Tag Archives: Scott Walker Wisconsin

FIGHT TO OUST WALKER GOES BEYOND GOV’S EXPECTATIONS

This is far from over, but the one thing this does assure, is that Scott Walker will have to run for his seat again, and given the fact that one million signatures were collected to force a recall election, I’m not certain that he will win a second time.  In this case, I believe “voters remorse” will be the one driving force that will kick Walker out…

The Huffington Post

Democrats needed to collect 540,208 signatures to trigger a gubernatorial recall election against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). On Tuesday, they announced they had far exceeded that number, collecting more than one million signatures.

Tuesday was the deadline for recall organizers, led by the group United Wisconsin, to turn in their petitions. The number collected is 185 percent of the signatures required to force a recall election. Organizers also collected enough to trigger a recalls of the lieutenant governor and four Republican state senators.

The total went far beyond Walker’s expectations.

“From what they say, they’re probably going to turn in 720,000 today,” Walker said in an interview with right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh Tuesday afternoon. “That’s a lot of signatures, but they’ve been planning this since late last spring. They’ve got tons of money from the big government unions in Washington and around the country.”

A Walker recall is the next step in a campaign to oust state Republicans who pushed forward controversial budget legislation stripping state employees of their collective bargaining rights. In August, Democrats successfully recalled two Republican state senators from office, but they fell short of the three needed to take control of the chamber.

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Scott Walker Recall Volunteers Say They Have Proof Of Intimidation By Opponents

Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker recall effort is turning out to be nasty and filled with dirty tricks from Scott Walker advocates.

The Huffington Post

Volunteers working for the effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) captured a video this week that they claim is proof of the sort of intimidation and harassment they’ve been subjected to over the past month.

In the video, available at ABC affiliate WISN, a visibly upset Fred Frisby can be seen approaching the camera of Walker recall volunteer Steve Nagel while hurling obscenities and eventually making physical contact. Frisby was later arrested by local police and charged with disorderly conduct.

“I just thought this guy is out of control. I could just see the steam coming off his head. So I thought, ‘Wow, this could be serious,’” Nagel, who was out on a busy street in Brookfield, Wisconsin collecting petitions, told WISN.

Another volunteer, Steve Spieckerman said Frisby got angry after volunteers wouldn’t answer questions about what they didn’t like about Scott Walker.

“Do you pay health care? No, you don’t pay health care. You mooching off the system?” Frisby can be seen asking, before apparently grabbing Nagel’s camera.

“He turned around and he jammed the camera back in my chest and he put his fist up to my face and said, ‘How do you like that?’” Nagel said.

Some petitioners claim that this type of behavior has become typical in the recall campaign.

Volunteer Jim Brown told WISN that there are “a lot of people who flip us off, who yell at us and call us names,” but earlier reports suggest that some actions are more hostile than this.

There have been multiple reports of opponents to the Scott Walker recall effort destroying or defacing petitions, a felony act punishable by a $10,000 fine or up to 3 1/2 years in jail. Volunteers have also alleged more violent forms of intimidation, such as death threats, destruction of property and onereported incident in which a driver supposedly threatened petitioners with his vehicle.

Despite these claimed encounters, volunteers for the Scott Walker recall effort reported that they had collected more than 300,000 signatures as of the end of November, just 12 days after the beginning of the petition drive. They’ll need to collect 540,208 valid signatures by Jan. 17 in order to trigger a recall election.

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WALKER RECALL EFFORT THWARTED BY ‘DIRTY TRICKS’

This was expected and to me it’s unacceptable.  How is it in our Democracy, things like this are accepted as the norm?

The Huffington Post

Few races next year will carry as much symbolic importance as the campaign to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). His push to strip state workers of collective bargaining rights set off a nationwide debate over the role of unions and public workers and reenergized progressives who were still recovering from the tough losses they sustained during the 2010 elections.

Both sides recognize the importance of the campaign, which is also targeting the lieutenant governor and three Republican state senators. Progressive activists are working to collect enough petition signatures to force a recall of the governor, and Walker and his allies have already started an ad campaign in response.

Underlying all this is a scattered amount of isolated, underhanded activity that may be illegal. The past weekend even saw two arrests of recall opponents.

On Sunday, a man was arrested on allegations that he defaced recall petitions.

“The suspect stood in line to sign a petition and when given the petition clipboard, he scribbled out some names on the actual form, and the recall worker took the clipboard back, and he left the scene without any incident,” West Bend, Wis. police Sgt. Matt Rohlinger told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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Wisconsin Gov. Walker Ginned Up Budget Shortfall To Undercut Worker Rights

With all the focus given to the revolution demonstrations in Egypt and other mideast countries, I think it’s a shame that the news coverage thus far in our own country about middle-class Americans who are being targeted  by their state leadership, has been sparse and with the exception of MSNBC, appear to be quite anti-union.

The immediate issue however, is whether or not the so-called fiscal crisis is real or imagined.  Some believe that it’s imagined since not all unions will be subjected to the draconian cuts proposed by Governor Scott Walker.  It appears that those unions who supported Walker during his campaign for Governor are exempt from the “fiscal cuts”.   Now that’s just wrong…

TPMDC

Wisconsin’s new Republican governor has framed his assault on public worker’s collective bargaining rights as a needed measure of fiscal austerity during tough times.

The reality is radically different. Unlike true austerity measures — service rollbacks, furloughs, and other temporary measures that cause pain but save money — rolling back worker’s bargaining rights by itself saves almost nothing on its own. But Walker’s doing it anyhow, to knock down a barrier and allow him to cut state employee benefits immediately.

Furthermore, this broadside comes less than a month after the state’s fiscal bureau — the Wisconsin equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office — concluded that Wisconsin isn’t even in need of austerity measures, and could conclude the fiscal year with a surplus. In fact, they say that the current budget shortfall is a direct result of tax cut policies Walker enacted in his first days in office.

“Walker was not forced into a budget repair bill by circumstances beyond he control,” says Jack Norman, research director at the Institute for Wisconsin Future — a public interest think tank. “He wanted a budget repair bill and forced it by pushing through tax cuts… so he could rush through these other changes.”

“The state of Wisconsin has not reached the point at which austerity measures are needed,” Norman adds.

In a Wednesday op-ed, the Capitol Times of Madison picked up on this theme.

In its Jan. 31 memo to legislators on the condition of the state’s budget, the Fiscal Bureau determined that the state will end the year with a balance of $121.4 million.To the extent that there is an imbalance — Walker claims there is a $137 million deficit — it is not because of a drop in revenues or increases in the cost of state employee contracts, benefits or pensions. It is because Walker and his allies pushed through $140 million in new spending for special-interest groups in January.

You can read the fiscal bureaus report here (PDF). It holds that “more than half” of the new shortfall comes from three of Walker’s initiatives:

  • $25 million for an economic development fund for job creation, which still holds $73 million because of anemic job growth.
  • $48 million for private health savings accounts — a perennial Republican favorite.
  • $67 million for a tax incentive plan that benefits employers, but at levels too low to spur hiring.

In essence, public workers are being asked to pick up the tab for this agenda. “The provisions in his bill do two things simultaneously,” Norman says. “They remove bargaining rights, and having accomplished that, make changes in the benefit packages.” That’s how Walker’s plan saves money. And when it’s all said and done, these workers will have lost their bargaining rights going forward in perpetuity.

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Filed under Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Unions, Wisconson Fiscal Crisis, Wisconson GOP