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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Walker's Union Busting Will Not Make Him President

Category: Scott Walker
Posted: 07/24/15 23:58

by Dave Mindeman

There is this narrative that persists with Scott Walker. He has made a career of denigrating the trade unions. It has endeared him to the conservative base and gets the attention of the richest 1% who dislike the unions even more.

But Walker's crusade against unions has a deceptive tone to it. When he initially pushed his legislation that limited collective bargaining through a Republican dominated state legislature, he craftily managed to make side deals with government employee unions. The police and firefighters were exempted from the early legislation, neutralizing these more stable unions and dividing the trade unions out of the picture. Walker even received police and firefighter union endorsements for his 2014 election.

With the trade unions weakened and their ranks depleted, Walker turned on his "allies" and signed Right to Work legislation (legislation that he said he wasn't interested in when running for re-election) which gutted the public sector unions ability to keep its members as well.

His initial union busting led to the now famous protests in Madison. But he has used that as a badge of honor for getting a foothold in the GOP Presidential sweepstakes.

He's not afraid to make his union busting a centerpiece of his rhetoric...

"If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world."

A little too cute for reality, but a good applause line for the right audience.

His demonizing of unions gets more and more pointed....

He denounced the protests against his efforts to undo the unions as "thuggery." He described collective bargaining as a "corrupt system" and diagnosed union leaders as having a "sense of entitlement." After beating public-sector unions and surviving recall, Walker this year signed anti-union Right-to-Work legislation. He has said he doesn't think the minimum wage serves a purpose, and he has opposed prevailing-wage and living-wage requirements.

Walker has set himself apart as the champion of middle class destruction. Because that's what this dismantling of unions really is. A large part of the income gap can be traced to the decline of union participation. Because of Walker, public sector union participation, in Wisconsin, has dropped from 50 to 37%.

Nationwide unions aren't faring much better...

At a time of extreme weakness and vulnerability for the American labor movement, the public sector is a crucial bulwark. As of last year, just 6.6 percent of private employees were union members, as opposed 35.7 percent of government workers, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Walker has gambled that the country is ready for unions to go away. That the 1% which bankroll Walker, will support him to complete the union collapse and end the annoyance of collective bargaining once and for all.

But Walker may be overestimating the national appeal for all of this. As Wisconsin continues to deflate economically, the narrative may change. The middle class in Wisconsin may be willing to take one last stand. And unions may be cornered into a full boar fight for survival.

Also, Walker has too much baggage to carry into a national campaign. The scrutiny of the national press won't miss the "John Doe" investigation, the stacking of the Supreme Court, the voter suppression tactics, the removal of the independent election commission, and his reward of donors via his economic development agency, which is only beginning to come to light.

And beyond all of that, Walker's Wisconsin policies stand in very stark contrast to his western neighbor, Dayton's Minnesota. The two governors were elected at about the same time, but took opposite economic paths. While Walker cut taxes, Dayton raised taxes on the rich. While Walker went after unions, Dayton rejected attacks on unions. While Walker's state has moved to the bottom rankings on economics, Dayton's Minnesota has been a shining light for economic growth. While Walker runs a deficit, Dayton can boast of a large surplus.

The facts are against Walker. His rhetoric is a lie.

Scott Walker may have some success in a party process that allows a Donald Trump to dominate the field. But if he were to actually be the nominee, the trailing baggage he brings to the table would be his undoing.

You can only get away with deception for so long. The truth will always eventually rise to the top.
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Gov. Scott Walker: The Dead Deer Guy

Category: Scott Walker
Posted: 04/21/15 17:00

by Dave Mindeman

Wisconsin has a new tourism promotion in the works. Thanks to the innovative thinking of Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin may soon be adding to your travel fun with the Dead Deer Spotting Game.

Well, let's hope not. But Walker has sunk to another new low. In an attempt to push the responsibility for removing dead deer from the highways.. away from Wisconsin State government and presumably onto the backs of local government agencies, he believes he has found another means to demonstrate his "fiscal responsibility".

We take it for granted in Minnesota. If we see a deer lying by the side of the road, we know that it will be removed and disposed of in a timely manner. Outside of maybe a moment of pity for the poor animal or what might have befallen the motorist who may have crossed paths with it at the wrong time, we do not have to worry about what happens next. It will be taken care of.

But in Wisconsin, that may not be the case. Highway jurisdictions can get a little tricky....and since Wisconsin state government keeps cutting local government funding, why should we assume that their budgets can just pick up the slack?

Will Wisconsin be dealing with rotting deer carcasses? Will bloated dead animals dot the Wisconsin scenery?

I'm not making light of this - this is a serious question. Gov. Scott Walker wants to be a national candidate, but I hope people soon realize that we have to hope he doesn't plan to run the nation, the way he is running Wisconsin.
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Scott Walker - Budget Innovation Part II

Category: Scott Walker
Posted: 02/18/15 18:02, Edited: 02/18/15 18:05

by Dave Mindeman

I can't seem to stay off of Scott Walker these days. But this is a move only our Congressman John Kline could love.

A state board that oversees for-profit colleges would be disbanded, allowing colleges that hve come under sharp criticism nationally and in Wisconsin to operate more freely in the state under a proposal in Gov. Scott Walker's new two-year budget.

Under the guise of "too much regulation", Scott Walker ends oversight of the For-Profit colleges in Wisconsin. John Kline is smiling.

Want the reason?

Walker's proposal to disband the Educational Approval Board, an out of the spotlight agency that decides whether for-profit colleges can operate in the state, comes after the board appeared to conflict in recent years, with Republican lawmakers over a proposal to set standards for retention and job place at for-profit schools.

Imagine that. An oversight board wants these For Profit Colleges to meet retention and job placement standards. I guess that's outrageous in Walker's view.

Well, maybe it was a budget thing.

An estimated 60,000 Wisconsin students attend 244 for-profit colleges annually, according to Dies. The board has the equeivalent of 6 1/2 full-time positions and an annual budget of about $600,000 paid entirely by fees assessed to the schools they oversee.

Self sustaining? No budget effect? Yet, Walker slams the door.

You don't suppose Walker is looking for campaign donors? Kline can give you great advice on that.

I can't believe this guy is still governor.
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