Cory Liebmann has an excellent take on the attacks being leveled against Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, attacks that have come from folks like John “Sly” Sylvester of WTDY AM’s “Sly in the Morning” show as well as from AFSCME directly.
If the people asking this question can’t remember Tom Barrett’s role during those crucial weeks, allow me to take you down memory lane.
Tom Barrett Comments on Collective Bargaining February 2011
“The budget adjustment bill pits general City of Milwaukee employees against the fire and police unions,” – Tom Barrett [2/16/11]
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett voiced strong support Thursday for the state Senate boycott by fellow Democrats trying to save public employees’ collective bargaining rights. [MJS 2/17/11]
“Instead of talking with teachers, nurses, and law enforcement personnel to work together on a solution to our budget crisis, Scott Walker is dividing Wisconsinites by attempting to end the collective bargaining rights Wisconsin public employees have had since 1959.” – Tom Barrett [MJS, 2/22/11]
“I fundamentally disagree with the attack on the right to organize,” – Tom Barrett [MJS, 2/22/11]
Barrett offered a budget-repair bill alternative that removed the attack on collective bargaining [MJS, 2/25/11]
“It’s now clear to us that this is an ideological war, and it’s a national ideological war, and the purpose of it is to take away the rights of people who work for the government” -Tom Barrett [MJS, 2/25/11]
“It is time we return to our Wisconsin, the Wisconsin where we can sit down at the table and work out our differences…” -Tom Barrett [MJS, 2/25/11]
I understand that these statements made in the past by Mayor Barrett won’t assuage the concerns of some or stop the attacks against Barrett’s record in regards to public employees in the City of Milwaukee, but despite my several qualms about Mayor Barrett’s record in regards to public employees in the City of Milwaukee, I don’t doubt that Tom Barrett understands the importance of (and would work to reinstate) collective bargaining for public employees.
For the record, I haven’t made a final decision on who I’ll support among the four Democratic gubernatorial candidates, but the kinds of attacks being leveled against him by AFSCME and its surrogates certainly doesn’t make me want to support Kathleen Falk, AFSCME’s hand-picked candidate.