Daily Archives: February 19, 2011

Daily Kos: What Most People Don’t Understand About the Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill

February 18, 2011- I have been attending the rallies, watching the coverage, reading the blogs and comments and come to the conclusion that most people don't know the true horror of this bill. I have come to set the record straight particularly when I saw a Front Page Diary here on Daily Kos that, again, talks about this bill only affecting state workers.

There is no fiscal crisis in Wisconsin. Governor Walker reports a nearly 130 million dollar deficit, but doesn't report that he caused it by giving a 140 million dollar tax break to large multinational corporations here in Wisconsin (e.g. WalMart). However, this cover story gives him an excuse to do the unthinkable.

NYT: Wisconsin Leads Way as Workers Fight State Cuts

February 18, 2011- The unrest in Wisconsin this week over Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to cut the bargaining rights and benefits of public workers is spreading to other states.

Already, protests erupted in Ohio this week, where another newly elected Republican governor, John Kasich, has been seeking to take away collective bargaining rights from unions.

Yes! magazine: Wisconsin: The First Stop in An American Uprising?

It took awhile, but Wisconsin shows that the poor and middle class of the U.S. may be ready to push back. Madison may be only the beginning.

February 18, 2011- The uprising that swept Tunisia, Egypt, and parts of Europe is showing signs of blossoming across the United States.

In Wisconsin, public employees and their supporters are drawing the line at Governor Scott Walker’s plan to eliminate collective bargaining and unilaterally cut benefits. School teachers, university students, firefighters, and others descended on the capital in the tens of thousands, and even the Superbowl champion Green Bay Packers have weighed in against the bill. Protests against similar anti-union measures are ramping up in Ohio.

CMD PR Watch: A CMD Special Report: Scott Walker Runs on Koch Money

February 18, 2011- A new investigation by the Center for Media and Democracy documents the big money funneled by one of the richest men in America and one of the richest corporations in the world to put controversial Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in office.

The Republican Governors Association and the Kochs' Investment in Scott Walker

Walker was elected just over three months ago on the heels of an exceptionally expensive gubernatorial race in the Badger State, fueled by groups funded by the Koch brothers, David and Charles. David Koch, the son of a radical founding member of the John Birch Society, which has long been obsessed with claims about socialism and advocated the repeal of civil rights laws, personally donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association (RGA) in June of last year. This was the most he had ever personally given to that group. (Fellow billionaire Rupert Murdoch matched Koch's donation to the RGA with a $1 million donation from his company News Corporation, parent company of FOX "News" Channel.)

LA Progressive: The Republican Strategy

February 19, 2011- The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.

Truthout: What Conservatives Really Want

Dedicated to the peaceful protestors in Wisconsin, February 19, 2011.

February 19, 2011- The central issue in our political life is not being discussed. At stake is the moral basis of American democracy.

The individual issues are all too real: assaults on unions, public employees, women's rights, immigrants, the environment, health care, voting rights, food safety, pensions, prenatal care, science, public broadcasting and on and on.

LA Progressive: D-Day For Public Employees

February 19, 2011- What we are witnessing right now in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, and other states is the final battle against the last bastion of union strength in this country. With the aggressive onslaught aimed at public employees and their unions that Republican governors have unleashed in recent weeks, it’s long past time for politicians calling themselves “Democrats” to push aside the anti-labor elements inside their party and stand up for basic worker protections.

Chicago Tribune: Wisconsin budget battle rallies continue

February 19, 2011- In opposing rallies that were both peaceful and spirited, an estimated 60,000 demonstrators surrounded the Wisconsin State Capitol on Saturday, the largest crowd yet in a weeklong clash that has become the center of a broader ideological battle over union rights and taxes.

State workers and pro-labor activists have filled the streets of downtown Madison to oppose Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to force Wisconsin employees to contribute more for their health care and pensions and to strip them of their collective bargaining rights.

With activists flying in from around the country, those protests were countered Saturday by a smaller but equally strident crowd of supporters of Walker’s state budget measure.

BuzzFlash: Scott Walker Padded Salary Increases for Cronies During Budgetary Distress: 24% Salary Increase for Aide with 2 Public Pensions

February 19, 2011- Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin who is spearheading the GOP effort to crush collective bargaining, lavished relatively large salary increases on his staff when he was chief executive of the Milwaukee County Board. Walker surreptitiously did this in 2008 – without the approval of the county board itself and at a time that the county was facing a fiscal deficit, and Walker was about to lay off a large number of union workers. In addition, 700 county positions had already been left vacant due to budgetary pressures.

AlterNet: 12 Things You Need to Know About the Uprising in Wisconsin

February 18, 2011- What's happening in Wisconsin is not complicated. At the beginning of this year, the state was on course to end 2011 with a budget surplus of $120 million. As Ezra Klein explained, newly elected GOP Governor Scott Walker then " signed two business tax breaks and a conservative health-care policy experiment that lowers overall tax revenues (among other things). The new legislation was not offset, and it turned a surplus into a deficit."

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