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 the Sun Journal:
AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage has ordered the removal of a 36-foot mural depicting Maine’s labor history from the lobby of the Department of Labor.
Worker advocates described the move as a “mean-spirited” provocation amid the administration’s high-tension standoff with unions.
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From the Atlantic:
One is a bald, blue-eyed former hospital executive brand new to public office. Another is a career politician who leads statewide motorcycle tours to boost tourism. And the other is a former congressman and FOX News host who called a cop who gave him a traffic ticket last month an “idiot.”
All three are newly elected Republican governors facing massive political upheaval over their slash-and-burn approach to state spending and rejection of billions of federal dollars for high-speed rail projects.
Call them the “Three Scrooges”: Rick Scott of Florida, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and John Kasich of Ohio. Walker and Kasich replaced Democrats, and Scott replaced a Republican-turned-independent.
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Oops, I forgot one…
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MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker on Friday ruled out a compromise proposed by a key union to retain collective bargaining rights in exchange for public workers accepting benefit cuts.
At a press conference, Walker said he could not consider the offer by the largest state workers union because it only covered some public employees and came late in the process.
Walker and other Republicans have been trying to pass a controversial bill that would end a half-century of collective bargaining for most public workers in Wisconsin.
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From The Washington Post (Editorial):
In Egypt, workers are having a revolutionary February. In the United States, by contrast, February is shaping up as the cruelest month workers have known in decades.
The coup de grace that toppled Hosni Mubarak came after tens of thousands of Egyptian workers went on strike beginning last Tuesday.
But even as workers were helping topple the regime in Cairo, one state government in particular was moving to topple workers’ organizations here in the United States. Last Friday, Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s new Republican governor, proposed taking away most collective bargaining rights of public employees.
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From The Washington Post:
As business and labor gird for battle over legislation that would make it easier for workers to organize, the debate could be transformed by a “third way” proposed by three companies that like to project a progressive image: Costco, Starbucks and Whole Foods.
Like other businesses, the three companies are opposed to two of the Employee Free Choice Act’s components — a provision that would allow workers to form a union if a majority sign pro-union cards, without having to hold a secret-ballot election, and one that would impose binding arbitration when employers and unions fail to reach a contract after 120 days.
But the companies’ chief executive officers say they also recognize that just opposing the legislation, commonly called “card check,” is not enough because of the widespread perception in Democrat-dominated Washington that there is not a level playing field between labor and business. So the CEOs have come up with ideas they hope will form the basis of new legislation.
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