Republican Governors Differ With Wisconsin Governor’s Tactics

By Cynthia McCabe

If Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker assumed he’d have the unwavering backing of his Republican gubernatorial colleagues around the country as he seeks to strip public employees of their rights, he appears to be mistaken.

From Florida to Iowa, governors are publicly stating that they don’t agree with Walker’s scorched-earth approach to revoking the right of public workers in his state to organize. Tens of thousands have marched on the Wisconsin Tstatehouse in Madison during the past week, in protest of Walker’s tactics.

That outpouring of sentiment by public workers and their supporters has rippled out from Wisconsin, with similar uprisings growing in Ohio, Idaho and Indiana.

Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott told Tallahassee’s radio station WFLA FM, “My belief is as long as people know what they’re doing, collective bargaining is fine.”

Iowa’s Gov. Terry Branstad said in his weekly news conference Monday that he doesn’t favor Walker’s approach. “I think we should appeal to their (unions’) fairness and equality in doing what’s right and come back and work something out that’s more reasonable that won’t result in the level of layoffs that we’re looking at.”

In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “We’ll begin negotiations with the public-sector unions and anticipate we’ll conduct those in good faith.”

Indiana’s Gov. Mitch Daniels said that he’s not sending the state police after anybody in his state and said that an approach like Walker’s is too alienating and potentially jeopardizes meaningful education reform.

“I’m not gonna divert a single trooper from their job of protection the Indiana public. I trust that people’s consciences will bring them back to work,” Daniels said. “For reasons I’ve explained more than once I thought there was a better time and place to have this very important and legitimate issue raised.” He added, “I’ll also say I think it would have the potential — just tactically — to possibly reduce or wreck the chances for education reform and local government reform and criminal justice reform and the things we have a wonderful chance to do.”

8 responses to “Republican Governors Differ With Wisconsin Governor’s Tactics

  1. I think it is funny that Florida Gov. Rick Scott said, “My belief is as long as people know what they’re doing, collective bargaining is fine.” He supports the anti-union legislation that is being introduced in the state of Florida.

  2. I’m a Pennsylvania teacher of 23 years, and my summers (summers off- what a laugh!!!) have been spent working on concrete construction crews and doing side-jobs; anything I could to realize our slice of the American Dream. I typify the middle class taxpayer who is so busy with their life that they don’t have time to look into what’s really happening in the USA. Lately, I have taken some time to do some homework:

    Before 1980 the MEGA rich were taxed 70-90% (Google it if you don’t believe me). The premise was that if the rich earned, say $50 million/yr., they could still live quite comfortably on $500,000 to $1,500,00. So guess what the MEGA rich did to get their tax breaks? They created a PAYROLL, invested in CORPORATE AMERICA, invested in JOB CREATION, invested in PHILANTHROPY, etc., in other words, they invested in AMERICA.

    Since the 1980′s, our fiscally conservative politicians’ pushed for supply side economics, or “Reaganomics.” They claimed that the rich knew best how to create wealth in AMERICA, and that the gusher of capital would “trickle down” to the middle class and poor. So Reagan (yes, I voted for him based on his sincerity…) reduced taxes on the MEGA rich from 70% to 28%, which lifted the tax burden off of the rich and put it squarely on the shoulders of the middle class and poor.

    What did the rich do to return the favor? The answer is: they OUTSOURCED our jobs, quit the silly philanthropy, and flooded FORIEGN markets with AMERICAN capital to realize a greater return on their investments in a global economy. Great business! Recently, the feds deregulated our financial sector to encourage their creativity (a move that brought us to the brink of economic disaster: too big to fail, so our govt. bailed them out with hundreds of billions of our tax $$$) oh, yea, Wall Street still dished out over $20 billion in bonuses to its brokers. And now, after 30 years of tax breaks, the rich have managed to destroy this country in ways the communists never dreamed of.

    Our fiscally conservative politicians, whose elections were funded by these guys, don’t want to talk about this because they are buried deep in the pockets of the MEGA rich, and wouldn’t dare double cross their friends in high places.

    Like I said, I’ve been busy teaching, coaching and working summers, and I didn’t put it together until our governor stared us down and said boldly, “everyone” must sacrifice, when what he really meant was- teachers, and those damnable unions that represent them, must sacrifice! But the ultra-rich, those who could most afford to help out and do their fair share, can continue to skate.

    If the middle class doesn’t wake up soon, the next stop for AMERICA will be a fate similar to the Banana Republics’ where all we can do is protest outside the gated communities until they roll out the National Guard to disburse us…

    What will happen to the United States of America’s economic might when the massive middle class has been stripped of what little buying power they have left? In my opinion, this situation is a National Security issue, and we are like fiddlers on the roof while Rome burns…

    Wonder how the CEOs, hedge fund managers and other traitors to to American people will make out following the money, say in China, for instance…?

  3. You all make very valid points. In addition to everything that was already stated, let’s not forget that teachers also have to pay to renew their teaching license after they prove that they have successfully completed the coursework that they paid for! How many other professions are there that require license renewal to keep a job? Possibly Doctors, Dentists, plumbers, electricians, those are a few I can think of, but I don’t think there are many in the private sector with comparable degrees as educators who have to maintain a license. I have relatives with BS degrees in the private sector who are always bashing teachers, yet with fewer years working than I with a MS degree, make more than I do. They hold business meetings on golf courses, receive nice bonuses from their companies, receive “kick back” gifts from their business accounts, get anywhere from four to six weeks of paid vacation time which can be taken at anytime of the year, not just when school isn’t in session etc.. Who really are the “haves” vs. the “have nots”? I don’t retire with health insurance benefits in place for the rest of my life! Politicians do! We could go on and on, but I really wonder if it matters that we try to justify our bargaining rights importance. There will always be people who believe the grass is greener on the otherside of the fence. Unfortunate that they don’t realize that if they really think we have it so good they too can go to school get that degree and become a teacher! Oh what a rude awakening that would be. I am thankful for those people fighting in Madison and across our country, and I hope the democrats stay out of the state in hiding and fight the good fight!

  4. Workers rights are human rights. When there’s no justice, there’s no peace. Gov. Walker’s actions have consequences. He may win in the short run by taking away workers right to collective bargain, but he won’t win in the long run, because he can’t prevent mass collective action by people in the streets. He can either negotiate at the table with collective bargaining, or he will have to deal with street protests to resolve labor issues. Which one makes more sense?

  5. Governor Walker’s messages are so full of false innuendos…Especially the Republican lobbiest produced paid forTV commercials…Teacher’s have always paid their fair share… the reason they have good benefits is because they were asked to take those versesa pay raise…year after year . . . (cheaper for districts). Then For 10 years WI forced QEI no one mentions that…Forced to not get raises ! No money in the coffers to pay Teachers for those 10 years …yet we had to watch legislators, and most other community and state employees get raises ! ! !

    Also the benefits (you say we get) to our pension fund were not paid by our districts in lean years, Many communities used the money elsewhere for other needs… What did The pension Board do with all the overdo IOU’s owed on our behalf ? Charge communities interest.? ..NO, we flet sorry for the communities and forgave their debt….But Oh No we are portrayed as Public employees who don’t pay our fair share… We have always overpaid and forgave our debtors their short comings…. …WE PAY the same taxes that everyone else in our income bracket does…We don’t get exempt like the ultra rich . . . .Also, Our pension fund doesn’t give us as much as we could be getting; because, tens of millions of dollars were not paid by many communities, they said they’d pay in for us but, didn’t. . . All we have is just torn up IOU’s… Teacher’s worked for low wages for decades and decades in the past with the promise of the pension…now we are to feel guilty about getting it ? We were paid less than the PRIVATE EMPLOYEE with our equal or less education levels… (Additional education Which we paid for ourselves / not classes paid by an industry employer to improve their employees skills.) Continuous improvement required for us to keep our positions in the school district !

    Why do people believe anything these Republicans and billionaire business lobbiest put on the airways to brainwash the public against us ? They are getting richer not Joe Public employee or he/she wouldn’t be complaining. .. .Don’t the fellow citizens realize we are the group that try so hard to make you and your children as intellegent as they can be while they are our students…. So they each can go on in higher education, to be able to then get high paying careers to support themselves and later be able to take care of you their parents…as you age… ? ! Please think and help legislation not make a big mistake for now and your own futures.

  6. @ Stephen:

    You stated that teachers work for 10 months a year and are paid for 12.
    Not true.

    In this school district; teachers have the option of being paid more for 10 months and receive nothing the other two or receiving 12 equal payments. . . .most people opt for 12 equal payments because its easier to buget.

    And teachers are expected to take classes/attend seminars during the summer to stay current in their topics – on their own dime.

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