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Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin Collective Bargaining Act’

Unions Plan Recall Governor Walker Petition Drive

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/10/11

Allahpundit notes Wisconsin Democrats are planning their “Recall Scott Walker” petition drive, which will start November 15 this year. This is really about Democrats trying to save their Union cash cow. And rest assured, Unions will be pumping in millions of dollars in this effort. Including Public Employee Unions, which derive all their dues from tax-payer dollars. This isn’t about the people or the children. This is about Union power, Union money, Union greed, Union graft, Union monopoly.

For some background information:
US Census Bureau data on Wisconsin (with some calculation on my part):
2010 Population 5,686,986
2009 Population 18 or older 4,367,605
2009 per capita income 26,447
US Census Bureau “per capita income” explained:

Per capita income is the mean money income received in the past 12 months computed for every man, woman, and child in a geographic area. It is derived by dividing the total income of all people 15 years old and over in a geographic area by the total population in that area. Note — income is not collected for people under 15 years old even though those people are included in the denominator of per capita income. This measure is rounded to the nearest whole dollar.

(Go to the link for the full explanation.)
If all income was earned by those 18 or over, and the per capita income limited to only those 18 or over, the total per capita would be 34,436.

Some of the money the Unions have already spent in Wisconsin, dealing with the new Law, which is saving Wisconsin tax-payers huge sums of money:
Wisconsin Unions’ lobbying efforts for the first six months of 2011:
The top 4 lobbying organizations, all Unions, (out of 707 lobbying organizations) spent 6.3 million in lobbying Wisconsin Government.

Unsurprisingly, Governor Walker’s budget repair bill’s AB 11 and SB 11 were the most lobbied bills during the first half of the year receiving 22,311 hours. The top four spots among those organizations who spent the most money on lobbying are the Wisconsin AFL-CIO ($2,302,171), WEAC [WI teachers’ union] ($2,062,716), AFSCME Council 11 [Public Employee Union] ($1,228,811), and AFSCME International [Public Employee Union] ($694,422).

AFSCME, WEAC, AFL-CIO alone combined for nearly 9 million on the recall efforts. That doesn’t include NEA, AFT, SEIU, all Public Employee Unions who spent large on the recall efforts.

Money Wisconsinites have saved:
School District Health Insurance savings by leaving WEA Trust (the Wisconsin teachers union’s own health insurance provider):
Hartland-Lakeside School District 690,000 (over 25 percent reduction in Health Insurance premiums)
Pewaukee School District 378,000
Menomonee Falls School District 1.3 million
More districts noted by the MacIver Institute (pdf):
Baraboo School District 660,000
Hartford School District 535,000
Kimberly School District 821,000

And those aren’t all the schools leaving WEA Trust, and not nearly all the schools reducing health insurance premiums due to the new Law. So the Public Employee Union is losing a massive chunk of money off one of its cash cows, but the school districts and tax payers are saving a ton of cash. Because Free Market competition was introduced to the Health Insurance industry provided to schools. Wasn’t one of the reasons for ObamaCare the plan to bend the Health Insurance cost curve down? Well, Conservative Free Market principles (the opposite of ObamaCare) are proving to do just that.

Estimates of statewide school district savings due to the new Law exceed 161 million. Over 500 per student in savings.

George Will explained the grave concern Wisconsin Unions have:

And teachers unions may no longer automatically deduct dues from members’ paychecks. After Colorado in 2001 required public employees unions to have annual votes reauthorizing collection of dues, membership in the Colorado Association of Public Employees declined 70 percent. In 2005, Indiana stopped collecting dues from unionized public employees; in 2011, there are 90 percent fewer dues-paying members. In Utah, the end of automatic dues deductions for political activities in 2001 caused teachers’ payments to fall 90 percent. After a similar law passed in 1992 in Washington state, the percentage of teachers making such contributions declined from 82 to 11.

Rest assured, Wisconsin Public Employee Unions have already seen a marked drop-off in Union dues, a drop-off that
will only increase over time. This is the reason the Unions will be spending millions more trying to recall Governor Walker. The loss of their Union Dues cash cow on top of the loss of their Union-owned Health Insurance cash cow. It has nothing to do with the people or the children and everything to do with Union power, Union money, Union greed, Union graft, Union monopoly.

But the residents of Wisconsin are saving over 161 million dollars on school expenses alone. That doesn’t include the tax-dollars saved at the State, County, Municipality levels. Savings of over 500 per student, nearly 40 per tax-payer — in school budget savings alone; much more when all savings are added in. Schools going from deficit spending to surplus cash.

Yes, this battle is all about Democrats trying to rescue their cash cow at the expense of the people who pay the bills and about Unions trying to rescue their cash cows at the expense of the people who pay the bills, and nothing about the tax-payers or the children. And it comes at a time when Barack Obama is on the ropes and in desperate need of cash for his own campaign; a time when Democrats nationwide are sinking and being dragged down by Barack Obama and in desperate need of cash for their own campaigns; a time when We the People have soured on the Unions and their thuggery (violence, threats of violent murders, destruction of property, lawlessness).

This battle the Democrats and Unions are fighting against the People is going to cost Democrats and Unions dearly in terms of cash lost when they have a dwindling supply and power lost in terms of elections lost that may have been won if not for the millions being diverted to another Wisconsin recall effort.

UPDATE
Professor Jacobson adds this:

This is the fight they have been looking for, but it really is the fight we should have been looking for. The recall effort will be a referendum on whether there is any hope of taking back government from public sector employee unions, and whether a swing state is more interested in growing the economy or growing unions.

Posted in economics, education, Elections, Health Care, Law, Liberal, Obama, Personal Responsibility, Philosophy, politically correct, Politically Incorrect, politics, society, Tax, TEA Party, Youth | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

On, Wisconsin (“Progressives” 0-for-4 In Birthplace Of Progressivism)

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/08/10

Among other things, Wisconsin is known as the “birthplace of Progressivism.” That’s important to remember.

The 2010 elections were very good for Wisconsin Republicans. One of the most Liberal members of the US Senate lost his bid for re-election to a Republican. The Wisconsin House, Senate, and Statehouse all went Republican. That despite heavy union money being poured into the state elections.

Governor Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature, doing what they said they would do, went to work to fix the broken State Budget. Unions were stripped of their non-salary negotiation abilities. Wisconsin no longer has to collect union dues, leaving that to the Unions and their union members to deal with privately. (I have heard from Wisconsinites over on Hot Air that Unions have lost as much as 40 percent of their dues on this point alone.) Various Public Employee Unions now have to have recertification votes annually. This means there’s a strong likelihood that some of the PEU Locals will voluntarily decertify in the coming couple years, the members no longer being automatically forced to be Union members to have a job.

Of course, as the Budget deal and the restraint on the overbearing PEU power was being dealt with through legal means, the Unions — from Wisconsin and the rest of the nation — pumped in millions of dollars to protest, as every last Democrat Senator not only refused to show up to work, but knowing the Governor had the Constitutional authority to physically force them to the Senate floor, fled the state for Illinois as they determined to hold representative government and the people of Wisconsin hostage for their tyrannical anti-democratic agenda.

What was the protesting like? Millions of dollars of damage due to vandalism, death threats, intimidating private citizens, assaulting private citizens, breaking-and-entering, criminal trespass, intimidating businesses, ethics violations, and the list goes on. That’s what the protesting was like.

So, the Democrats, Socialists, Communists, Progressives, Union leadership (different names, same thing) spent millions of dollars and used unethical and illegal tactics in a failed attempt to intimidate the duly elected representative government into doing the opposite of what the duly elected representative government set out to do.

Then came the Wisconsin Supreme Court election. And the Democrats, Socialists, Communists, Progressives, Union leadership (from the Redundant Department of Redundancy) spent millions of dollars making the election about Governor Scott Walker. And they went on a major smear campaign, including but not limited to airing an ad using a crime victim as fodder. When the crime victim asked Kloppenburg to get the deceptive smear ads pulled, she declined to lift a finger, so he personally got involved. He has a YouTube video calling out Klops and the unhinged Left for their duplicitousness and personally supported Prosser, the man they smeared by using him.

And Prosser won re-election (or is that re-certification in this case? I’m uncertain of the lingo) despite the millions the Unions pumped into the campaign.

So, the Progressives, Socialists, Communists, Democrats, Union leadership (repeating myself redundantly, again) decided it would be a good idea to have Recall Elections. And the Conservative grass-roots, although likely becoming exhausted from the continued fight against tyranny, followed suit with Recalls of their own. (The best defense is a good offense.) During the petition-signing process, the “good” Progressives showed how “good” they are by forcefully taking recall petitions which were full of signatures to recall Fleebaggers and tore them up — a felony. They also broke into a Recall Petition Headquarters and destroyed other petitions full of signatures — multiple felonies.

And the millions of Union dollars flooded into Wisconsin, once again focusing on Scott Walker. This past Tuesday (yesterday), 6 Republican Senators faced the Recall Elections. One Republican in a Democrat district fell. One scandal-plagued Republican fell. 4 Republicans defeated the Recall. The Democrats needed at least 3 victories to flip the Senate, and they failed. Not only did the Democrats need 3 victories yesterday, they needed to defeat both of next week’s Recall attempts in order to retake the Wisconsin Senate. It’s an impossibility now for Democrats to do that. And there’s a good chance one or both of the Democrat fleebaggers could fall to the Recalls, meaning there’s a good chance the Unions pumped in well over 10 million dollars in Union Member dues to achieve a wash.

Ed Morrissey says the Unions went 0-for-2 but by my count, it’s more like 0-for-4. The Unions spent tens of millions of dollars of Union Member dues to lose four times in a row. But fear not, they plan on spending even more millions to lose a Recall Walker effort and a General Election in 2012. Out of a shrinking slush-fund pool.

The Public Employee Unions are losing in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut (where I read about a city firing all its teachers, then rehiring what they needed because the Union would not negotiate). And Obama needs those states, having won all but one in 2008. Obama won Wisconsin by 14 percent in 2008, but Democrats lost Wisconsin in 2010 and have been busily losing very loudly-fought and heavily-focused battles in Wisconsin in 2011. If Obama has to worry about a state he won by 14, he’s in deep trouble, as is the whole debased “Progressive” movement.

UPDATE: Allahpundit, the self-professed political “Eeyore”, sees little to be worried about with the fully expected Leftist attempt to Recall Governor Walker.

You’ve got to chase your dreams. Ahab had Moby Dick, Javert had Valjean, and these tools have a guy whose collective bargaining bill is a fiscal success even according to Milwaukee’s favorite newspaper.

Allahpundit’s link is to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online, which says in part:

The latest example is Milwaukee, where the most recent estimates show the city with a net gain of at least $11 million for its 2012 budget. That will take a slice out of the city’s structural deficit, which is created by costs rising faster than revenue, and will reduce cuts that Mayor Tom Barrett and the Common Council must impose.

The city projects it will save at least $25 million a year – the figure could be as high as $36 million in 2012 – from health care benefit and pension changes it didn’t have to negotiate with unions because of the changes wrought by the new law that ended most collective bargaining for most public employees.

That certainly will help the city deal with the $14 million in cuts in state aid in the 2011-’13 state budget.

Lest anyone suggest the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is a Conservative newspaper (hah!), a couple things to note: Milwaukee is very Liberal, and the JS had this quote in the very article I quoted above:

[W]e still maintain he could have reached his goals without dealing a body blow to public employee unions.

That’s not at all a Conservative position. In fact, that’s a very Liberal position.

Back to Allahpundit. He quotes that site I refuse to link (if I can avoid it) discussing the fact all those outside resources won’t be available to Recall Governor Walker in 2012 because there is the Obama campaign that needs fed, a US Senate campaign that needs fed, many other political races in Wisconsin that need fed, let alone all the campaigns across the other 49 states that need fed. After spending tens of millions of outside, Union dollars in 2010 and 2011 with next to nothing to show from it, there will be too many other needs in 2012 to be focusing in on a single Governor.

Allahpundit’s conclusion:

Walker’s approval rating was below 40 percent last month, but he has four more months of good press about the effects of the CB bill to penetrate. Let’s see where he is in January. Either way, the left will try to recall him if only to save face after losing last night and against Prosser. But whether it’s an earnest effort to win or just a pro forma attempt to hassle will depend on the rest of the year. I’m not worried, and as a famous eeyore, it’s practically my job to be worried.

And Governor Scott Walker’s reaction to the Recall efforts of yesterday:

Posted in Conservative, crime, economics, Elections, Liberal, Obama, Personal Responsibility, Philosophy, Politically Incorrect, politics, society, Tax, TEA Party | Tagged: , , , , , , | Comments Off on On, Wisconsin (“Progressives” 0-for-4 In Birthplace Of Progressivism)

Wisconsin Supreme Court Slaps Usurper Sumi; Reinstates Collective Bargaining Law

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/06/14

From Madison, Wisconsin’s ABC affiliate WKOW:

MADISON (WKOW) — The state Supreme Court has struck down Dane County Judge MaryAnn Sumi’s restraining order on the collective bargaining law.

The WI Supreme Court’s ruling can be found here in pdf format or here in html format.

Allahpundit breaks out the so-called “humpbot” with trepidation. Law Professor William A Jacobson of Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion hits some overviews of pertinent portions of the decision before focusing in on paragraph 13:

The Court adopted the argument I had made here many times, that the Courts had no business questioning the legislatures interpretation of its own rules:

¶13 It also is argued that the Act is invalid because the legislature did not follow certain notice provisions of the Open Meetings Law for the March 9, 2011 meeting of the joint committee on conference. It is argued that Wis. Stat. § 19.84(3) required 24 hours notice of that meeting and such notice was not given. It is undisputed that the legislature posted notices of the March 9, 2011 meeting of the joint committee on conference on three bulletin boards, approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes before the start of the meeting. In the posting of notice that was done, the legislature relied on its interpretation of its own rules of proceeding. The court declines to review the validity of the procedure used to give notice of the joint committee on conference….

This is a sweeping victory for Republicans and Gov. Scott Walker. (And for my prior legal anaylsis, but that’s another matter. I’ll be spiking the football, for sure.)

This also is a vindication for the legal strategy of not backing down to the unjust, unwise, uncalled-for, unlawful rulings of Judge Sumi, who engaged in clearly unsound legal reasoning which — whether intended or not — took on the appearance of political posturing.

Definitely goto Law Professor William A Jacobson’s site so you can follow his well-deserved football-spike. The good professor noted paragraph 7 in his “highlight-in-passing” on his way to paragraph 13. I want to focus in on paragraphs 7-9 because it is a very powerful smack-down of activist Judge Maryann Sumi and her decision to ignore Wisconsin’s Constitution and the Separation of Powers that is so critical in a Constitutional Republic.

¶7 This court has granted the petition for an original action because one of the courts that we are charged with supervising has usurped the legislative power which the Wisconsin Constitution grants exclusively to the legislature. It is important for all courts to remember that Article IV, Section 1 of the Wisconsin Constitution provides: “The legislative power shall be vested in a senate and assembly.” Article IV, Section 17 of the Wisconsin Constitution provides in relevant part: “(2) . . . No law shall be in force until published. (3) The legislature shall provide by law for the speedy publication of all laws.”

¶8 In Goodland v. Zimmerman, 243 Wis. 459, 10 N.W.2d 180 (1943), the court focused on fundamental separation of powers principles and addressed whether a court has the power to enjoin publication of a bill duly enacted by the legislature. The court first explained that “governmental powers are divided among the three departments of government, the legislative, the executive, and judicial.” Id. at 466-67. The court then explained that the “judicial department has no jurisdiction or right to interfere with the legislative process. That is something committed by the constitution entirely to the legislature itself.” Id. at 467. The court held that “[b]ecause under our system of constitutional government, no one of the co-ordinate departments can interfere with the discharge of the constitutional duties of one of the other departments, no court has jurisdiction to enjoin the legislative process at any point.” Id. at 468. The court noted that “[i]f a court can intervene and prohibit the publication of an act, the court determines what shall be law and not the legislature. If the court does that, it does not in terms legislate but it invades the constitutional power of the legislature to declare what shall become law. This [a court] may not do.” Id.

¶9 Although all orders that preceded the circuit court’s judgment in Case No. 2011CV1244 may be characterized as moot in some respects, the court addresses whether a court can enjoin publication of a bill. The court does so because whether a court can enjoin a bill is a matter of great public importance and also because it appears necessary to confirm that Goodland remains the law that all courts must follow. State v. Cramer, 98 Wis. 2d 416, 420, 296 N.W.2d 921 (1980) (noting that we consider questions that have become moot “where the question is one of great public importance . . . or of public interest,” or “where the problem is likely to recur and is of sufficient importance to warrant a holding which will guide trial courts in similar circumstances”). Accordingly, because the circuit court did not follow the court’s directive in Goodland, it exceeded its jurisdiction, invaded the legislature’s constitutional powers under Article IV, Section 1 and Section 17 of the Wisconsin Constitution, and erred in enjoining the publication and further implementation of the Act.

Very clearly, Judge Maryann Sumi usurped the authority the Wisconsin Constitution placed exclusively in the hands of the Wisconsin Legislature. And, very clearly, the Wisconsin Supreme Court smacked her down but hard and issued a very clear and powerful declaration toward any other activist Judge who would, in the future, try to legislate from a Wisconsin Bench.

I also want to focus in on paragraphs 15 and 16 of the decision.

¶15 The court’s decision on the matter now presented is grounded in separation of powers principles. It is not affected by the wisdom or lack thereof evidenced in the Act. Choices about what laws represent wise public policy for the State of Wisconsin are not within the constitutional purview of the courts. The court’s task in the action for original jurisdiction that we have granted is limited to determining whether the legislature employed a constitutionally violative process in the enactment of the Act. We conclude that the legislature did not violate the Wisconsin Constitution by the process it used.

¶16 Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley and Justice N. Patrick Crooks concur in part and dissent in part from this order.

Clearly the Rule of Law won today. Also, while the decision was 4-3, the 3 dissenters nevertheless “concur[red] in part” with the majority decision.

Let’s break it down a bit, shall we?

1) The Wisconsin Legislature did not violate the Wisconsin Constitution in its actions.

2) Governor Walker did not violate the Wisconsin Constitution in his actions.

3) Judge Maryann Sumi did violate the Wisconsin Constitution in her activist actions.

4) The Courts have no jurisdiction over internal Legislature rules.

5) Leftists and law-breaking Unions, mobs, activist Judges hardest hit.

This is a win for Rule of Law and Separation of Powers and a loss for thugocracy and mob-rule. But let’s not rest on our laurels, shall we?

Posted in Conservative, Constitution, Liberal, Philosophy, politically correct, Politically Incorrect, politics, society, TEA Party, truth | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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