Walker union busting didn't just damage both organized labor and Wisconsin's economy, it created a new social rift

The Washington Post and Salon.com have both just produced new articles on how Scott Walker's Act 10 law has in three years not only weakened public employee unions (as was its intent) and not only damaged the state's economy (which may have been an unintended consequence) but also has generated a third, under-reported side effect.

This extremely pernicous effect is one that Walker -- who has preached the alleged evils of "big labor bosses" and "big government" on his permanent-campaign trail -- arguably would not find problematic. From the Post's story:

Where is the love for "right to work"?

This is a guest editorial by Lori Compas. Lori is the executive director of the Wisconsin Business Alliance.

by Lori Compas

I spent this morning calling local chambers of commerce in Republican state senate districts in an effort to get their take on the so-called “right to work” legislation that is scheduled to be introduced at the State Capitol this week.

Since the State Chamber of Commerce, or WMC, is strongly supporting the legislation, I was curious to learn where local business associations stand on the issue.

Specifically, I wanted to learn the answer to this question: Is WMC really representing Wisconsin’s broad and diverse business community when it claims that businesses want legislators to enact “right to work” laws?

The answer was astonishing: I could not find a single Chamber in the districts of senators Fitzgerald, Cowles, Moulton, Petrowski, Nass, Lasee, or Harsdorf that supports “right to work.”

“You have got to be kidding!”

“You have got to be kidding!”
Advocates Respond to Privatizing Family Care & IRIS
by
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
 
“You have got to be kidding!” a Chippewa Valley advocate responded when I told her about a plan to potentially turn Family Care over to a for-profit insurance company.
 
Family Care and its fee-for-service sister, IRIS, provide thousands of Medicaid-eligible frail elderly and disabled people the help they need to remain in their homes. Services could include help getting places; keeping a job; managing money; preparing meals; keeping healthy; bathing and dressing.
 
People who benefit from Family Care or IRIS might easily end up in an expensive institution. Personal care and other workers help them stay in their own home – and many times – stay gainfully employed.
 
If the current version of the governor’s budget becomes law, it will mean big changes to care for frail elderly and disabled people of modest means. For the rest of us, it could mean many more of our neighbors and family members end up in expensive institutions. Worse yet, folks could be stranded at home without the services they need to independently live and work.

Walker budget deficit not special, but right-to-wreck law is extraordinary

Wisconsin Republicans all the way up to Scott Walker are quickly re-establishing themselves as liars, hypocrites and opportunists of the first rank in their contrary approaches to the state’s current budget deficit and their rush toward a so-called “right to work” law (it’s more like a “right to wreck” law).

Consider just a few facts:

1. Republicans from Walker on down seem unconcerned about the state’s constitutional requirement that a projected deficit obliges the governor to call a special session of the legislature to make fixes to the state budget. That, apparently, would be too embarassing for the nationally ambitious Walker, who paints himself as a fiscal conservative. Republicans in charge of both houses of the legislature have sat silently while the Walker administration insist the budget will magically fix itself without legislative action -- even while Team Walker is busy off camera freezing state employee merit raises, skipping payments on state debt and otherwise racing around in apparent panic trying to close a quarter-billion-dollar gap before July.

Welcome to the new Uppity Wisconsin

Happy Birthday

It's hard to believe, but Uppity Wisconsin will be nine years old next week. In honor of that, and in honor of finally getting the *_)*_)(*( thing working, here is the new Uppity Wisconsin. Sure, I know it doesn't look all that different, but it's a whole new version of Drupal with a whole slug of new potential features (hardly any of which are actually in place yet). Gist of all of this is that it will put us in a good position to move forward .  A few notes:

  • We will now look MUCH better on mobile devices than we ever have (so you should now be able to actually read it on your cell phone or tablet - more adjustments to that are on the way. )
  • We have a lot more control over placement of things - very little of which is now in use.
  • Look forward to new features like petitions, etc. which we have never been able to do very well.
  • We're moving into a version of Drupal that will be supported much longer. Which is good.

This has taken a while to get going, and almost all of the content from the old site has been moved over here.  We're on a new (somewhat smaller) server with some different features. If you see problems with the site, or want to make suggestions, please use the contact form to send me an email.

The main thing I'm trying to say here is that we're moving into new territory, and you can expect that the look, performance, and features of the site will be going through a lot of changes in the next month or two.  May we live in interesting times.

Steve Hanson
Editor

Walker always intended to pass RTW: After all, he is a pathological liar.

Sheldon Adelson and Puppet Scot Walker

Exploiting the Workers of Wisconsin: The Narrative that Scott Walker Needs to Impress his Presidential Donors

 Note: A these comments are part of a more complete analysis of the "Corporate Colonization of Wisconsin" series that will be published on the Middle Wisconsin website.

The current ALEC/Koch/Republican agenda is in the process of just such an exploitation. In order to understand the motivation for such legislation as “Right-to-Work” (RTW) it is necessary to know who has funded the campaigns of Scot Walker during his recall and reelection so that we know who is really calling the shots.

Walker's ties to and dependence upon the Koch Brothers is well known and is the motivation behind the majority of Walker's and the ALEC/Koch/Republican legislation.

“We’re helping him, as we should,” David Koch told The Palm Beach Post in February 2012. “What Scott Walker is doing with the public unions in Wisconsin is critically important. He’s an impressive guy, and he’s very courageous.”

Scott Walker's protests against right to work have a hollow ring to them

As the state legislature barrels forward to create yet another bogus "jobs" bill that will not create jobs, Scott Walker protests.  A little.  Though of course if the bill actually gets passed next week, he'll have "no choice but to sign it because it's the will of the people".

Walker insists that Right to Work is a "distraction" and is not what the legislature should be working on. I suspect this is simply a ruse to appear more "moderate" as he runs for president. The general impression he is currently giving is that he will say or do anything to be president, including completely contradicting his past statements. His continual kowtowing to big money and changing his position on things reeks of desperation, and is unlikely to fool much of anyone once he actually declares and starts to be held accountable. Please remember that this is still "Divide and Conquer" Scott Walker we're talking about - remember this choice conversation with Diane Hendricks?

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