed the state capitol. Good luck with that.

But what is very telling in all of this is the fact that the Senate in Ohio passed SB5, which also makes significant changes in the relationship between the taxpayers and the so called civil servants. I don't see Mr Sargent all in a lather about that. I wonder why.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"They're going to eat this, and it's dawning on them."

Yup. Everyone gets the game now. Give to the rich and yank jobs away from everyone else to pay for it. We get it now.

Posted by: Alex3 | March 4, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"Yup. Everyone gets the game now. Give to the rich and yank jobs away from everyone else to pay for it. We get it now."

Once sane conservatives that want to get elected or re-elected realize whats happening, a sudden jolt of terror will overcome them and they'll all turn on Walker and say he over reached.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | March 4, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The Governor (Emperor) Wears No Clothes: Will someone please whisper to the Governor that he has been terribly mislead by those who tell him the source of Wisconsin's budget woes are the State employees' salaries...?

Please explain that all of our Federal, State and local budgetary problems originate from the MASSIVE flood of IMPORTS we allow the US businesses to bring into our country. Its not China's fault -- its our businessmen... Everyone runs around wringing their hands about what can be done to stimulate the economy and job growth -- and they are all too chicken to say what needs to be said about Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, Home Depot, Lowe's, the furniture retailers, the home furnishing stores, the catalog sales companies and others -- "Knock it off! You're damaging our country and its people..."

Start with a $400 Billion trade deficit -- which is bad enough -- but then acknowledge that the withdrawal of that capital from our economy has an effect perhaps 8-11 times that number due to the lost Multiplier Effect...

The Governor is picking a fight with the wrong people.

Its the IMPORTS -- and our US business guys -- that are the primary source of Wisconsin's (and the Federal government's) budget problem.

"Dis-Incentivize" the huge importers by taxing them at a punitive 85% tax rate until they reach a targeted level of Made in the USA goods (which can be staged-in over a 3-4 year timeframe). make those huge importers raise the amount of US-made goods to a minimum of 75-85% of their sales -- and you are going to see a real sea-change in the overall business activity in Wisconsin, my state of North Carolina -- and every state....

Pick the good fight, governor... Not the one the business guys steer you into. The good fight... For our country - and for our young people.

Dave Kuntarich
Apex, North Carolina USA

Posted by: dkuntarich | March 4, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Walker really should have taken a look at what happened to Arnold Schwarzenegger when he decided to demonize nurses, teachers and firefighters. It backfired badly and his poularily never quite returned to previous levels. These are the public employees people come into contact with and rely on for very basic services, unlike say a remote Governor. Angering parents is really stupid.

I think Greg is right. Most people see Walker for the rigid, authoritarian ideologue he is, unless they share those values. He overreached, believed his own hype, and now can't back down because it would destroy his self-image as a powerful leader. He's stuck and Koch can't get him free.

Posted by: Mimikatz | March 4, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Well, this will likely hurt the Republicans since they are the ones in power and will get blamed. Remember that Republicans took control primarily because of the job situation. And we have all seen how quickly a populace can turn on you.

I see this two ways. Either people are paying attention, in which case they know that Walker is firing people in retaliation for the Dems not signing onto a bill which people are overwhelmingly against.

Or people aren't paying attention and they are going to blame Republicans, the party in power.

Yeah, cable news will be trying to curry favor for Republicans, but it's pretty hard to combat the political ramifications of job loss. The McCain/Palin cheerleading in 2008 almost worked until the Lehman crash.

Posted by: DDAWD | March 4, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

All, Mike Huckabee has backtracked on his criticism of Natalie Portman:

http://wapo.st/gvyn3x

Posted by: Greg Sargent | March 4, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Fact: Public employees are paid far more and receive far better benefits than private sector employees.
Fact: The higher salaries and benefits enjoyed by public sector employees is a result of government not having the incentives to negociate like the private sector does. Public unions are negotiating with the very people they helped elect
Fact: Public sector and especially teachers have held the American people (especially children) hostage too many times
Fact: It is the American people working in the private sector who pay for the higher salaries and benefits enjoyed by public sector employees.

It is time to for the American people to take control of this situation. The situation in Wisconsin should serve as a model for the rest of the state, local, and federal government. It is time for the American people to put an end to the higher salaries and benefits paid to public employees.

We must continue to VOTE THEM OUT!!!

Posted by: AngryMobVoter | March 4, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Fact: Wall Street types make far, far more than 99% of private sector employees and get cushy benefit packages. Moreover, unlike teachers, they nearly brought the country to it's knees in 2008-9. Now they have fully recovered, unlike public sector employees and everyone else. Sure it 's class warfare, but the rich are screwing the rest of us, including the angry voter who joined the wrong mob, whether he realizes it or not.


Posted by: Mimikatz | March 4, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Blankfein's testimony would be used as a bridge establishing the origin of the tip allegedly provided by Gupta to Rajaratnam, who the government says traded on the information.
----------------------------------------------------------------
For once, Mr. Blankfein won't be giving his blank look (he's well named) while he opines about doing God's work. Mr. Blankfein won't be so popular in the Wall Street crowd for giving up one of their own, an event that rarely happens. In fact, I don't remember a single case where a high profile guy like Blankfein gave up anyone. Kudos to the government for cornering this guy.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 4, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

And the answer is to get rid of Walker, put a union lackey democrat back in office, and keep burying the state in underfunded pension obligations. Better than a corporate lackey republican I guess the dems will argue. Personally I'd rather live in a business friendly state that was able to balance its budget but it seems like the opinions vary widely.

Posted by: peterg73 | March 4, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that if enough Americans can't think for themselves and base their beliefs strictly on the likes of Mr. Sargent the mainstream media and slanted polls, the Walker layoffs may indeed backfire on Republicans.

Posted by: thebink | March 4, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Well if the media was intellectually honest, including Greg Sargent the would remind the democrats that the following statement is a lie.

"Walker gave $140 million in tax breaks to corporations that don't need it, and yet he laying off teachers in your own back yards and ending the summer recreational program in your neighborhood."

The 140million in tax breaks DONT TAKE AFFECT UNTIL THE NEXT 2 YEAR BUDGET. The refinancing necessary to avoid layoffs are part of the current budget repair bill.

Posted by: vrbjunk | March 4, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Walker's stuck and Koch can't get him free.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Post.of.the.day.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 4, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"Mr. Blankfein won't be so popular in the Wall Street crowd for giving up one of their own, an event that rarely happens. In fact, I don't remember a single case where a high profile guy like Blankfein gave up anyone. Kudos to the government for cornering this guy."

Oh they flipped him all right. He is not doing this for fun nor profit. I can not wait to see if the defendant has friends whom he can bring in to impugn Mr. Blankfein's shall we say, credibility.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 3:08 PM | Report abuse

It would be great if the polls would include the following two questions:

1. Do you favor giving Wisconsin state workers the same rights as federal workers. Most folks would say yes ... and then find out that Gov. Walker wants them to have more rights than Federal workers. and

2. Do you think state workers should be forced to join a union and pay dues against their will? Most non-union households would say no. And that is all that Gov. Walker has asked.

Unfortunately the media slants the results by asking:

1. Do you want the state workers to lose their collective bargaining rights? and

2. Do you think state workers should be allowed to join a union.

It's all how you ask the questions.

BTW, when are the unions going to send a check for the damage their thugs did to the statehouse?

Posted by: usr105 | March 4, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh they flipped him all right. He is not doing this for fun nor profit. I can not wait to see if the defendant has friends whom he can bring in to impugn Mr. Blankfein's shall we say, credibility.
--------------------------------------------------------
When I said kudos to the government for cornering this guy, the guy I meant was Blankfein. I wonder what they have on our friend Lloyd. He'll have to hire armed guards and a helicopter overhead patrol for the rest of his life for outing one of the perks of being a Wall Street insider. Gosh, Wall Streeters giving each other heads' ups on deals coming down? Who in the world would ever believe that they haven't been doing that for decades?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 4, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent is a liberal shill. And like good liberal shills, he doesn't report the truth.

Wisconsin has a balanced budget requirement under law. If the budget fix isn't passed, layoffs must follow.

Walker made his decision long ago that he will not raise taxes (Wisconsin is already high and has very unfriendly to business). He has said where these cuts are coming from - the public sector workers.

He tried to make a deal to spare their jobs and spread the pain around.

As far as "losing the argument" with unions making concessions...the unions aren't making concessions...they are signing contracts all around the state already!

This first cut also doesn't address the budget deficit going into the next budget year.

A recall election will only hurt Wisconsin as businesses can't even trust they won't be hammered with taxes a year down the road.

Unions have really hurt Wisconsin and Greg's hack article doesn't do anything to really help things.

I'm in Wisconsin and I take offense at nearly everything this clown writes.

If Walker loses this battle, I walk...as will plenty of others. There are greener pastures elsewhere, and if Wisconsin isn't coming back to the real world under good leadership, it can die under the weight of the union.

Posted by: VAGuy01 | March 4, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Mullah Walker is getting destroyed in the court of public opinion (polls). Does anyone really believe that the WI Repug Senators that Walker is strong-arming on this aren't paying attention to his pathetic level of support? Not meaningless by a long shot. Scotty will only have one year as governor, not four. With the anger and loathing he has created he will not survive a recall, and he WILL face a recall vote next year, guaranteed. The only way for him to escape a recall is to resign. His support in the WI Senate will hopefully be a reflection of public opinion, not a "repudiation".

Posted by: DrainYou | March 4, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I know you meant LB.

Flipped is police talk for getting a criminal to turn state's witness (maybe he'll need the protection program, give him a set of those Groucho eyebrows/glasses/nose and set him down by the bronze bull, see if he can run.

http://www.travelblog.org/Photos/2049462

Oh I hope this does not settle. Please, please go to trial.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Walker is planning on cutting a billion or a billion and half out of the budget anyway. Whether Dems come back and watch him lay off people or not is immaterial. If they stay in IL until he drops his dumb plan to make Wisconsin Mississippi North they win. If they come back WI loses.

Posted by: markg8 | March 4, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

It's very easy to go to utube, type in "fake Koch call" and hear it in full. How about both those on the left and those on the Right do just that before commenting or writing about it.

Posted by: thebink | March 4, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Wisconsin has a balanced budget requirement under law. If the budget fix isn't passed, layoffs must follow.
Posted by: VAGuy01 | March 4, 2011 3:45 PM


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


Wisconsin's budget was fine, except for the fact that Walkers first order of business was to hand out a bunch of unpaid for, deficit ballooning, tax cuts to rich mega corporations...thus creating his own budget "crisis", which he is now using as an excuse to bust unions collective bargaining rights....which have absolutely nothing, zero, zip, nada, to do with balancing the budget in the first palce.


Quit od'ing on Fox Right Wing Propaganda Channel and AM Hate Radio for awhile, you might learn something, Biff.

.

Posted by: DrainYou | March 4, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

this is hard to understand:
===============
If they stay in IL until he drops his dumb plan to make Wisconsin Mississippi North they win.
===================

What's wrong with Mississippi? I wish my state had a brand new Toyota factory humming along and employing people like Mississippi does.. but nooooo, the UAW and the Democrat stranglehold on my state insures that the good jobs go elsewhere.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with Mississippi?
Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 3:54 PM |

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


Just like most of the deep South, Mississippi takes in about three times more fed tax dollars than it puts back into the system and their education system is ranked somewhere in the high 40's out of the 50 states.


Here's an idea, how about we make it so the freeloader states in the South only recive the same amount of tax dollars that they put back into the system?


It works for me, the Goober GooPers hate paying taxs so let them deal with fixing their roads bridges and other things on their own damn dime.

.

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

"What's wrong with Mississippi?"

Everyone's a comedian. But it worked on me, I laughed.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Wisconsin is broke as is most of this country including the federal government. The dollar is rapidly losing vale and all the left does is demonize and name call. Stock up on canned goods and seeds folks because if the economic mess we're in continues, you will need them.

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

bink, don't forget ammo. You can never have too much ammo.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2 "Yes, I know you meant LB.

Flipped is police talk for getting a criminal to turn state's witness (maybe he'll need the protection program, give him a set of those Groucho eyebrows/glasses/nose and set him down by the bronze bull, see if he can run.

http://www.travelblog.org/Photos/2049462

Oh I hope this does not settle. Please, please go to trial."

What would be great would be if they draw Jed Rakoff as the judge.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/15/AR2009091503498.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jed_S._Rakoff

Posted by: jnc4p | March 4, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes shrink both ammo and toilet paper may be excellent bartering tools.

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

all the left does is demonize and name call. Stock up on canned goods and seeds folks because if the economic mess we're in continues, you will need them

Posted by: thebink | March 4, 2011 4:01 PM

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

What's wrong, binky?


Didn't you build your bunker and stock it up with "The Blaze" sponsored canned goods, guns and gold, like Glenn Beckerhead told you?


OH NOES!


WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!


.


.

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

If our dollar is replaced, if we don't reduce the hideous deficit while we can and if there is an economic collapse or severe depression, no, we won't blow up, we won't starve in the streets but a great many will suffer a great deal.

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

bink, no kidding on the TP, in my travels in various Asian places, I would have traded (though not taken) a bullet for some TP.

Even in England and Wales back in the early 70s, the TP on the trains seemed to be scientifically designed to have the the friction coefficient of Astroglide. It was like waxed paper.

There is a great article in this quarter's Foreign Affairs on the debased dollar, the history of the world's departure from the gold standard etc. called, Currency Wars, Then and Now.

It isn't a rosy picture, but I think we are going to be ok.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 4, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

@drain you: kindly provide some proof for your contention about Mississippi and tax dollars. A link to a factual report would be acceptable.

And I have an even better idea. How about we pay the minimum tax to the feds? YOu know enough to provide for the common defense, keep congress, Obama and the courts running and let the states fend for themselves? Sounds great to me. How about you? You down with that drain you?

that way each state can decide for itself what is best for its citizens, just as the founders envisioned. Works for me.

I have NOOOOO problem going to state-centric services, infrastructure and social safety nets. Noooo problem at all.

See, we agree.

Now, let's see that proof. It matters. If you can't prove the point kindly withdraw the assertion.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 4:51 PM | Report abuse

@drain you: kindly provide some proof for your contention about Mississippi and tax dollars. A link to a factual report would be acceptable.
Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 4:51 PM |

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


Look it up yourself, Biff. I'm not going to do your homework for you.


It's pretty much common knowledge to everyone who doesn't live with their head stuck inside the Right Wing Noise Machine like you do.

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

.

Hey Democrats,

Statistical Analysis 101:

Replacing the bottom 5-8 percent of dumb teachers:

A teacher one standard deviation above the mean effectiveness annually generates marginal gains of over $400,000 in present value of student future earnings with a class size of 20 and proportionately higher with larger class sizes.

Alternatively, replacing the bottom 5-8 percent of teachers with average teachers could move the U.S. near the top of international math and science rankings with a present value of $100 trillion.

giving mu = sum x P(x)

.

Posted by: kstobbe1 | March 4, 2011 5:29 PM | Report abuse

@drainyou:
in other words you can't actually support your contention biffy.

If you could you would. So basically you just spouted something you heard somewhere and that you accepted as fact but you don't actually know if it is true or not.

I'm hardly surprised. No doubt some fellow travelling liberal told you the tale. How does it feel to be that gullible?

If it is such common knowlege you should have no problem proving it, right? but clearly you can't.

so you just lied. How shocking. Lies, and from a liberal too. My my what is the world coming to?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | March 4, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

$30,000,000 divided by 1500 state workers equals $20,000 per worker. It hardly paints a picture of wanton greed on the workers part now does it?

Posted by: AverageJane | March 4, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Took me all of 3 minutes to check the earlier poster, SkipSailing. Try searching for "NEA State Rankings", then "Federal Tax Paid vs. spent Mississippi". Voila. State rankings shows them consistently in the bottom 10%, and shows (as of 2002) $2.02 spent in MS vs received - though that number has been steadily climbing for the last 20 years. Of course, state rankings are going to be a subjective weighing of a number of elements, so you can decide that number is as skewed as you want.

Though the real question is, why do you always assume that people are lying when they don't accede to your demands? You know, I don't think that I have run into a case where the OP was completely off, or just plain lying, when you have made that claim. If your suspicions were proved correct, I could understand your negativity, but you might want to rethink your position,given that you are often wrong when you assume false data by fiat.

Posted by: iamweaver | March 4, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

While I fully support what Walker's doing, it's clear to me that a majority of voters do not agree with Walker's plan to limit collective bargaining rights. However, a majority of voters also believe it was wrong for the Dems to flee the state; that they should have stayed put and voted their positions regardless of outcome.

So, it's not clear to me who the voters will blame in the end. Both sides will certainly try to spin it an pin the blame on their opponents. IMO the Dems are more likely to get the blame because the layoffs truly could have been prevented if the Dems had stayed put and done the job they're (still) being paid for.

Posted by: JohnR22 | March 5, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

What is the downside, he doesn't get elected?
The fleebaggers still lost!

Posted by: jpalm32 | March 5, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

we were all taught in school that we live in a democratic republic,as in the pledge of allegiance,but now it appears the dems. in wisconsin are going to change that for their benefit.they are proposing that we live (for this one instance,anyway) in a democracy where the public won't be represented by their duly elected senators,but by public opinion.this is like in Mass. where the dems.change election law every time it suits their purpose to keep a democrat in place,then reverse it to suit themselves the next election.why did the election occur if only one party was going to abide by the outcome?do you folks in wisconsin play a football game until the "right"team wins?

Posted by: alamodefender | March 6, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

It would be a mistake to view this as a Democrats vs Republican issue. For us in Wisconsin it is us vs. our governor. As I write this there are literally thousands of us canvassing door to door getting signatures on recall petitions in EVERY district that we can. This has never happened in my 60 years of Wis politics. When Walker campaigned, he claimed he was going to get state workers to pay more of their share. Not once did he say he would take collective bargaining away. Nor did he say he was going after ALL public workers. Yet the very first thing he did was threaten to call out the militia (National Guard) on us. This is what passes for leadership in the modern Republican Party??

Posted by: felixds | March 6, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

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