A Cheesy Move in Wisconsin

From The Washington Post:

The Wisconsin State Assembly approved a bill Thursday that would slash union rights for public workers. The vote comes a day after the state Senate used a legislative maneuver to pass the bill without the 14 Democratic senators who fled the state in an effort to block it.

The bill, proposed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker, is considered the most devastating blow to labor unions in many years and in the last three weeks has drawn thousands of union supporters to the state Capitol in protest. The measure passed the Assembly, 53 to 42.

thecheatersOriginal DVD cover

Earlier Thursday, the Democratic senators who fled Wisconsin last month to try to stall a vote on the measure said they were preparing to return to the state capital and fight back against what one of them called “political thuggery in its worst form.”

State Sen. Robert Jauch said the Democrats are discussing ways to overturn the legislation.

After stripping the bill of fiscal measures that require a 20-member quorum for action, Senate Republicans abruptly passed the measure 18-1. Republican Sen. Dale Schultz cast the lone no vote. Analysts say the bill would cripple most of the state’s public employee unions.

“They acted more like a third coup than a democratic institution that has long been revered,” Jauch said in a telephone interview Thursday.

He said that because the vote was over, there was no reason for the senators to remain out of state.


Walker said that he’ll sign the legislation “as quickly as I can legally,” AP said.

“The whole world is watching!” protesters shouted.

In statements Thursday, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said: “Today citizens are being hauled from the lobby outside chambers, some media are allowed in while others are barricaded out, representatives and citizens are barred from the building; this is the atmosphere as we approach the start of floor session today. Republicans have made a mockery of democracy.”


Jauch, the Democratic senator, declined to elaborate on discussions about what actions the Democrats would take when they returned but said they were considering “legal action.”

He added that the Democrats might offer resources to the recall petitions already circulating for the Republican senators who were involved in the vote.

“Their reckless behavior shows contempt for the citizens of Wisconsin, and it is now in the hands of citizens to take the necessary political action to recall Republican lawmakers,” Jauch said.

The White House reiterated its condemnation of the legislation on Thursday. President Obama “believes it is wrong to use those budget problems [of states across the country] to denigrate or vilify state employees, and he believes the actions taken last night violate the principles he laid out,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a press briefing.


The measure to curtail union power has been followed similarly in other states, including Ohio and Indiana.


The legislative maneuver used to pass the bill in Wisconsin was met with outrage by Democrats and their allies, and they vowed that Walker and state Senate Republicans would pay with their jobs.


Walker, however, appeared undaunted as he applauded the Senate’s action.


Though Wisconsin’s budget problems are modest when compared with those of other states, Walker said the bill was necessary to ensure the state’s fiscal future.


Union leaders say the bill’s impact would be devastating to their organizations. But they also are calculating that Walker has gone too far. Activists have launched recall campaigns against eight Republican state senators, efforts they hope will culminate next year in a recall campaign directed at Walker.

GOP activists also are targeting some Democrats for recall. But polls show that though most people support reining in public employee benefits, they oppose stripping unions’ collective bargaining rights.

“By stripping out the fiscal items and leaving only the elimination of collective bargaining, the governor has exposed himself as a fraud,” said Jauch said Wednesday. “Tonight he has guaranteed that the people of the state of Wisconsin are going to stay engaged until this government changes.”

National Democratic activists are hoping that the battle in Wisconsin energizes their supporters and creates energy for them that carries into the 2012 presidential election.


The governor’s aggressive approach appears not to be playing well with Wisconsin voters, who elected him with 52 percent of the vote last fall.

A Rasmussen poll last week found that 57 percent of likely voters in Wisconsin disapprove of the job Walker is doing, while 43 percent approve.

The plan to pass the measure went into motion Wednesday, when state Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, leader of Wisconsin’s 19 Senate Republicans, called a conference committee of legislative leaders from both houses with just two hours’ notice.

As some onlookers shouted “shame, shame,” the committee passed the streamlined bill over the heated protests of Minority Leader Barca (D). “This is clearly a violation of the open meetings law,” said Barca of the meeting.

Barca said that state law requires 24-hour notice for public meetings, unless there is “good cause” not to provide it. But Republicans ignored his complaint, passing the measure out of the conference committee over his objections.

Speaking to reporters afterward, Barca called the maneuver “a continuation of a pattern of naked abuse of power” by Wisconsin Republicans. “They trample on democracy.”

He added that he was referring the action to the attorney general and was going to meet with fellow Democrats to seek other ways to stop the action. “This will not stand, that is one thing I will predict,” he said.

This is the list of senators who voted yes (the ones followed by and asterisk are eligible to be recalled):

Robert Cowles*
Alberta Darling*
Michael Ellis
Scott Fitzgerald
Pam Galloway
Glenn Grothman*
Sheila Harsdorf*
Randy Hopper*
Dan Kapanke*
Neal Kedzie
Frank Lasee
Mary Lazich*
Joe Leibham
Terry Moulton
Luther Olsen*
Leah Vukmir
Van Wanggaard
Rich Zipperer

If you’d like to throw a few bucks into the effort to recall these asswipes, click on the T-shirt:


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12 responses to “A Cheesy Move in Wisconsin

  1. The Koch Brother’s Errand Boy with Lots of their Money but Not a Brain Cell to His Name

    LOVE it! Hahaha

  2. jean-philippe

    The good people of Wisconsin paid a high price to learn what it may cost to vote Republican. I look forward to see the recall.

    I’m so glad there’s an asterisk next to Grothman.

    • grothman is in a rethuglican district. however, what if a more moderate rethuglican opposed him? it might be possible to get rid of even that piece of shit.

  3. Most likely a case of Walker winning the battle, but losing the war.
    He will personally learn the meaning of “backlash”, for sure.
    Already court cases are in the works, for the government process violations, labor law violations with the union themselves, and a host of other legal challenges.

    It’s a step backwards for labor in general.

    Walker is delusional to think he has majority support, does he not notice the thousands of people protesting in the State Capitol??

    I’m sure his bold action will result in his own demise.

    • he bit off more than he can chew, and he can’t get the pig to hold still long enough to put the lipstick on it. the koch brothers picked the wrong horse to bet on. walker’s not the brightest bulb. one reporter said that he hasn’t signed the bill yet, because, for all the rethug bluster, he’s afraid that it was passed illegally.

  4. Ever notice that Walker seems to be completely void of a personality? That same dead pan face day after day. As of late tonight there was still no signature on the bill. Seems that legal tangle for the state are handled by the Madison county DA. Just imagine an all nighter with those $1,000 dollar an hour lawyers screaming to no avail. The PoGs will have to accept the fact we don’t operate under the fuerher priciple that the birchers are devoted to. And today I’m reminded of Jindle chuckling off wasting fed money on the USGS. ” who needs that?” he might want to ask the residents of Sendia, Hokkiado (latest calculation 8.9) Bottom line: if it doesn’t make republicans powerful or rich, it ain’t happenin’.

    • walker looks like the guy in school whose nose was always running. you just instinctively don’t like this guy. if he had to depend on charisma to eat, he’d make callista flockhart look obese.

  5. i really hope this wakes that old Nixonian silent majority – the repukes are getting be so smug and arrogant and really think they can do anything

    • the rethugs always overstep whenever they win an election. i heard on tv today that the rethugs in floriduhhh just passed a bill in the house that would reduce state unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 20 weeks, because they were afraid it costs corporations too much. this is a state where the unemployment rate is almost 12%.