Saturday, February 11, 2012

The One Year Anniversary Of The Oppression Of Wisconsin

One year ago today, Scott Walker "dropped his bomb" on Wisconsin workers and started the decline of our once great state. Representative Peter Barca noted the date with the following press release:
“One year ago, Gov. Walker set Wisconsin on a course that has left our state more polarized than ever before. Beginning with his unprecedented attack on workers’ rights, the governor has continued to divide us while ramming his agenda through before people have had time to object.

“After Gov. Walker dropped the collective bargaining ‘bomb’ – as he put it – last February 11, he demanded a rushed vote in less than a week, without debate or scrutiny, and refused to even sit down and talk with his employees about it. Republican leaders followed that approach with abuses of power such as putting the Capitol on lock down, holding illegal meetings and ending public hearings while citizens waited to speak.

“Gov. Walker has pursued two main courses of action in the past year – dividing Wisconsin and undermining democracy. He has divided our state by taking $1.6 billion away from public schools while giving another $40 million to voucher schools. He approved $2.36 billion in giveaways to large corporations and special interests while raising taxes on senior citizens and people working for modest wages. And he has undermined democracy by consolidating rule-making power at the top, replacing public employees with political cronies and restricting citizens from exercising their First Amendment rights to gather at the Capitol and other state buildings.

“In the past year, Gov. Walker has continued to push his extreme agenda that clearly is not working for middle-class families. That is why people across the state are upset and fighting back. They are tired of the division, the governor’s assault on clean and open government and the disrespectful way their wishes have been ignored. They deserve leaders who will bring us together and work for and with them.”


  1. I have to say, does anybody really believe he took away 1.6 billion from the schools? I know it sounds good on your partisan blog here but can you at least admit that no teachers were laid off, and almost no property taxes were raised to make up for short falls (except mine, of course). Furthermore the teachers have the same health coverage, no districts are in a shortfall (unless they sold out to the unions for another year or two) and we might just have a chance to start rewarding the good teachers and weeding out the bad ones. In my opinion many of the bad ones have already retired, for they have shown us the reason they were there.
    I know you like to grandstand about the recent budget shortfall predictions, but how do they compare to the 6 billion dollar shortfall after your governor conveniently decided not to run again. I like to watch Illinois as a reminder of what could be if we stayed on course. THEY are laying off teachers, they are hurting the schools. Walker simply took away the unions political cash cow in WEAC.
    Thats the reason we are getting so much out of state money in our political process these days, Walkers budget is working and it has the rest of the state unions running scared.
    I do learn some things reading your posts, but do I have to sift through all this misleading stuff to get to it?

    1. Where are you? Do you live in FantasyLand? Most school districts were able to sustain this school year because of stimulus funds from the fed. This next year will be the proof in the budget. This week Eau Claire Leader "63 Teachers Laid off" for the fall. This is in February before the all numbers are in. The union doesn't play a part in the numbers of kids the districts have to staff for. Keep bringing up the union as the problems with inadequate, unequal funding for schools. More kids in poverty, less money for heat and water, let alone staff, aging building and technology. Yeah, let's produce a ready work force! That is the union's fault.

    2. Oh no, its reality. I did exclude the districts which signed a quick deal with the unions in order to extend the contracts. Something which wasn't typically done, since the QEO meant they got a raise even if they didn't concede anything in a contract. And of course it didn't take long to find that Eau Claire did sign a contract. So yes, they tied their own hands. They didnt get the additional savings that you see touted all over by the republicans. And they need to give out those layoff notices in the spring just in case, otherwise it would be in violation of the contract if they actually did lay them off. Milwaukee did the same thing. And when called back to the table to discuss some more concessions in order to prevent layoffs the teachers said "sorry, we have a contract now", and walked away from the table. So make it known in Eau Claire that your school board has put union interests in front of the students interests. It is the problem with collective bargaining at a government level, with as much money as they could pilfer out of WEAC they could afford to get their people elected to the school boards, and your district is the result of that. Oh, and they had a referendum approved above and beyond state and federal funding by the public up there for building maintenance. Last year!

    3. Oh, I don't even know where to start. I have not heard of one single district that is not saying next year's budget is going to be hell. There is no rewards going to anyone unless you count pink slips as a reward.

      As for MPS, they already gave up tens of millions of dollars in concessions. Walker's cuts went even deeper.

      And yes, there were layoffs and program cuts statewide. As Anonymous pointed out, the only districts that didn't cut too much were the ones that used up their stimulus money and their contingency funds.

      Where my land is, the school system cut two teachers, cut back programming AND my taxes went up 4.5%.

      And do you want to talk about how Walker's maleficent budget affected municipalities?

    4. I am sure they have and will continue to make tough choices, we all will. I have read that some school districts are reviewing new means to rate teachers to reward excellence, Cedarburg and Green Bay schools if my memory serves me.
      MPS teachers came out and said their wages and benefits are more important than avoiding layoffs. I am sure they had the childrens best interests in mind. "We need those salaries and benefits to attract the best teachers" you say? Lets review the performance of MPS students last year, that sheds some light on the quality of many of the teachers.
      Maybe there were cuts and layoffs that I haven't read about, but lets take a minute and compare our school systems to Illinois systems. I like to think if we stayed in democratic rule we were only about a year behind the mess Illinois is in.
      My property taxes increased again too. (better gramar?) It sucks, and I am willing to give Walker a chance to prove his worth as a budget minded governor.
      And yes, Write away about municipality budgets, I will comment.

    5. Merit raises is code for cronyism. It also may very well violate civil service code, but then again, Walker and his apologists have made it a habit to disregard the laws of this state.

      Again, MPS gave up tens of millions of dollars, why can't CEOs and the other 1% give up anything as well. That would put the shared part into shared sacrifice.

      And as for Walker's budget history, MKE Co already provides eight year history of that, including two illegal budgets which will put the taxpayers on the hook for millions of dollars in restitution costs alone, dead children, dead patients at BHD, dead inmates at the House of Correction and all the accompanying lawsuits from those. In fact, the best year MKE Co had was the year Walker took himself out of the budgeting process itself.

    6. Merit raises = cronyism? You make it painfully obvious you dont work in the private sector. I did check on the civil service code and it seems we have another reason government employees don't need unions. Seems they are close enough to lawmakers that they watch each others back (almost like cronyism)

      Democrat talking points? I was hoping your readers were smarter than those bumper sticker slogans. It sounds nice but its not a solution. Besides, that 1% you suggest we hand the check to are the employers we are trying to lure back into milwaukee. Unless you think we can all work for the county?

      I would have thought it would have been easy for Barret to beat Walker if his budget accounting was as shady as you say. Or maybe Barrets is worse? Where would that have put the state? (Illinois anybody?)

    7. Actually, the cronyism = merit raises wasn't first raised by me or any other lefty. It was raised by journalists covering this.

      BTW: I worked for ten years in the private sector and I know just how corrupt it is.

      Also, the city's budget was balanced before Act 10, Walker's wasn't. Furthermore, the city's properties were maintained while Walker abdicated his responsibility.

      And I have explained repeatedly why Walker's budget it not only not working, but is undeniably making things worse.

      I have to say it's ironic that you whine about "talking points" when your easily refuted quips are straight from the GOP/squawk radio/Koch Bros. talking points.

    8. Apparently its a matter of perspective. There is a lot of good information to be learned on talk radio, I encourage your readers to diversify their news sources. Because not all "journalists" are as non partisan as you would like to make them out as (when it suits your point of view of course).
      Its to bad you worked for those "corrupt" capatalists for ten years, Add that to your time in at the county and you would probably be eligible for an early retirement with full pension and a Tom Ament approved backdrop payment. Aaaahhhhh, those were the days hey? When the media did nothing but cover for democratic politicians and greedy union bosses. And if you took the teachers union advice that it gives to soon to be retirees you would move to a state that doesnt over tax its citizens

      but we are getting "off topic" now arent we?

    9. As for talk radio, there is an entire blog dedicated to correcting them. And we could go into Sykes getting sued for slander, nearly losing his job except for the unions saving his worthless hide.

      The reason I went and stayed in the public sector is because I actually wanted to serve my clients and not tell them no, because the CEO of the agency had to make his millions in bonuses. Or didn't you ever wonder why privatization costs so much more and provides so much less?

      As for me, no, I get none of the goodies. No healthcare, no early retirement and no pension enhancements. In fact, most current county workers won't get those things, and that was from before Walker.

      But don't let reality get in the way of your squawking. Or maybe, just maybe, you could start dealing with the facts.

    10. Before Walker was the ament scandal. it was a free for all seemingly.

      And its odd but I thought every time jobs were farmed out to the private sector was because it saved money. Your saying Walker didn't save the county money by privatizing some of the jobs at the county level?

      I hope for your sake they find something that sticks to Walker in this investigation, or your going to look a bit foolish here.

      Thanks for the insight.

    11. The fact that privatization has been well documented in the county budgets and in various reports, besides mine.

      The same is true on the state level, whether it was Doyle or Walker doing it.

  2. It's kind of creepy to think that Walker is being groomed for either the Vice President of the U.S. or maybe even the President some day.

    He needs to be stopped as soon as possible before he goes national.

    1. It won't matter if he's being groomed, because odds seem to be growing every day that he'll be a convicted felon.

      FWIW, I think the Republican powers-that-be tolerate him for flash, like they do Sarah Palin, but they don't really think he's worth 'grooming' for anything. A few deep-pocket out-of-state corportatists are will to invest a few of their surplus millions in him, but the guy is just dumb and a bit of a loose cannon (from the Republican Party's POV.)