Scott Walker: Why I'm Fighting in Wisconsin

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    Mar 10, 2011 8:35 PM GMT
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704132204576190260787805984.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5

    We can avoid mass teacher layoffs and reward our best performers. But we have to act now.

    In 2010, Megan Sampson was named an Outstanding First Year Teacher in Wisconsin. A week later, she got a layoff notice from the Milwaukee Public Schools. Why would one of the best new teachers in the state be one of the first let go? Because her collective-bargaining contract requires staffing decisions to be made based on seniority.

    Ms. Sampson got a layoff notice because the union leadership would not accept reasonable changes to their contract. Instead, they hid behind a collective-bargaining agreement that costs the taxpayers $101,091 per year for each teacher, protects a 0% contribution for health-insurance premiums, and forces schools to hire and fire based on seniority and union rules.

    My state's budget-repair bill, which passed the Assembly on Feb. 25 and awaits a vote in the Senate, reforms this union-controlled hiring and firing process by allowing school districts to assign staff based on merit and performance. That keeps great teachers like Ms. Sampson in the classroom.

    Most states in the country are facing a major budget deficit. Many are cutting billions of dollars of aid to schools and local governments. These cuts lead to massive layoffs or increases in property taxes—or both.

    In Wisconsin, we have a better approach to tackling our $3.6 billion deficit. We are reforming the way government works, as well as balancing our budget. Our reform plan gives state and local governments the tools to balance the budget through reasonable benefit contributions. In total, our budget-repair bill saves local governments almost $1.5 billion, outweighing the reductions in state aid in our budget.

    While it might be a bold political move, the changes are modest. We ask government workers to make a 5.8% contribution to their pensions and a 12.6% contribution to their health-insurance premium, both of which are well below what other workers pay for benefits. Our plan calls for Wisconsin state workers to contribute half of what federal employees pay for their health-insurance premiums. (It's also worth noting that most federal workers don't have collective bargaining for wages and benefits.)

    For example, my brother works as a banquet manager at a hotel and occasionally works as a bartender. My sister-in-law works at a department store. They have two beautiful kids. They are a typical middle-class Wisconsin family. At the start of this debate, David reminded me that he pays nearly $800 per month for his family's health-insurance premium and a modest 401(k) contribution. He said most workers in Wisconsin would love a deal like the one we are proposing.

    The unions say they are ready to accept concessions, yet their actions speak louder than words. Over the past three weeks, local unions across the state have pursued contracts without new pension or health-insurance contributions. Their rhetoric does not match their record on this issue.

    Local governments can't pass budgets on a hope and a prayer. Beyond balancing budgets, our reforms give schools—as well as state and local governments—the tools to reward productive workers and improve their operations. Most crucially, our reforms confront the barriers of collective bargaining that currently block innovation and reform.

    When Gov. Mitch Daniels repealed collective bargaining in Indiana six years ago, it helped government become more efficient and responsive. The average pay for Indiana state employees has actually increased, and high-performing employees are rewarded with pay increases or bonuses when they do something exceptional.

    Passing our budget-repair bill will help put similar reforms into place in Wisconsin. This will be good for the Badger State's hard-working taxpayers. It will also be good for state and local government employees who overwhelmingly want to do their jobs well.

    In Wisconsin, we can avoid the massive teacher layoffs that schools are facing across America. Our budget-repair bill is a commitment to the future so our children won't face even more dire consequences than we face today, and teachers like Ms. Sampson are rewarded—not laid off.

    Taking on the status quo is no easy task. Each day, there are protesters in and around our state Capitol. They have every right to be heard. But their voices cannot drown out the voices of the countless taxpayers who want us to balance our budgets and, more importantly, to make government work for each of them.

    Mr. Walker, a Republican, is the governor of Wisconsin.
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    Mar 10, 2011 8:42 PM GMT
    a blogger responds, noting turnabout is fair play (considering the tactics the Democrats used to pass the healthcare reform act):

    http://dailycaller.com/2011/03/10/did-walker-win/

    Did Walker Win? Wisconsin’s Senate has passed the union restrictions proposed by Gov. Walker, using a procedural maneuver that allowed a simple majority to approve the measure after the parts dealing with appropriations were stripped out.

    1) One way to think of this is as “reverse reconciliation.” The latter allowed Democrats to pass Obama’s health care bill, despite the Senate’s normal supermajority (60 vote) antifilibuster requirement, because it was deemed a bill that affected the budget. In Wisconsin, Republicans passed their bill despite the normal three-fifths supermajority quorum requirement because it was deemed a bill that didn’t affect the budget. Different rules, same basic trick. Sauce. Goose. Gander.

    2) It appears the Democrats had not accepted the concessions outlined by Walker in an email to some Dem senators (an email his office released). These were discussed below. They allowed collective bargaining over a broader range of issues, but kept the provision ending mandatory union dues checkoff, which is arguably the change unions fear the most. I doubt there was ever a route to a mutually acceptable compromise unless the dues-checkoff provision could itself have somehow been compromised;

    3) If Walker’s concessions had been accepted, he still basically would have won (largely because of the dues provision). But the Dems could have returned to Madison claiming that their dramatic walkout had resulted in a non-trivial victory of sorts, and the press was poised to portray them as brave, victorious heroes. This outcome denies the Democrats that media triumph. No doubt the MSM will come up with another way to celebrate the Flight of the 14 as a Tunisia-like tide-turning. But it will take some creativity, and the public might not buy it;

    4) That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of Walker’s concessions were included in amendments passed down the road, especially if the polls continue to look bad for Republicans. Maybe there was even a secret handshake deal somewhere. …

    For now, this looks like a victory for Walker. In the very long run, if it allows government to work more efficiently without, say, elaborate rules that often require the retention of the least productive workers (who, even if threatened with layoffs, then get to “bump” lower-seniority employees, who then bump other employees) the winner will be the party that most desperately wants the government to work. That’s the Democrats. .. I think. … At least in theory. …
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 10, 2011 9:09 PM GMT
    Do you think the Communications Department of Koch Industries wrote the op-ed for Walker or was there a third party PR firm involved? icon_lol.gif
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    Mar 10, 2011 10:09 PM GMT
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-03-10-wisconsin-union-budget_N.htm

    Wisconsin approves anti-union measure

    MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) — Wisconsin lawmakers have voted to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from the state's public workers in one of the strongest blows to the power of unions in years.

    The state's Assembly passed Republican Gov. Scott Walker's explosive proposal 53-42 Thursday. The state's Senate approved it the night before after using a procedural move to bypass its AWOL Democrats.

    Walker says he'll sign the legislation as quickly as possible.

    The vote brings a swift end to a standoff over union rights that has rocked Wisconsin and the nation. Tens of thousands of protesters have converged on the state's Capitol for weeks of demonstrations.

    The implementation of Walker's proposal will be a key victory for Republicans who have targeted unions amid efforts to slash government spending.

    Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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    Mar 10, 2011 10:33 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidDo you think the Communications Department of Koch Industries wrote the op-ed for Walker or was there a third party PR firm involved? icon_lol.gif

    I think he wrote it himself and if using it for a speech via teleprompter, and the teleprompter failed, he could keep going on.
  • TrentGrad

    Posts: 1541

    Mar 10, 2011 11:16 PM GMT
    Kind of funny hearing what riddler wrote...he's so concerned for those talented, hard working teachers who lose their jobs because they're low on the seniority totem pole, right?

    Of course, for those who remember the critique I made of unions what must've been more than a month ago now, I had suggested that Unions had a problem with protecting dead weight, and in doing this, were failing younger members...but this is not the issue.

    Anyone who would think Scott Walker, who is happy to impose inflation limitations on those award winning young teachers while passing tax cuts on businesses, is doing something good for superior teachers is either hopelessly out to lunch, or is a master at spinning things that reflect their own selfish desires!
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    Mar 10, 2011 11:39 PM GMT
    TrentGrad saidKind of funny hearing what riddler wrote...he's so concerned for those talented, hard working teachers who lose their jobs because they're low on the seniority totem pole, right?

    Of course, for those who remember the critique I made of unions what must've been more than a month ago now, I had suggested that Unions had a problem with protecting dead weight, and in doing this, were failing younger members...but this is not the issue.

    Anyone who would think Scott Walker, who is happy to impose inflation limitations on those award winning young teachers while passing tax cuts on businesses, is doing something good for superior teachers is either hopelessly out to lunch, or is a master at spinning things that reflect their own selfish desires!


    And so you would rather the status quo? Unions and Democrats also have their own "selfish desires".
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Mar 11, 2011 12:34 AM GMT
    LOL ............... "selfish desires"?

    The republicans pushed through a law by stripping it out of a budget bill and stating that it wasn't a fiscal matter

    ........................... ALL THE WHILE SCREAMING THAT IT WAS

    They had THOUSANDS of people protesting against the thing outside the capital in the Middle of a Wisconsin Winter
    and EVERY poll stating that the people they were supposed to be representing were against it

    So WHO was it that had the "selfish desires" again?


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2011 2:20 AM GMT
    Seems riddler78 went over his self imposed rule of posting only 3-5 threads in one day.


    ( You can tell when Righties are not getting their way in the news...they have this tendency to get even more shill and vile for their hate and distain to hard working middle Americans. )

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    Mar 11, 2011 2:23 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    TrentGrad saidKind of funny hearing what riddler wrote...he's so concerned for those talented, hard working teachers who lose their jobs because they're low on the seniority totem pole, right?

    Of course, for those who remember the critique I made of unions what must've been more than a month ago now, I had suggested that Unions had a problem with protecting dead weight, and in doing this, were failing younger members...but this is not the issue.

    Anyone who would think Scott Walker, who is happy to impose inflation limitations on those award winning young teachers while passing tax cuts on businesses, is doing something good for superior teachers is either hopelessly out to lunch, or is a master at spinning things that reflect their own selfish desires!


    And so you would rather the status quo? Unions and Democrats also have their own "selfish desires".



    And your selfish desire would be Kock Brothers, Exxon, ........

    The lack of empathy from you and your fellow Righties is becoming more and more obvious.

    To think you'd rather side with a company's greed then with middle class people.

    Where did you go wrong?
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3279

    Mar 11, 2011 3:21 AM GMT
    LeanathleticDC said
    riddler78 said


    To think you'd rather side with a company's greed then with middle class people.

    Where did you go wrong?


    Uh, I have heard this democrats for the middle class scenario thing before.

    The Republicans had and have a lot ideals i disagree with , but to say all of a sudden
    Democrats are "pro middle class" is a joke.

    It was a joke when Obama was claiming it, and its a joke now.

    Name one recent state sales tax enacted by anyone else than a democratic initiative . ( a direct tax that hurts the middle class)

    Property taxes..... Democrats...

    taxes on anything and everything Democrat.

    Democrats would have you believe that they can make everyone equally happy. They just have to make everything "fair" and spread the wealth...

    Its more like make everyone equally miserable....as in the former Soviet Union.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2011 12:12 PM GMT
    ummm....Riddler, do you know what this means?

    "Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed."
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Mar 11, 2011 5:51 PM GMT
    What Scooter says
    Doesn't mean too much because the bill is EITHER going to be overturned by the courts

    Just like his edict in Milwaukee was where he replaced State security guards with private security guards
    Either it will be overturned or we'll wait until the recall efforts happen and repeal the thing then

    The entire process got a huge jumpstart this week and only three republicans need to be ousted to have a majority
    And eight are likely to be recalled

    And come Jan Scooter himself will likely be recalled as well

    So hopefully Scooter has David Koch's home phome
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Mar 11, 2011 6:27 PM GMT
    riddler78 saidhttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704132204576190260787805984.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5

    We can avoid mass teacher layoffs and reward our best performers. But we have to act now.

    In 2010, Megan Sampson was named an Outstanding First Year Teacher in Wisconsin. A week later, she got a layoff notice from the Milwaukee Public Schools. Why would one of the best new teachers in the state be one of the first let go? Because her collective-bargaining contract requires staffing decisions to be made based on seniority.

    Ms. Sampson got a layoff notice because the union leadership would not accept reasonable changes to their contract. Instead, they hid behind a collective-bargaining agreement that costs the taxpayers $101,091 per year for each teacher, protects a 0% contribution for health-insurance premiums, and forces schools to hire and fire based on seniority and union rules.

    My state's budget-repair bill, which passed the Assembly on Feb. 25 and awaits a vote in the Senate, reforms this union-controlled hiring and firing process by allowing school districts to assign staff based on merit and performance. That keeps great teachers like Ms. Sampson in the classroom.

    Most states in the country are facing a major budget deficit. Many are cutting billions of dollars of aid to schools and local governments. These cuts lead to massive layoffs or increases in property taxes—or both.

    In Wisconsin, we have a better approach to tackling our $3.6 billion deficit. We are reforming the way government works, as well as balancing our budget. Our reform plan gives state and local governments the tools to balance the budget through reasonable benefit contributions. In total, our budget-repair bill saves local governments almost $1.5 billion, outweighing the reductions in state aid in our budget.

    While it might be a bold political move, the changes are modest. We ask government workers to make a 5.8% contribution to their pensions and a 12.6% contribution to their health-insurance premium, both of which are well below what other workers pay for benefits. Our plan calls for Wisconsin state workers to contribute half of what federal employees pay for their health-insurance premiums. (It's also worth noting that most federal workers don't have collective bargaining for wages and benefits.)

    For example, my brother works as a banquet manager at a hotel and occasionally works as a bartender. My sister-in-law works at a department store. They have two beautiful kids. They are a typical middle-class Wisconsin family. At the start of this debate, David reminded me that he pays nearly $800 per month for his family's health-insurance premium and a modest 401(k) contribution. He said most workers in Wisconsin would love a deal like the one we are proposing.

    The unions say they are ready to accept concessions, yet their actions speak louder than words. Over the past three weeks, local unions across the state have pursued contracts without new pension or health-insurance contributions. Their rhetoric does not match their record on this issue.

    Local governments can't pass budgets on a hope and a prayer. Beyond balancing budgets, our reforms give schools—as well as state and local governments—the tools to reward productive workers and improve their operations. Most crucially, our reforms confront the barriers of collective bargaining that currently block innovation and reform.

    When Gov. Mitch Daniels repealed collective bargaining in Indiana six years ago, it helped government become more efficient and responsive. The average pay for Indiana state employees has actually increased, and high-performing employees are rewarded with pay increases or bonuses when they do something exceptional.

    Passing our budget-repair bill will help put similar reforms into place in Wisconsin. This will be good for the Badger State's hard-working taxpayers. It will also be good for state and local government employees who overwhelmingly want to do their jobs well.

    In Wisconsin, we can avoid the massive teacher layoffs that schools are facing across America. Our budget-repair bill is a commitment to the future so our children won't face even more dire consequences than we face today, and teachers like Ms. Sampson are rewarded—not laid off.

    Taking on the status quo is no easy task. Each day, there are protesters in and around our state Capitol. They have every right to be heard. But their voices cannot drown out the voices of the countless taxpayers who want us to balance our budgets and, more importantly, to make government work for each of them.

    Mr. Walker, a Republican, is the governor of Wisconsin.





    translation: "the kock brothers gave me a shiote load of money to betray the citizens of WI, fabricate a "budget crisis" to bust the unions and provide cheap labor and then sell off state assests to them dirt cheap.


    icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2011 6:36 PM GMT
    We know why Scotty is "fighting".
    His bitterly partisan political motivations were laid bare in the punk phone call.
    He's fighting to try to bust the unions in the hopes that it will help his corporate crony backers - and that it will help Repubs win elections.
    But, it's going to backfire on him and his fellow Repubs big time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2011 8:03 PM GMT
    rickrick91 saidWe know why Scotty is "fighting".
    His bitterly partisan political motivations were laid bare in the punk phone call.
    He's fighting to try to bust the unions in the hopes that it will help his corporate crony backers - and that it will help Repubs win elections.
    But, it's going to backfire on him and his fellow Repubs big time.


    It's backfired....bigtime.

    And with the plethera of TOP notch Republicans who will be vying for the GOP Presidential Ticket.....icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    I'm sure the Republicans will be coming out to vote for that top notch GOP Presidential Candidate icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 11, 2011 8:07 PM GMT
    rickrick91 saidWe know why Scotty is "fighting".
    His bitterly partisan political motivations were laid bare in the punk phone call.
    He's fighting to try to bust the unions in the hopes that it will help his corporate crony backers - and that it will help Repubs win elections.
    But, it's going to backfire on him and his fellow Repubs big time.


    We know why Scotty is "fighting." He's bought and paid for courtesy of the Koch brothers.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Mar 11, 2011 11:37 PM GMT
    Scooter says icon_biggrin.gif
    Our reform plan gives state and local governments the tools to balance the budget through reasonable benefit contributions. In total, our budget-repair bill saves local governments almost $1.5 billion, outweighing the reductions in state aid in our budget.
    By hauling the entire budget .............. and the hundreds of millions YOU added to it as soon as you got in onto the backs of the Middle Class

    Taking on the status quo is no easy task. Each day, there are protesters in and around our state Capitol. They have every right to be heard. But their voices cannot drown out the voices of the countless taxpayers who want us to balance our budgets and, more importantly, to make government work for each of them.

    Mr. Walker, a Republican, is the governor of Wisconsin.

    Never mind that there were tens of thousands telling me that they wanted me to negotiate and every poll taken said the same thing

    Paid for by the Americans for Prosperity icon_biggrin.gif

    David Koch approved this message