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(Russ Feingold speaking at the ongoing "Walkerville" protests in Wisconsin against the Republican state budget)

With time running out before the recall elections and the legal battle over collective bargaining rights still bottled up in the courts, Wisconsin Republicans are finally ready to bite the bullet and re-pass the legislation that started this whole fight. They have called an "extraordinary session" to push through the state budget, and have announced they will include the measure stripping collective bargaining rights for most public employees in that budget:

The Legislature will put Gov. Scott Walker’s limits on collective bargaining into the state budget Tuesday if the state Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on the matter by then, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon) said Monday.

“If need be, we are going to have to pass collective bargaining again,” Fitzgerald said at a Capitol news conference. “My caucus is more solid on that collective bargaining vote than they ever have been.”

There was always a certain inevitability to this. It's something Wisconsin Republicans could have done at any time—even if the Wisconsin 14 had left the state again—as long as they just posted 24 hours notice. Thus far, they have demurred because they didn't want to take such an unpopular vote so close to the recall elections. But, in the end, this group of Wisconsin Republicans wants to bust some unions while they still can.

Notably, transit workers are exempt from the new measure. This is not because of public pressure against Wisconsin Republicans, to which they appear impervious, but rather because they finally realized that busting transit worker unions would cost the state big money:

Local government transit workers would retain their collective bargaining rights under the latest version of Gov. Scott Walker's union proposal to be voted on by the Legislature this week.

The first version passed in March but tied up in the courts covered transit workers, even though there was a concern that Wisconsin could lose about $60 million a year in federal transit aid if the workers' collective bargaining rights were removed.

They would join local police and firefighters, along with the State Patrol, in retaining their bargaining rights under the latest version the Assembly is taking up Tuesday as part of the state budget.

A lengthier version of the same AP story, which you can read here, provides more context. Basically, while this group of Wisconsin Republicans does indeed want to bust unions, they want some sweet, sweet federal money even more.

(See noise of rain's diary for more on the "extraordinary session" of the Wisconsin state legislature.)

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 09:10 AM PDT.

Also republished by A Fighting Chance.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This: (6+ / 0-)
    But, in the end, this group of Wisconsin Republicans wants to bust some unions while they still can.

    Reminds me of the futility of the Flensburg Cabinet. (Look that up, I am not going to say any more about it).

    Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

    by commonmass on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 09:16:06 AM PDT

    •  I did. Your point being that the Republican's (0+ / 0-)

      legislation will be undone?  That remains to be seen.

      "The worst that can happen to any group of people working to unseat an existing power base is their failure to imagine the lengths to which those in power will go to keep it." Cognitive Dissonance at Zero Hedge

      by CarolinNJ on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 10:07:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not futile at all for Republicans (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nchristine, bobtmn, JVolvo

      You think losing elections is some sort of threat to them.  When lucrative lobbying and Koch/Scaife funded fake media empires await to pay them for services rendered, one term in office is  more than enough.

      The republican elected official's job?

      Dupe the masses successfully for one election cycle, push through as much corporate/elitist theft as possible, then retire to Koch Island for the next twenty years to be paid to be in a "think tank."

      It's the ultimate scam.

      And when frauds like CNN refuse to acknowledge what really funds the republican party (zero questions on Koch financing deals or union busting last night), the masses can be duped at least some of the time, since voting R is one of two options.

  •  Walker, (10+ / 0-)

    You're fucking toast.

    Obama's wallet is the one that says Bad Motherfucker on it.

    by Uncle Chigurh on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 09:17:38 AM PDT

  •  As I have harped about and harped about (17+ / 0-)

    The Republicans do NOT give a rats ass about public sentiment -they are ideologically-driven and are dangerous to your and my futures.

    You can still consider them as some sort of 'legitimate' concern - after all it is a capitalist country that hates paying employees anything because employees dig into sweet, sweet profits (much like taxation).

    The message here, for the actually astute reader, is that the GOP doesn't give a rat-fuck what you think, what you believe, how your feel - they want to fuck this country and that is what they are going to do.

    If we stand by and let them - as DEMOCRATS do - or if we fight them - as the People have done - they don't care.

    Only removing them from office protects you and me from their calculated horseshit.

    Republicans are a bigger enemy - to ME - than al queda.

    al Queda isn't fucking up my country or my future.

    Republicans are.

    and you know... those of you who insist the GOP has something remotely legitimate in this, as if this is somehow "OK" - you suck.

    •  Agree 100% xxdr Zombiexx - It Is Futile To Attempt (7+ / 0-)

      to reason with unreasonable people. So Democrats and Independents (and any sane Republicans left out there), DON'T REASON with right wing idealogue Republicans and Teabaggers - get rid of them, by voting them out of office. The right wing is indeed more dangerous to our country's well being than al Qaeda!!

    •  Republicans are the enemy. (4+ / 0-)

      It's that simple. If their ideology was seen as "leftist" we'd be in the midst of subversion trials and "anti-American activities" investigations. The Republicans have made no secret of working to "drown the government in a bathtub". That's as hostile a threat to America as anything that came out of al Qaida or any other enemy, foreign or domestic. But whining endlessly about "freedom" and "liberty" and "Jesus" seems sufficient to blind idiots and criminals to their stated goals.

      It's way past time for Dems and everyone else to quit treating them as anything other than the enemy of the state that they openly boast of being.

      Conservatism explained: Carrots for the rich and the corporate. Sticks for the workers and the poor. It really is that simple.

      by DaveW on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 09:55:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re walker (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo

      I agree 110%. Starting with Reagan through bush 1 and bush the usurper we actually have experienced a coup that has enjoyed the largest redistribution of wealth in the history of the world. The rethuglicans are truly trying to make us (the American People) into serfs of the scumbags. Never forget that. If you believe that any of their arguments are valid, don't cry when you are homeless working for min wage.

  •  This will moot the current court case (5+ / 0-)

    Though, I imagine that the collective bargaining itself will be challenged. Unfortunately, I really see no legal leg to stand on with that regard. Clearly, Wisconsin can end or restrict collective bargaining to their hearts content.

    Looks like the recall elections - and getting rid of Walker next year - would be the real, viable option.

  •  Pouring more fuel on the recall fire (9+ / 0-)

    Scotty Mussolini's union-busting adventure is going to cost him the state senate, and it will end the political careers of numerous Republicans. He'll still sleep well at night--most sociopaths do. But at what cost? He will end up being the most hated politican in Wisconsin history, or at least tied for first with Joe McCarthy. He will be remembered as a thug and a bully who couldn't compromise his way out of a paper bag.

  •  Lawsuit waiting to happen? (6+ / 0-)

    IANL, but treating one group of public employees radically different than another group sure seems illegal. If the excuse is that this is a budget matter, then all public workers -- including cops, firefighters, and transportation workers -- should be treated the same way. Anything else is obvious favoritism based on politics, not fiscal concerns. At the least, this should be sufficient grounds to tie up enforcement until after the recall elections.

    Conservatism explained: Carrots for the rich and the corporate. Sticks for the workers and the poor. It really is that simple.

    by DaveW on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 09:47:15 AM PDT

  •  Republicans getting House, Senate, Presidency (10+ / 0-)

    1).  All public sector unions ended.

    2).  Medicare is ended...private sector insurance companies will be taking care of seniors.

    3).  Social Security will be gradually shifted to a for-profit, private fund.

    4).  Military funding will go to private enterprises that are more like Blackwater...profit-oriented enterprises.  "Guns for hire" so to speak.

    5).  Taxes will no longer be just for people at a certain level.  Everyone, including seniors on fixed incomes and those at poverty level will pay income taxes.  The higher income individuals will continue to receive "exemptions" to paying into the fed in the way of taxes.

    6),  Health care will continue to be more expensive as medical interests continue their contributions into the republican election funds and those less fortunate in our country will not be able to get to a doctor....it's gonna be kinda like cutting the weak out of the herd, so to speak.

    Yeah...total control of our govt. by the conserv/repubs would be just soooo great, wouldn't it?

    -- **Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.**

    by r2did2 on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 09:47:54 AM PDT

  •  Repeal &/or Amend Corporate Statutes (7+ / 0-)

    The so-called "conservatives" (who are really right-wing radicals) think they're being so clever by getting rid of collective bargaining rights. Well, DEMs can play that game too, eventually, by doing the same to corporations.

    Note that all corporations are creatures of our law. They only exist and are allowed to operate because our statutes say so. Progressive/Liberal legislatures, if they so choose, can get rid of their state's corporate statute if the corporations in this "Citizens United" era start taking over our democracy. Put the corporate statute through the shredder. Short of completely doing away with corporations, a legislature can amend the corporate statute to require all corporations to behave in a way consistent with a people's government.

    Corporations exist to produce useful goods and services, to provide employment for our citizenry, and the furnish revenues for our treasury. When corporations get involved in activities that are inconsistent with their legitimate business purpose, then the public has the responsibility to clip their wings and put them in their place.

    Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

    by Otherday on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 09:48:42 AM PDT

  •  They exempted transit workers, but turned down ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... money for high-speed rail?

    What is going on in Wisconsin?!

    "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

    by MikeTheLiberal on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 09:49:23 AM PDT

  •  "Get ready for the ride of your life." (4+ / 0-)

    Hell, if you're bored enough to hang out here, might as well check out my site.

    by Crashing Vor on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 10:02:41 AM PDT

  •  Perhaps those in WI (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msdrown

    who don't currently care about the unions will have another think-through when the damaging budget/collective bargaining rights cuts are fully realized -- especially as to education come the Fall start of school when their kids end up in classrooms of 40 plus children.  When school infrastructures start crumbling.  When young people realize that a career in teaching is a dead end job in WI.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 10:05:22 AM PDT

    •  They already realize teaching in WI is dead end. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo

      At my university, most education are making sure they have certification in another state (Minnesota).

      RECOUNT. Recall - We did it!! VOTE against the frauds, then VOTE TO TAKE WISCONSIN BACK!!! Rescind. Rebuild. Now with more voting, thanks to republican dirty tricks.

      by stcroix cheesehead on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 10:39:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Note to swing voters nationwide (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, My Name Isnt Earl, WisVoter, msdrown

    If you vote for Republicans for the Presidency, Senate, and House, the entire country will experience what Wisconsin is going through.  

    As we are seeing it now creep into PA and it is the same thing in OH and Florida..omg !  

  •  I'm certain exempting Transit Workers... (0+ / 0-)

    ...is in large part about the ability of "the help" to get to and from certain gated communities.

    The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

    by Egalitare on Tue Jun 14, 2011 at 10:18:57 AM PDT

  •  "transit workers are exempt...." (0+ / 0-)

    I would also hazard a guess that the Wisconsin GOP believes they can divide the union with this gambit.

    They apparently haven't been paying attention and "solidarity" doesn't seem to be in their dictionary.

  •  Another mostly male union exempt (0+ / 0-)

    The Republicans really really hate women, and want them to be destitute, making them easy prey for the men with money.

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