What’s STILL going on in Wisconsin?
Circus Madison Goes On
How Minority Can Dominate in Democracy
What to Do with Badly Behaving Adults?
Liberal to Conservative Shift in Wisconsin
Conservative fiscal thinking is catching on, and now “conservative is the new liberal.” Not only in Wisconsin, but in our entire nation. As power shifts from liberals to conservatives, liberals are not relinquishing power gracefully. They are frantically employing unethical Alinsky tactics , trying to get their way (despite being the minority), “by hook or by crook”.
The power shift was very dramatic in Wisconsin, where Democrats have long been accustomed to being in power. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that the state capitol of Wisconsin, Madison, has remained very liberal, and now has become an island of liberalism surrounded by a sea of conservatism in Wisconsin.
Many people and officials in Madison do not approve of the conservative changes voted in by the rest of Wisconsin. Yet the Capitol
building, which houses the legislative chambers and the Governor’s Office, the place where conservative changes are now being implemented, is the central fixture around which all of downtown Madison is clustered.
One local liberal paper recently featured a front-page article entitled “Not my Madison,” in which the author bemoaned “a new sense that normal citizens can’t change anything.” The numerous long-ensconced Madison Democrats had come to feel an entitlement to Madison as well as to control of the State Government. When conservatives finally gained power, liberals have become outraged and took over the Capitol, disrupting the smooth functioning of the Democratic process.
Madison is the home of much radical liberalism… birthplace of the progressive movement, of the Freedom From Religion Foundation , and home to the liberal University of Wisconsin at Madison . Detractors refer to Madison as the “People’s Republic of Madison,” or “Moscow on Lake Mendota.” Madison’s voting patterns have supported the Democratic Party in national elections in the last half-century, and a liberal and progressive majority is generally elected to the city council.
So now, this radically liberal city is hosting the Republican state legislature and the Republican Governor, who have been elected by the rest of Wisconsin to implement conservative fiscal changes to restore solvency to Wisconsin. And so the fireworks begin…
November 2010 – Wisconsin elected a Republican majority to the legislature as well as putting a Republican, Scott Walker, in the Governor’s seat. Most agree that conservative fiscal policy was the driving issue in the election.
January 3, 2011 – Scott Walker assumed office as Governor of Wisconsin. Elected to balance Wisconsin’s budget and to bring jobs back into Wisconsin.
January 25, 2011 – Wisconsin state legislature passed a series of Walker-backed bills, cutting taxes for businesses, designed to invite businesses and jobs into Wisconsin.
The Budget Repair Bill
February 11, 2011 – Governor Walker proposed a budget repair bill, in an effort to balance Wisconsin’s spending without massive layoffs. In other words, a plan for spreading and sharing the cuts rather than laying off large numbers of workers, particularly junior ones. The budget repair bill cut government worker pay and limited collective bargaining by public unions.
Massive Protests in Madison
February 15, 2011 – Massive protests began, with unions and Democrats protesting the budget repair bill.
- Unions recognized this as the first of many similar battles coming in many states after Nov 2010, and poured national financial resources into these demonstrations, importing demonstrators from as far away as California. Sarah Palin later acknowledged Madison as a crucial battleground when she visited Madison.
- Madison’s liberal population, including that of liberal UW Madison (40,000 college students studying several blocks away from the State Capitol Building) poured into Capitol Square to demonstrate.
- Madison teachers abandoned their classrooms to attend the demonstrations.
- Madison schools had to be closed because of teacher absenteeism.
- Madison high school teachers brought whole classes to Capitol Square without parental permission. High schoolers interviewed by press were clueless about the purpose of their presence downtown.
- Liberal UW medical school doctors came downtown to hand out illegitimate sick-notes to the AWOL teachers who were violating their contracts to demonstrate downtown.
- Demonstrators were loud, unruly, violated parking and State Capitol regulations, refused to leave the Capitol at closing time, damaged State Capitol property, and eventually cost the City of Madison over $7 million in repair and security bills.
- Madison’s liberal Mayor supported the demonstrators and called off the Madison Police.
- Madison’s liberal police supported the demonstrators, and were nowhere in sight when several hundred demonstrators chased a conservative senator around the Capitol building, threateningly chanting “shame” at him and cornering him against the building. It was the fire department, not the Madison police, who finally came to the rescue of the cornered senator .
- Republican senators who supported the budget cutting legislation received death threats and damage to their homes .
- The City of Madison also issued a supportive statement about crowds “peacefully assembled to exercise democracy and First Amendment rights.”
February 17, 2011 – All 14 Wisconsin Democrat senators, in the minority now, and unable to influence the outcome of the budget repair bill by legal methods, delayed passage of the bill by not showing up for the vote, thus preventing the necessary quorum. They fled to neighboring Illinois, where Wisconsin police could not arrest them and return them to the Senate.
Governor Out-Maneuvers Unions
Governor Walker, after attempting to negotiate with the absentee Democrat senators and realizing that they were not negotiating in good faith, but were simply stalling to buy time for unions to sneak in contract re-negotiations before the budget repair bill got passed, removed some fiscal measures from the bill, eliminating the requirement of a quorum, and passed the bill which limited collective bargaining of public unions, in the absence of the 14 Democrats. The unions had been out-maneuvered by the Governor.
The vote was conducted in the Senate in the evening of March 9th. The Republican senators were escorted out of the Capitol
building after the Senate vote by police, and were told to leave Madison for their own safety. Police were either not able or not willing to ensure the safety of the Senators who voted for the budget repair bill. The Assembly approved the bill on March 10th, and Governor Walker signed it on March 11th. It could and should have been published (the last step necessary before implementation of the law) by the Secretary of State Doug La Follette as early as by March 15th , but more delays were planned by local Democrats.
New Democrat Tactic: Delay, Delay, Delay
3 Months of Delay to Buy Time for the Unions
Delay Implementation of the Budget Bill:
May 10-26, 2011 – Madison’s liberals continued to assist the unions and hinder implementation of the bill with shameless and undemocratic tactics – liberal Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette delayed publication of the bill without reason. Several Dane County and City of Madison Democrats, including Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and Dane county Executive Kathleen Falk filed complaints alleging that open meeting laws were violated when the budget repair bill was passed, when it was clear that the open meeting laws they quoted did not apply to the Senate. A liberal Madison judge, MaryAnn Sumi, issued a restraining order on the Governor’s bill, then went on vacation for 2 weeks without rendering a decision. Madison’s liberal media turned a blind eye to the unethical goings-on, and portrayed the demonstrators, the unions and the Democratic Party very favorably. After some delay, Judge Sumi struck down the collective bargaining law , with a ruling containing numerous legal errors, which was later reversed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
April 5 – March 10th – In an effort to liberalize the composition of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and to prevent the reversal of Judge Sumi’s ruling by the Supreme Court, liberals tried to smear incumbent conservative Judge Prosser in the April 5th election. Prosser was reelected by a slim margin, despite the unethical Democrat smear campaign funded by unions. Prosser’s Democratic opponent JoAnne Kloppenburg first claimed victory prematurely, then demanded a recount, thereby delaying Judge Prosser’s reappointment by an additional 7 weeks, also delaying the reevaluation of Judge Sumi’s ruling by 7 more weeks.
The eventual review of Judge Sumi’s controversial decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed her ruling on June 13th, and reinstated the legitimate legislation that had been passed on March 10th by the legislature. However, Democrats had succeeded, with dubious tactics, in delaying implementation of the collective bargaining limitations by over 3 months, during which time the unions feverishly renegotiated contracts before collective bargaining was curtailed.
Frame and Smear the Conservative Supreme Court Judge a Second Time, then Delay the Investigation with a Game of Hot Potato:
The liberals, still not content, made another panicked stab at discrediting Judge Prosser and removing him from the Supreme Court. Two weeks after the Supreme Court decision affirming the collective bargaining law, liberal Supreme Judge Bradley accused conservative Judge Prosser of assaulting her physically and placing her in a choke hold two weeks previously, on June 13th, on the day the Supreme Court reversed Judge Sumi’s decision, during a discussion among 5 Supreme Court Justices in chambers.
Judge Bradley filed her complaint not with appropriate civil authorities, but with a local progressive reporter whose organization was funded by George Soros. A local Madison radical paper published the report. A second liberal Judge supported Judge Bradley’s accusation against Prosser. Judge Prosser, as well as the two remaining witness Judges, supported Judge Prosser’s innocence. Madison’s liberal media jumped to present only Judge Bradley’s half of the story, attacking and defaming Judge Prosser before the evidence was in.
It was reported elsewhere (not in Madison) that Judge Bradley was actually the aggressor, attacking Judge Prosser with raised fists. Apparently, when Prosser raised his arms to block her attack, Bradley accused him of choking her. If this is true, then Justice Bradley attacked fellow Justice Prosser, then lied about the attack and reported the supposed attack to media instead of using appropriate legal channels. Her story was supported by one liberal Judge. The conservative Judges( 3, including Prosser) followed legal protocol, and did not discuss the incident with media, other than to state Prosser’s innocence and confidence in the outcome of the investigation.
The investigation commenced. To date, more than 2 months since the alleged choking, not much progress has been made in the investigation. It has turned into a hot potato tossing contest.
First the Chief of Capitol Police, Charles Tubbs, assigned to investigate the occurrence, excused himself, quoting conflict of interest. The incident was also investigated by the Wisconsin Judicial Commission, which investigates misconduct among judges in the state. However, James Alexander, executive director of the commission, said “we can neither confirm nor deny” that the incident was under investigation. Then the Dane County Sheriff’s office got the hot potato. But Dane Country Sheriff Dave Mahoney, a Democrat, had endorsed Bradley, was accused of conflict of interest and excused himself. Most recently, the Dane County District Attorney has been the hot potato recipient. He announced that he plans to appoint a special prosecutor to evaluate the investigation. Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett has just been appointed to serve as special prosecutor in the investigation. Her politics are difficult to pinpoint, with Madison’s liberal Isthmus labeling her independent. Barrett was elected as a Republican, and is scheduled for retirement in 2012.
Nobody Wants the Hot Potato:
Some believed that nobody would be willing to handle this hot potato – physical assault, failure to follow proper legal procedure and/or lying by more than one Supreme Court Justice. It’s a lose-lose proposition no matter how you look at it. Which Supreme Court Justice assaulted which Supreme Court Justice, and which one lied? What political future will the investigator face, faced with the Alinsky tactics and deep pockets of the unions and the Democrats who support them?There has been speculation that since no Democrat would touch this hot potato, Prosser may have been innocent.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Upholds the Collective Bargaining Law
The victory of the people of Wisconsin in stemming the fiscal bleed (with the Supreme Court vindication of the budget repair bill passage) was almost overlooked in the brouhaha of frantic liberal activities in Madison. These included the mocking of Justice Prosser by effigy on Capitol Square by a handful of radical feminists (including reps from the Freedom From Religion Foundation), as well as media-inflated attempts of the unions to maintain a loud and obnoxious presence in downtown Madison, in defiance of Governor Walker.
Democrats: While Attacking, Play the Victim
With the Supreme Court ruling imminent, unions tried to keep the insurrection fires burning in Madison by calling for a “Walkerville” at the Madison Capitol in early June– reminiscent of the “Hoovervilles” of the Great Depression. Unfortunately for them, their “Walkerville” fizzled out into a Ghost Town, as teachers no longer gave up summer vacation days or summer jobs to go downtown, as UW Madison undergrads had returned to their homes, and as unions began to shift their priorities elsewhere outside of Madison. Without these, “Walkerville” fizzled out into a handful of often-absent Yuppies with R.E.I. tents, electric fans and Harleys hanging out in a vacated and lonely downtown Madison.
Recall Elections- a Historical and Ethical First
Meanwhile, in the background, the Wisconsin Recalls have been percolating since the passage of the budget repair bill on March 10.
The Wisconsin Recalls reflect yet one more extreme and desperate tactic used by losing Democrats to regain control in Wisconsin, where they
lost the majority in November 2010. Fundamentally, Democrats (and the unions they represent) have thrown disproportionate amounts of money into the recall of Republican state senators who (not surprisingly) did not vote according to Democrat and union preferences on Wisconsin’s budget repair bill.
The recall process is usually very rare at the state level, but has now been pressed into service contrary to the Constitution’s intent by Democrats in an attempt to regain control of the legislature before the next election. Only 19 states permit the recall of state officials at all, and only 13 state legislators have been recalled in the United States since 1913.
The recall process has never been utilized before as Democrats and unions in Wisconsin are utilizing it now – as a comprehensive tool attempting to reverse election results. Recalls are intended for the recall of elected officials over serious questions of ethics.
In March 2011, Wisconsin Democrats initiated 6 recall elections which were not over ethical questions, but were aimed at retaliating against Republican legislators whose votes the Democrats did not like (limitation of collective bargaining for Wisconsin public unions). The Republican-initiated recalls against Democrats, however, were for ethical reasons — for leaving the state for three weeks to block a vote on the issue, sabotaging the democratic process. Senators are required by law to attend legislative sessions.
Recall Efforts Fail to Change the Balance of Power
Ultimately, Democrats failed in their effort to gain control of the Wisconsin state senate as republican incumbents won four of six recall elections, although the Republican majority was narrowed from 19-14 to 17-16.
|Note added 5-17-13: “Big Labor Gambled” Article was “updated” and moved to a different URL seven months after original publication:
New link for “Big labor gambled and lost on Wisconsin Recalls“The “updated” text does not differ from original text. “Updating” seems to have involved a new URL and removal of discussion comments.
Polarization of the Issue
This issue of limitation of the collective bargaining privileges of Wisconsin’s public unions has been sensationalized and polarized by union
leaders, by Democrats and by media, with exaggerated accusations and phrases such as “crippling the unions,” “stripping workers of rights,” and “attack on Wisconsin laws and values.”
- Collective bargaining is not a right, it is a negotiated perk or privilege. Most Wisconsin workers do not enjoy that perk, federal workers do not enjoy that perk, and many other states have employees who do not enjoy that perk.
- Wisconsin’s budget repair does not eliminate collective bargaining; it simply places some upper limits on it.
- The limits in essence ensure that unions cannot come back immediately after budget cuts are made to use collective bargaining to reverse the cuts and/or to demand benefits that far exceed the economic growth of the rest of Wisconsin. (Prevents public unions from taking a bigger slice of pie than the rest of us.)
- These limits are reasonably related to the present economy and to the limits that have already been applied to the rest of non-union Wisconsin.
- The limits restrict collective bargaining to cost-of living increases, which the rest of Wisconsin is not receiving at all.
- Numerous states, as well as the federal government, function perfectly well without public unions.
- A majority in Wisconsin voted for these necessary adjustments, and even recall elections upheld the decisions of conservative legislators, so where is the attack on Wisconsin laws or values?
What’s REALLY Fair
Why on earth, in this injured economy, would public union workers feel entitled to more raises than those compensating for inflation? Numerous non-union workers employed by the State of Wisconsin through the University of Wisconsin at Madison, have not had cost of living pay increase in over 7 years! In addition to that, everyone got a 15% cut during the last year. What is so special about public unions that they would deserve a much bigger slice of the pie than the rest of Wisconsin?
History shows us many cases of voluntary, noble and patriotic sacrifice by populations in times of national challenge. Citizens of both the United States and England, for example, made sacrifices of heroic proportions during World War II. The idea that one group of citizens would consider themselves above the rest and would demand immunity from sacrifice was unthinkable. This is what the public unions of Wisconsin are demanding in this catastrophically failing economy.
Little Success for Liberals
Wisconsin Will Not Be Stopped
The recall elections have confirmed that most of Wisconsin, like most of America, is on board with the sacrificial steps we need to take to repair our economy. Most Americans are capable of rising to the occasion and taking a slightly smaller slice of pie so that other Americans, as well as our future citizens, our own children, would not have no pie at all.
The New Tactics of the left – ALINSKY Tactics
The tactics used by unions and the Democrats who represent them in Madison have been shocking. Demonization, lies, death threats, property damage, dishonesty, manipulation of our democratic system, media malpractice, medical malpractice, to name just a few. These tactics are called Alinsky tactics, and they involve the use of any means necessary, WITHOUT REGARD TO ETHICS, to defy the democratic process and to achieve the goals of those who have now been outvoted and who have little chance of getting their way through democratic channels.
What Comes Next?
After unions and Democrats brought out their best below-the-belt tactics this year, Wisconsin’s new fiscal conservatism still trumped. The conservative legislators elected by Wisconsin have made progress not only in budget repair and job creation, but are also making inroads into other important issues, too, such as reversing the government funding of abortions and reversing the teaching of a Planned Parenthood-dictated sexual curriculum in elementary schools.
Doubtless there will be numerous battles in the future, the attempted recall of Governor Walker will certainly be among them. But with Wisconsin’s new-found sense of self-determination and activism, Wisconsinites will no longer be so easily steered by a few entitled progressives sitting in Madison. There are enough strong traditional values left in Wisconsin to offer us much hope. Prayer is prime among them.
With leaders like Governor Scott Walker and the Republican Senators (who withstood death threats and mobs chasing them) among us, we will do well in this battle.
Related Article, 7/27/13: