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#176152 - 03/09/11 04:56 AM Scott Walker's Faltering Anti-Union Effort
SJGulitti Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 473
So much for Scott Walker's no compromise on union busting. Recently released e-mails in the possession of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel show that Walker is beginning to crack as plummeting poll numbers and a growing sense of buyers remorse sets in around the state of Wisconsin. While Walker has been publically stating that the Democrats have refused to negotiate in good faith, Walkers lieutenants have been meeting with Democratic lawmakers as per the Journal Sentinel: "The e-mails showed ideas and counteroffers made by the Republican governor's aides and two Democrats as they sought some resolution that would allow Democrats to come back to the state...The two Democratic senators, Bob Jauch of Poplar and Tim Cullen of Janesville, have met face-to-face in recent days with both Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Walker aides."

An examination of what's in the e-mails reveals just how much Walker has stepped back from his earlier extremist position. To wit:

• The bill would no longer seek to limit public employee union bargaining over wages to the rate of inflation.

• The bill would allow union bargaining over certain economic issues, including mandatory overtime, performance bonuses, hazardous duty pay, and classroom size. On this set of issues, both labor and management would have to agree to discuss them for bargaining to happen.

• The bill would allow bargaining over workplace safety but that would be limited to workers' physical health and safety. It would not allow bargaining over hours, overtime, sick leave or family leave, work schedules or vacation.

• Union contracts for public employees would be limited to a one- or two-year period.

• Unions would have to vote every three years to remain active, with the first of those votes coming within one year of the bill becoming law. The current version of the bill would require unions to vote to recertify every year and require them to get at least 51% of workers' votes.

• Employees of the UW Hospital and Clinics Authority would not lose all union bargaining rights.

• The Legislature's budget committee would explicitly have to approve changes to state health programs for the poor sought by the Walker administration. The budget-repair bill gives Walker broad powers to reshape those Medicaid health programs.

While Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald claimed that Republicans were still firmly behind Walker and that the above mentioned changes amount to discussions and not negotiations, several moderate Republicans are showing signs of wavering. One senator rumored to be wavering on the bill was State Senator Dan Kapanke, who later tried to downplay the idea that he was not fully onboard. Meanwhile State Senator Robert Cowles said that compromise was needed and State Senator Luther Olsen came out publicly and said: " You've got to compromise." It's been suggested that five or six State Senators never fully supported Walker's bill but went along with it as they thought it was destined for a quick passage and when that did not occur, they began to falter. Thus in spite of the Republican State Senate's leadership claims to the contrary, Wisconsin's Republican State Senatorial Caucus shows signs of fracturing along with their Governor.

Beyond being stymied in the confines of the Statehouse, Walker can't be all that cheered up when perusing the mounting pile of public opinion polls that are trending against him. A Wisconsin Public Research Institute poll showed 53 percent of respondents either strongly disapprove or disapprove of the way Walker is handling his job as Governor. A similar number of respondents held unfavorable views of Walker overall. Likewise majorities polled showed favorable feelings towards public sector unions. Ezra Klein just published an article that summarizes findings from both the latest N.Y. Times / CBS; Pew Research and Public Policy Polling, none of which are good news for Walker. To summarize: "According to a new NYT/CBS poll, a third of Americans view them [unions] favorably, a quarter of Americans view them unfavorably, and the rest are undecided. But are efforts to attack unions popular? Not at all. The same poll showed Americans opposed weakening the bargaining rights of union members by an almost two-to-one margin. Nor does the public like the idea of cutting the pay or benefits of union employees to balance budgets: 56 percent opposed that strategy, while 37 percent supported it...Only 26 percent of Americans think public employees are overpaid. Another 37 percent think their pay is about right, and a further 25 percent think their pay is too low... And that's not an isolated survey. A Pew poll released yesterday found the unions winning over the public in Wisconsin -- they led Walker by 11 points." These polls and others are in line with earlier polls that suggested Walker's popularity was already sagging and that a majority of Americans oppose efforts to weaken collective bargaining rights by a margin of 60 percent to 33 percent.

But worse still for Scott Walker is the very real manifestation of buyer's remorse now felt among the very people who put him in office. According to the latest from Public Policy Polling:"if voters in the state could do it over today they'd support defeated Democratic nominee Tom Barrett over Scott Walker by a a 52-45 margin...It's actually Republicans, more so than Democrats or independents, whose shifting away from Walker would allow Barrett to win a rematch if there was one today. Only 3% of the Republicans we surveyed said they voted for Barrett last fall but now 10% say they would if they could do it over again. That's an instance of Republican union voters who might have voted for the GOP based on social issues or something else last fall trending back toward Democrats because they're putting pocketbook concerns back at the forefront and see their party as at odds with them on those because of what's happened in the last month." Now I know many of my good friends on the far right will crow that with all of this "liberal" polling what would you expect, however, the most ironic finding comes from the arch conservative organization Rasmussen which even with it's conservative bias, had to report the bad news on Walker. Rusmussen showed: "Overall, including those who somewhat approve or disapprove, the new Republican governor earns positive reviews from 43% and negative reviews from 57% of voters statewide." Political commentator, John Nichols of The Nation said that Walker had effectively turned Wisconsin's Reagan Democrats against the Republican Party, something that doesn't bode well for future elections. So there you have it, when even a polling company like Rasmussen, that has a track record of being slanted to the right, can't paper over the facts, there is no way that Walker can't take notice. After all you don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing and presently the wind is blowing in a direction and with a force that's unfavorable for Walker and his anti-union consort, both local and national. Are you listening Charlie and Dave Koch?

Walker is now a man in a vise. On one side he is being egged on by the far right in this country who would like to turn the clock back to the Nineteenth Century and allow Seventeenth Century economic and political ideas to flourish once again, and more moderate elements within the state of Wisconsin who have obviously not bought into the Tea Party Movement, the Koch Brother's playbook or political extremism. Walker is effectively being egged onto to his own political self destruction by people who have shoved him forth as their champion even though he may end up a sacrificial lamb in the bargain. As I write this post there is a growing recall campaign underway in Wisconsin that will effect both Democrats and Republicans. Walker himself will be subject to a recall if voters decide that's what's best after one year in office. MSNBC's Ed Shultz said that "Walker is playing a career ending chip" in his battle with the unions. That remains to be seen but with a recall hanging over his head, Walker may go down in history as having had one of America's shortest gubernatorial tenures, ultimately being undone by his penchant for political extremism, something decidedly un-American as it turns out.


Steven J. Gulitti
3/9/11



Sources:

E-mails reveal possible Walker concessions on union bill
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/117584003.html

Wisconsin Study: WPRI: http://www.wpri.org/polls/March2011/ToplinesWPRIFebMar%202011.pdf

Unions polling well, Scott Walker polling poorly; http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/03/unions_polling_well_scott_walk.html

Public Policy Polling; http://publicpolicypolling.blogspot.com/2011/02/do-over.html


Majority in Poll Back Employees in Public Sector Unions; http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/us/01poll.html?emc=eta1

Wisconsin Governor Walker: 43% Approval Rating; http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_c...approval_rating

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#176196 - 03/10/11 02:18 AM Re: Scott Walker's Faltering Anti-Union Effort [Re: SJGulitti]
Ma_Republican Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 6491
Loc: USA
So much for faltering. ROTFMOL

Quote:

Wis. GOP bypass Dems, cut collective bargaining
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110310/ap_on_re_us/us_wisconsin_budget_unions

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Senate voted Wednesday night to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers, approving an explosive proposal that had rocked the state and unions nationwide after Republicans discovered a way to bypass the chamber's missing Democrats.

All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker's "budget-repair bill" — a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall.

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday separated from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, which spends no money, and a special committee of lawmakers from both the Senate and Assembly approved the bill a short time later.

The unexpected yet surprisingly simple procedural move ended a stalemate that had threatened to drag on indefinitely. Until Wednesday's stunning vote, it appeared the standoff would persist until Democrats returned to Madison from their self-imposed exile.

_________________________
A proud member of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy, Massachusetts Chapter

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
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#176200 - 03/10/11 02:56 AM Re: Scott Walker's Faltering Anti-Union Effort [Re: Ma_Republican]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7753
Loc: North San Diego County
Like that helps Walker? Now he's down to just one toe! (Having already shot off all the rest.) A successful attack on the unions will prove even worse for him that an unsuccessful attack. He could have backed off on the anti-union stuff, proclaimed victory because of the financial compromises the unions agreed to, and managed to repair his public perception. Now he's locked in as "the union buster". We'll see what happens in his recall election at the end of his first year in office.

Now the Wisconsin Statehouse Republicans being recalled won't survive either: You attack the unions, and ALL the unions and their members attack you. Even their members who have been voting Republican for some time. That's really the whole point of a union, strength in numbers.

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#176204 - 03/10/11 03:44 AM Re: Scott Walker's Faltering Anti-Union Effort [Re: pondering_it_all]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline


Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13222
Loc: Whittier, California
The bill has been cut in half and the two pieces passed in a Republican only vote.
It's the beginning, not the end.

I hope it was worth it, Republicans.
_________________________
"He wakes up in the morning, ****s all over Twitter, ****s all over us, ****s all over his staff, then hits golf balls."
---Congressman Peter King

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#176213 - 03/10/11 11:19 AM Re: Scott Walker's Faltering Anti-Union Effort [Re: Jeffery J. Haas]
Ted Remington Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 4939
They will come to regret that one.
_________________________
Take the nacilbupeR pledge: I solemnly swear that I will help back out all Republicans at the next election.

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#176219 - 03/10/11 12:33 PM Re: Scott Walker's Faltering Anti-Union Effort [Re: pondering_it_all]
Ma_Republican Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 6491
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Like that helps Walker? Now he's down to just one toe! (Having already shot off all the rest.) A successful attack on the unions will prove even worse for him that an unsuccessful attack. He could have backed off on the anti-union stuff, proclaimed victory because of the financial compromises the unions agreed to, and managed to repair his public perception. Now he's locked in as "the union buster". We'll see what happens in his recall election at the end of his first year in office.

Now the Wisconsin Statehouse Republicans being recalled won't survive either: You attack the unions, and ALL the unions and their members attack you. Even their members who have been voting Republican for some time. That's really the whole point of a union, strength in numbers.



It is all up to Walker's vision now. If he is correct and the state starts looking like it will survive financially, Walker isn't going to even get bad press. If he doesn't follow through with a series of initiatives that actually cut the budget deficit and start turning the state around then he is, indeed, just an anti-union hack.

This will be very interesting, the missing senators are coming back from their IL vacation, the imported protesters have one more protest before they also leave for home. The Republicans are the big winners here, although they knew how to do this two weeks ago, and Walker is now the darling of every governor in America, even the Dem guvs are looking at this and waiting to see what the results are. The public employee unions just got punked, and they are in the position of hoping for bad things to happen to WI, while they also want WI to prosper.

Think PATCO here. Scott Walker isn't in any danger of getting recalled, that is fantacy based on ideology. I am almost willing to bet that the senate did this because Walker was making noise about compromise, and the loser in any compromise would have been the members of the senate, and Walker. Who should be blamed for this outcome? The semate members who left the state left any chance at compromise behind when they ran away, they did it in a way that put the most publicity onto the dispute. The Union also imported people from all over America to join the protests, they weresmug in their assurance that the governor wouldn't dare implement this without a vote of the full senate.

This all comes down to fiscal sanity. Any business cannot have their largest segment of workers also be their highest paid segment of the workforce. The numbers do not add up and it gets worse when the general public has to pay for the highest paid segment of the workforce. The entity without any toes is the union, they tried to play public opinion against fiscal sanity and lost.
_________________________
A proud member of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy, Massachusetts Chapter

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Thomas Jefferson

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#176220 - 03/10/11 01:06 PM Re: Scott Walker's Faltering Anti-Union Effort [Re: Ma_Republican]
Ted Remington Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 4939
"Any business cannot have their largest segment of workers also be their highest paid segment of the workforce."

Uh, why not?
_________________________
Take the nacilbupeR pledge: I solemnly swear that I will help back out all Republicans at the next election.

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#176222 - 03/10/11 02:50 PM Re: Scott Walker's Faltering Anti-Union Effort [Re: Ted Remington]
2wins Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/29/04
Posts: 7626
Loc: Barely above Sea Level
because ma has stated that he thinks it's ok for ceo critters to take home absurd amounts of money, disproportionate to the job.
_________________________
sure, you can talk to god, but if you don't listen then what's the use? so, onward through the fog!

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#176225 - 03/10/11 04:06 PM Re: Scott Walker's Faltering Anti-Union Effort [Re: 2wins]
Sandune Offline
member

Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 1972
I have given a lot of thought about these labor unions. I chose not to join one for so many reasons that most have slipped my memory. I sent my kids to private school knowing the teachers were non-union and the mothers club had fund raisers for their benefit. I signed on to work for Vouchers in the California schools and discovered AARP and the Unions came out against trying to improve the individual students in the classroom. All children must be educated the same by teachers who may not be competent. My husband was a college professor and had bad problems with his freshman students (Science) when they could not write or read up to standard. I had a gang of thuds turn over my table at a farmer's market in Santa Monica and again up in San Luis Obispo Country. My mother had constant trouble with the Musicians Union and she ended up never performing again. If unions are supposed to help workers, they must have forgotten the rules. 2Wins, not everything comes down to money. I would suggest you train as a CEO and join them on their way to the bank. Why does a redistribution of wealth always enter these forums?

You want more money? go back to school and earn it! I chose not to join unions because they set the standards of jobs, income and were not trained to do it right. If people want the unions, they sobeit. If the American people can exist with kids who can't read or write, it is their choice. If a Governor of a state wants the unions out, he should have done it before the election. He is grandstanding to the ignorant TeaParty group. This is not a partisan issue but an issue of handing over choices to a group or to oneself. If American workers are unable to keep or train for jobs, they have a problem. For people who have no self-motivation, there is always the armed services. Under the Americn culture, we will always be in war somewhere.
_________________________
AKA Sandy Price

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#176230 - 03/10/11 04:45 PM Re: Scott Walker's Faltering Anti-Union Effort [Re: Ted Remington]
Ma_Republican Offline
old hand

Registered: 02/12/04
Posts: 6491
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: churlpat lives
"Any business cannot have their largest segment of workers also be their highest paid segment of the workforce."

Uh, why not?


Because the cost of doing business becomes too high, the price of product produced sky rockets and the price needed to turn a profit becomes unreasonable. Especially in a sevice organization, the cost of services have to be kept low so the businesses don't find somebody who will do the work for less. In a public service union the same rules apply but instead of finding a lower priced contractor, the state has to raise taxes or lay people off.

I don't even know why I had to explain this little bit of high finance. Government sucks, big government sucks more. Eventually it gets so big that a governor decides that it is time to reign it in.
_________________________
A proud member of the Vast Right-wing Conspiracy, Massachusetts Chapter

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Thomas Jefferson

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