Daily Archives: March 9, 2011

Wisconsin State Journal: Thousands storm the Capitol as state reacts to budget votes in Legislature

March 9, 2011- Thousands of protesters rushed to the state Capitol Wednesday night as word spread of the hastily called votes that sent Gov. Scott Walker's controversial bill limiting collective bargaining rights for public workers speeding through the Legislature.

Shortly after 8 p.m., hundreds of protesters gathered outside the locked King Street entrance to the Capitol, chanting "Break down the door!" and "General strike!"

Moments later, police ceded control of the State Street doors and allowed the crowd to surge inside. The area outside the Assembly, which is scheduled to take the bill up at 11 a.m. Thursday, was jammed with protesters who chanted, "We're not leaving. Not this time."

Some said they planned to spend the night in the Capitol. Last week, a Dane County Circuit Court judge ordered dozens of protesters who had been occupying the Capitol for more than two weeks to leave.

FOK News: The Suicide Of The Republican Party

-By Keith Olbermann

March 9, 2011- Still having never learned to be calm, retract their claws, and sit around and act rationally in a situation that calls for panic, Wisconsin’s Republicans and their Corporate Puppeteers tonight guaranteed themselves an unprecedented and disastrous recall next January.

More over, they also guaranteed themselves that any cloak of stealth under which they have operated in their attacks on teachers, firefighters, policemen, unions, and the settled law of collective bargaining, has been stripped away. If you pass a supposedly urgent “budget repair” bill with key budget components cut from it, you forfeit the fiction that you are doing anything remedial, anything essential, anything except a naked power grab on behalf of corporations who will get the money stolen from organized labor – civic or private.

Think Progress: WI Senate GOP Leader Admits On-Air That His Goal Is To Defund Labor Unions, Hurt Obama’s Reelection Chances

March 9, 2011- A prank call from a man purporting to be petrochemical billionaire David Koch to Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) a few weeks ago revealed that Walker had crafted his “budget repair” bill in a bid to crush the labor unions. The revelation was at odds with the GOP’s public argument, that removing collective bargaining rights has something to do with the state’s budget deficit.

In an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly moments ago, State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), one of Walker’s closest allies in the legislature, confirmed the true political motive of Walker’s anti-union push. Fitzgerald explained that “this battle” is about eliminating unions so that “the money is not there” for the labor movement. Specifically, he said that the destruction of unions will make it “much more difficult” for President Obama to win reelection in Wisconsin:

Talking Points Memo: Wis. State Senate Passes Anti-Union Bill, In End-Run Around Dem Boycott

March 9, 2011- Capping a dramatic turn of events, the Wisconsin state Senate on Wednesday night passed a new, stripped-down "budget repair bill" — which now excludes all the fiscal elements of the original budget repair bill, and simply includes the original's provisions to roll back the collective bargaining and organizational rights of Wisconsin's public employee unions.

With all 14 Democrats absent, having fled the state weeks ago in order to block the three-fifths budget quorum, the bill passed by an 18-1 margin, with only moderate Republican Dale Schultz voting no.

Gov. Scott Walker (R) has released this statement:

Talking Points Memo: Wisconsin Conference Committee Passes New, Stripped-Down Anti-Union Bill

March 9, 2011- The special conference committee in Wisconsin — convened in order to strip out the fiscal elements of Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill, in order to pass the anti-public employee union proposals and avoid the state SenateDemocratic boycott of the three-fifths budget quorum — just met for roughly five minutes and passed the bill.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D) attempted to make a motion to delay the meeting or make amendments — and was not recognized for a motion by the chair, state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. Barca argued, over Fitzgerald's attempts to say there would be no motions, that the conference committee violated the state's open meetings law, which requires at least 24 hours notice before a government meeting, unless there is good cause to act more quickly.

The bill then passed in committee on a 4-2, party-line margin — and in a surreal sight, the online feed of the state equivalent of C-Span, Wisconsin Eye, faded out to tranquil music as the video was playing the shouting and ire of the meeting itself.

Slate: Wisconsin Senate GOP Tries Nuclear Option for Passing Anti-Union Bill [UPDATE: It Worked]

March 9, 2011- Up to now, the Budget Repair Bill in Wisconsin has been frozen because all fourteen Senate Democrats will not return to the state to negotiate it. There's no quorum — the bill, which consists of many fiscal components, can't pass.

Republicans in the Senate are trying an end run around that now. They have called a conference committee meeting — which is open to the media — where the key fiscal component of the bill, a refinancing provision, will be stripped out. The collective bargaining component, the pay cuts, pension reform — all still there. That would allow the stripped-down bill to pass the Senate with no Democrats present.

Talking Points Memo: WI GOPers Making End Run Around Absent Dems On Anti-Union Bill

March 9, 2011- Reports are coming in from Wisconsin that state Republicans could be on the verge of doing an end-run around state Senate Democrats — who have fled the state in order to block the three-fifths budget quorum on Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill and its anti-public employee union provisions. The apparent solution: Convene a special conference committee this evening to strip out the fiscal elements of the budget repair bill — and then pass the anti-union proposals with simple majority quorums.

Two weeks ago, state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) had ruled out such a tactic, but it appears things may have changed as tense negotiations have dragged on. If the bill now passes in this form, most collective bargaining rights of public employees in Wisconsin would be stripped, and new limitations on union organization would be imposed.

The Associated Press reports: "Democratic Sen. Bob Jauch says he thinks Republicans plan to 'ram through' parts of the bill that take away collective bargaining rights but that don't cost any money."

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