Yesterday the Wisconsin Supreme Court handed down a 4 to 3 decision in favor of Governor Scott Walker’s law restricting public union rights and upheld that the law was indeed legal under Wisconsin state law and therefore could go into effect. The ruling overturned Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi’s decision and stated that she had overstepped her authority when she said that Republican lawmakers had violated the state’s open meeting statutes in the process of passing the law, and she had consequently declared the controversial law void.
The polarizing law effectively eliminates most of the public employee unions’ collective bargaining rights and requires them to contribute slightly more for their health care and pensions instead of having nearly all of it paid through tax payer dollars.
When Governor Walker introduced the bill last February, huge public protests ensued and the Democratic legislators in the Wisconsin Senate left the state in order to avoid having a quorum for the vote on which their side did not have enough numbers to prevent passage thereof. I still find it absolutely amazing to think that the democratic process could be hijacked and that partisans could pick up their bat and ball and run home because they saw a bill they didn’t like coming down the pike and knew they didn’t have the votes in congress to thwart its passage. Evidently, the union supporters in Wisconsin were fine with this tactic and indeed cheered these “brave” Democrat Senators as heroes. One wonders if these folks would have been upset at this illegal tactic had the Republicans in the U.S. congress acted similarly to prevent a quorum for the vote in March of 2010 for the pernicious and un-Constitutional Obamacare Act. I suspect they would have cried “fascism” and other such epithets in that situation. Regardless, the protests from public union supporters in Wisconsin numbered in the tens of thousands and went on for weeks.
The passage of the law was necessary according to Governor Walker and the majority in the Wisconsin congress because of a $3.6 billion budget shortfall. The Democrats in Wisconsin saw this as a specific attack on public employee unions and thus acted as they did in order to protect and curry favor with the vital pro-union voting block that makes up a significant percentage of their power base. The Democrats’ childish attempts to prevent a vote on the law were thwarted though when Republicans cleverly retaliated by forming a special committee that removed certain fiscal elements from the bill that consequently allowed a vote on the measure despite having fewer senators present. Governor Walker then signed the bill into law two days later in order to save the taxpayers in the state of Wisconsin millions of dollars accordingly.
The consequent fury and outrage from many on the left has been truly astounding in it ferocity accordingly. Their claims that governor Walker was intentionally trying to bust public employee unions were common, despite the governor’s statement to the contrary. Frankly, I am of the opinion that private sector unions have a valid place and particularly in many decades past were vital to improving workers rights in our country; however, the need for public unions is not necessary. By definition, public union employees are paid their salaries from the coffers filled by the tax-payers. You and me, in other words. With that being the case, public unions should indeed be busted and made illegal, in my opinion.
It used to be that most federal and state public employee jobs were sought after because of the security of those jobs and the typically good benefits. The salary offered, however, was typically not anywhere near as good as it was for their counterparts in the private sector. This made sense and was a good arrangement as the burden of the benefits and salaries only added to the operational expenses of the local or state jurisdiction and thus increased the taxes that had to be paid by the citizens therein accordingly. With all of the worker’s rights and worker’s safety protections codified in law, the need for public employee unions really has passed their time of need. Further, even this new law in Wisconsin still gives public unions the right to collective bargain for their salaries going forward. These unions simply cannot add to their other costly benefits now, by law.
I am certain that the left will howl in outrage and disgust and that the protests will return with all of their false and hateful rhetoric once again towards Governor Walker, the Wisconsin Senate Republicans, and now the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. Evidently the need for civility and toning down of the hate speech “from the right” that we were all lectured to ad nauseum after the despicable and evil Jared Loughner shootings in Tucson last January is something of which the left need not abide. Never mind the fact that there was nothing to tie Loughner to conservatism or “right wing hate speech”.
Too bad that same standard is not applied to these past and forthcoming leftist protestors. "We will hunt you down ...slit your throats ...drink your blood. I will have your decapitated head on a pike in the Madison town square." Those are the words of a union militant aimed directly at a Wisconsin state legislator for daring to vote to restrict Big Labor's forced dues control over Wisconsin state workers. There were literally dozens of similar recorded death threats along with acts of vandalism leveled against Wisconsin state legislators and Governor Walker for not towing the union boss line. Perhaps even more ominous, the Wisconsin State Journal reported police found "dozens of rounds of live ammunition outside the Capitol" during the height of the Wisconsin protests.
Yep, hate speech, intimidation, thwarting of the democratic process are all viable Saul Alinsky tactics that the left feels justified in using when the desired end result warrants such means. Too bad the double standard continues, and too bad that we are almost certainly going to see more of this now that this Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in favor of Governor Walker, the majority Republican Senate, and the taxpayers of the great state of Wisconsin has been upheld.