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Feb 23

Please Help Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Fight The Public Unions!

As goes Wisconsin, may go the rest of the states. What is transpiring in this state is of profound importance for the present and the future of many of the states, their citizens and youth, taxpayers and future generations. This is a struggle between citizen and taxpayer rights, democracy and freedom versus greedy, strangulating, corrupt self-serving public unions that have destroyed quality education and have brought the state to the precipice of fiscal disaster.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the state’s Republican Senators have bravely remained resolute in their positions to be fiscally responsible and prudent and protect the interests, rights and freedoms of the state’s citizens who elected them for this purpose. They are relentlessly being attacked not just by the state’s public unions but by other national unions, the far-left “mainstream” news media and even the Obama Administration through mostly through proxies such as Organizing for America. Tens of thousands of union members are being bused in (and paid) to protest and millions of dollars are being spent by these same unions to lie and mislead the public in order that they can retain their power and stranglehold over this state (and others) and its taxpayers.

This is a David versus Goliath fight.  It is clearly not just this state’s issue – it will set a critical precedent with national consequences. Send e-mails.

We must vigorously support Gov. Scott Walker and the citizens of Wisconsin. Send supportive e-mails to his office. Write to newspapers, magazines, call in on radio. Inform your neighbors and have them do the same.

Help Scott Walker Today
Newt Gingrich   02/23/2011

It is vital that every one of us help Governor Scott Walker today.

In Madison, Wisconsin, we are witnessing a profound struggle between the right of the people to govern themselves and the power of entrenched, selfish interests to stop reforms and defy the will of the people.

In 2010, Wisconsin Republicans ran on a clear agenda of reforming government to gain control of spending.  This agenda included many reforms to state government employee pay.

These reforms were desperately opposed by the Democrats and union bosses during the campaign and a full and vigorous debate on the merits of these reforms took place in the months before the election.

Then came the moment for the people of Wisconsin to make their choice – Election Day.  And thanks in part to this bold agenda, the people of Wisconsin chose to switch control of the governorship, assembly and senate to Republicans.

The people of Wisconsin sent a clear message.  They elected leaders that promised to change the way government operated in Madison. The will of the people was expressed through the ballot box, exactly how it is supposed to work in a representative democracy.

However, through a campaign of intimidation and cowardice, the government employee union bosses and the Democratic Party that is beholden to them, are trying to thwart the will of the people.

Every Democrat in the Wisconsin Senate, exploiting a rule that requires a quorum when voting on fiscal matters, has fled the state to prevent a promised government union reform bill from receiving a vote.

Worse, the government employee unions, with the backing of the Democratic Party - including the White House political operation, Organizing for America - have further paralyzed Wisconsin through a series of protests at the state capital.

Furthermore, while most state workers have shown up for work during the protests, some schools have been forced to close without enough teachers reporting.  News stories have emerged that teachers have been receiving phony doctor’s notes to justify their absence.

This deliberately organized chaos has one goal - to intimidate Governor Walker and other elected reformers into abandoning the people of Wisconsin’s calls for reform.

A Fight over a Fundamental Question: Who’s In Charge?

The showdown in Madison is precisely the crisis between elected self government and organized self interest seeking to impose their will through intimidation which led Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, during the coal miner’s strike of 1984-85, to warn, “No government or no people can surrender to that kind of mob violence or intimidation, because if we did democracy would be finished.”

This capacity for government employee unions to blackmail the American people is exactly what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt worried about when he warned in 1937:

“All government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining…cannot be transplanted into the public service…The very nature and purpose of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations…Their employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress.  Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.”

We are witnessing one of the most important struggles in modern America.

At stake is a fundamental question of elected government: who’s in charge?

Governor Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans, after receiving a clear mandate from the people of their state, have placed the very legitimacy of representative self government on the line by demanding profound reform of government unions.

Going in, Scott knew this would become a life and death struggle with the forces of the old order.

As Milwaukee County Executive (the only Republican elected there in modern times, Scott won three times) he learned that every major reform designed to save money or improve services would be opposed by the government employee union leadership.  Indeed, throughout the United States, government employee unions have been consistent advocates for raising taxes and against reforms to save money and improve service.

From this experience, Scott concluded the only way to make government affordable and enable Wisconsin to attract new jobs was through fundamental reform of state government employee unions.

Callista and I helped launch the Scott Walker for Governor Campaign with a huge event in Milwaukee. During the following year I campaigned with him and heard him make the case for reforming the government unions.

At an event in October 2010, I remember Scott vividly describing the stakes, saying we can no longer function as a society “where the public employees are the ‘haves’ and the taxpayers who foot the bill are the ‘have-nots.’”

When the people of Wisconsin voted last November they knew exactly who they were electing.

Governor Scott Walker's union reform proposals today are precisely the union reform platform he campaigned on for all of 2010. Furthermore, the Governor's proposals were validated by the Republican state legislative successes.

It is in this context of fairly won elections in which Wisconsinites consciously chose reform over the status quo that the government employee unions and Democratic Party have decided they would side against the people.

President Obama's support for the government union bosses is a fundamental betrayal of the principle of self government. The leadership and resources the Democratic National Committee is putting into anti-reform demonstrations and other activities proves what a reactionary, anti-reform force the Left has become.

As Goes Wisconsin…?

This showdown started as a Wisconsin story, but the decision by the national Democratic Party and the intense media interest has made it national in scope.

Government employee union leaders know they are losing the battle for public opinion and that reform is coming.  A Clarus Poll found that 64% of the American people do not think government employees should be represented by unions.

A victory for the forces of reform in Wisconsin would provide enormous energy on government reform efforts to balance budgets in Ohio, New York, New Jersey and elsewhere.  It will also extend to other issues like meaningful education reform.

However, a defeat for Walker and the reformers would embolden those who seek to preserve the status quo.  Yesterday, borrowing a play from their brethren in Wisconsin, Democrats in the Indiana House fled their state to prevent a vote on a measure that would make Indiana a right to work state.

That’s why it is vital for all who voted in favor of reforming government, wherever you live, to support Scott Walker and the Wisconsin reformers.

The most important way you can help is by articulating the case for self government and government reform to your friends and neighbors.

Call your Senators, Congressmen, Governor and state legislators to urge them to stand with the reformers in Wisconsin.

Call talk radio and write letters to the editor.

And if you have friends in Wisconsin, contact them and convince them to be on the side of reform.

Click here for some facts and figures about the sensible reforms Governor Walker is proposing.

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Feb 22

Greedy State Public Unions Versus the Hardworking Taxpayer: Ground Zero In Wisconsin

We are witnessing and soon will be directly or indirectly involved in a “class” struggle, first at the state level then nationally. This isn’t one of the middle vs. the upper or lower class. This is one between greedy, reckless, public unions who can never be paid or compensated enough versus the hard working taxpayer who is footing their extortionate costs through ever escalating taxes.

These public union employees are paraded around often as compassionate teachers who just want the best for your children. Meanwhile, they and other in the public sector are taking home 40% to 90% more than comparable jobs in the private sector – that is you and me. In fact, many taxpayers are struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads but still are coerced into paying for these avaricious union members.

Have scores from knowledge tests skyrocketed during these past 20 or 30 years?

Of course not!

They have been plummeting while teacher compensation packages are going through the roof, resulting in many states approaching the precipice of bankruptcy. Our international ranking regarding the education level of our children has dropped embarrassingly and precipitously.

As expected, “president” Obama has now insinuated himself in the Wisconsin situation, siding with the union protestors and against the state. This is quite reminiscent of his stance against Arizona.

Obama, the anti-President, and anti-American in Chief, is yet again acting in a divisive, anti-State and anti-citizen fashion.

Fortunately, Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Walker rebuked Obama in a quite forceful and appropriate way.

We applaud and strongly Gov. Walker’s strong leadership and responsible and principled stand (as well as the Republicans in that state’s Senate). They must remain resolute and protect the hardworking taxpayers in that state.

Their example may very well serve as the paradigm for what is anticipated to be a struggle that will be repeated across the country in many states.

The honest hardworking citizens of America must be the ultimate victor.

(We encourage you to send supportive e-mails to Gov. Walker at the Office of Governor Scott Walker)

Unions' Fight in Madison Is a Disgrace
Larry Kudlow  2/18/2011

The Democratic/government-union days of rage in Madison, Wis., are a disgrace. Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan calls it Cairo coming to Madison. But the protesters in Egypt were pro-democracy. The government-union protesters in Madison are anti-democracy; they are trying to prevent a vote in the legislature. In fact, Democratic legislators themselves are fleeing the state so as not to vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget cuts.

That’s not democracy.

The teachers’ union is going on strike in Milwaukee and elsewhere. They ought to be fired. Think Ronald Reagan PATCO in 1981. Think Calvin Coolidge police strike in 1919.

The teachers’ union on strike? Wisconsin parents should go on strike against the teachers’ union. A friend e-mailed me to say that the graduation rate in Milwaukee public schools is 46 percent. The graduation rate for African-Americans in Milwaukee public schools is 34 percent. Shouldn’t somebody be protesting that?

Governor Walker is facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit, and he wants state workers to pay one-half of their pension costs and 12.6 percent of their health benefits. Currently, most state employees pay nothing for their pensions and virtually nothing for their health insurance. That’s an outrage.

Nationwide, state and local government unions have a 45 percent total-compensation advantage over their private-sector counterpart. With high-pay compensation and virtually no benefits co-pay, the politically arrogant unions are bankrupting America -- which by some estimates is suffering from $3 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Exempting police, fire, and state troopers, Governor Walker would end collective bargaining over pensions and benefits for the rest. Collective bargaining for wages would still be permitted, but there would be no wage hikes above the CPI. Unions could still represent workers, but they could not force employees to pay dues. In exchange for this, Walker promises no furloughs for layoffs.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is also pushing a bill to limit the collective-bargaining rights of teachers for wages and wage-related benefits. Similar proposals are being discussed in Idaho and Tennessee. In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich wants to restrict union rights across-the-board for all state and local government workers. More generally, both Democratic and Republican governors across the country are taking on the extravagant pay of government unions.

Why? Because taxpayers won’t stand for it anymore.

In an interesting twist on this story, even private unions are revolting against government unions. Private unions pay taxes, too. And they don’t have near the total compensation of the public unions. It’s no wonder they’re fed up.

So, having lost badly in the last election, the government-union Democrats in Wisconsin have taken to the streets. This is a European-style revolt, like those seen in Greece, France, and elsewhere. So it becomes greater than just a fiscal issue. It is becoming a law-and-order issue.

President Obama, who keeps telling us he’s a budget cutter, has taken the side of the public unions. John Boehner correctly rapped Obama’s knuckles for this. If the state of Wisconsin voters elected a Chris Christie-type governor with a Republican legislature, then it is a local states’ rights issue.

But does President Obama even know that the scope of collective bargaining for federal employees is sharply limited? According to the Manhattan Institute, federal workers are forbidden to collectively bargain for wages or benefits. Instead, pay increases are determined annually through legislation.

Meanwhile, Gov. Scott Walker said it would be “wise” for President Obama to keep his attentions on Washington, not Wisconsin. “We’re focused on balancing our budget,” he said in a television interview. “It would be wise for the president and others in Washington to be focused on balancing their budget, which they’re a long ways from doing.”

Amen.

Obama should stay out. And Governor Walker should stand tall and stick to his principles. A nationwide taxpayer revolt against public unions can save the country. Otherwise, the spiraling out-of-control costs of state public-union entitlements will destroy the local fisc, just as surely as the unreformed federal entitlements of Social Security and health care are wrecking our national finances.

http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/larrykudlow/2011/02/18/unions_fight_in_madison_is_a_disgrace

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