Elections have consequences, and the people of Wisconsin are dealing with the consequences of electing a Republican governor, along with Republican majorities in both the Wisconsin Senate and House Assembly. The mid-term election started the ball rolling, and it is culminating in massive rallies by the people of that state, demanding a recall of the governor, Mr. Scott Walker.
The governor however, along with his Republican majority in both chambers are choosing not to listen to the will of the people and are going forward with their plans to pass a bill geared towards taking away the power from the working Wisconsinite.
What’s all the fuss about? Unions
Unions are despised by Republicans for a number of reasons – the main ones being;
- Unions represent a large section of the average middle class working American. A representation that includes negotiating with business owners, Corporations and government officials to secure better working conditions, better pay, holiday allotments, health care packages and in some cases, retirement options for their members. The very nature of these negotiations are to benefit the union member, thus, it is considered by most Republican as putting the business owners, Corporations or government officials at a disadvantage.
- It is common knowledge that Unions represent the working middle class. Therefore, they support political candidates who look out for the best interest of their members. Almost all the time, those political candidates would be from the Democratic party.
The struggle by Republicans to silence Unions in this country and take away their negotiating privileges has been going on for decades, and now, what’s happening in Wisconsin is the envy of other Republican governors and state legislatures across this nation. Today, in a final vote that is expected to pass the Republican controlled government, Unions will in essence, be silenced.
What’s in the Bill?
The bill – which passed the Legislature Budget committee on Wednesday with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against it – will, among other things, require public workers to pay half the costs of their pensions and at least 12.6 percent of their health care coverage. It will also take away the collective bargaining rights of the unions representing these workers.
“I think the taxpayers will support this idea,” Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald had the nerve to say. But taxpayers seem to feel a different way. Over the last 3 days, thousands have gathered in opposition of the measure.
Yahoo News Reports;
“I’m sad. Scared. Disappointed,” said Kelly Dzurick, a 31-year-old fifth-grade teacher in Elkhorn, who came to the Capitol on Wednesday night. “Nobody’s listening to what people say.”
Democrats have been powerless to stop the bill.
“The story around the world is the rush to democracy,” said Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar. “The story in Wisconsin is the end of the democratic process.”
Yes, elections do have consequences, and what’s happening in Wisconsin is just the beginning of a dangerously empowered Republican party.
UPDATE: Where Are The Democrats?
In a shocking turn of events, Wisconsin congressional Democrats have all disappeared, causing the final vote on this controversial bill by Republicans to be post-poned. The NY Times reports;
By noon, Ted Blazel, the sergeant-at-arms, began making his way through the Capitol building, packed with chanting protesters (elated at the development), in search of a Democrat — in offices, under desks, in corridors. “Nothing yet,” he said, his forehead drenched in sweat.
If none of the lawmakers were found in the building, the Wisconsin State Patrol would be assigned to begin searching for them elsewhere, said a Senate official.
Inside the Capitol, speculation swirled: Were the Democrats together somewhere, maybe even in another state by now?
The presumed reason for their disappearance is that Democrats — and thousands of teachers, state workers and students — vigorously oppose the Republican-backed bill that would sharply curtail the collective bargaining rights and slash benefits for most public sector workers, including teachers, in the state. Republicans control the Senate by a 19-to-14 margin, but 20 senators — and thus, at least one Democrat — are needed to vote on a bill.
At the time this post was written, the Democrats were found – all of them – in a neighboring state of Rockford Illinois. They have since disappeared again in an effort to give more time to the demonstrators to pressure Republicans into listening to the demands of the Wisconsin people.