July 27, 2011
July 27, 2011
Whoever they are—we hope the dead-enders who show up to yell insults at every public gathering involving Governor Walker keep failing to understand what a favor they’re doing the rest of us.
Every time these people deliberately make themselves obnoxious by trashing a Special Olympics ceremony or a welcome-home event for military veterans, they alienate a few more people who might otherwise have been sympathetic to their cause.
That “cause” can be concisely defined as destruction: Anything Walker supports, they’ll try to wreck, and never mind the details. Of course this binds the Left to a dangerous tactic, confronting people who are celebrating with disruptive screams.
This week union thugs haunted the opening ceremony for Beloit’s Welcome Center:
Anti-Walker protesters, donning masks, props and signs, drowned out most of the presentation by state tourism and local officials with chants of “If you have a spine, resign!” and other sayings some found offensive. Meanwhile, local dignitaries carried out planned speeches and a ribbon cutting.
Hot tip for protesters: Seeking out crowds and trying to spoil things they like probably won’t help your cause.
Wisconsin is playing a lead role in ending roughly 50 years of Left-Liberal governance and reaction is the infantile rage on display
statewide at public events. Ironically, every loudmouth protest helps.
July 20, 2011
In three weeks, half a dozen Republican state senators will know if doing their jobs constitutes a firing offense.
There’s zero doubt that the August 9 recall elections are a bid by government unions to undo collective bargaining reforms.
Has any Democrat candidate mentioned that?
Arguably, collective bargaining by government employees is not the biggest issue; it’s the ONLY issue, the whole reason for the Republican recalls. But check the campaign web sites of the six Democrat challengers and, to the extent they’re willing to go anywhere near a recognizable public policy position, they appear indistinguishable from the Republicans they hope to depose. Examples?
They want to balance the state budget, create jobs, support education, and protect if not expand programs for senior citizens. Despite ritual denunciations by each of these six empty vessels, the Walker budget does all that and in fact preserves aid to education as the state’s highest spending priority.
Not one of the six Democrats dares mention the sole reason for the recall elections they’re running in.
Meanwhile, Big Labor resorts to its preferred weapon, the Big Lie. A political action committee called “We are Wisconsin is dumping trainloads of money on advertisements blaming targeted Republicans for bad things that actually aren’t happening. The only real connection between “We are Wisconsin” and Wisconsin is their name. The PAC is spending several million dollars furnished by the national AFL-CIO, AFSCME, and other big unions.
Give them credit for two things: They realized a truthful name—“We are Washington, D.C.” comes to mind—wouldn’t help them overturn last November’s elections. And they saw that openly campaigning against collective bargaining reforms would be a non-starter.
July 20, 2011
Predictable as the sunrise, the Left is using unpleasant relations among Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices as a pretext for doing away with judicial elections—or put more bluntly, for terminating the people’s right to decide who they trust to serve as their judges.
Legislation to accomplish this has appeared in the form of a constitutional amendment. Coated with bipartisan camouflage paint, it’s already attracted favorable editorials from the kind of people who would prefer that their friends at the country club hand-pick judges, rather than let those unenlightened and unreliable voters have their say.
The bipartisan pedigree is not an endorsement but a warning sign. As so often happens, it signals that yet another booby trap has proven irresistible to a Republican who imagines that the key to GOP success is to behave in ways that please Democrats. State Senator Dale Schultz—last seen casting the sole Senate Republican vote in opposition to the Governor’s collective bargaining reforms—seems organically incapable of shedding the belief that Republican participation transforms bad ideas into good ones.
On the other hand, introduction of a constitutional amendment sets up the prospect of serious and extensive debate. Amending the state constitution requires approval in two legislative sessions with an election in between, and then in a statewide referendum.
There will be ample time to explore what’s beneath the deceptively appealing surface of so-called “merit selection” for judges.
The most important thing about merit selection is who does the selecting, and if you’re thinking Scott Walker, think again. In states
with merit selection, governors of either party are typically stuck with a short list of choices served up by panels of (uniformly liberal) lawyers.
That’s just one of the many reasons to shun this bogus “reform.”
July 20, 2011
Memo to the Left: If you intend to keep on lecturing Conservatives about showing respect for other people’s opinions, stop trying to criminalize the opinions of those who disagree with you. And above all, stop screaming in the faces of those whose respect you presume to demand.
Last week brought yet another example of Liberal “civility,” as Governor Walker had to compete with the infantile Left chanting “Shame!” and other brain-dead slogans at the centennial celebration of Racine’s Gateway technical College.
There are plenty of lessons to be learned from this and similar episodes. Among the more embarrassing ones is the stunning self-absorption of technical college system board member Michael Rosen, quoted as saying the Governor, who presides over the system, shouldn’t have appeared at the event.
Since the current Governor has assembled a state budget that resolves the $3.6 billion deficit left behind by the Governor who appointed Mr. Rosen, and did so without raising taxes while funding education above all else, gratitude might have been the more appropriate response. Oh, did we mention Mr. Rosen is president of the faculty and staff union at Milwaukee Area Technical College?
We hold out little hope of the Left honoring the standards of behavior it indignantly demands of others, but in this age of connectedness, that might be a good thing. Nowadays, anyone who chooses to act like a slob in public stands a good chance of seeing his behavior broadcast worldwide within minutes. If the Left persists in using calls for civility as a tactic to intimidate others while exempting itself, a majority of people will soon enough understand.
The more celebrations of civic virtue the Leftists disrupt, the sooner their political influence will end.
July 13, 2011
This week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel hit an all time low. In what can only be described as hack journalism, columnist Dan Bice reports a hearsay story from a single anonymous source with absolutely no back up. The source, described by Bice as a prominent Green Bay area business leader, allegedly claimed that State Senator Rob Cowles (R- Green Bay) told him or her that Governor Walker’s office threatened to run a primary opponent against him if Cowles opposed the Governor’s Budget Repair Bill. Bice gratuitously mentioned that the Club for Growth ran adverting in Cowles district encouraging him to support the bill.
the governor’s bill.
Bice said his source asked not to be identified by name because doing so would hurt the person’s business and industry relationships.
So Bice and his paper are protecting the identity of a source whose sole purpose is to ruin the reputations of both Senator Cowles and Governor Walker. The reason for identifying sources in the first place is to allow the public to judge the veracity of their claims.
Bice and his editors have forever sacrificed their credibility and integrity to take a cheap shot at the Governor and a state senator who just happens to be running in a heated recall election.
Call or email Dan Bice. Tell him what you think. 414-223-5468.
July 13, 2011
Government union bosses who surely know better, are pretending the election of Scott Walker made Wisconsin into an outer precinct of Hell. We trust they’re smart enough to recognize that- propaganda notwithstanding—they still have it pretty soft here.
If you find that hard to believe, look at Connecticut. Public employee unions there were feeling cocky after the 2010 elections left the state with wall-to-wall Democrats, including one replacing a (nominal) Republican in the Governor’s office.
Alas, things have fallen short of expectations. The new Governor, Daniel Malloy, is trying to close a $1.6 billion budget deficit brought on partly by rich public worker benefits.
To put it mildly, Connecticut unions overplayed their hand. Several thousand government workers are losing their jobs this week, after their unions rejected concessions that would have kept them working at current salary levels.
So pretend you’re a visitor from another galaxy and all you know is that one state’s Republican governor won modest benefit concessions from public unions but kept all their members on the job, while in another, richer state, a Democrat governor failed to win concessions and is laying off thousands of union members who supported him.
Now guess which state’s union members march around with pictures of the governor made up to look like the second-bloodiest dictator of the 20th century. (The bloodiest dictator is never brought up, possibly because some union bosses liked him.)
Connecticut is just one of many states with mass layoffs of government employees. Ironically Wisconsin—where unions are yelling the loudest—is among the places where they have it best
July 13, 2011
Here’s one that will have them kicking over the furniture at the Labor Temple. It seems Wisconsin’s new collective bargaining law is finding support in unlikely places. Unlikely, that is, for those wedded to conventional wisdom.
But it looks like conventional wisdom is wrong. Some union members are actually enthusiastic about the liberating effects of the new law. Teachers and others who have been forced to join government unions now have the opportunity to find out whether their dues have been buying anything besides political advocacy for viewpoints with which they do not necessarily agree.
Our hunch is that union bosses would be very, very nervous about this. Remember the Racine firefighter whose July 4th 9/11 tribute was shunned by his union “brothers” because he chooses to be a fair-share member?
It’s our understanding that he’s had fair-share status for a long time, but the union hasn’t’t been able to calculate the appropriate dues payment to cover his collective bargaining representation. Maybe they prefer not to have anyone find out what a small amount that is, compared to the union’s political spending.
One thing you can safely assume is that for every union member who speaks up in support of the new arrangements, there are a good many others who agree but keep quiet for fear of reprisals.
Nothing wrong with that; freedom can be scary if you aren’t’t used to it. But the Stockholm Syndrome can be cured.
July 13, 2011
Last week we wrote about how the reality of Governor Scott Walker’s first state budget, would speak for itself, disposing of all the bogeymen trotted out by Walker opponents to taint his reform agenda.
Now another clue has emerged from a very different source, shining a bright light on what the struggle between Wisconsin taxpayers and government unions is all about.
It seems the insurance arm of WEAC, the statewide teachers’ union, has been forced to find some new flexibility in pricing its coverage, now that collective bargaining reforms have busted up its ability to dictate that school districts buy health insurance from “da union”.
But that doesn’t mean the WEA Insurance Trust isn’t’t still grasping and clawing for every penny it can get. And while we frequently have strong words for the mainstream media’s habit of overlooking stories that would embarrass the Left, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel deserves some credit for reporting how the Trust has grabbed a pile of federal taxpayer dollars that school districts say is rightfully theirs.
Oddly enough, it is not absolutely clear who has the strongest claim to this money. However that works out, what’s of paramount importance is that, freed from collective bargaining over health insurance coverage, school districts can make the best deal for managing their finances.
In a perfect, and perfectly appropriate, reversal of fortunes, school districts are already saving taxpayer dollars by breaking away from the WEA Trust. Instead of leaving the districts with no choice but the union, the union will now have no choice but to face up to honest competition.
July 6, 2011
Of all the things that have been said and written about Governor Walker’s budget since the beginning of this year, the vast majority have been things alleged, predicted, or simply imagined by interest groups determined to oppose whatever the administration might try to do.
But now the bill has passed and signed into law, everyone will have ample opportunity to see the reality of Scott Walker’s budget priorities in action. Things are already looking very different from the grim picture painted by defenders of the old status quo. For instance:
- The Walker budget is the first genuinely balanced budget in a dozen years.
- It eliminates the second-biggest deficit ever projected by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, without raising taxes.
- It’s expected to produce the first state revenue surplus in more than a decade, converting a deficit of $650 for every man, woman and child in Wisconsin into a $54 per capita surplus.
- It puts the brakes on property taxes by limiting the growth of taxation on a median-value home to less than one percent annually.
- It abolishes the unelected regional transit authorities big-government Liberals were counting on to impose higher taxes.
In short, the Walker budget liberates Wisconsin residents from a growing debt burden and curbs the ability of government to take more of their money, while protecting the necessary services people expect. Some resolved long ago to never see it that way, but for most, the reality will be impossible to miss.
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