After WEAC recently “recommended” former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk for Governor, it set off a little firestorm of protest from both sides. I said everyone should just relax and let this play out. I stand by that with a little update.

After speaking to WEAC president Mary Bell, I wanted to expand on a few things.

* WEAC “recommended” Kathleen Falk as a candidate that all of their members “should take a look at”. WEAC does not “endorse” and they do not force their members to vote for any candidate(just ask Jeff Knutson)!

* WEAC arrived at this decision a couple different ways. One. They discussed it with representatives from districts throughout the state. WHile they did not take a vot of all their members, they feel that through these representatives, all of their members were considered and represented.

* Secondld, Mary Bell herself reached out to ALL candidates(declared,undeclared, rumored, whispered, hopeful, etc…) Bell said that if sh had heard that a candidate was even considering a run, they had a discussion. For those of you running, that includes RUSS FEINGOLD(who confirmed once again he is NOT running).

* After all of these discussions the WEAC leadership team felt that Kathleen Falk was the one candidate who would represent their beliefs and values the best – hence the recommendation.

* WEAC did NOT make Kathleen Falk(or any candidate) sign any pledge(only Eric Mcleod and The club for growth do that!

Here is what Kathleen Falk has to say about it(emphasis mine):

Why I Would Veto and Why It’s Important I Say It
by Kathleen Falk on Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 3:04pm
·

Wisconsin deserves a governor who will stand up and fight for what is right for our economy and for our middle class. And we need a governor who is open, honest and transparent.

As the granddaughter of a Milwaukee bus driver, I learned early on how important collective bargaining has been to building the middle class in America – like my family and the rest of us.

It’s a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. This idea, and core American values like the GI Bill and negotiated safe working conditions that built the middle class and allowed us to lead the world’s economy.

Gov. Scott Walker has a different view. Friday, he told a conservative convention in Washington, D.C.: “Collective bargaining is not a right. In the public sector, collective bargaining is an expensive entitlement.” This extreme ideology does not reflect Wisconsin’s 50-year history of workers’ rights. It does not reflect our values.

I served for 14 years as the Dane County executive and balanced 14 straight budgets. After the market crashed four years ago, I sat down with the county’s eight unions three years in a row and negotiated $10 million in savings for taxpayers through reduced salaries and changes in health care.

This was a win for taxpayers and a win for workers. We did it together. With shared sacrifice

This is why I have said that as governor, I will restore workers’ rights through the state budget and if that budget comes back to my desk without those rights, I will veto it. Gov. Walker abolished our rights in his budget repair bill and I will use the budget to get them back.

You deserve openness, honesty and transparency and that’s why I am telling you where I stand, what I would do and how I would do it. More than one million people signed recall petitions because they want the doors of the State Capitol reopened for them and they want leaders who will tell the truth about their plans.

We’ve had enough dishonesty from our governor.

During his nearly two-year campaign for governor, Scott Walker never said he would end 50 years of collective bargaining rights for nurses, teachers and public employees.

“We must take immediate action to ensure fiscal stability in our state,” the new Governor said publicly at the time.

In private, he told his Republican allies sitting around him at the Governor’s mansion the same week he planned – in his words — to drop “the bomb.”

Within days of his launching his attacks on workers, the state’s public employees told Gov. Walker they would agree to changes to their pensions and health benefits. They asked him to sit down with them to work out an agreement. I would have sat down and negotiated immediately. That Gov. Walker refused shows this was about breaking the unions – nothing less.

Instead of sitting down and getting the job done, he jammed his changes through the Republican legislature – prompting me to file the first complaint under our state’s Open Meeting Law.

Walker’s hidden agenda thrust Wisconsin into chaos. Right when we needed a leader to unite us, he divided us. He turned neighbor against neighbor.

Along with his unprecedented stripping of worker rights, Walker then rammed through a state budget that handed out big tax breaks to a few, while cutting public education by over $1 billion and taking action to remove 65,000 men, women and children from their health care.

And after all of this trauma it’s painfully clear now that the Walker Way isn’t working.

During the last six months of 2011, Wisconsin lost jobs every month: the worst record of any state in the nation. We just learned from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau that the state – despite Gov. Walker’s claims – now has a budget deficit larger than the one Gov. Walker dishonestly used to end workers’ rights. And the latest: Gov. Walker taking $26 million from foreclosure victims to pay for his budget deficit failures.

Again, it didn’t have to be this way.

During my years as County Executive, job creation in our area was the state’s highest. I invested in critical public infrastructure; I brought environmentalists and the development community together; I created programs to move kids and families up the economic ladder; and I held the line on taxes because of my self-imposed limit.

Now Gov. Walker is crisscrossing the nation raising millions of dollars from millionaires in Texas and Missouri and New York so that he can bring their national, extreme right Tea Party agenda to our state.

Those aren’t our values here in Wisconsin. We stand up for what’s right. We are honest with each other.

We can do better and together we will.

Kathleen Falk is a Democratic candidate for governor and the former Dane County Executive.

One last thing: Take a look at the qualifications of Candidate A and Candidate B and its not even close. No one out side of Candidate B’s family would vote for him based on a comparison of the qualifications!

3 Responses to Everyone Take a Breath (updated)

  1. Q says:

    You seem to feel that parsing your words and playing semantic games will be enough to fool people and act as a “big eraser” – it never happened?
    So then all the quotes from the various players mentioned in the JSOnline article here http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/unions-ask-democrats-in-walker-recall-to-make-veto-pledge-rs44cuo-138957844.html
    and other places are inaccurate? or again, are we just to be fooled by your words that the union did not MAKE Falk SIGN !?
    No one can “make” Falk do anything, not even a Glock-bearing assemblyman. Make is a ridiculous change in semantics here. And the problem does not involve a SIGNATURE, who cares – oral or verbal a pledge is a pledge. LOL – the union did not MAKE Falk SIGN.
    And yet a pledge exists. And it still seems as though Falk has made one and the Union(s) want one.
    And it seems you have just called numerous people Big Fat Liars. Including the union guy at the end of the JS article.
    Unfortunately this post looks like clean-up work after the consequences are proven too intense and too real. What candidate likes a “firestorm”? Time for damage control or we lose the whole enchilada? Woulda been nice to realize that before Falk and Bell opened their pie-holes.

    I suppose the Union did not also meet with Tom Barrett and “ask” him not to run? Another bad-looking move.
    You could tell Barrett was annoyed by that.
    We say over and over how political decisions have “consequences” and Republicans are supposed to suck up the “consequences” of their actions. Okay, I agree. But Unions and those on the left (haha like there is a Left) operate under the same metaphysical realities then.
    Mary Bell made a big oopsie. Kathleen Falk made a big oopsie. And now here we are.
    Writing a (very) condescending blog post that implies the people upset by the “pledge” that Falk made VOLUNTARILY and VERBALLY is not going to lessen annoyance. It may increase it. But not lessen it.
    Falk (and perhaps you) are inconvenienced by the public outcry. But that does not mean the upset people are “silly over-reactors” who just “got it all wrong”.
    The reports that Falk made a pledge seem mutually supporting and reliable. This post/attempt to explain it all away seems feeble.

    And screw Russ. Really screw him. His state is hurting now in a big way.
    People (including me) supported, admired, adored and loved him for decades. When he appears in public people fall all over themselves to get near him. He’s the only guy who out-races Walker in polls. Yeah early on I didn’t want to see Russ put thru hell. But we’re screwed here. There’s times in life when you look around, maybe as a mother or father and realize, you are the only one who can step in and do something to solve an ugly situation. I have had situations like that. it was up to me, no one else could do anything. it sucked. It honestly beat the hell out of me and I am not the same person I was before. But i did not shirk. Russ is the only chance here and we all know it. Even Russ knows it.
    Screw the book, screw the PAC, screw the ivy-covered stone-walled Marquette classes, the safe academia and the semi-retirement.
    Russ is the guy, his people need him and if he won’t step up, then screw him I mean it.
    This is history-making stuff here. Now it just isn’t rhetoric, it’s real.
    Life in America after 911?
    This. Is. It.
    and it sucks.

  2. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    Sorry, still not buying it. The Dem primary isn’t a choice of Kathy Falk vs. Scott Walker. It is Kathy Falk vs. Kathy Vinehout and whoever else gets in (BARCA??), and it is in everyone’s best interest (at least those of us who want Walker gone) to have the best candidate out there. We’ll all vote for Falk against Walker, but I think we all deserve the choice to make to decide if Kathy’s the best candidate out there.

    And that’s why WEAC had no business doing what they did, because they should be making policy demands at this point of the race, not candidate endorsements. Do you really think any Dem candidate WON’T ask for collective bargaining rights to be restored? Falk isn’t helping things by doubling down on the stupid budget veto pledge, it’s an unworkable pose that will make it less likely to give what we want.

    And unlike with Q’s worrying, I take the opposite tack, where I believe any kind of decent Dem candidate that can make demands of a return to clean, responsive government that works for ALL Wisconsin will beat Walker, and probably easier than you might think. We don’t need to screw this up with the same old Dem machine politics, but sadly Kathy Falk isn’t acting like that candidate right now.

  3. Jeff Simpson says:

    I disagree Jake. I think WEAC did what we all do, except they had more information. They talked to all candidates and decided that Kathleen Falk was the one that most matched their philosophy, so they recommended her.

    Obviously there was something there in the talks that led to them believing in her over Vinehout but they made their choice. In the end it really means nothing because the teachers are going to vote for whoever they want too. Falk still has to make the statewide case.

    I will say though that yes, I do not feel that every candidate will put collective bargaining rights as priority number one. Does anyone really think that Cullen would have? CB was relegated to a minor issue in the senate recalls last year and those races didnt work out so well.

    And Q. When both sides say that there was no pledge signed(like they have) then I will believe that there was no pledge signed.

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