State Sens. Joe Leibham and Glenn Grothman said they are among as many as 18 Republican senators who received a death threat following their votes to eliminate most collective bargaining powers for public workers.
The threat was sent in an e-mail late Wednesday with the subject, “Death threat!!!! Bomb!!!!” according to a copy of the letter released by Grothman’s office. The e-mail also was addressed to Sen. Pam Galloway, R-Wausau.
Grothman, R-West Bend, said the e-mail is the latest example of “a new height in incivility.” He said in recent weeks he has received obscene phone calls at all hours of the night, been jostled at the Capitol and has been shouted down during interviews.
“This is another example of the anger which is being spewed by the government unions,” Grothman said. “This has been all about intimidating … Republican legislators into bowing to the public unions, and it has only steeled our resolve.”
Grothman said he is hesitant to completely disregard the threat given the volatile atmosphere in Madison. A note shoved under his door Wednesday night said, “The only good Republican is a dead Republican.”
I’m standing up and applauding Senator Grothman for defending his vote and not being intimidated by these violent, vitriolic union douchebags, and for speaking truth to power about what the unions try to do by intimidation. For too long public unions have had their way with state governments by looting taxpayers, and expecting governors to ask “how high?” whenever they say jump.
No more. It’s time to bring an end to this insanity.
Here’s what Governor Walker thinks about polls:
“Polls are nice, if they are on your side,” he said. “But in the end, you’ve got to govern based upon what you think is the right thing.”
Yesterday, Scott Walker and Wisconsin Senate Republicans did the right thing and scored a bold victory and took a huge step towards relinquishing the stranglehold that public unions have on the state budget and on Wisconsin taxpayers:
Bypassing Democrats hiding out in Illinois, Wisconsin Senate Republicans voted Wednesday night to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights.
Republicans voted 18-1 to pass the stripped-down budget bill in a hastily arranged meeting. None of the Senate Democrats were present.
The State Assembly is expected to vote on the bill Thursday.
All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker’s so-called “budget repair bill” — a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall..
The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday split from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, and a special conference committee of state lawmakers approved that bill a short time later.
Thanks to this bill — which doesn’t touch any of the civil service protections afforded public workers, nor any private-sector unions — public sector workers will have a choice over whether to join a union. Thanks to this bill, public workers who elect not to join a union won’t be forced to pay dues anyway. Thanks to this bill, elected officials won’t be negotiating away taxpayer dollars the people who finance their campaigns. So, naturally, the Democrats call it the the undoing of fifty years of “civil rights.”
The blowback will be brutal–from the media, the unions, the professional left, etc–and as enormous as this victory is, the work continues. And it will be rough. Efforts to recall the governor and the state senators have been underway for over a week now and this will only help to accelerate them.
The governor and senators made a gutsy move, as they’re risking their political careers over their actions, but that should suit voters just fine. Isn’t that what Americans want? Elected officials who do the right thing, in spite of the risk to their careers?
We can only hope that what Governor Walker has done will inspire conservatives throughout the country and do the right thing for their own constituents.
And let’s not forget–this is a blow to President Obama, the Democratic Party and their enablers in the public sector unions, which fund it all. The President needs the unions, or more specifically, needs their cash.
Speaking of which, here’s an interesting take:
Barack Obama paid for, organized, and is putting on this riot.
Repeat ad nauseam. This is what Barack Obama wants. This is what Barack Obama believes. Barack Obama thinks that, if laws don’t go your way, you form a violent mob and riot.
Look very closely, America. The pictures you see from Madison tonight are of Barack Obama’s worldview.
They want it bad. After meeting with Vice- President Biden yesterday, Senator Lautenberg cleared any misconceptions of where Democrat priorities are:
“Show me the money, show me the revenue,” Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.) told reporters following a Democratic conference meeting. “People like me fortunate enough to have done okay should — must — pay more for their share of this society.”
How much money is enough Senator Lautenberg? What’s considered “fair”? And where will all this money go?
I think I have an idea:
Walker, whose state faces a $3.6 billion budget shortfall, outlined a two-year, $59 billion budget that would cut spending across the board. Over $4 billion would be gutted from state coffers, a 6.7 percent reduction. “The facts are clear: Wisconsin is broke,” he said. “It’s time to start paying our bills today — so our kids are not stuck with even bigger bills tomorrow.”
Walker, who is not shy about his fiscal conservatism, takes an axe to numerous state programs in his proposal. If passed, over $700 million in education funds and over $1 billion in county and municipal aid would be slashed. That state’s Medicaid budget would be cut by $500 million. Over 20,000 government jobs would be eliminated. The state commerce department would disappear. It would also require, as his budget-repair bill stipulates, for public employees to contribute 5.8 percent of their salaries toward their pensions and pay 12.6 percent of their health-care premiums. Taxes would not be raised.
“Our budget reduces the structural deficit by 90 percent,” Walker said. “Gone are the segregated fund raids, illegal transfers, and accounting gimmicks. Gone are the tax or fee increases. Our state cannot grow if our people are weighed down paying for a larger and larger government. A government that pays its workers unsustainable benefits that are out of line with the private sector. We need a leaner and cleaner state government.”
There will be a lot of financial pain for people in Wisconsin, people who
are not in public employee unions go to work everyday to feed their families, depend on state services, etc. I hope those people realize that they have their local union boss to thank for all of that. Scott Walker is merely trying to clean up the mess.
Collective bargaining is indeed a problem in the hands of public sector unions:
It enables unions rather than citizens to set the price of government. It is, thus, a direct assault on republican democracy, and it needs to be destroyed. Unlovely as they are, the Greek rioters and the snarling thugs of Madison are the logical end point of the advanced social democratic state: not an oppressed underclass, but a spoiled overclass, rioting in defense of its privileges and insisting on more subsidy, more benefits, more featherbedding, more government.
Big Unions fund Big Government. The union slices off two per cent of the workers’ pay and sluices it to the Democratic Party, which uses it to grow government, which also grows unions, which thereby grows the number of two-per-cent contributions, which thereby grows the Democratic Party, which thereby grows government… Repeat until bankruptcy. Or bailout.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
Last week it was reported that the Obama administration, via the OFA and the DNC gave their approval and lent their support to the union protests in Wisconsin.
Today, the administration is distancing itself from all of that:
Administration officials said Sunday that the White House had done nothing to encourage the demonstrations in Wisconsin — nor was it doing so in Ohio, Florida and other states where new Republican governors are trying to make deep cuts to balance their budgets.
And, officials and union leaders said, reports of the involvement of the Democratic National Committee — specifically Organizing for America, the grass-roots network born of Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign — were overblown to start with and were being inflated by Republicans sensing political advantage.
“This is a Wisconsin story, not a Washington one,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “False claims of White House involvement are attempts to distract from the organic grass-roots opposition that is happening in Wisconsin.”
Yeah. A grass-roots opposition that has to bus in malcontents from other states. I believe astro-turfing is more like it.
In reality, the DNC was caught approving of the protests last week on Twitter (screenshot via Doug Ross):
Despite the DNC and White House lies, it’s obvious that they fully support and encourage the protests by union thugs and lawbreaking teachers. Not only that, but by association they encourage the vitriol and anger spewing from the protesters, which is exemplified in tweets like this:
“Get in their face”
Methinks the walking back of support could be attributed to the fact that the longer these protests grind out, the more Americans across the country start to get weary of “workers’ not going to work, and their union thug tactics. Indeed it does look like more people support Governor Walker than the unions.
Look, the President is a left-wing ideologue, who sees the public sector unions as his primary base of support and approves of their methods to obtain and hold political power. That’s just the nature of that beast. Conservatives and anyone who’s been paying attention have known this for years. That being said, it’s still disturbing to see the President of the United States side with an organization that represents 10-15% of the total American workforce and a select few in Wisconsin, and the filth that comes with it, against every other American. This is what class warfare looks like.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
Why are national liberal groups treating Wisconsin as if it were their last stand? Partly for reasons of symbolism. Historically, Wisconsin “embraced the organized labor movement more heartily than any other [state],” notes liberal activist Abe Sauer.
Labor historian Fred Siegel offers further reasons why unions are manning the barricades. Mr. Walker would require that public-employee unions be recertified annually by a majority vote of all their members, not merely by a majority of those that choose to cast ballots.
In addition, he would end the government’s practice of automatically deducting union dues from employee paychecks. For Wisconsin teachers, union dues total between $700 and $1,000 a year.
“Ending dues deductions breaks the political cycle in which government collects dues, gives them to the unions, who then use the dues to back their favorite candidates and also lobby for bigger government and more pay and benefits,” Mr. Siegel told me. After New York City’s Transport Workers Union lost the right to automatic dues collection in 2007 following an illegal strike, its income fell by more than 35% as many members stopped ponying up.
Like I wrote yesterday, their way of life is at stake and they’re going to defend it to the bitter end. The public sector unions have literally bankrupted the states. The job for conservatives is to bring this to an end sooner rather than later.
[Hat Tip: Memeorandum]
Revolutions everywhere–in the middle east, in the middle west. But there is a difference: in the middle east, the protesters are marching for democracy; in the middle west, they’re protesting against it.
I mean, Isn’t it, well, a bit ironic that the protesters in Madison, blocking the state senate chamber, are chanting “Freedom, Democracy, Union” while trying to prevent a vote? Isn’t it ironic that the Democratic Senators have fled the democratic process? Isn’t it interesting that some of those who–rightly–protest the assorted Republican efforts to stymie majority rule in the U.S. Senate are celebrating the Democratic efforts to stymie the same in the Wisconsin Senate?
An election was held in Wisconsin last November. The Republicans won. In a democracy, there are consequences to elections and no one, not even the public employees unions, are exempt from that. There are no guarantees that labor contracts, including contracts governing the most basic rights of unions, can’t be renegotiated, or terminated for that matter. We hold elections to decide those basic parameters.
…[T]he anti-Obama, anti-Democrat tide is still running high. This tide is still quite strong enough to overwhelm the government-employees unions in Wisconsin and by 2012 may yet be strong enough to wash Obama himself out of office.
Organized labor is leading liberalism on a lemming stampede toward a cliff, and it’s probably too late for Klein or anyone else to stop them.
If you read any of the liberal blogs or watch cable news, you would think that there is a mass populist revolt going on in the Midwest. This is not the case. Public employee unions are protesting and, as numerous as they are, do not represent the majority of Wisconsin’s citizens.
This is not an “uprising”, it’s not a “revolt”. It won’t be considered a revolt until you see everyday Americans, for lack of food, for lack of representation, for whatever, take to the streets and demand that their voices be heard. But then again, we’ve already seen true uprisings recently, and those only come around once a generation.
These lawbreaking teachers and union thugs are protesting because their way of life–the fleecing of taxpayers, the bankrupting of state governments, the hubris, the sense of privilege, all of it–is
hopefully about to come tumbling down.
The fact that Richard Trumka rolled into Wisconsin today, that President Obama is directing OFA to astroturf the protests, that the SEIU is busing in thousands of malcontents, speaks volumes about how serious they consider the threat. As well they should.
UPDATE. Part of today’s reach-around at Stacy McCain’s place. Thanks!
Stanley Kurtz writes over at the Corner:
[...] Obama’s long-term hope is to divide America along class lines (roughly speaking, tax payers versus tax beneficiaries). Obama’s attack on the Supreme Court at his 2010 State of the Union address, his offensive against the Chamber of Commerce, his exhortation to Hispanics to punish their enemies, and several similar moves were all efforts to jump-start a populist movement of the left.
Like his socialist organizing mentors, Obama believes that a country polarized along class lines will eventually realign American politics sharply to the left. Yet the entire strategy is based on the need for an activated, populist movement of the left. So far, Obama has failed to create such a movement. His expensive economic agenda has provoked a populist counter-movement of the right instead: Obama’s nightmare. [...]
Neither side can pull back, because the financial crunch is going to have to be resolved one way or another. We either scale back government and the power of public employee unions, or we move toward a structurally higher tax burden and a permanently enlarged welfare state. The very nature of the American system is now at stake. The emerging populist movements on both the right and left recognize this, and so cannot turn back from further confrontation.