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Scott Walker makes moves for Wisconsin Right-to-Work

Scott Walker makes moves for Wisconsin Right-to-Work

But can he pull off a legislative fast-track?

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has made a name for himself in the fight to roll back union influence. He easily overcame a 2012 recall effort organized by big labor and other progressive interests, and since then has been held up by many conservatives as an example of what Republican leadership should look like.

Now considered an emerging contender in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, Walker is taking new steps to court both employers, and workers who support right-to-work policies over forced union membership.

Legislators in Wisconsin are planning on fast-tracking a new, controversial bill that would make Wisconsin a right-to-work state. Walker had previously urged the legislature to put the issue on the back burner, saying that the revived controversy would conflict with his larger agenda, but after a series of meetings with lawmakers, has agreed to sign on to the effort.

That promise has not come without controversy.

More from the AP:

“I think we can do this next week without it getting really ugly,” said Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald on WTMJ radio in Milwaukee. “We’ll see next week whether the Capitol blows up. I don’t know.”

Right to work is a “false promise for Wisconsin,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, in a prepared statement. “Right to Work will not create jobs and will lower wages for all workers,”

Dan Bukiewicz, president of the Milwaukee Building-Construction Trades Council, which represents union construction workers in the Milwaukee area, called right-to-work “an unneeded distraction.”

“It’s very disappointing they’re going to fast-track it. Usually when things are done fast they’re done incorrectly,” he said. “I haven’t heard anybody come out from a business standpoint saying this is what they want. The residual results of this will hurt the citizens of Wisconsin.”

Proponents of right-to-work argue it will make Wisconsin more competitive and that workers should have the freedom to decide whether to pay and join a union, rather than having dues automatically withdrawn.

Like any high-profile issue, this one could go one of two ways for Walker, who has come under fire for not contradicting inflammatory statements fellow Republican Rudy Giuliani made about President Obama; but while his support for right-to-work in Wisconsin will undoubtedly draw negative attention from some mainstream media voices, it will also encourage conservatives and moderates to take a second look at how Walker’s leadership style has changed the dynamic between Wisconsin’s workers and big labor interests.

Contrarians want to accuse Walker of “punting” on the Giuliani faux-scandal, but there’s something to be said about a high profile (probable) candidate who refuses to get drawn into a flame war, then counters the outrage by taking a stand on an issue he knows is sure to re-open big labor’s 2012 wounds.

The legislature is currently planning a vote on the bill for Wednesday night or Thursday morning. We’ll keep you updated on its progress.


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“Contrarians want to accuse Walker of “punting” on the Giuliani faux-scandal…”


No, no, no, Amy. I’M a contrarian.

You are referring to Collectivists with by-lines. THEY are furiously fanning a false flame-war over Giuliani’s very commonsensical comments…comments that reflect a very broad observation about Pres. ScamWOW. They are merely acknowledgements of what he himself has written and said, along with his conduct in office.

The Collective is beside itself to bait Walker into some flap or other, no matter how bald-faced and picayune the faux controversy they have to employ.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Ragspierre. | February 20, 2015 at 2:41 pm


    Scott Walker scares the crap out of the Democrats. He totally took apart the union/Dem Party money machine in Wisconsin, and other governors are now employing his template for doing so.

    He also scares the crap out of the GOP because he’s outside the DC bubble, has already shot past GOP establishment lady-in-waiting Jeb Bush, and boasts a very strong resume of recent and ongoing triumphs. Walker has won three governor races in four years, while Bush hasn’t run for office in over ten years.

    Is it just me or does Jeb Bush have an unusually large head?

    gregjgrose in reply to Ragspierre. | February 20, 2015 at 3:38 pm


    ‘Detractos want to accuse Walker…’

    That’s what I was thinking. The media are somewhere in between the Palace Guards and the A/V Department of the Democrat Party (apols. Bill Whittle). “Contrarians”?

“. . . Walker is taking new steps to court both employers, and workers who support right-to-work policies over forced union membership.”

But, but, Democrats, liberals, progressives are nothing without force. Force is their stock-in-trade. How else are they going to bring about the new world order?

Like with persuasion? Oh, pleeeeeeeeeeeease.

    Phillep Harding in reply to pfg. | February 20, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    “Join the union or Guido will be disappointed in you. You would not want to disappoint Guido, would you?”

    Sounds persuasive to me.

Unions gave us 40 hr weeks.

ObamaCare gave us 25 hr weeks.

What is more progressive than “choice”? You should have a choice whether you want to join a unon or not.

Just like you should have a choice to carry a firearm.

Does this make me “pro choice”?

    Milhouse in reply to rabid wombat. | February 20, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Yes, it does.

    I’ll bet you even think people should have a choice whether they do obviously necessary things like brushing their teeth, wearing seat belts, wearing a coat when it’s below freezing, and vaccinating their children.

    No, it doesn’t. Pro-choice is a tenet of a “secular” religion or moral philosophy. The best example of this “moral” principle in practice is the mass slaughter (around 1 million annually in America alone) of wholly innocent human lives when human life is uniquely vulnerable by the abortion industry and its consumers.

    Do you subscribe to the fairytale of spontaneous conception?

    Do you believe that human life is a commodity, negotiable and disposable… for wealth, pleasure, and leisure; to exploit democratic leverage; to secure taxable assets and reduce the problem set?

    If not, then you are not pro-choice in the religious sense.

      Single-issue conservatives who want to turn every simple question into an ABORTION! ISSUE! are not going to help get any Republican get elected in 2016.

        Phillep Harding in reply to Amy in FL. | February 20, 2015 at 7:43 pm

        Truth. We did not make ground against gun control until we separated gun control and abortion.

        platypus in reply to Amy in FL. | February 20, 2015 at 10:43 pm

        Amy, I like you a lot on these threads but you could not be more wrong. It is not a single issue – it is an illustrative issue which lines up with lots of other issues.

        Rather than list a bunch of positions which go along with babykilling for fun & profit, let me point out just one – equal protection under the law. When you show me laws which provide equal rights to the father and the mother, I’ll re-think my position. But don’t waste your time. Killing babies is a sport reserved exclusively for females. Males are economic slaves for at least 18 years if the mother does not kill her baby. If she does, everybody goes away happy except of course the baby who has been sacrificed because no state has the moral fortitude to enact a ‘DNA identifies a person’ law.

        We won’t talk about the most common historical event in breast cancer victims is an abortion. Nor will we talk about life liberty and the pursuit of happiness and all that happy equine manure.

        Breast cancer is a millimeter away from being declared a preventable disease.

        The reason that abortion doesn’t help any Republicans is because most of them aren’t stupid enough to start yelling about something they have no way to make happen. But the notion that talking about loving children from conception onward is a negative is accepting that the ‘me firsters’ are too powerful to vanquish. Not true.

          No candidate who perseverates on abortion, abortion, abortion! is going to win this race.

          “Mr. Huckabee, what is your position on right-to-work laws?”
          Huckabee: Obama is the ABORTIONIST IN CHIEF!!!eleventy!!111

          “Mr. Santorum, how do you think the situation in Libya could have been handled differently?
          Santorum: Women kill babies for sport! And fun! Anything with DNA is a PERSON!

          The economy, foreign policy, immigration, and jobs are what matter to most people for 2016. We need to nominate the most conservative candidate who can win, and that’s not going to be goofball perseverating on about abortion.

          As soon as I hit submit on that one, I felt bad for having been so snarky to you. I apologize for my tone. It’s just that I really don’t want to see another Akin/Mourdock style anti-abortion stupidity circus ensuring that we end up with a Dem in the White House /again/ in 2016.

          But I didn’t need to be such a jerk about it. Sorry 🙁

Walker, who has come under fire for not contradicting inflammatory statements fellow Republican Rudy Giuliani made about President Obama;

He can’t contradict Giuliani’s statement, because it’s self-evidently true. I don’t understand why it’s even controversial. Why exactly must we not question someone’s patriotism, when he clearly hasn’t got any? The only question is why he doesn’t proudly adopt it, and the answer is that he has no reason to, and it would only distract attention from the actually useful things he has to say.

I mean, look at the tempest that was somehow stirred up when Christie said the most common-sense, bland, uncontroversial thing he could about vaccinations — that he’s for them, but this isn’t a dicatorship so we’d need an extraordinarily strong reason to force them on unwilling parents. We’d do it if we had no other choice, but we’re not in that situation. How could that possibly be controversial? It’s exactly what every politician claims to believe, isn’t it? It’s what the laws of (as far as I know) all 50 states already say, isn’t it? And yet it became this whole hoo-ha.

Now imagine the hoo-ha that would result if Walker said Giuliani was right. Nothing else he said, on real topics of interest, would get reported, because it’d be drowned out by this. So he’s right to let Giuliani say that the earth is round and there are no unicorns, while he says things that are actually worth hearing.

“It’s very disappointing they’re going to fast-track it. Usually when things are done fast they’re done incorrectly,” [Dan Bukiewicz] said.

True, like obamacare, executive amnesty, withdrawal from Iraq & Afghanistan,…

Right to work in Wisconsin hasn’t really been fast-tracked at all. The legislature is simply working their way down a long list of reforms and right to work is among the next few to be tackled. Walker still doesn’t think right to work legislation is a priority issue although if the legislature were to give him a good bill, he’d almost certainly sign it.

Walker is not necessarily anti-union. He’s very much pro-Wisconsin in general, which leaves the various special interest groups of both parties doing a slow burn as they continue to jockey rather unsuccessfully for influence. Walker reformed the way the state deals with public unions not because he’s anti-union, but because Wisconsin’s public unions had become unaffordable because of their immunity to the market forces that affect the rest of the state’s economy. Even then Walker exempted the emergency services employees and has never indicated a willingness to include them under Act 10 in the future.

It will be interesting to see the form of Wisconsin’s right to work legislation. There are Republican legislators who would love nothing more than to bludgeon their opponents to death with it, but legislation for the sake of punishment is not Scott Walker’s style of governance. This is a fact that many Wisconsin Republicans and Democrats alike have been slow to learn. If you don’t have Wisconsin’s best interests front and center you won’t get very far with Scott Walker.

    platypus in reply to Merlin. | February 20, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    One of the best comments I’ve read in the last year. You should send copies of it to your favorite blogs and ask if there are any openings for keyboard geniuses.

Dems must destroy Guiliani, but seem to forget that he’s one of the best political fighters around.
Walker is brilliant in just not engaging in the media hysteria, or repudiating Rudy, and focusing on his agenda: Work.
Right to work.

Clowns to the left of him, jokers to the right and Walker comes under fire for not taking the obvious bait laid out for him by CNBC. I liked Jindal’s “get off my lawn” response to the same bait, but I think Walker struck the right tone by simply declining to participate. He may take heat for it, but it won’t be a patch on the heat he’d take if he adopted Guiliani’s words, or the damage he’d do to his support by mock-outraging about it. All conservatives know instinctively that Obama hates the America they love, and that his fondest desire is to remake it in his own image. Walker knows it too. But squishes, fence-sitters and LIVs don’t know it, and they vote. To sign on with Rudy would be to allow CNBC to drive a wedge between Walker and some of those voters that he needs to win. That’s what wedge issues are for. You have to be stupid to volunteer for a wedge issue.

As a conservative, I appreciate Walker not pandering to me with schoolyard banter. I want him to be a firebrand, but not a demagogue. I want him to be a leader who inspires America, not just conservatives. I want progressives to hate him because his message is the simple light of common sense truth–a truth that calls things what they are and doesn’t mince words; that exposes the naked emperors; that makes people think “yeah I always believed that.”

I’ll stop before I start waxing into Obama-worthy flowery rhetoric about light bringers and receding oceans. Walker won’t play that game because it’s not him, and he knows he has no skin tone immunities or water carriers in the press. This race is his to win or lose. I hope he choses to win it.

Unions hate right to work laws of any kind. Especially the fat cats that steal the union member’s dues and call them campaign donations. The only employees the unions help, are themselves and the Democrat politicians that helped them get their power. Without the small guy union membership, the fat cats and pols don’t have any money to spend on lavish parties that include hookers and strippers (redundant I know). RTW laws have a tendency to weed out the more ambitious workers and leave the less inclined to wallow in the mud.

Obama is the head of the Democrat Party, whose religious platform is pro-choice or selective morality. Obama is the Abortionist in Chief. This “secular” religion, or rather cult (i.e. pseudo-moral with a material emphasis), based on a fairytale and barbaric faith (e.g. debasing human life) appeals to women and men who follow the secular profits of wealth, pleasure, and leisure.

Smart politics. If this fires up the unions to go on the offensive again that will *really* make Walker look good. Being hated by the right enemies is even better than being loved by the right friends.

At this point I think Walker has proved that he seems to have a talent for doing things that people say he couldn’t do.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Gremlin1974. | February 20, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Democrats have underestimated Walker – and lost to Walker – every inch of the way. And now the GOP leadership is about to do the exact same thing as they prop up lady-in-waiting Jeb Bush.

    I predict Bush collects boatloads of money because Bush but gets no traction with voters and watches Walker sail past him. While the GOP leadership obviously wants Bush, at some point it will sink in that they can’t make voters like him, that Walker (and I could see Perry doing this) is too far in front.

    Keep an eye on Karl Rove during the primary season. That’s who the GOP leadership will use to start making good noise about Walker, trial ballooning a jump away from sinking Bush to soaring Walker (or Perry). They use Rove a lot for this sort of thing.


    Saying of the Day:

    “Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” – Brian Williams