Massachusetts goes bold

It’ll be interesting to see if the rhetoric that was aimed at Republicans in Wisconsin and Ohio will now be aimed at Democrats in Massachusetts:

House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last night to strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care, saying the change would save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns.

The 111-to-42 vote followed tougher measures to broadly eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio, Wisconsin, and other states. But unlike those efforts, the push in Massachusetts was led by Democrats who have traditionally stood with labor to oppose any reduction in workers’ rights.

Unions fought hard to stop the bill, launching a radio ad that assailed the plan and warning legislators that if they voted for the measure, they could lose their union backing in the next election. After the vote, labor leaders accused House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and other Democrats of turning their backs on public employees.

We live in interesting times.

Mideast Update
"We do not have time for this kind of silliness"
  • hcddbz

    The one thing the Union mind cannot deal with.

  • JLawson

    Sounds like someone hit ’em with a clue-bat…

    I think someone ran the numbers, then ran them a second time… then had someone else run them – verified them with someone else… and realized that they were screwed if they didn’t do this.

    Now they’re just not QUITE so screwed. Nothing like running out of money for real to concentrate a person’s mind on what’s a necessity and what’s a ‘nice to have’ item!

  • For the first time in my life I am proud of my state.

    Well…sort of….

  • Oyster

    I must have missed it in the article. Can someone point me to the part where they described the Mass lawmakers received a plethora of death threats to them and their families? Where union members stormed the “marble halls” of the House to disrupt negotiations? Where the unions set recall petitions into circulation? Where they threatened local businesses with a boycott if they didn’t openly defend and support unions with signage in their windows?

    Oh? None of that happened? Gee, I wonder what’s different about Mass and Wisconsin?

  • Upset Old Guy

    Oyster, I guess what’s different is what the MA governor has taken the time to point out… he hasn’t signed anything yet; and they’re being really, really careful to be sensitive of everyone’s feelings.

    Meanwhile, as of Tuesday, “(Reuters) – The International Association of Fire Fighters union said on Tuesday it was turning off the tap on federal political contributions and putting its money into state and local campaigns.”

  • Rodney Graves


    1. Massachussets is effectively a one party state. The PSU’s and the Democrats have not (quite) yet reached the point of open internecine conflict.
    2. The Massachussets legislature moved this legislation very quickly and voted it literally in the middle of the night.
    3. I woudln’t count out recall petitions nor rival candidates from the unions in the next election just yet.


  • irongrampa

    I think you could title that episode “Reality Bites”.

    Can’t wait for the next act.

  • jim m

    At the last minute the unions flooded the airwaves with ads crying about how they had some inalienable rights to use collective bargaining to rob the public. You could tell they were panicked.

    There won’t be any backlash for the reasons Rodney gave. Mass is a one party state and the unions know that they have no place else to go.

    So they stop giving money to support candidates? Really? So they are going to give up what little influence they have left? Their threats are worthless.

    The real risk for unions is if states follow the lead of Minnesota and stop collecting dues for them. Then the unions could see as much as 60% of their income evaporate overnight. If that happens they won’t have any choice about political donations. They still have a lot to lose and they will be paying the dems handsomely to keep it.

  • PBunyan

    An important point to remember is that the Dems only voted to strip them of the collective bargaining rights with regard to healthcare. This will not affect the union members salaries, thus it will not effect the amount of money going to the union and the union bosses, thus it will not effect the money going to Democrat lawmakers.

    It only hurts the workers so it was a no brainer for the Dems to vote support it.

  • Caesar Augustus

    If Gov. Patrick morphed into a white Republican then you’d see large-scale protests in the media and on college campuses and the like.

    Putting all that aside, to me the most interesting parts of this story are the underlying implications for state and local finances.

    Simply put, when fiscal reality leads to anti-union legislation even from Democrat lawmakers in liberal idiot states then you know behind the scenes the (not for public consumption) deficit and debt figures are catastrophic. As soon as the federal ‘stimulus’ money runs out this summer we’re going to see a state and municipal implosion. Defaults. Bankruptcies. Chaos in the muni bond markets. Mass layoffs. So on, so forth. Fiscally speaking we’re on the edge of a cliff and it’s a long way down.

  • glenn

    What the pols in Massachusetts uunderstand is that they don’t want to be the first failed state. And that the unions may bluff and bluster but they really don’t have any place else to go. California is next.

  • Hank

    The Ma House may have gone bold, but I seriously doubt this is going anywhere.

    Per the linked article, “The battle now turns to the Senate, where President Therese Murray has indicated that she is reluctant to strip workers of their right to bargain over their health care plans.”

    And then if Deval always-out-of-state Patrick has to sign it, he’ll more than likely find a way not to.

    I also found this interesting, from the article, ““It’s pretty stunning,’’ said Robert J. Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “These are the same Democrats that all these labor unions elected.”

    Remember, this is Ma. We will not do the right thing.

  • Jeff Blogworthy

    SHAME on Unions.

  • Sep14

    Don’t try to affix this silliness to Barry. He is the serious down to business type of guy. No vacations just hard work .

  • Speaking personally, anyone who voted for this should be ashamed of themselves. So yes, I hope the Democrats who voted for this are gone after as well as the Republicans.

    But you have to admit, at least this shows that not all Democrats are liberals and progressives.

  • OH, and Oyster – the bill hasn’t passed yet, and it’s also narrower than the Wisconsin one. Note that it only applies towards collectively bargaining for health care.

    That said, if it actually does make it into law – which I personally think is doubtful – I agree that exactly the same pressure should be brought to bear as in Wisconsin.

  • GarandFan

    “But you have to admit, at least this shows that not all Democrats are liberals and progressives.”

    No, it shows that the financial numbers are REALLY bad. And they damned well know that there are no more bailouts coming from Congress.

  • Oldpuppymax

    So I assume the state capital will now be destroyed, legislators will receive death threats and the media will portray all of the Democrat senators as lice.

  • WildWillie

    The WI bill was removing collective bargaining from benefits. Medical is the main benefit. Jim X, your missing it. ww

  • JLawson

    “No, it shows that the financial numbers are REALLY bad.”

    And there was no way they could spin them any better…

    I think the ‘progressives’ are finding that the ever-pouring tap of governmental wealth is about to run dry.

  • davidt

    Interesting that the MA bill strips the police of barginning for healthcare benefits while the WI bill did not touch police or firefighters.

  • JLawson

    (Looks in MA’s empty vaults…)

    Not so much, Davidt. There’s only so much they can pay for, and it looks like the folks managing the money are about tapped out.

    Why, who knows? They might even have to (gasp) have COPAYS! (Falls unconscious at the thought…)

  • Jeff Blogworthy

    …anyone who voted for this should be ashamed of themselves.

    The people who should be ashamed of themselves are those who seek to ingratiate themselves at the expense of their neighbors. Criminals are more honest. At least they are willing to hold their own gun to their victims heads rather than getting surrogates to do it for them. The criminal at least knows he’s perpetrating evil, while the remote-control looters pretend to a moral right.

  • LiberalNitemare

    Honestly – Deval Patrick doesn’t have the balls to go thru with this.

    If he does do it, we will end up with Willie Lantigua as the governor next time around.

  • Ryan Aaron

    ANyone who supports the organized crime that is a public sector union should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Since the traitor, Roosevelt, that vast RICO-racketeering money laundering hoards of organized criminals also known as the “Democrats,” have stolen Trillions of Dollars and have laundered it to their union and other cohorts and cronies and have sent Trillions more to their UN and Euro-weenie group-think trough-feeder pals.

    And now We, The People, are about to put an end to the basta*ds’ rackets!