March 3, 2011- Could Scott Walker's virtual blackmailing of the citizens of Wisconsin end up costing Badger State taxpayers millions of dollars?
As BuzzFlash pointed out in an earlier column, "Walker Whacks Wisconsin Taxpayers With Bill for Wackenhut After Illegally Asserting Powers", Walker used the time-pressed coercion technique to fire union security guards at the Milwaukee County Court House and two other buildings. As executive director of the county, he bypassed the board to crush the union, claiming a fiscal emergency.
Sound familiar? Well, as we noted (hat tip to Rachel Maddow), an arbitrator has subsequently ruled against Walker. As a result, the taxpayers of Milwaukee will have to pay half a million dollars in back wages to the union security guards, who were ordered reinstated. That's on top of the money wasted on the union-busting Wackenhut firm, whose Milwaukee supervisor was allegedly a convicted criminal.
Fast forward to 2011 and we have another potential situation of claiming an emergency, taking precipitous ideological action, and the state taxpayers potentially ending up paying the bill as they are doing in Milwaukee County.
Already, at least one Wisconsin labor union has filed a formal complaint against Walker, charging him with refusing to bargain with them, in violation of current law.
Meanwhile, as Ruth Cuniff reports in The Progressive, fear of Walker's thuggish efforts to enrich wealthy backers at the expense of public workers is driving state employees to retire early at a record pace, causing confusion and disruption in state services.
Walker leaves a trail of bills and chaos in his wake. Unfortunately, the taxpayers will likely have to pay the debt down the road for his high-handed, high-pressure tactics.