June 7, 2012
Hurry up before November
The hangover might be worse than you anticipated. WEAC put $4 million into the recall...much of that went into the Falk campaign. Executive director Dan Burkhalter said "we had nothing to lose." Mary Bell, president of WEAC, met with the JS editorial board yesterday long before a strategy could be discussed with pro-union forces. Does Bell think the JS will see the light? Bell's MO seems to be to meet with the adversary before friends have time to smell the coffee. Yes, business as usual!
The JS editorial board is hardly a friendly place for a union leader. One must question the urgency of explaining moves to the opposition. Moves that didn't work, at this moment. The Democratic Party convention is this weekend in Appleton. Will the faithful open the windows for fresh air?
Bell said, and I am not making this up, "We are unsure whether the governor will be open to discussing public education in the state." Whoa Nelly! Here is the quote of the day: "We have to find a better way to have a civil dialogue," said Bell. This reminds me of a story told by my 5th grade nun. A saint was being burned at the stake. She allegedly said, "Turn me over I'm done on this side."
WEAC sounds like that martyr. Parse Bell's statement. "We" (who is the "we"?) "must find a better way." Oh, really? You think Walker is itching to roll up his sleeves and get into a discussion about saving public education with teachers? That the victor believes there must be a "better way" to be civil? C'mon!
WEAC membership has dropped from 90,000 to 70,000. But the leaders are hopeful that passion will continue as the union rallies around issues and as their leaders are meeting with the governor to seek civility, and, with fingers crossed, a discussion on public school funding.
And WEAC is working on membership drives this summer.
It looks like Democrats will control the Senate with a one vote margin. (A formula for disaster if ever I have seen one. Remember how Tommy lured conservative Democratic legislators with job offers? Jobs that paid more?) And, with a one-vote majority every Democrat becomes a king maker on every issue.
Democrats in the Legislature can hardly wait to occupy the new majority digs. Given the fact that elections are just six months away and the GOP-Koch coffers are full, I suggest that the Dems keep their bags packed and hit the campaign trail.
Meanwhile Mark Miller wants a "smooth transition," as if that mattered. Ah, yes, no more civil war. Instead of war we will have dialogue! ad nauseum. Miller said this as if giving his acceptance speech for the Lady Bing award in the NHL. I am not kidding. He said, "There is now in place a system of checks and balances in terms of the Legislature and that is an important benefit for the people of Wisconsin." Wow.
Note to Miller: The Senate won't meet this year. And the Walker-Koch folks don't play bean bags. They will slit your throat if you leave it exposed. Dialogue, checks and balances? Rodney King moves to Madison to urge that we all just get along!
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One word for the public employees.
STRIKE, Especially before schools start.
Parents want to beat up on teachers, let them spend more time with their sniveling brats.
-Rocky | Little Chicago, WI | June 7, 2012
More WEAC adventures in cliff diving.
-nonheroicvet | Disgusted, WI | June 7, 2012
Workers have so much power yet they have not the guts to use it. If workers are organized, they can shut down the entire planet. The corporations and wealthy know this. Any reason why the same would want workers to unionize?
Not only are unions a passing fade, so too is the democratic party.
The recall was a grassroots movement of the people. The democrats were not organized. The national democracts failed to support us. We never had a strong candidate from the moment the word recall first appeared. We needed a leader early on. The primary was one of recycled has-beens. None are proven leaders.
The time is ripe for a new party. The time is now that workers unite and fight. Every day we procrastinate is another day toward democracy's demise.
-Pietr Haikuu | Hurley, WI | June 7, 2012
A couple well-spun half-truths manipulated rural Wisconsin to go against first, what they believed were too highly paid state workers.
Swept along with that, teachers...most of whose salaries do not fall into outrageous categories compared to other states.
In fact, most teachers, outside of cities, are not paid comparatively to other states. They choose good insurance instead. But all that opened fodder for slimy Texas and Oklahoma amoeba to play with, and spin. Rural areas are notorious for not understanding or ever greatly supporting union necessity for reasons other than salary. Non financial reasons for unions are MORE important than the salary issue. To get control of salaries and benefits..and any worker objections or arguments over any issues,from safety to hours, goodbye to collective bargaining for any reason. That is the main reason most teachers objected.
They will still need their unions to retain a good collective of attorneys now. It will take them time to realize that.
In fact, it will take most of Wisconsin and most of America to get more miserable, and they will, before they realize what this "free trade" bunch is up to. Too many small businesses have not woken up to the International American Super Corporation takeover of party. (Grandpa's Republican Party is dead. It has been infiltrated and ruined for previously legit small business use.)
Meantime, what we have left are movements toward our own trade groups, and alternative financial systems just beginning, and some growing and growing.
Go to Boycott Scott Walker's Contributors Facebook Page.
For a much needed laugh, go to www.borowitzreport.com and find the report on Canada and the Wisconsin Boat People! Ciao
-hmj | Madison, Wi | June 7, 2012
There are many ignorant and misinformed people in our state. There are many who disdain Madison and Milwaukee. They have no jobs to speak of, so they have developed an unshakable envy for anyone with a job, a salary, benefits and a future. They have minimal education, so they cannot comprehend concepts such as recall, fascism, evil, etc.
The recall people did not get their message through the thick skulls of those in the state who can neither think critically nor separate fact from Walker's lies.
The Walker ads, the robocalls, the threat of losing guns, all fed the frenzy.
We lost, not because the Walker group won but because we lost our message and the inability to get it out to everyone.
-Maria Caliente | Middleton, Wisc. | June 7, 2012
There is a great idea Maria calling voters stupid is what was missing. Maybe add that to the other winning strategies of not showing up for work, writing fake sick notes, taking over the capital for weeks, running off to Illinois, yelling shame shame shame and in general acting like adolecent teenagers that didn't get thier way for over a year. Oh lets not forget putting two clowns like Tate and Zeilinski out as your spokesman. Your now good to go for November.
-SW | Waukesha WI | June 7, 2012
Ed Garvey's skepticism about WEAC's attempt at fence building is well-founded.
Remember, when you talk to Governor Scott Walker, you are not really talking to him. He is controlled by four main entities: (1) The Republican National Committee (Wisconsinite, Reince Preibus, Chairman); (2) Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, (WMC); (3) Karl Rove-Republican mastermind, who incredibly brought us George W. Bush, and he's still standing; and (4) the Corporate Elites: the Koch Brothers, Ms. Hendricks of Beloit and ABC Supply and Divide and Conquer fame, home builder Bob Perry of Houston, and others.
All of the aforementioned groups want to totally CRUSH public sector unions, first and private sector unions second.
Walker takes his marching orders from these groups. He doesn't care about what WEAC wants; these groups don't care about WEAC other than to crush WEAC.
As Ed Garvey has stated previously on this blog, quoting his late, great professor, Nate Feinsinger: "Once a bargaining partner has lied, he must be replaced, he is no longer trustworthy."
It's a long time until Walker's term ends in January 2015-assuming he is not reelected in 2014. In the meantime, you have to perceive him and his minions as the enemy, not a trustworthy person to negotiate policy.
Maybe Russ Feingold will run for Governor in 2014?
-Steven Arvid Anderson | Appleton, Wisconsin | June 7, 2012
Is the recall failure an omen for Tammy Baldwin and other Democrats running for November elections? We should worry about these more than Obama. Just think of the possibilities if Tammy should lose as well as others trying to get into Congress?
-Daryl | Hazel Green Wisconsin | June 7, 2012
Unfortunately, the right to strike was taken away from teachers almost 40 years ago. Any teachers who go on strike automatically forfeit their employment. Also, replacing intellectual argument with wrote-memory, non-intellectual standardized tests has convinced most of the public that the Republicans are all about education reform. They are, but not in the sense that most people think. Their reform is all about taking away what education should be all about...providing the means for students to make well-informed decisions based upon researching for information from many sources in order to make an informed decision. They want only one source of "correct" information available so that everyone will accept their lies as the truth. Soon, any education worth a damn will only be had by those that have the means to pay and/or travel out the U.S. to obtain one.
-Craig Koch | Appleton, WI | June 7, 2012
I'm all set for phase two. When can we expect the first indictment?
-Maria Caliente | Middleton, Wisconsin | June 7, 2012
(Craig) Some believe that "no child left behind" was designed:
1.) to ignore curriculum needs of a majority of high school/middle school students (there should be magnet schools for all instead of charter or vouchers for a few.)
2.)provide OUR tax dollars for private school welfare (for those who do not want to rub elbows with the world as they have voted it)
3.)privide "voucher" schools for a few, who incidentally (we recently read) do not always take the same tests, and got caught NOT doing as well when they DID take standardized tests (in spite of the fact that all were falsely touted as doing better than public schools).
4.)hide reality: that this kind of testing, impossible for the majority of kids to do great in high schools, was designed to be used as an excuse to NOT pay them decent wages when they graduate. In addition, there has long been a suspicion that private post high school education privides opportunity to give different tests, different results, glorious resumes, that together with more difficult tests for public universities and colleges, enables placing private students in line for better jobs and higher salaries paid for privately by the wealthy. (All the better if they can demand that tax payers assist private education even after high school.) (Texas chooses and rewrites the nation's text books? Bad idea. No publishing excuse with internet now.) (As well, the intent was to label teaching ability, no matter the native ability of various learners.)
(Maria) You are right in saying that the entire message did not get explained fully...but I do NOT feel that it was due to naive people on the receiving end. Our media from city to country is not giving objective facts in many cases, in many hometown papers. Pretending to be "news", papers and stations now have strong political views that they push. It used to be a requirement that news was objective to be at all credible.
And, you are also right in saying that (state party?) marketing crews did not understand the whole story, or did not manage to get it ALL out there. I think some who have been through dirty politics could have.
There was not enough time between primary and election. Barrett was excellent, on target with his debate messages, but there was not enough time to pull complete info together after the primary.
During a rubarb like this one, we also must realize that there is advantage for those in densely involved areas: they are privy to more info.
Lots of thoughts...good to read them all.
-hmj | madison, wi | June 8, 2012
PREDICTION: The crisis of this entire election is that NO TEACHERS will DARE to stand up for students or staff in an educational setting without union collective bargaining behind them.
School staff are now just like private industry: it's gonna be who brings political payola to school that will be assured of fairness.... not kids who may believe that they are "nobody." Now kids who feel that they're nobody got nobody...certainly not Waukasha politicians and their prima donnas.
Same thing for staff in all work places.
Keep your unions.
Unions, keep your lawyers.
Gonna need them. No doubt.
-hmj | madison, wi | June 8, 2012
I don't see many Barrett or Recall signs as I drive the rural areas, but there are still plenty of Walker signs. These are annoying enough, but surrounded by American flags? Disgusting! Then there's the one next to a barn with a huge Packers' logo painted on it. The sign read Walker for Governor. Governor was crossed out and below it the word President. Ouch! Maybe it's more than Wisconsin going down the drain. Perhaps the entire nation.
I abhor the "God Bless America" signoff at political speeches. Perhaps we ought to insist, "God save us all!"
-Franz Fripplfrappl | Madison | June 8, 2012
SW, the only wrong mentioned in your piece is the writing of fake sick notes. Taking over the capital is a constitutionally protected action, not showing up for work(strike) is an American labor tradition( Reagan broke the ATC union after their illegal strike, Walker broke the WEAC for no reason hence an illegal strike was warranted), running off to Illinois was a noble way to represent their constituents and yelling shame,shame,shame, I would have used stronger words to inform the republicans for their total disregard of the rules of government.
Pietr, The dems and the unions have sold out the middle class- working class, Clinton and Obama have become the first democratic presidents with more friends on Wall St than friends in labor, Unions lunch with their adversaries not their members. As a college educated professional, I'd rather hunt, fish and share a beer with some of my conservative neighbors than the suits of either party.
-Dole O'Mite | Waukesha County | June 8, 2012
Once again Ed's got it right !
-Bill Dixon | Monona | June 8, 2012
The whole country IS going down the drain. Wisconsin was a source of hope, but it appears that massive amounts of corporate money can brainwash enough voters into going against their own interest, and common sense, to keep corporate puppets in power. The political and economic institutions in this country are thoroughly corrupt and must be replaced. Most modern democratic societies allow voters to choose from a number of parties/candidates across the political spectrum, not just two hand picked by wall st thieves. Anyone who must raise 10s of millions of dollars to win a political office can not honestly represent the people, they are beholden to their sponsors/corporate masters.
-Ron | SoCal | June 8, 2012
WEAC membership has ONLY fallen from 90,000 to 70,000 because most teachers cannot opt out until July 1st. Shortly after that, when Mary Bell and WEAC are no longer relevant, then it will be time for educators, parents, officials, and school boards to get together for a long overdue reform of the Wisconsin educational system that rewards great teachers and promotes student achievement.
-HR Rearden | Stevens Point, WI | June 9, 2012
"When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interests of school children."
Albert Shanker, Former Teachers Union President
-MadTown Teacher | Madison, WI | June 11, 2012
No one was able to verify that Shanker actually made this quote. Not sure of the point of this remark; that being the case.
-hmj | madison, wi | June 16, 2012