Kids, I’ll just give you the bare bones of the story, but then I’ll enthusiastically refer you to the guys over at Plunderbund, the Raisin’s new source of all Ohio info.
The story begins with State Senator Shannon Jones, the sole sponsor of the union-busting bill that would severely limit the ability of police officers, teachers, firefighters, and other state workers to collectively bargain on wages, as well as benefits and working conditions.
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From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
Yet another shoe has dropped in the battle over Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) anti-public employee union law — with state Republican leaders now apparently defying or attempting to circumvent a court order that temporarily blocked implementation of the law.
The judge’s order “restrain[ed] and enjoin[ed] the further implementation” of the law, including the prevention of Secretary of State Doug LaFollette (D) from publishing the act in the Wisconsin State Journal, which acts as the state’s official newspaper for the purpose of giving the public official notice of new laws — the final step for the law to take effect. That decision is now going through an appeals process, which remains up in the air.
But now, state Republicans have had the bill published through a different office — the Legislative Reference Bureau, which handles drafting and research for the legislature — according to the LRB’s statutory requirement to publish legislation within ten days of enactment.Interestingly, the LRB itself says that this publication does not constitute action that would put the law into effect. But the state’s Republican leaders disagree. Senate Majority Scott Fitzgerald (R) says the LRB publication constitutes official publication and the insists the law will take effect Saturday.
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Yesterday, the Raisin reported on Governor Paul LePage of Maine ordering the Department of Labor to remove a mural that celebrates the history of labor in the state. There’s going to be an awful lot of blank wall space, so I thought we’d try to help and suggest a replacement. I did a little digging, and i found out about something called the Maine Heritage Policy Center. From WLBZ (Bangor):
Tarren Bragdon has risen to a position of influence as CEO of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, and was the leader of Gov. Paul LePage’s transition team. He goes In the Arena with Pat Callaghan to talk about the efforts to shrink the state budget and reform government.
The Maine Heritage Policy Center says Gov. LePage’s proposed budget doesn’t make enough cuts. The center believes Maine should cut 4,000 state jobs. Bragdon talks about that, as well as collective bargaining rights for state employees, and Gov. LePage’s decision to create private advisory groups to counsel him on business matters– which will not be subject to Maine’s open meeting laws.
Why is that important? Well, this is from Dirigo Blue:
Trevor Bragdon has stepped down as the State Director of AFP Maine, and will be replaced by long-time Republican legislator Carol Weston.
AFP Maine is a chapter of Americans for Prosperity, an AstroTurf front group founded by David Koch, a major funder of libertarian groups across the country. Trevor Bragdon is the brother of Tarren Bragdon, the Executive Director of the conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center (MHPC), and one of the co-chairs of Gov. Paul LePage’s transition team. MHPC has ties to the Heritage Foundation in D.C., which also receives money from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.
Anyone else think it’s quite a coincidence that the Koch brothers’ names keep popping up when anyone is discussing the new Republican governors who are trying to pull the rug out from anything that’s good for the middle class and the poor? With that in mind, I’ve come up with a picture that I think will look just great on the walls of the Maine Department of
Fellating Corporate Bigwigs Labor.
From THINK PROGRESS:
Shortly before signing the controversial bill that ends collective bargaining rights for public employees in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker appeared on Morning Joe today to lambaste the pernicious influence of “union bosses” and “outside money” on the debate in Wisconsin.
[He complained] of supposedly shady outside interests.
Over two weeks after receiving a request from One Wisconsin Now, Walker’s administration has refused to release details of its contacts with lobbyists from Koch Industries, run by billionaire arch-conservatives Charles and David Koch.
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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.
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From GROUNDSWELL educational films:
Four of the 19 Wisconsin Republican State Senators annually applied for and received direct farm subsidies from the federal government. These are the same people who want government spending limited, apparently except when it comes to their own welfare checks.
- Michael Ellis of the 19th District received payments totaling $226,155 from 1995 through 2009 for a farm in Bloomington, WI
- Sheila Harsdorf of the 10th District, is 50% owner in Trim-bel Valley Farms in River Falls WI, received payments totaling $194,763 from 1995 through 2009.
- Luther Olsen of the 14th District, 20% owner in Riverview Farm, received payments totaling $84,232 from 1999 through 2009
- Dale Schultz of the 17th District received payments totaling $61,171 from 2000 through 2009 for a farm in Richland Center, WI
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