Scott Walker, Union Buster

I’m going to be lazy this morning and post a comment exchange for you to read with your coffee. I think there’s something to be gleaned. Let me know if you agree.

Wisconsin factcheck writes:

Just because Scott Walker and his supporters say something over and over again does not make it true.

He pointedly did not campaign on ending collective bargaining for public employees. He explicitly campaigned on making public employees pay more for their health care and their pension plans. A concession that the Democrats in the State House and the major state unions agreed to right away in February. Wisconsin voted for that platform, and Walker’s opponents conceded these points.

Scott Walker never campaigned on any of the following issues:

(1) Removing all workplace issues from collective bargaining for public employees.

(2) Not allowing public employees the right to bargain collectively for anything except base pay which is capped at the rate of inflation.

(3) Requiring Unions to undergo certification votes every year.

(4) Requiring Unions to receive 51% of the votes of the members of the bargaining unit, not 50% of the people who voted.

(5) Ending the automatic deduction of dues from public employee pay checks.

To have any sort of honest dialogue, Scott Walker and his supporters must acknowledge the fact that he willfully hid major portions of his platform from the voting public during the 18 months he ran for Governor.

I replied:

First, just because disgruntled progressives say something over and over again doesn’t make it true, either. It’s pretty apparent the day’s news was being directed from one place since it was very similar in many locations. I know you guys keep a pretty active news group. The right isn’t that organized. So, when you see more than one of us come up with the same thing, it’s because we ran across it on Facebook or Twitter and came back to use it on our own blogs. That’s what happened with the rebuttal to the recent “Walker never campaigned on it” approach you’re using. And as I showed (I think Jeff) someone in an earlier comment thread, it did come up on this blog several months ago, so we have been here before.

While I still say there were plenty of instances where the campaign offered a glimpse of what could be, I’ll also say, so what? Much like Obama did on a national level, Walker implemented a series of best case scenario moves when he came to preside over a state that had gone completely Red. Why would he have campaigned on changes he could make when they would seem impossible to achieve? But once all the newly elected members were in place, it became apparent what could be accomplished.

It seems you are very unhappy with the five points you presented, and it’s likely I’d have trouble finding where Walker campaigned on any of those points specifically, but like I said, “so what?” Oh, and here’s the hurdle you will find in the way of your cause: Woohoo! Number 5, in particular, is one that delights me and one I specifically advocated in the past. In fact, when all that mess was going on with MaryAnn Sumi and the is-it-a-law crowd, I kept suggesting all the legislature would have to pass again to topple the union stronghold was that single point alone.

It is enough to have taxes withheld at a rate against my choosing (I’m talking about withholding rules here, not that I have to pay taxes), I can only imagine what it might be to have union dues pulled automatically. That so many unions can not collect dues from their members now is proof those members weren’t pleased with the concept.

Did Walker bust the unions? Yep. There’s really no other way to put it. Your only argument for the recall is that his move was bad for the State of Wisconsin. And, just because you make that argument doesn’t make it true. While it’s not labeled a referendum on the law (I guess there’s a reason of some kind the left went after Walker instead of the law like Ohio?) that’s in effect what’s happening. I feel pretty confident the majority of those voting should the state have to vote again will decide the pain of the discourse is worth it because of the benefits coming from the changes.

Like my local taxes didn’t go up this year. Do you know how extremely rare it is not to have had my taxes go up? Given the economic downturn, a strict campaign on the specific savings to a household is going to trump the union screaming, “but Walker didn’t tell me.” The union had a great deal of power in this state over the last few years. Fortunately, it wasn’t more than half of the voters, or we’d be looking at Governor Tom Barrett right now. Do you really think that number has changed in a year given my local taxes didn’t go up?

Are you better off under Walker’s new rules? That’s the only question here. The only result should there be a recall is in the number 50% plus 1 of those voting.

So can we stop the screaming now?


  1. Zuma Bound says:

    Awww, dear, sweet Cindy, no matter HOW many times you say that Governor Walker campaigned on going after and ending collective bargaining rights, you can’t really change the fact that Walker unambiguously testified before Congress that he hadn’t.

    You’re entitled to your own opinions, wrongheaded as they may be. You’re just not entitled to your own set of facts.

  2. Zuma, did you even read her post?

  3. I’m not.

  4. “Do you know how extremely rare it is not to have had my taxes go up?”

    Property tax bills in Brookfield decreased in 2006 and 2007.

  5. And it’s 2011 and I’ve been here 17 years. 🙂

  6. “Why would he have campaigned on changes he could make when they would seem impossible to achieve? But once all the newly elected members were in place, it became apparent what could be accomplished.”

    I talked with an assembly candidate (D) who understood that if elected, he would be in the minority party. Dems knew they were going to get a shellacking in 2010. Whatever polling figures the Repubs had couldn’t have been all that different. Spare me that element of surprise!

    Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you oughta. I can understand tinkering with public-sector labor rules. Health bennies has already been mentioned. Not allowing local cost factors in bargaining was a Doyle-era rule that was ripe for axing. Throwing the whole thing out was an overreach, pure and simple.

    There’s a lot more to this than the union busting. Turning down $800M for CHI-MSN passenger rail service, leaving Wisconsin on the hook for needed upgrades to existing CHI-MKE service, was a boneheaded move, even if he did campaign on it! “Stop the train” was simply a pollster-generated political stunt that had traction. I expect our leaders to place prudent decisions over keeping promises. (I hold no grudge to daddy Bush for reneging on his “read my lips” pledge.)

    Voter ID? I wouldn’t have been able to vote for Gerald Ford in 1976 if the present laws were on the books.

    Cutting aid to municipalities and schools while making it difficult to raise revenue sounds like a usurpation of local control to me.

    Do these sound like boilerplate progressive talking points?

  7. No, they do not, so thanks for including them. I take it you won’t be voting for Walker, but it’s really likely you didn’t vote for him a year ago, either. And we all know how that one turned out. 🙂

  8. Yeah, Dan, I read it.

    Nothing in it, nor in Cindy’s subsequent comments, even remotely rebuts the fundamental fact that Walker, himself, says that he didn’t campaign on ending collective bargaining rights.

  9. The Democratic Union Party never told me, as a tax payer, it would cost the tax payers up to 40% more to purchase health insurance thru WEA Trust than comparable providers. I’m thankful this abuse has ended as well as my property taxes not going up.

  10. President Obama didn’t campaign on a platform of imposing an individual mandate. In fact, he argued against it in a debate with Hillary Clinton. Shall we recall Obama?

  11. “Nothing in it, nor in Cindy’s subsequent comments, even remotely rebuts the fundamental fact that Walker, himself, says that he didn’t campaign on ending collective bargaining rights.”

    So what? President Obama didn’t campaign to say he’d participate in military action in Libya. Most open-minded liberals are happy he did. Are you saying that politicians can’t do things that they didn’t campaign on? Be careful there.

  12. Zuma,

    I’m having some difficulties understanding your point. Walker didn’t need to campaign on ending collective bargaining. All one has to do is look at his record as a County Executive to understand what was yet to come.

    Also, politicians are not obligated to campaign on everything they plan to achieve when in office. Sometimes, you have to do what is right for taxpayers.

  13. cindy. why do i get the Hispanic Conservative ? how do you get a red line hit to your own person outside blog? as an amateur in computer technology this is something new. does the poster do it or does the blog owner do it. btw. Lincoln campaigned against the war and had one. Wilson campaigned against the war and had one. FDR campaigned against the war and had one. Obamma campaigned against the war and is ending one. anyway, we now know who Aaron is thanx to the little red line.

  14. “And it’s 2011 and I’ve been here 17 years”

    Well, if you’ve stuck it out for 17 years the property tax burden can’t be all that bad.

    I think conservatives suffer from PTC (property tax craziness). Cindy, take a look at your tax bill. Over the last ten years it has increased at an average annual rate of 1.77%. Over that same time frame inflation averaged 2.68% annually. It seems to me if you can keep the cost of public services below the rate of inflation you’re doing pretty well. But that’s just my humble opinion.

    So what do we eliminate next so that property owners can realize another tax decrease? How about some of those unnecessary feel-good programs that our schools like to promote? Band? … who needs it. Music? … who needs it. Drama club? … I mean, who would miss those silly school plays? And those costly athletic programs? … who needs em!

  15. Anonymous – that’s kind of an odd thing to say.

    It’s a fallacy that keeping the increase in line with the rate of inflation is a good thing. Politicians use it all the time, but it’s not apples to apples. Dig around on the blog if you really want the argument. It’s all been said before.

    What do we cut? Well, gosh. How about WEA insurance rackets that cost employers more. How about generously funded pensions that let a public worker retire with full compensation much earlier than the private sector. Oh wait! We did that!

    To be honest, if I thought I had your attention, and frankly if you weren’t anonymous, I’d be glad to go through it all again. You’re rather flippant, though, and I’m pretty sure you don’t give a whip what I say, you just want to suck up the time.

  16. (Edited…)

    How’s that for flippant?

  17. Anonymous: I’ve been running a blog for a number of years and I think that wins as the most abusive comment I’ve ever received, and I’ve had a few.

    I’d pop off and zing you back, but you’ve crossed the line into scary, so I’m going to walk away.

  18. Walker did not end collective bargaining rights no matter how many times you leftists want to say he did.

    He did reduce them but public employees still have the right to collectively bargain over wages.

    Try and get it right.