Thursday, February 17, 2011

Change You Can't Have: Obama & The DNC Interfere In Wisconsin Politics

More thugogracy from Obama and the DNC. The voters of Wisconsin spoke in November, asking for a change from Democrat controlled politics in the state that had run up a $3.6 billion tab. Now Obama and the DNC have insinuated themselves into Wisconsin politics, saying that there is some change that voters just shouldn't have, regardless of election results. Specifically, Obama and the DNC want to protect their piggy bank - public sector unions that threaten to bankrupt the state.

To understand just how despicable this federal effort to interfere in Wisconsin state politics is, know that Wisconsin's voters, in November, voted overwhelmingly for Republicans. Going into the 2010 elections, Democrats held the governorship, a 3 seat majority in the Wisconsin State Senate, and a 5 seat majority in the State Assembly. Scott Walker, in his campaign for governor, did not hide how he intended to address the budget shortfall, nor the issue of public sector unions at the heart of Wisconsin's budget woes:

. . . UW political scientist Barry Burden said. “It was part of Walker’s campaign message that he was going to ask state employees to contribute more … and that he was going to tackle unions.”

The voters of Wisconsin responded. By the time the election was over, Republicans had swept the Democrats from power, taking the governor's race, a four seat majority in the state Senate, and a massive 22 seat majority in the State Assembly. The people had spoken.

But that didn't suffice for the state's Democrats. During their 2010 lame duck session, they tried to tie Walker's hands in dealing with unions by approving 17 new union contracts. That effort to circumvent Wisconsin's voters ended only when two Democrats refused to countenance such a despicable act.

When Republicans took office, Gov. Walker proposed a Budget Repair Bill, the terms of which are more fully outlined here. It would require public union employees to contribute to their health and pension benefits, it would cap wage increases to inflation unless approved by a state wide referendum, it would require unions to annually recertify and to collect their own dues. With that restriction, unions could still collectively bargain for wage increases, but benefit increases would be solely within the purview of the state. As far as wages and benefits, this still leaves Wisconsin's public sector employees better off than Wisconsin's average private sector employees.

While Wisconsin state politics is strictly a local affair, anything that threatens public sector unions is a national threat to Obama and the DNC. This from Ben Smith at Politico:

The Democratic National Committee's Organizing for America arm -- the remnant of the 2008 Obama campaign -- is playing an active role in organizing protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's attempt to strip most public employees of collective bargaining rights.

And indeed, if you go to Organizing For America's website at, you find:

Organizing for America is mobilizing on the ground in Wisconsin to defend the rights of public employees from an attempt by the governor to take away their right to organize.

Jessie Lidbury, regional field organizer, explains why this is so important:

We’ve got a fight on our hands and it’s personal. Over the past few days serious developments have surfaced of Governor Scott Walker presenting a “Budget Repair Bill” that will essentially gut collective bargaining for public employees here in our own backyard of Wisconsin.

Over the next couple days nurses, teachers, snowplow drivers, prison guards, and public servants will be standing together to let Governor Walker, know what is at stake: livelihoods, heath care, our children's education, and the rights of all workers. . . .

Our job as organizers is to take action, and what better way than to help out our friends in the labor community. . . .

And the "action" the left is taking shows the civility for which they are so famous:

This federal level engagement into Wisconsin state politics, between Obama terming the proposed legislation as an "assault" and the DNC's direct action, is outrageous. I would like to see Gov. Walker go the full monty and just outlaw public sector unions in Wisconsin, the way such unions were deemed unlawful for much of our nation's history. Really, that is the only answer this toxin in our society.

As I have written before:

Unions in the public sector are a growth industry with 39% of all state and local public employees belonging to unions. What can possibly justify public sector unions in 2010? This is not the era of sweatshops and 80 hour work weeks. And indeed, today we see public sector union employees earning significantly more than their private sector counterparts.

Public sector unions are particularly insidious. They are not subject to market forces and they have every reason to seek growth of government. This from a 2009 Heritage Foundation article:

. . . As Heritage fellow James Sherk reported earlier this year, for the first time in history most union members work for the government, not the private sector. The days when “union member” meant an American working in a steel plant, or coal mine, or auto factory are gone. Today, unions are dependent on government, not the private sector, for their livelihood. Therefore, unions have little interest in private sector job growth. Private sector jobs don’t help fund political campaigns. But government jobs do. The change in incentives has been devastating to American taxpayers. Manhattan Institute senior fellow Steven Malanga explains why:

In the private sector … employers who are too generous with pay and benefits will be punished. In the public sector, however, more union members means more voters. And more voters means more dollars for political campaigns to elect sympathetic politicians who will enact higher taxes to foot the bill for the upward arc of government spending on workers.

This is why you see big labor supporting Obamacare and cap and trade taxes. Private sector job growth does nothing to increase union dues … only the further expansion of government does.

This is public theft on a grand scale. The Democrats are laundering our tax dollars through public sector unions via mandatory union dues from public employees. Bet you didn't realize that you were funding Democratic efforts to keep Obama and the far left in power, did you. At any rate, the Democrats are horrified at the thought that it may soon unravel. In fact, they are far more horrified at that prospect than they are concerned with allowing the Wisconsin voters be heard through their newly elected government. Democracy be damned. Apparently in the world of hope and change, there is some change that is just not acceptable.

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- Grand Theft Democrat
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- Reason 10,001 Why Public Sector Unions Need To Be Outlawed
- Public Sector Unions Go To War To Prevent Democratic Change In Wisconsin