#Occupy fighting for the 99% in Wisconsin, by bribing children with cigarettes?

November 21, 2011

Sure looks that way, doesn’t it? The campaign to recall Governor Walker (1) thought it had found some neat allies in the Occupy movement, so they apparently joined forces to occupy a bridge (and freeze their tushes off) and circulate recall petitions, paying people in cigarettes for their signatures.

That’s what it looks like, anyway.

Of course, bribing with smokes seems to be something of  a hobby with Wisconsin Democrats.

Footnote:
(1) You know, the guy who signed into law needed reforms that are actually doing some good for his state. Can’t have that, now.


Wisconsin recalls: that was money well-spent

August 10, 2011

That is, it’s good news that union bosses, progressives,  and Democratic Party honchos (splitting hairs, I know) sank about $30,000,000 into a losing effort in last night’s state senate recall elections, money that they will desperately need elsewhere in 2012. It’s not so good if you’re a Labor boss, progressive, or Democrat (but I repeat myself) and have just seen that the old cheap tricks aren’t working like they used to. And it really stinks if you’re a union member who saw part of his or her mandatory, no-choice-in-the-matter dues flushed down a toilet.

Let’s recap:

In 2010, the people of Wisconsin elected a Republican legislature and a Republican governor who all campaign openly on the need for fiscal reform in the state, including the reform of public sector labor unions. They made no secret of this, and the people chose them. Then, in 2011, the duly-elected and democratically elected legislature and governor shocked everyone (who wasn’t paying attention) by actually trying to carry out their promises by introducing the necessary legislation.

The Left (let’s just use the collective term, for brevity’s sake) then did what any adult, mature, responsible faction that had lost a fair election would do: they threw a tantrum.

Eight Fourteen Democratic state senators tried to throw a monkey wrench into democracy by fleeing the state for Illinois (1), denying the senate a quorum and in clear dereliction of their duty. Meanwhile, their progressive allies unleashed their arsenal of reasoned discourse: they occupied the legislature (trashing it and the grounds), they held drum circles, they called their democratically-elected opponents Nazis, and they physically threatened Republican legislators, the governor, and their supporters.

And yet still those nasty Republicans wouldn’t listen to sweet reason; they passed the bill, anyway.

So the Left, being good democrats and respectful of the will of the People, did the next logical thing: they tried to overturn the results of the recent election by forcing recall elections for six Republican state senators. (Republicans retaliated by forcing recall elections for two Democrats next week.) They needed to win three to take control of the State Senate and hamstring Governor Walker’s agenda for at least the next several months.

And they lost:

Democrats won two state Senate seats in Tuesday’s historic recall elections, but failed to capture a third seat that would have given them control of the chamber.

By keeping a majority in the Senate, Republicans retained their monopoly on state government because they also hold the Assembly and governor’s office. Tuesday’s elections narrowed their majority – at least for now – from 19-14 to a razor-thin 17-16.

Republicans may be able to gain back some of the losses next week, when two Democrats face recall elections.

Democrats had hoped to block the Republican agenda by taking control of the Senate in the recall elections, but the GOP should be able to continue to advance its agenda.

“I think it’s a huge victory for us,” said John Hogan, director of the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate. “Voters gave us a mandate last fall. . . . They backed us up again (Tuesday). Voters told us loud and clear, ‘Stay the course. Things are working.'”

But Democrats claimed victory for the two seats they captured from Republicans.

“We went on their turf and we won on Republican turf,” said Mike Tate, chairman of the state Democratic Party. “We will not stop, we will not rest . . . until we recall (Gov.) Scott Walker.”

Yeah, good luck with that, Mike. Of the two seats you won, one is a heavily Democratic district and, in the other, the Republican was tainted by scandal. In the others you were beaten handily, even in one that was expected to be close.  Your plot to seize control of the state senate is dead, and there’s a reasonable chance you could lose next week the two seats you gained this week.

In other words, Democrats, union bosses, and progressives, for your $30,000,000 and all your bussed in, slogan-chanting help, and even if you save those two seats next week, you’ll have won nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. Bupkis.

So go ahead, try to recall Walker next year. Take your campaign to save your corrupt, self-serving arrangements to other states. Spend all the money you can. It looks like a great idea.

To conservatives.

via Memeorandum

EDIT: There were 14 state senators who went over the wire, not eight. Thanks to Steve in the ST comments.

LINKS: More at Hot Air. David Freddoso: “Unions lose big.”

Footnotes:
(1) The Best Western in Rockford, to be exact, where they continued to collect their salaries and life was a hardship.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


When did the Wisconsin Supreme Court become Fight Club?

June 26, 2011

This is one of the weirder stories I’ve seen in a while, and it’s illustrative of how heated Wisconsin politics have become in the wake to the government’s efforts to rein in public employee union privileges: either newly-reelected Justice David Prosser tried to strangle a colleague in her chambers in front of witnesses, or she attacked him and he was defending himself. Byron York has the story(ies):

Over the weekend, a Madison-based liberal journalism group reported that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser “allegedly grabbed fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley around the neck in an argument in her chambers last week.”  Prosser, a conservative, was recently re-elected in a contested election in which he was the target of an intense union-funded effort to defeat him.  The argument was said to be about the court’s 4-3 decision allowing the Walker budget law, with its restrictions on organized labor, to go into effect.

The report said details of the incident were “sketchy” and came from three sources who insisted on anonymity, “citing a need to preserve professional relationships.”  Neither Prosser nor Bradley commented.

But wait, there’s another version:

As the activist press was running with the story, new evidence emerged in a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel report to suggest the matter was more complicated than originally reported.  Whatever happened, happened during a meeting of six of the court’s seven justices; in other words, there were several witnesses.  One witness supported the original accusation.  But another witness said that during a heated conversation, Bradley “charged [Prosser] with fists raised” and that Prosser had put out his own hands defensively.  According to one of the paper’s sources, Bradley then accused Prosser of choking her, to which another justice reportedly replied, “You were not choked.”

Let’s get the obvious out of the way, first: whatever did happen up there, it’s evident one of the two justices physically attacked the other. This is unacceptable in any case, but particularly from people who are supposed to be sober interpreters of the law and upholders of the rule of law. Whoever is at fault should resign and allow Governor Walker to appoint a replacement. (1)

As much as it is about the conflicting stories of what happened, York’s article also shows how, for the Left and Big Labor, the Battle of Madison is not yet over. Leftist papers and web sites, while piously saying Prosser should not be judged before all the facts were out, were quick to paint him as the aggressor and to point out ways he can be removed from office. (You may recall Prosser’s vote was crucial to upholding the controversial collective bargaining law passed over union screeching a few months ago.) In other words, fearful that the reforms Wisconsin enacted will spread, as they already have in Ohio and Tennessee, the Left is taking any shot it has to overturn election results and quash democratically enacted laws. And when you look at the groups involved and who’s funding them (2), it’s likely there’s coordination at well-beyond the state level.

And we’re going to see many more efforts like this as other states try to right their finances, while public unions and their Democratic allies try to keep the money-train rolling.

Footnotes:

(1) Which the Left should not want, since Walker would almost certainly appoint conservative justices. Be careful what you ask for, progressives…

(2) Both the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, which broke the original story rumor, and the Center for American Progress, parent of the web site Think Progress, which described ways to remove Prosser from office, receive money either from George Soros as an individual, or through his Open Society Institute. While not probative, it’s certainly suggestive.

UPDATE: Some good discussions at both Althouse and Legal Insurrection. At the latter, Professor Jacobson points out that only one justice is saying a crime was committed: Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, accusing Justice Prosser. She should either back up her charge with evidence, or retract it and apologize.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Wisconsin protesters: putting the “low” into “low class”

June 8, 2011

A group of protesters dressed as zombies showed up today in Madison to protest Governor Scott Walker — at a Special Olympics ceremony:

Dudes… seriously??

via Ann Althouse through Blue Crab Boulevard

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Because the right to Viagra equals the right to vote!

March 18, 2011

AFL-CIO Top Thug head Richard Trumka and his colleagues in the (shrinking) labor movement must live in a really good echo chamber, because only in a world isolated from reality could one claim that the struggle for African-American civil rights is the same as the tantrums being thrown by well-compensated public employees:

Union equates lavish benefits to black civil rights

“Madison is just the beginning!” AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka told a union rally in Annapolis on Monday. “Like that old song goes, ‘You ain’t seen n-n-n-n-nothing yet!’ “

Fresh from defeat in Wisconsin, union leaders are planning a new campaign not just to head off future challenges to their collective bargaining powers but also to make the case that organized labor’s benefits and prerogatives — wages, health care, and pensions that are more generous than those of comparable workers in the private sector — are the moral equivalent of rights won by black Americans during the civil rights movement.

To make the point, the AFL-CIO is planning a series of nationwide events on April 4, the 43rd anniversary of the day the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated after speaking in Memphis, Tenn., on behalf of striking black garbage collectors. The message: King’s cause, and that of angry schoolteachers in Madison, are one.

“April 4 [is] the day on which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his life for the cause of public collective bargaining,” Trumka said in another speech, in Washington, on Wednesday. And on the AFL-CIO blog, there is this notice: “Join us to make April 4, 2011, a day to stand in solidarity with working people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and dozens of other states where well-funded, right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the rights Dr. King gave his life for.”

Yep, you read that right.

“Shameless” and “chutzpah” don’t begin to describe it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Wisconsin has the real “Governator”

March 9, 2011

California’s Governator turned out to be mostly a bad joke, but Wisconsin’s Scott Walker looks like the real deal for sticking to his principles to reform abusive collective bargaining procedures for government employee unions. And the Wisconsin state senate Republican caucus deserves a lot of credit for at last realizing the Democratic minority had no intention of acting in good faith and finally passing those collective bargaining reforms:

Wisconsin’s Senate has been paralyzed on dealing with its budget because it requires a 20-vote quorum to address budget issues. And tied into the governor’s budget bill was the provision that caused all of the Democrats in the Senate to flee the state — a provision diminishing collective bargaining rights for state workers too wages only, leaving benefits and work rules for most state employees to be determined by the legislative process instead.

But Wisconsin’s Senate does not require 20 members to be present to pass non-budget legislation, and some people have asked why the Republicans haven’t simply passed the union provision separately. Well, tonight, they did just that.

The state assembly is scheduled to vote tomorrow. Passage is all but assured, and Governor Iron Man Walker should sign it soon thereafter. Unions are already talking about a general strike, so things should be quite… interesting, tomorrow.

Meanwhile, let me pose an Allahpundit-style exit question: Minority-party legislators have fled the state to prevent a democratically elected legislature from doing its job and instead are trying to impose its own will on the majority — in effect, attempting to overturn the results of the last election. Meanwhile, union members are using extremist language, vile insults, and inciting violence to intimidate those same elected official and, by extension, the voters who put them in office. Now, riddle me this: Who are the anti-democratic fascists here?


Bill Whittle: progressivism, unions, and the end of the beginning

March 6, 2011

The protests by public unions in Wisconsin and elsewhere against any reform of unsustainable benefits and bargaining practices has been likened by some to the death-struggle of a dying order: union membership in private-sector unions has been declining for decades; these days, the majority of union members are government employees. Their furious, unhinged, and thuggish assaults against any who would dare take away their “rights” are like the efforts of a buggy-whip manufacturer to stay in business after the coming of the automobile — a refusal to admit that times have changed, and they are now obsolete.

Bill Whittle looks at these public-union demonstrations and sees in them the visible sign of the end of progressivism, which arose as America adapted to the new industrial age of the later 19th century and fought against the corruption and the crony capitalism of the time. And, in the process, moved away from the vision our Founders had for this nation.

But now, as America transitions from the centralized, hierarchical industrial age to the decentralized, democratic digital age, Bill argues that the progressive vision –rule by boards of bureaucrats who know better than you how to run your life– is becoming an anachronism in what he calls the “third age of Man.” Indeed, they’ve turned into that which they fought against.

As always, agree or disagree, Bill provides much food for thought:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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