I Hate To Say It: Scott Walker Was Wrong!

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I can’t stand unions, I really can’t.  They were necessary in times past.  But with the exception of public safety, they are antiquated.  Worse, they actually lead to an uncompetitive & lazy work force.  They also make the United States weaker in the world economy.  I couldn’t stand their general attitude (rabid & frothing at the mouth) during the Wisconsin Scott Walker vs. Unions debacle.  Seeing our teachers act that way was reprehensible and has led me to have negative feelings toward all teachers.  Sadly, even the teachers in my community.  I think to myself, “Sure, you act all nicey, nicey to me now- but would you be one of those frothing, sign waving, chanting, drumming idiots if your unions were being curbed?”  It undercuts the foundation of trust so necessary between parent and teacher.  It sucks the joy right out of it.  ‘Cause I used to vote for everything they ever needed- every pay increase, every levy.  I vehemently defended higher salaries for Washington teachers and never held them responsible for WA state’s low school performances.  No longer.  No way.  It is sad.  And it makes me mad.

So when Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi struck down Scott Walker’s ‘Budget Repair Bill’ which would limit the collective bargaining rights of all Wisconsin unions, I was furious.  Convinced that an activist judge was attempting to create, or in this case, thwart law, I decided to actually read the  official judgement and court finding papers.  Well! What a surprise!  I am a fair person.   So I can’t ignore the following conclusions:

1)  It is absolutely clear that Scott Walker and the Republican legislature broke the law when signing the “Budget Repair Bill”.  They used sneaky tactics, such as using a tiny room that couldn’t accommodate the public.  They purposely had too few security officers there to man both doors of the buildings, thus forcing the closure of one.  They enforced screening at the one door and an additional one at the top of the stairs.  They didn’t post even a two hour notice to the public, let alone the 24 hour notice normally required.  They lied & said there was no more seating for the public, though there were open seats.  They ‘closed’ the building at 6pm and forced the public out of the building and then held their meetings after 6.  Basically, they broke their own rules!

Whatever happened to honor?  This is not ok under any circumstance and embarrasses me, a conservative, to no end.    What if a liberal legislature was allowed to do this to us?  (oh yeah, they already did- when Congress passed Obama care unconstitutionally)!  Walker should have had the courage to conduct his business, shouting over the mouth frothers if necessary, in public, in honor, and in a way that could make his supporters proud.  All violent protesters could have been booted.  Instead, he sneaked around getting signatures in dark hallways, lied and schemed in a way not worthy of any governor.

Further, you know how the conservative press keeps saying that the only limits being put on unions were ending their collective bargaining rights on issues other than pay- that the focus was on teacher performance?  Welllll, true and not true.  Walker’s bill actually states that it will end bargaining for pensions, sick days & vacation.   To me, those are fine (as long as pensions remain reasonable and sustainable).  What I don’t like is how the unions refuse to fire poor performers.  Also, how they enforce (on us, the public), their belief that time served =job security=higher pay.  The newbies can’t get the money they deserve and thus, we can’t attract real, young talent we so desperately need in our schools.  Also, I can’t stand how they strike, like little babies, over small matters.  It is curbs on those things that I want.

Fellow Americans, I feel a little dirty on this one.  I feel manipulated.  How about you?

20 comments

  1. […] I can’t stand unions, I really can’t. They were necessary in times past. But with the exception of public safety, they are antiquated. Worse, they actually lead to an uncompetitive & lazy work force. They also make the United States weaker in the world economy. I couldn’t stand their general attitude (rabid & frothing at the mouth) during the Wisconsin Scott Walker vs. Unions debacle. Seeing our teachers act that way was reprehensible and has led me to have negative feelings toward all teachers. Sadly, even the teachers in my community. I think to myself, “Sure, you act all nicey, nicey to me now- but would you be one of those frothing, sign waving, chanting, drumming idiots if your unions were being curbed?” It undercuts the foundation of trust so necessary… continue reading.. […]

  2. well, let’s see. I was there for part of the proceedings. part of what you say may be true, but the parts about transparency are not.

    The entire building was such a madhouse with angry, yelling voices that NO legislator in ANY room could hear themselves think.

    So they held the meetings after 6:00 PM. As for inviting the public? Why? The “public” was there every day raising hell and would not sit down and discuss anything quietly. Anyone who was not a union member had to fight to get in and I myself needed an escort just to hand deliver a message to the Gov from my boss here in IL.

    So in short, when it comes to the weird hours, small rooms and doing this after hours, all I can say is that’s the Dem’s fault for deserting their posts and the police’s fault for not maintaining order (which the chief admitted to, more or less).

    If the unions want to sit down and talk, they can sit down and talk. They did neither. They created a situation in which the only way anything could get done was to literally railroad them.

    Tough cookies! The WI SC will strike this down and the bill will go through. Now all we need is the same thing in IL.

    • I agree on all points. However, when I read the actual findings, I fear that the WI S.C. may not uphold the law. The existing law stated that certain levels of public awareness & participation MUST be provided or all laws made in violation of that law would be null & void. I’m just annoyed that Walker allowed this to happen. They should have just worn headphones and gone about their business. While it was made difficult to do their jobs, it wasn’t impossible. This wouldn’t be happening now if they had. The only hope is that the WI SC rules that the welfare of the citizens of IL are best served by upholding Walker’s law. Somehow, I think that is unlikely. You will hear me cheer if they do, though! Good luck to you all.

      • “The existing law stated that certain levels of public awareness & participation MUST be provided or all laws made in violation of that law would be null & void.”

        I realize that, but the public was aware and were allowed to participate. The unions prevented that participation so are the Republican senators to blame?

        No.

        You state “security officers,” COME ON! WI Senators don’t use private security; they use the WI State Police! The state police were supposed to maintain order, but did they?

        No, and their chief (a Democrat and union supporter), allowed chaos to reign thereby not providing a venue for orderly discussion or public meetings.

        The Democrats ran out-of-state, thereby blocking any discourse. Are they being held responsible?

        NO! IN fact, the supposedly non-partisan board hasw approved recall votes for three GOP sentaors, but NOT ONE Democrat.

        Then there’s the judge here – a partisan Democrat – admittedly partisan at that.

        At some point one must step back and open up eyes wide, so one may discern what is shinola and what is little more than what comes out of the South end of a of a Northbound bull!

        The Democrats are simply pulling every manuever and dirty trick they can get away with instead of engaging in discussion.

      • true. I’m on your side! I just wish Walker didn’t create a loophole like this! Chill. We are on the same page concerning the moral right. Unfortunately, the legal system is not always about ‘moral’ right.

      • law is about technicalities. Technically, although the public was allowed to scream their lungs out on previous occasions, they were not present for this actual vote. In fact, the court findings show that it was a quiet day at the building that day. No one has disputed that finding- not yet anyway. You don’t need to tell me about the Dem. Senators or the union insanity. I agree with all that. But on this legal technical point, you are incorrect. We can only hope that the Republicans can find a lawyer who can find other procedural laws that will allow this bill to pass. We will cross our fingers.

  3. sorry, I changed the 2/3 (just a mental slip) needed to the correct 3/5 vote necessary. 3/5 is required for any bill requiring an increase in federal taxes, which this bill most certainly does. This still does aplly for the House, I believe. It is exceptionally difficult to wade through all the committee actions and procedures of the law making process. So you have to use the best sources you can find. I have posted mine (Library of Congress)- do you have other sources I can look at?

    • I pull you some sources over the next few days.

      Remember though, that the 3/5 and 60:40 voting requirements are solely House and Senate procedural rules. They have no constitutional basis or other legal basis beyond those rules which can be changed at the start of any session.

      This also only holds true for general / floor votes. Committee votes and the process of getting a bill into and out of committee is too arcane for me to properly fathom, much less explain!

      • but if these rules are in effect when a bill is passed, then they still must be adhere to those rules. And since the constitution gives the House the right to make the rules yearly and the Senate (on a more permanent basis) then it is still unconstitutional to break the current House rules for that year! No?

      • That’s a bit of a stretch, at least in my opinion, insofar as unconstitutionality is concerned. In the case of ObamaCare it was a deliberate breach of protocols and traditions, possibly even of Congress’ parliamentary rules but calling it a violation of the Constitution is a dangerous stretch.

        By that logic, since ALL federal laws are derived from the Constitution, any breach of protocols would be unconstitutional. That would end up debasing constitutional argument in the courts to the point of making the document largely worthless.

      • hmmmm.. I am certainly not a constitutional scholar. However, I would be inclined to say that 1) as long as a law is passed ‘legally’ based on existing laws & procedures and 2) the pre-existing laws & procedures are also passed legally based on their pre-existing laws, etc. back to the original Constitution then the new law must be constitutional. Otherwise, there is no ability to move forward with a rapidly changing society, is there? There has to be a fundamental trust required in our legal system in order to function on a pragmatic level. However, the ‘existing legal precedent’ must be unraveled if it is found to be ‘unconstitutional’ as well. What bothers me exceedingly is that the judicial courts are becoming packed with progressive liberals that actually subvert the law in their judgments. And because there are so many crooked judges legislating from the bench, we are establishing a legal quagmire that must be unraveled in order to get the new laws in order. But instead of doing this (which, let’s face it, would be pragmatically impossible), our freight train of a nation just plunges ahead using established protocol (which is, in itself, unconstitutional) to establish new, unconstitutional laws. I come at it from a different angle than you. I don’t say that simply because protocol & laws exist, then they are therefore constitutional. I’m saying they need to be un-made to be in line with the constitution. No new laws, based on legal precedent that is, in and of itself is unconstitutional, is constitutional.

  4. Exactly what was unconstitutional in the way they passed The Affordable Care Act? Um, I mean “Obamacare. Please clarify so I’ll understand. I must have missed something, obviously.

    • Obama care was passed by using the budget reconciliation process, which was never meant to be used to actually pass major legislation. Our constitution requires that all legislation be passed, first by the House of Representatives, then by the Senate. A 3/5 vote in each is required for the bill to pass. After that, the president must sign it to become law. The purpose of this was absolutely clear- it forced compromise between parties. It forced politicians to slow down the law making process. It ensured that the People’s will was truly being done. It prevented sweeping changes that could wildly swing the Nation back & forth. The Affordable Care Act was only passed in the House by 219/212 vote. This is not the required 3/5 vote necessary for any bill that would include tax hikes. The budget reconciliation is a process where the bill gets funding and ‘details’ of the bill are worked out. It is possible, that within this ‘hammering out’ part of implementing the law, that new legislation is added to the bill- because those additions were required in order to practically implement the intent of the original bill. In order to pass these pieces of supporting legislation for the bill, only a simple majority, ie 50% of the House & Senate need approve it to make it law. But the Constitution orders that the reconcilation legislation must support the original intent of the passed bill- it may not enter ‘extraneous’ laws. Presidents in the past, both Republican and Democrat, have use the reconciliation process to add small pieces of legislation favorable to their cause. In essence, they ‘slipped’ some stuff in in a quasi-sneaky way. No one before Obama has attempted to use the reconciliation process (a simple 50% vote) to pass such a huge piece of legislation (affecting 1/6 of the largest economy on earth). This is a complete subversion of our constitution and it is dangerous for both sides of the aisle. If Republicans get the majority of these houses & the presidency, this means they, too can pass pretty much anything they want- including a full repeal of Obama care. Is that what Americans want for the future? Sweeping changes back & forth?

      The fact that Republicans did not challenge the passage of this legislation on these grounds alone puzzles me exceedingly. I worry that they wish to use reconciliation in the same way when their turn comes. This is a basic rot happening in our country that undermines our future as a nation. It is not good enough that each party gets their way. You cannot be satisfied with that. Because to allow this will be to just have your favorite legislation turned on its ear when the other party gains power, which they will eventually. It is a very, very bad thing. And no one seems to care.

      • Actually, the 2/3 – ish voting requirements aren’t constitutionally required, are relatively recent procedural changes in the Senate, and aren’t applicable to the House at all.

        That doesn’t change the fact the the “Doomsday Option” shouldn’t have been used for ObamaCare but it’s important to put proper context on the rules and laws that were involved.

  5. I like this post. I am an ardent unionist but many times I stood up to my own union. It takes courage to realize that a person you might normally support was wrong. Scott Walker was wrong.

    You have a lot of courage to say so out loud. Good Job.

    I’ll tell you what, I’ll fix them on this end and you fix them on that end. Maybe we can meet in the middle and solve problems. Thanks.

    • meeting in the middle is exactly what this country needs. I would support unions (or, at least just ignore them) more if they didn’t hit me upside the head with demands. If they promoted performance and competition and accountability, but only wanted to ensure safety, decent wages & benefits our nation can afford, why, I would be downright amenable!

  6. You’re bothered by legalisms? You think they should have conducted business as usual under the threat of lethal violence?

    As far as I can see, they should have sealed the building and gone about the business of law. Any who protested violently should have been dealt with as insurrectionists by the National Guard who should have been given complete “weapons free” orders to maintain security and neutralize any violent groups.

    • ummmm, don’t know what to say, joholan. What I know is this: the law is a good thing. It prevents a complete breakdown of society. Of course legalisms are important. what is done sets legal precedence. I hated the closed door tactics and the unconstitutional use of the reconciliation budgeting process to pass Health Care. When law is subverted, it undermines the validity of our constitution. That would work against everything I care about.

  7. Bad procedures are just as inexcusable on the right as they are on the left. On the other hand these union thugs have been known to be violent many times when they feel threatened. The dems left the state for weeks to keep from convening the legislature. So don’t be too hard on the governor. It is sort of like Reagan firing the arir traffic controllers.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John

    • I am totally in support of Walker’s attempts to break the union thugs and their powerbase. But by using sly tactics, he allowed the judge to legally strike his law down. And now the whole thing needs to be done again. Based on the tactics brought to light by this hearing, where evidence was produced, it lessens the independent support for walker. It worked against him. walker should just have fired those teachers like reagan did.

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