Please try to attend tomorrow's rally in support of Governor Walker's Budget Repair Bill!
Fellow Citizens of Wisconsin,
The other side has been protesting in the Capitol all week long, being obnoxious, trashing the building, blocking hall ways, bussing school children to Madison to protest and now it is our/your turn to show that they are not the only voice in Wisconsin. Please, come to Madison to show everyone that there is another side out there who want to be heard on balancing the state budget. We need as many people as possible to show up and show support for Governor Walker's Budget Adjustment Bill. While the other side is closing schools all across the state 'for the sake of the children,' and the democrat senators are fleeing from the state so as not to do what the people elected them to do and what they are being paid to do, and protesting day in and day out let's show them there is another side in Wisconsin willing to speak up as well. Gather your folks together and come to Madison tomorrow, Saturday February 19, and show your support for balancing the budget. Lets not let the other side have the only say on this issue.
Subject: Saturday's Rally in Support of Walker's Budget Fix Bill
The Time has come to mobilize in support of Walker's Budget Bill!Please spread the word about Saturday's Rally in Madison at noon. We need some volunteers to show up early (at 10am) to help direct people and make sure its our people going to the event, handing out signs, etc. E-mail email@example.com with volunteer info. Thank you!!!!
Morning Bell: The American People Can't Afford to Lose WisconsinUnion ShowdownPosted By Conn Carroll On 02/18/2011 @ 10:02 am in Enterprise andFree Markets 0 Comment(s)
Let no one be confused, the stakes in Wisconsin are high and theBadger state could turn into the crucial battle ground betweenprogressivism and the new Tea Party majority in the country. Issues as important as public sector compensation, bulgingstate deficits, union power, federalism, education, federalentitlements as well as others are being fought over. ThatWisconsin is the birthplace of American progressivism with a newconservative governor, new conservative majorities in bothchambers, a new conservative U.S. senator and the bright newconservative chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan,has made it ground zero for the left.
President Barack Obama has federalized the issue, throwing thefull weight of the White House, the Democratic NationalCommittee, and his own Organizing for America operation behindgovernment unions, with the assistance of the SEIU and AFSCMEunions. This is a major new test for the new governor, ScottWalker. If conservatives lose in Wisconsin, reform might bestifled elsewhere. If they can win, progressivism is in realtrouble.
On the ground of course, it means that the Madison MetropolitanSchool District will not be educating any children today. For thethird day in a row this week, the union members of MadisonTeachers, Inc., will stage a "sick out" today to protest GovernorScott Walker's (R) new budget, which would overcome a $137million budget deficit this year and a projected $3.6 billiondeficit over the next two years. Stacy Billings, a parent of twoMadison students, told the Wisconsin State Journal that shesupports unions and opposes Walker's proposal but is against ateacher protest during school hours: "That's not acceptable tome. My tax dollars pay for the teachers to teach and not toprotest."
What Billings does not understand, but is about to learn, is thatlike all government unions, Madison Teachers, Inc., does not careabout teaching her children. Former American Federation ofTeachers President Al Shanker put it bluntly: "When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll startrepresenting the interests of school children." That is what thisfight in Wisconsin, and across the country, is really about:money. And not money for government employees—money forgovernment unions. The government unions themselves are admittingthis every day the fight drags on.
Yesterday, Wisconsin state Senate Democrats brought the body to ahalt when they fled the state to prevent the three-fifths quorumrequirement needed for debate on legislation to continue.Governor Walker’s budget helps end Wisconsin’s budget deficitby requiring government workers to pay at least 12.6 percent oftheir health insurance premiums and contribute 5.8 percent totheir pensions. Even with these modestly higher costs, Wisconsingovernment employees would still enjoy benefits far more generousthan those offered in the private sector. But that's actuallyirrelevant. Remember, this fight is not about government employeepay. It is about preserving the direct pipeline that governmentunions have to our tax dollars. Don’t believe it? Just askWisconsin Education Association Council President Mary Bell:"This is not about protecting our pay and our benefits. It isabout protecting our right to collectively bargain."
On Thursday, the President told a Wisconsin television station,"I haven't followed exactly whats happening with the Wisconsinbudget ... some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin,where you’re just making it harder for public employees tocollectively bargain generally seems like more of an assault onunions."
President Obama is wrong: Denying government unions the power ofcollective bargaining is not an assault on all unions. PreviousDemocratic Presidents understood this fact. No less a progressiveicon than President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote in 1937: "Allgovernment employees should realize that the process ofcollective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot betransplanted into the public service. ... The employer is thewhole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by theirrepresentatives in Congress."
This is why private-sector unions are regulated by the federalNational Labor Relations Act but government unions are regulatedby the states. Wisconsin is actually the birthplace of collectivebargaining power for government unions, granting them theprivilege in 1959, but many states have always operated, andstill do, just fine without them. Virginia, for example, gives nocollective bargaining power to government unions, but accordingto the Pew Center on the States, it still somehow manages to beone of the best managed states in the country.
What is really at stake in Wisconsin today (and Indiana, Ohio,New Jersey, and Pennsylvania tomorrow) is the future of Americancompetitiveness. According to the latest Pew polling, theAmerican people understand that unions make it harder for Americato compete globally. Government unions are simply a parasite onthe U.S. economy. When President Obama came into office, heshielded government unions from transparency by ending theirreporting requirements to the Department of Labor. As a result itis impossible for the American people to know for sure how muchof their taxpayer revenue is being diverted into union coffers.But if you assume that each union member pays between $500 and$750 annually, taken involuntarily directly from their paychecks,that means the government union industry in Wisconsin is worth atleast $100 million a year.
If government employees want to voluntarily form associations and lobby the government for higher pay, better benefits, and workingconditions, that is there constitutional right. But they have noright to force all employees to join their organization and takemoney from their paychecks every week. Governor Walker’s billfixes these problems: It affords government workers the right toquit their union and keep their jobs; it requires unions todemonstrate their support through annual secret-ballot votes; andit stops state and local governments from collecting union duesthrough their payroll systems. These are common-sense measuresthat would increase worker freedom, restore power to taxpayers,and make America more competitive internationally. Keep fighting,Governor Walker! The American people can’t afford you to lose.
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