October 27, 2011
We can’t tell from Saturday’s Racine Journal Times story whether Mayor John Dickert thinks Governor Walker did a bad thing by narrowing the scope of public union collective bargaining, or whether he wishes the Governor had gone even further.
One thing that seems pretty clear is that the Journal-Times reporter, or at least whoever wrote the headline, is itching to convey the idea that Walkers reforms are very bad things indeed.
One thing not found in the story is that Mayor Dickert understands state budgets better than most people, including most legislators. He was a top aide to a former Democratic co-chair of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, which writes the state budget.
Dickert complains that the budget repair bill didn’t give him everything he needed to balance his city budget without cutting services. The Mayor also said he tried, and failed, to win concessions from police and fire unions. Maybe what we’re seeing is not so much the implied criticism of the Walker reforms, as a cry for more of them coming from an elected official with a Democratic Party pedigree.
The truth that simply refuses to be obscured is that Mayor Dickert’s real problem is with unions that were exempted from the collective bargaining restrictions, and who expressed their gratitude by forcing cuts on other people.