Try suing Jim Doyle
August 31, 2011
As far back as when she was Wisconsin’s drunk-driving Democrat Attorney General it was widely known there was no love lost between Peg Lautenschlager and the man who preceded her in the A-G’s office, then-Governor Jim Doyle.
So he might be the one she’d prefer to be suing on behalf of her client, the Wisconsin State Employees Union (WSEU). Arguably he’d be a more appropriate defendant than the current state government.
Let us explain.
In 2009, the Doyle administration wrested agreements from various bargaining units to take 16 unpaid furlough days to help balance a fundamentally unsound state budget.
This year the Walker administration decided that the Association of State Prosecutors—mainly assistant district attorneys—needn’t take all 16 days, having taken several furlough days prior to the Doyle agreements.
Now Lautenschlager and the WSEU are suing to be paid for six furlough days, compensation to which they have no claim under the terms they agreed to back in ’09.
The big picture is this: Doyle submits one smoke-and-mirrors budget after another, raising everybody’s taxes and stiffing his supposed union buddies for a few weeks’ salary through unpaid furloughs.
Then along comes Scott Walker, who’s accused of waging war against state workers. He preserves union members’ jobs, balances the budget without layoffs or furloughs or tax increases, and by the way, tells the prosecutors they’ve already done their share and don’t need to give up all 16 days, and that triggers a union lawsuit.
It would speak better of the union leadership if they were actually insane. Most of their no-longer-mandatory members are smart enough to figure that out.