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24 May 2012

FollowUp 32: Wisconsin Republican Dirty Tricks

Governor Scott Walker sent me an e-mail today, 24 May 2012. Here we go again.
Well, that is how I view myself.  I didn't expect Mr. Walker to be so astute.
This is it. The Wisconsin Recall election is less than three weeks away.
Um, no.  Less than two weeks away, but it's okay by me if Mr. Walker's supporters turn out a week late.
The liberal special interests and Washington insiders have sworn to spend tens of millions of dollars to defeat me. I need your help right now to beat back this senseless Recall. Will you stand with me today?
No.  Again, he claims that outside money is pouring in to his opponents.  The truth is that Governor Walker has tens of millions more than do Wisconsin Democrats, much of his money coming from outside of Wisconsin.
For more than a generation in Wisconsin, the power of special interests and the liberal elite have gone largely unchecked. My Administration finally stood up to them, and we changed the way we do things in government in Wisconsin.
No.  Mr. Walker wants to pretend that the last generation did not include Republican Tommy Thompson as Wisconsin's longest serving governor ever.  Is he really calling Mr. Thompson a liberal?  If you look at the recent history of governors of Wisconsin, it is fairly balanced between Democrats and Republicans.  Neither side has "gone largely unchecked."  Liar.
That’s why my opponents are so desperate to defeat me in this Recall. They want to roll back the clock and take us back to the days of skyrocketing taxes, bloated budgets, and unchecked and unaccountable spending. We cannot let that happen.
No.  While Governor Walker has cut taxes on businesses, it is not true for the average Wisconsinite.  He is spending money beyond Wisconsin's tax revenue, something that was not true of his immediate predecessor.
The moment I became Governor, I set about the work that the people of Wisconsin sent me to do. We eliminated the deficit left by my Democrat predecessor. We gave the freedom of choice to public employees. Our reforms have allowed public employees to decide if they would like to spend (in some cases more than a thousand dollars a year in dues) or keep their hard earned money. We finally put the control of state government back where it belongs, in the hands of the people.
No.  This is a lie.  Mr. Walker was not left a mess.  His reforms took away collective bargaining from public employees; which is not an increase of choice.  That was after lying during the 2010 campaign and stating that he was not going after unions.  Mr. Walker is a proven liar on this.
I kept my promises to the voters here in Wisconsin. I didn’t raise taxes. We have not had massive lay offs of state workers. Our reforms have balanced the budget and lowered the unemployment rate to a level unseen since 2008.
No.  Mr. Walker is using fake employment figures.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows Wisconsin losing jobs in April.  Mr. Walker is a liar.
Now I need you to help me tell the out-of-state special interests that we do not want another tax-and-spend liberal in charge here in Wisconsin.
No.  Again, Mr. Walker is the one who has cornered the out-of-state special interests, CrossRoads GPS and the Koch brothers to name two of the biggest funders of his bid to keep his seat.
This Recall is not just about Wisconsin, it is about the cause of reform across this country. It is about deciding what kind of country we are going to be for generations to come. We must send a message that we can and will live within our means. We must not hand power back to a small group of special interests and let them run state governments into the ground across this great nation.
The recall is about deciding what kind of country we want.  Do we want balance between labor and business?  Do we want a viable middle class?  Do we want women to have control of their healthcare and bodies?  Do we want fully funded schools and strong education for our children?  Do we want fair taxes for everyone including businesses?  Or do we want Governor Walker's radical reform?
When we defeat this baseless Recall, it will send a powerful statement across our country about the kind of government we want to have and the bold reforms that will get us there.
The recall is not baseless.  It is based on the actions of Mr. Walker; actions in contradiction to the promises that he made when he sought the office of governor.
We have less than a month to go. I need your help – not tomorrow, not next week, but right now.
Okay.  Less than two weeks is also less than a month.
Today, I ask you to stand with me so I can continue to stand up for hard working taxpayers. Together, we can defeat this Recall and make history – in Wisconsin and across the country.
Keeping Governor Walker in office increases the burden on "hard working taxpayers" and relieves the burden on big business.  Mr. Walker is a liar.

Scott Walker
16 November 2011, Original Pedantic Political Ponderings post.
30 November 2011, FollowUp 1.
4 December 2011, FollowUp 2.
11 December 2011, FollowUp 3.
14 December 2011, FollowUp 4.
15 December 2011, FollowUp 5.
30 December 2011, FollowUp 6.
13 January 2012, FollowUp 7.
17 January 2012, FollowUp 8.
25 January 2012, FollowUp 9.
2 February 2012, FollowUp 10.
9 February 2012, FollowUp 11.
12 February 2012, FollowUp 12.
18 February 2012, FollowUp 13.
22 February 2012, FollowUp 14.
6 March 2012, FollowUp 15.
12 March 2012, FollowUp 16.
16 March 2012, FollowUp 17.
30 March 2012, FollowUp 18.
31 March 2012, FollowUp 19.
3 April 2012, FollowUp 20.
4 April 2012, FollowUp 21.
11 April 2012, FollowUp 22.
14 April 2012, FollowUp 23.
17 April 2012, FollowUp 24.
21 April 2012, FollowUp 25.
29 April 2012, FollowUp 26.
2 May 2012, FollowUp 27.
6 May 2012, FollowUp 28.
10 May 2012, FollowUp 29.
13 May 2012, FollowUp 30.
23 May 2012, FollowUp 31.

30 May 2012, FollowUp 33.
2 June 2012, FollowUp 34.
4 June 2012, FollowUp 35.
5 June 2012, FollowUp 36.


  1. Actually, Wisconsin does want Walker. I know, because I live here. It may surprise you that not everyone here is childish, whiny, and arrogant. Not everyone walks around every single day telling everyone who will listen how incredibly difficult their job is. These same people arrogantly claim to speak for the middle class, when it's the middle class who is burdened with paying for enormous benefits that themselves will never get. The funny thing is, if the teachers would have actually acted like professionals (or even adults), they would have had the sympathy of many. It was their absolutely pathetic actions which turned many against them.

  2. Well, Anonymous, you are not alone; polls show that 50% of Wisconsin believes the lies and supports Governor Walker.

    Regarding teachers, in Wisconsin they are paid by local districts not by the state. The banning of collective bargaining of teachers did nothing for the state budget. Pathetic actions? Standing up for the right to negotiate for safe working conditions and pay is pathetic? Suffice it to say that we disagree.

  3. Safe working conditions? Is that what this is all about? I don't know if you're even serious, but I go quite a laugh out of that. Please tell which safety measures are being argued for which aren't already law. Additional sick days? Mandatory raises regardless of performance? Countless Fridays off for conventions during the school year (that must be for the kids, it's not like these could be done on the weekends or during the summer)? Are these the safety measures meant to make the highly dangerous job of teaching somewhat less life-threatening?

    1. I have served on a school union board and negotiating committee. My primary concern in negotiations was safe conditions for substitute teachers and their students when the schools had different warning codes for evacuations and lock-downs and no training or cheat sheet for the substitutes. This was no laughing matter.

      The difference between a "Code Red" lockdown in one school and a "Code Red" evacuation in another school could be a life or death difference for students. Still think it's funny?

      The safety measures that are already in place are measures that were gained by unions pushing for them. They didn't materialize out of the generosity and kind-hearted nature of business moguls. The forty hour week and the weekend were gained through unions negotiating. OSHA exists because of the unions.

      Yes, pay and benefits are a big part of those negotiations. Allotting sick days benefits the students, we can limit the spread of air-borne illness. Performance is important and teachers can (and should) be fired when they do not perform. Tenure is about ensuring that teachers cannot be fired wantonly, there must be cause.

      Go ahead and laugh if you want, but it is clear that you have no understanding of the nature of collective bargaining. If you think that my students' safety is not serious, then you are not worthy of this discussion.

    2. Yes, I still think it's funny; but mostly I think it's pathetic. I think it is absolutely disgusting that you are trying to use children's safety as a guise for teacher greed. If you are not able to let a substitute know what a "Code Red" is without a union, then you are incompetent and should be fired. It's as simple as that.

      To also try and make some comparison between current public unions and private unions of the past is equally pathetic, and further shows your disconnect with the private sector workers who fund the public sector workers. To even compare a job which averages less than 40 hrs a week (with all of the vacations, breaks, and "conventions"), with a private sector union job 100 yrs ago is so desperate and sad, it also is laughable.

      I wish you the best of health, and hope you are able to read this, as I know how incredibly dangerous your job is, lol.

    3. Your assumption that teachers are all about greed is diametrically opposed to the truth. Please note that it was not any teacher who was incompetent in organizing the coding ... each school had independently organized their own coding system. At that time, substitute teachers were hired by the school. When bureaucrats decided to consolidate the substitute teacher system (which is not a bad idea), they didn't get all of the details fixed. It then became an administration and school board problem. When we went through their channels, no change was initiated. It required a union.

      Fire people as a gut response sounds like the GOP nominee. When one is running a business (and I did successfully before I chose education as my third vocation), as opposed to being an outside vulture capitalist, one works with people before jumping to "you're fired".

      Why should one not compare unions of the past and present? The differences are important, but they are far from unrelated. Today's unions are endeavoring to build upon the past. But, those who don't understand the value that a union can have to employees and to businesses tend to hamper progress.

      Value of unions? Yes. Unions do not have to work in opposition to businesses. When you don't go out of your way to establish an antagonistic environment, then labor and management can work together to improve efficiency, safety, and the bottom line. In schools, this was recently seen in the negotiations of the Governor of Connecticut and the CT Teachers' Union. Go look it up.

      I am not speaking for other teachers, but my Summer vacation is typically filled with workshops, required courses (one must take a certain number of classes in order to remain certified), and curriculum planning. I usually have about three weeks of real vacation. My partner, who works in industry, has more real vacation than I do.

      I never said that my job was dangerous. American schools are statistically extremely safe, despite some high profile events like the tragedy at Columbine. That doesn't mean that safety can't be improved. A business that doesn't review its safety protocols on an ongoing basis is foolish; same for a school system. The union brings in an additional and crucial perspective to safety reviews.

      It is amazing to me that when I served on the union negotiating team, there was no antagonism in either direction. We didn't get everything we wanted and the school board got more of what they wanted than we did. But, the process was respectful which resulted in both sides gaining more than was originally anticipated.

      Those who prop up labor and unions as evil do so with a political motive. Most corporate boards aren't evil and neither are most union boards. The bottom line is enhanced when people feel safe and respected in their jobs. Labor knows the details of the workplace better than management and to keep their voices out of the mix is stupid. Teachers know what is happening in their classrooms more than school boards. When the union is demonized for political gain, ordinary people are the losers.


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