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Go For The Gusto

Gosh, this whole Wisconsin thing is just so darned much fun.

As most of you know, the Democrats in the Wisconsin State Senate didn't like a proposed bill to strip public sector unions of the right to collectively bargain. However, they were a minority, so they fled the state. The Republicans hold the majority, but Wisconsin state law requires all budget-related votes pass with a 2/3 majority, and the Republicans don't quite hold that many seats. So the Democrats, rather than lose that vote, decided to effectively shut down the government.

But as noted, the 2/3 majority is only for budget-related issues. Everything else is simple majority -- and the Republicans have that in spades.

So the Democrats' flight doesn't necessarily mean "party's over." It could mean "party on, dudes!" It could be Spring Break in February for conservative cheeseheads.

It's time the Wisconsin GOP started going hog wild here on non-budget issues. Any conservative worth his or her salt ought to have a whole wish list of laws they'd like passed or repealed, and now is the perfect time to start trotting them out.

Legalizing concealed-carry of weapons? Go for it.

Making Wisconsin a "right-to-work" state? As you wish.

Put major restrictions on abortion? Who's gonna stop you?

Charter schools? Right on.

Merit pay for teachers, coupled with measurable testing benchmarks? Why not?

Voter ID? Absolutely!

Copy Arizona's immigration law? Bring it on!

Make voter fraud and voter registration fraud capital offenses? Bully for you!

Dispose of most of the tedious and anti-competitive licensing requirements for most professions? About damned time!

Now, I don't agree with all these ideas, but they do have one unifying theme: they tend to make Democrats absolutely froth at the mouth and totally lose their shit.

The Democrats have precipitated a major crisis in Wisconsin, but as someone once said, "never let a crisis go to waste." There's an old bogus aphorism that the Chinese word for "crisis" is made from the symbols for "danger" and "opportunity." But while the origin is discredited, it's true that in crises are often opportunities.

And in Wisconsin, the Republicans have an opportunity to literally go to town with non-budget issues that the Democrats would fight tooth and nail -- if they weren't shacked up out of state. Just the thought of those Democrats having to watch their Republican colleagues pass piece after piece after piece of their wish list -- even knowing that very few of them would ever make it into law -- would eat them alive.

Plus, the Republicans in the State Senate don't have much else to do right now, as they can't work on budget matters, so they might as well have some fun.

As they say, elections have consequences. So do derelictions of duty.


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Comments (50)

This would also show the De... (Below threshold)

This would also show the Democrats that what goes around comes around. What I mean by that is what the National Dems did in the US House and Senate. They froze out the Republicans in all of their deliberations in the ObamaCare fiasco and now the shoe is on the other foot and I go for it.

re: the AWOL legislators (e... (Below threshold)

re: the AWOL legislators (either state):

Seize their property and real estate and auction it off to recoup some of the costs their absence is incurring.

I seem to recall someone or other, not so long ago, asserting that "elections have consequences". Now, who might that have been...?

It's a battle for hearts an... (Below threshold)
a. moral:

It's a battle for hearts and minds of the folks in the middle, and so far Walker is ahead. By all means start working on these other issues, but I suggest you pick the most popular ones first. Forget the fact that the other side would not exercise such restraint if the situation was reversed. Part of the sale here is that the "adults" are back in charge. Continue to act accordingly.

Yeah hey der you betcha!</p... (Below threshold)
Pretzel Logic:

Yeah hey der you betcha!

Of course if you really wan... (Below threshold)

Of course if you really wanted to piss them off, outlaw the Democratic Party. ;)

As a 'sconny-ite, of all th... (Below threshold)

As a 'sconny-ite, of all the items you listed, voter-ID is the biggie. For years the republican side has tried to get that passed, but Governor Doyle kept shooting it down (oops sorry. Didn't mean to say shoot. (Damn, said it again))

The under-reported incidents of voter fraud in Milwaukee never swayed the dems, but the rest of us non-dems were livid.

As much of a gift horse this is for the republicans, I think they'd also better be careful and not overreach. The laws of unintended consequence and a very liberal media creates a fine, thin line that if crossed, will create a cacophony as loud as the one we currently have.

Btw, I do love your idea of altering their direct-deposit to physical checks. Simple, yet brilliant.

Personally, I'd like Gov Walker to pull a Reagan and fire 'em all. With our unemployment rate, we have plenty of qualified replacements handy.

This all sounds great! But ... (Below threshold)

This all sounds great! But do the Pubbie state senators read Wizbang? Has anyone talked to them about this? Don't get me all excited about these possibilities if there is no chance these ideas have even occurred to the elected officials.

Here's a question for peopl... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Here's a question for people that favored the supreme court ruling that corporations are people. If corporations have the same rights as a person, why shouldn't unions? Then nobody would be able to deny the rights of unions to collectively bargain.

Public sector unions, Tina ... (Below threshold)
a. moral:
A wonderful dream, but it r... (Below threshold)

A wonderful dream, but it requires something most Republicans LACK---A SPINE!!!! Never underestimate the willingness of Republican politicians to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Tina S,I am not sure... (Below threshold)

Tina S,
I am not sure I understand your reasoning but corporations are considered private entities. I think the situation here deals with unions in the public sector and collective bargaining versus unions who have organized in businesses in the private sector. If you are a legislator who is responsible for voting on my salary/benefits as a public union employee and my union contributes money to your re-election campaign before you vote on my contract renewal I would say that's a conflict of interest. It works well for you but if I am not a public sector employee but a privately employed citizen in your voting district your largesse may not be serving my interests if you are promising money that has to come out of my pocket. I may not have noticed your recklessness before but now that I'm 'taxed out' I have no more interest in paying whatever these people want you to shake me down for on the next contract go around.

Liberals like Tina S just d... (Below threshold)

Liberals like Tina S just don't see the inherent corruption of public service unions. They lobby (bribe) elected officials to vote for their benefits and promise campaign dollars in return. Private sector unions have to negotiate fairly because there can be no quid pro quo. This is why Roosevelt was against them, Truman, Kennedy, Nixon, and every other thinking person. ww

collective bargaining is no... (Below threshold)

collective bargaining is not free speech ...

Patience is a virtue.... (Below threshold)

Patience is a virtue.

The WI GOP can pass any non-budget bill they want even if the Dems return to their paid constitutional duties.

The longer the Dems remain on the lam the worse they look.

The GOP must avoid the 'optics' of looking like they are 'railroading' anything.

Stay the course, it's working.

DavidD & WildWillie,<... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

DavidD & WildWillie,

You brought up a very good points. I believe the solution is not to ban unions but to create better campaign finance reform laws that would limit the influence of all lobyists including unions. Corporate lobbyists are no less guilty if giving what amounts to a bribe as are unions.

I'd suggest you draw up the... (Below threshold)
Don L:

I'd suggest you draw up the bills -pass one making it illegal with major fines to enter the state for purposes of assisting lawbreaking unions demostrate or organize -tell Obama to keep his Community organizing paws off of your state, Pass a law making it illegal for a law maker to leave the state for political protest. Print the laws suggested above in every media -hand deliver orders to return and them (they're now talking general strike) start a countdown clock and then do it. Like Ghandi and MLK tell them they must be prepare to pay the price of their civil disobedience: permanent loss of jobs, forfeiture of all future benifits as of d-day, etc. Let them go wildif they will, the nation needs a good catharsis moment!

What am I missing here? Th... (Below threshold)

What am I missing here? The Cowardly Senators have offered a compromise of suspending collective bargaining for something like two years. The Republicans should accept that compromise and re-write the bill to say: "Collective Bargaining by the unions is hereby banned for two years". Everybody is happy and the bill passes.

Walker then uses his line item veto power to take out the phrase "for two years".

All done!

Tina SSince you want... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Tina S
Since you want unions to be treated as private citizens then are you saying their dues should be taxable?

THey would easily fit into the 1% and their dues could go towards paying for their benefits.

Also they can pay the same business taxes that businesses do.

How do you like your idea so far?

By Tina S logic, since Uni... (Below threshold)

By Tina S logic, since Unions are allowed to force people to be members as a condition of employment and forcibly take part of their wages for political campaigns then corporation should be able to force it workers to buy from them and forcibly take part of their employees’ wages for political campaign. This should apply according Tina to public employers as well as private.

So Governor Walker can forcibly take 3% of the teachers pay and use it for political campaigns that he sees inclined to.

Also what happens if companies of the same kind get together to decide what price to demand or else withhold vital services or product as a group? What if they create practices and influence lawmakers to pass laws to force all business to go through them and not allowed any other competitive firms to form. They get busted for violating anti-trust (anti-monopoly) laws.

The Republicans have no mor... (Below threshold)

The Republicans have no more or fewer votes with the Democrats out of town than they do when the Democrats are there.

Anything they can push through with the 14 in Chicago, they can still do when the 14 come back.

What was stopping them from acting on all these issues before?

The only thing different is that they can do it without having any kind of public debate.

Since you want unions to... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

Since you want unions to be treated as private citizens then are you saying their dues should be taxable?

Retired Military, I consider it ludricous to treat unions as private citizens. I feel the same for corporations. But I don't see how the supreme court could consider a corporation a person and not a union.

Tina S,Another thing... (Below threshold)

Tina S,
Another thing, in the Citizens United ruling or 'that corporations are people' thing as you mentioned, it was confirmed in court arguments that government could in essence ban books published by corporations. I pick the link from NPR because you might find it a more reasonable read than an article from a more right-leaning site: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112711410
This is why the government lost its case and in reality I don't think your argument applies to the Wisconsin situation.

I am not against unions. I feel that FDR's reasons for not allowing the unionization of federal/government employees was appropriate and prescient. John Kennedy's executive order to allow this at the federal level was a mistake. The cost of government bureaucracy delivering services at the city, state and federal levels are too burdensome. We know this because we're broke. Broke means no money. There is increasing unemeployment leading to a decreasing tax base which means even less money for public sector unions blind to their own profligacy. The public sector unions need to go because their leadership will never temper their desire for power on their own no matter what. It always amuses me that people who look at corporate leaders as being driven only by power and money never entertain the fact that these same types really do find positions of power in unions and government as well.

The only way to reduce the ... (Below threshold)

The only way to reduce the power of the unions — both public and private sector — is to institute right work laws in the states where the unions have the most sway. There are currently 22 states that have this law and they are not beholden to have people work there. That is the one of the main reasons that people are leaving the so-called blues states in massive hordes. That and the high taxes they are forced to pay.

I don't know law well enoug... (Below threshold)
Tina S:

I don't know law well enough to know for sure if a union were to be considered a person, that the constitution could be applied to their right to collectively bargain. But I suspect lawyers and union lobbyists could come up with all kinds of ways to expand the power of unions by considering unions people. And I don't see how a corporation could be considered a person and not a union.

Monopolies are not good for... (Below threshold)
a. moral:

Monopolies are not good for consumers or taxpayers. If union workers strike at Chrysler that is their right, but they do so at their own peril and that of the company. There are plenty of other options for consumers out there. If teachers go on strike, call out sick, etc. our children have no other options. Their labor monopolies allows them to shut down the working of government...at their whim.

Public utilities are highly regulated and cannot simply charge what they want. I suspect many people protesting in Madison are fine with that. You have to give something up if you want a government sanctioned monopoly. If not, then compete for work like the rest of us.

Tina S wrote:<blockq... (Below threshold)

Tina S wrote:

If corporations have the same rights as a person, why shouldn't unions? Then nobody would be able to deny the rights of unions to collectively bargain.

I don't understand your question. No one is saying that a union does not have the right to collective bargaining. The issue is whether Wisconsin is bound to collective bargaining. Nothing except Wisconsin law says that it is, and Walker is trying to change Wisconsin law. After all, he's the governor.

Citizens United involved First Amendment rights. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land, so legislation which tried to limit that right is invalid.

No one is saying that a union does not have First Amendment rights. But, there is no right to collective bargaining anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.

The Republicans ho... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
The Republicans hold the majority, but Wisconsin state law requires all budget-related votes pass with a 2/3 majority, and the Republicans don't quite hold that many seats.

That's not quite the case. The law requires 2/3 of the members to be present to have a quorum on budget matters, but they don't need to get 2/3 of the votes.

One of the first "co... (Below threshold)
gnossoss papadopoulis:

One of the first "cowards" to flee to disrupt quorum, Abraham Lincoln.

gnossoss, not all actions o... (Below threshold)

gnossoss, not all actions of even the greatest of men are right, honorable, or just. lincoln was a great man, and a great president. doesn't make him infallible.

As I understand it, the pro... (Below threshold)
James H:

As I understand it, the problem isn't lack of majority, but rather lack of quorum.

Tina SNice dodging... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Tina S

Nice dodging the question I asked.

You brought the scenario. I asked you a question about it. you dodged it totally.

Tina SNice dodging the q... (Below threshold)
Tina S

Nice dodging the question I asked.

You brought the scenario. I asked you a question about it. you dodged it totally.

Actually she didn't. Her point was to demonstrate inconsistent thinking, by saying, If YOU agree that corporations deserve personhood status, then logically you should believe that unions also deserve personhood status.

She never said SHE personally believed unions deserved personhood status. She was demonstrating that for logic to be consistent one can't think one is a person and not another. You too could have understood this argument with careful reading.

Disagreeing is one thing. Flat out not understanding what is being said is another.

Your question demonstrated that you didn't at all understand the point she was making.

Here's a question ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:
Here's a question for people that favored the supreme court ruling that corporations are people. If corporations have the same rights as a person, why shouldn't unions?

What a stupid point! Where to start?

First, the Supreme Court did not rule that corporations are people, you dumb twat. The Court ruled that corporations have the same right to free speech as people. That's not the same thing as saying corporations have the same rights as people. Have a grownup explain to you why. (Here's a hint: corporations can't get married now, can they? Duh.) The Court ruled that corporations have the same rights as natural persons in this one respect: speech.

Second, the Supreme Court in Citizens United ruled that only that corporations can say their piece. Unions can already do that, God knows. That ruling has no bearing - I say again, no bearing on collective bargaining. Put another way, do corporations now have a right to form cartels and enforce pricing discipline (which is essentially what unions do for labor?). Answer: no.

Third, and last, to turn your logic (if you'll pardon the exaggeration) around, if you opposed the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, does that mean you don't think unions should have a right to bargain collectively?

Seriously, step up your game. You need to think before commenting.


All for unions being able t... (Below threshold)

All for unions being able to 'collect8ively bargain'...ifr the corporations they work for are allowed to do likewise. What Unions do shoudl more or less run afoul of "Antitrust"...

Jay Tea, as others have poi... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea, as others have pointed out, the reason the Badger Bugout has stopped business in the Wisconsin State Senate has nothing to do with their votes, but with the rules requiring a quorum.

There are 33 seats in that body, and rules define a quorum as 3/5 of that number, or 20. With 14 Democrats AWOL, the Republican caucus can muster only 19. Hence, no quorum and therefore no business by the Wisconsin state senate.


Hence, no quorum and the... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Hence, no quorum and therefore no business by the Wisconsin state senate.


Incorrect. No budget-related business. Non-budget-related items require only a majority vote, and therefore can be conducted.

"The longer the Dems remain... (Below threshold)

"The longer the Dems remain on the lam the worse they look"

Yes, and if they sink much lower, they can be like Warchild, gonadsless or Bruce.

THe problem is that unions ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

THe problem is that unions for government workers use the dues they collect to pay for the campaigns of the politicians they negotiate contracts with. If they want to continue with the right of collective bargaining, it would be easy to pass a law stating that if they want to retain that right then they surrender the right to donate to or contribute in any manner to political campaigns. Under the currect circumstances political contributions from unions such as the SEIU are little more than bribes.

Heck at that point why doesn't the WI Senate just pass a bill declaring that political contributions from public worker unions are bribes and then they can hold both the unions and the dems who take the money accountable.

Sigh.Okay, ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:


Okay, one more time for the brain dead leftists and any victims of the Milwaukee Public Schools, Remedial Economics 101:

A corporation is a legal fiction, a metaphor of sorts, whereby a group of people - partners and/or investors, generally - bands together to do business. For purposes of liability, the corporation itself functions as a "person."

If it were not thus, then anyone who owns a single share of stock could be sued personally over any issue with the business, even as a passive investor. No one is going to risk their own house and income just because they want to invest $100 in Yahoo!, so businesses could not raise capital to expand or invest in research and development of new products and technologies.

Now, I understand that many of you little Marxists hate business and think it would be great if we went back to the good old days of living on grubs and worms and sleeping in caves, but you need to understand you can do that right now without affecting the rest of us all. Go ahead, it's not like you perform any useful function in society anyway.

warchild wrote:<block... (Below threshold)

warchild wrote:

Your question demonstrated that you didn't at all understand the point she was making.

That's because her analogy failed and her "point" was stupid.

A "person" has no "right" to collective bargaining. The "collective" in "collective bargaining" means a group of people. So, giving a union the same "rights" as a person does not give the union any additional "right" to collective bargaining.

Under federal law unions generally have the right to collective bargaining. However, states are exempted from the federal requirement of collective bargaining. Therefore, Wisconsin is not required to collectively bargain with the union unless it chooses to do so. The majority of the Wisconsin state representatives have decided that there should be limits to collective bargaining with the public sector employees.

McGehee. . .WRong.... (Below threshold)

McGehee. . .

WRong. No Budget related business. Everything else requires simple majority.

.... Democrats absolutely f... (Below threshold)

.... Democrats absolutely froth at the mouth and totally lose their shit ....

Hmmmm ....

Sounds to me exactly like another absolutely ordinarily shitty day in "Democratic" paradise.

Tina S brought up"... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Tina S brought up

"If corporations have the same rights as a person, why shouldn't unions? Then nobody would be able to deny the rights of unions to collectively bargain"

Granted she didnt say she was for the idea. She was trying to trap people who agreed with the Supreme court ruling.

I simply added a question which she totally didnt answer.

That question being

If unions are treated like corporations or like people than why not tax them like such. How did she like that idea?

She totally ignored the question.

All good points. Jay G. you... (Below threshold)

All good points. Jay G. you did good but the "twat" reference wasn't needed.

None of the liberals here addressed the inherent corruption in Public Service unions lobbying elected officials. That is where the fly gets in the ointment. That is the reason some states (Northern States) are having the same problem. This is why the dem's are fleeing from their job. They don't want this fight. They made the crisis now they are running from it.

I am not against unions. I held a card at one time. But I am absolutely sure they have abused their purpose over the last few decades. If unions are so great, why do we need the Department of Labor, OSHA, etc. ww

"CORPORATION, n. An ingenio... (Below threshold)
James H:

"CORPORATION, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility."

--Ambrose Bierce

What part of the word QUORU... (Below threshold)

What part of the word QUORUM don't you idiots understand?


Civics. Learn it.

McGehe, we understand. We a... (Below threshold)

McGehe, we understand. We are just ignoring you. ww

To McGeheeThe foll... (Below threshold)

To McGehee

The following is from the Wisconsin Constitution (emphasis mine):

Article IV, Section 7:

Organization of legislature; quorum; compulsory attendance. Section 7. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members; and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.

Article VIII, Section 8:

Vote on fiscal bills; quorum. Section 8. On the passage in either house of the legislature of any law which imposes, continues or renews a tax, or creates a debt or charge, or makes, continues or renews an appropriation of public or trust money, or releases, discharges or commutes a claim or demand of the state, the question shall be taken by yeas and nays, which shall be duly entered on the journal; and three-fifths of all the members elected to such house shall in all such cases be required to constitute a quorum therein.

You are right, a legislative body cannot do business without a quorum present. But the term quorum is flexible as defined by each legislative body depending on what actions are being performed at the time.

The Wisconsin Constitution defines a quorum to be a simple majority of each house of the legislature for normal business.

However, the Wisconsin Constitution defines a quorum to be 3/5ths of all elected members of each House for fiscal bills.

It's called "knowing what you're talking about", maybe you should learn to do it.

All good points. Jay G. ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

All good points. Jay G. you did good but the "twat" reference wasn't needed.

You're right, WW. I apologize to Tina S. I was hot when I was responding, and thoughtless.

My apologies.

First, the Supreme Court... (Below threshold)

First, the Supreme Court did not rule that corporations are people, you dumb twat...

I prefer using 'twunt' rather than twat. Especially when referring to Leftist twunt.






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