After convening a hastily scheduled conference committee, Republicans in the legislature were able to undo 50 years of collective bargaining rights for Wisconsin’s public employees, with Republicans in the State Senate voting 18-1 to approve gutting collective bargaining rights for public employees after those provisions were split from Gov. Scott Walker’s so-called budget “repair” proposal. The measure was passed with no debate and very little public notice, a fact that could call into question the legality of tonight’s action by State Senate Republicans.

Notice of the conference committee meeting was posted at 4:09 p.m. and the meeting began at 6:00 p.m., but state law requires 24-hour notice for public meetings, with the exception that meetings can be called with just two hours notice when more notice is impossible or impractical. Legislative Democrats have already vowed to challenge the legality of the action taken by their Republican counterparts, so this issue may not yet be completely resolved.

But in case there was any doubt in anyone’s mind as to the fact that the provisions stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the state’s supposed budget deficit, listen as Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald explains that the provisions weakening Wisconsin’s public employee unions is all about weakening President Obama’s reelection chances in 2012:


Another point worth making here is that since Gov. Walker first proposed his so-called budget “repair” bill, Gov. Walker and Republicans insisted the measures meant to break Wisconsin’s public employee unions were not actually meant to break the unions, but were in fact necessary fiscal measures. However, by taking the action they’ve taken tonight, Republicans have essentially abandoned that position, and in doing so have admitted these measures were never about balancing the state’s budget – they were about breaking public employee unions.

Ed. Note: Here’s a link to Wisconsin Eye’s footage of the conference committee Republicans convened in order to ram through the revocation of collective bargaining rights for public employees.

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67 Responses to Senate Republicans vote to break WI’s public employee unions

  1. Anon says:

    This is all about the 2012 election. Too bad for Walker he won’t be successful. All I have to say is we need to take off the gloves and fight them on their own level.

  2. Bob A says:

    RECALL is the only way to keep this country of ours as a true Democracy.

    Just plain Un – American for these small (r) republicans to take away the rights of Workers.

    Now it is FULL STEAM AHEAD Democrats, Independents, and Republicans – take America Back!!!

  3. Anon says:

    I agree, Bob A. Also…I wouldn’t mind seeing everyone go on strike.

  4. Bob A says:

    I am not a lawyer but I do know a lot of breach of contract. As soon as this law goes into effect I would think that all contract state employees with collective bargaining rights could go on strike(or at least state that they can legally) and only provide necessary services.

    • Zach says:

      My understanding is that included in the provisions removing collective bargaining rights were provisions prohibiting employees from striking, so any strike would be illegal (though I could be wrong about that).

      • Bob A says:

        I believe it depends on the existing contract and who breaches the original contract first? But then again – the state probably has a clause outside this contract that prohibits strikes of certain workers.

        But if not – and the worker’s contract was made void by this vote – I say – STRIKE (with exceptions so the public is not harmed in any way).

  5. Bob A says:

    And Anon you are right we need to keep 2012 on our radar too and take off our gloves.

    • FORGET 2012 – dont take your eyes off of 2011, not only the recalls, but also the spring elections. There are many races where the choice is clear. Walker Supporter or not. If you need some i have a list.

      Kloppenburg for state Supreme Court is a good start. Especially since much of this will end up in front of the Supreme Court.

  6. Notalib says:

    If the fleebaggers had done their job it would not have come to this. So these 14 fleebaggers spent three weeks from home paying for hotels and meals etc out of pocket and got exactly nothing for their effort. Genius. I wish Dems would have been a little more cooperative and worked with the Governor maybe this would not have gone this way, but they are controlled by unions do not represent all of the people.

    • T. says:

      Please it was going to be this way regardless. Stop deluding yourself, then again I shouldn’t be surprised.

      You’re cutting off from your family just for having different opinions and beliefs. Shows how much you ever cared for them.

    • Bob A says:

      If you are trying to incite anger amongst us – it doesn’t work with your misunderstanding of the facts these last couple weeks. The Governor never wanted to compromise – he said it every single time.

      So listen more closely to your leader who is making a mockery out of Democracy. You see they are spelled differently. It is not Demockracy.

      But if you are having a hard time understanding the facts by now – there maybe little hope for you. I am certain we will all come to your assistance. We are a caring and compassionate crowd.

      Back to –
      FULL STEAM AHEAD Democrats, Independents, and Republicans – take America Back!!!

      Let the WI (r)epublican Senate know that RECALLS will be a TOTAL RECALL.

      • Notalib says:

        Bob we have started to take back America, with the strong conservative wins in November nationally and state, it was clear the direction that America has decided to go. Now all we need to do is continue and reclaim the White House in 2012 from the community organizer and America will be in great shape. The people who pay the bills in this country are tired of no one listening to them, we finally have people who are concerned abut our future instead of being concerned about special interest and the next election and how many votes they can buy. America is stepping in the right direction returning to its conservative roots, the momentum is strong and growing.

        • T. says:

          Then where the fuck were you in 2008?

          • Notalib says:

            T sorry I would answer if I had an idea what you were trying to get at.

            • T. says:

              Where the hell were you when the massive spending was going on over absolute bullshit? Where were you from 2000 to 2008 under George W. Bush? I was supporting Ron Paul during that time, I’ll tell you that.

              You’re no damn conservative, you just support anything with an R behind it.

              • Zach says:

                You’re spot-on.

                • T. says:

                  Exactly? How the fuck is putting landmines the border of Texas, going to be conservative? You know what other countries did that? Go look at Thailand and Cambodia!

                  Some great damn conservative movement I see. I bet you support that too though, huh? Just so it keeps those illegals out, nevermind the hard working ranchers who need this protection and might step on that!

                • T. says:

                  Hey, how about removing child labor laws!

                  That’s another wonderful thing from the conservative party, and gaining such momentum! Nevermind it would be perfect for child trafficking, but I guess that’s the sacrifice we make for success, huh?

                • T. says:

                  11 year old girl raped?

                  All her fault! Conservatives at their best because the little girl was obviously asking for it for dressing like a slut.

                  What a wonderful movement. 🙂

                • T. says:

                  11 year old girl raped?

                  All her fault! Conservatives at their best because the little girl was obviously asking for it for dressing like a slut.

                  What a wonderful movement. 🙂

                  • to go off topic a little:

                    T i must say that while I appreciate everyone who contributes here(even notalib) I really like what you bring. You link some very interesting articles and I appreciate it.

                    Ok carry on!

                    • T. says:

                      Thank you. I became socially liberal because I was sick of this. I’ve been seeing these terrible things, and how these conservatives support it so much.

                      It disgusts me. I am sick of settling for less. I am sick of the possibility that I won’t be able to get birth control when I need it for health reasons. I don’t like the fact Walker is so against abortion that even at the risk of the mother’s life that she should just die. I don’t like the fact this is nothing but a power grab, and if the shoe was on the other foot, this partisan right wing jockey would be screaming against it. Then again, he screams about anything that the liberals, moderates, or anyone else would do.

                      Fuck the conservative movement. If I want to go to a real one, I’d go behind Ron Paul and not these assholes who are in the majority now.

                    • Idont mind so much that their views are stone age. It just drives me crazy when they pass all of this stuff and then say its because it will create jobs.

                      Super Id try this one:

                      http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/2011-13%20Budget/2011_03_09%20Modification%20to%20SS%20SB%2011_AB%2011.pdf

        • Zach says:

          America’s roots weren’t conservative; try doing some reading.

    • Zach says:

      Notalib, enlighten us as to what exactly would have been different if the Wisconsin 14 had stayed in Wisconsin.

      • Notalib says:

        The budget repair bill would have passed in a timely fashion we would have restructure debt and save taxpayers millions and we could be working on other issues by now instead of playing games with 14 children and who are holding up real progress in this state.

        • Zach says:

          So in other words, nothing would have been different, because the outcome would have been exactly the same.

          • econ101 says:

            The outcome may have been the same, but it wouldn’t have wasted so much time and money. I think the opportunity cost associated with dragging this thing out must be huge. It’s basically two full weeks of wasted wages and effort. That’s at least a few hundred thousand that could have been avoided or applied toward the budget debate.

            • T. says:

              He didn’t have to spend so much damn money you realize, right?

              Mitch Daniels has a similar issue but took a different route that wasn’t spending constantly, appearing on television, driving all over the state, and sending state troopers after people like a dumbass.

        • grumps says:

          Nota, you haven’t been paying attention. This was never about Wisconsin’s debt.

  7. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    Agree. It’s game on. And with apoligies to Patrick Swayze, it’s now the time NOT to be nice.

    They and anyone that supports them must PAY, and with no exceptions for anyone who voted for this garbage.

  8. PartiallyBlue says:

    Somebody may sue that this did not meet the open meetings laws in the state of Wisconsin and that this is all illegal.
    In addition, the Dem Senators are staying out until all of this is settled law. There may be more tricks up the Republican sleeves if the Dems return too early. Must go thru Assembly, must be signed into law. If not, then Repubs can re-convene Senate if any Dem returns to the state and then shove the whole package thru legally. The Senate fight is not over until Walker signs bill.

    • T. says:

      The Democrats are not returning, from the facebook page of Jon Erpenbach:

      Ok folks — very quick update. First of all, we are NOT coming home. All of us. The bill that they passed in the Senate, taking away workers rights among other things, still has to go to the Assembly.
      We are not caving and coming back because the Senate Republicans can still play games. If we come back before this passes the Assembly, they could call us into session and pass the budget repair bill.

      In addition Statute 19.97 section 4 reads:

      If the district attorney refuses or otherwise fails to commence an action to enforce this subchapter within 20 days after receiving a verified complaint, the person making such complaint may bring an action under subs. (1) to (3) on his or her relation in the name, and on behalf, of the state. In such actions, the court may award actual and necessary costs of prosecution, including reasonable attorney fees to the relator if he or she prevails, but any forfeiture recovered shall be paid to the state.

    • econ101 says:

      While the procedural maneuvers have often appeared questionable, no judge will ever overturn an action carried out by the legislature. For a court to do that would basically violate the separation of the judicial and legislative branched of government, and no judge wants to go there.

      • Ed Heinzelman says:

        “For a court to do that would basically violate the separation of the judicial and legislative branched of government, and no judge wants to go there.”

        Actually an independent judiciary as enumerated on our constiutions are exactly what ia needed here. If the procedure maneuvers were actually illegal rather than simply questionable, I would expect the court to rule on the illegality.

        Are you suggesting that public officials are above the law?

  9. 19.84 (3) Public notice of every meeting of a governmental body shall be given at least 24 hours prior to the commencement of such meeting unless for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical, in which case shorter notice may be given, but in no case may the notice be provided less than 2 hours in advance of the meeting.

  10. There is an issue with the legality, as it was not completely non-financial as it was supposed to be. On page 12 there’s a supplemental funding reduction:

    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/2011-13%20Budget/2011_03_09%20Modification%20to%20SS%20…SB%2011_AB%2011.pdf

  11. lectric lady says:

    Please, Please, Please Bloggers!!!

    Start a campaign now to defeat David Prosser. This is something that can be done NOW. The election is on April 5. No need to wait for recalls to make an immediate statement!

    I’m afraid the state republicans will try to rewrite the recall laws ASAP. We can send a strong message by throwing this right-wing justice out RIGHT NOW, and helping our cause in the state Supreme Court. (Iowans showed how this can be done on the other side).

    JoAnne Kloppenburg cannot take donations, but she can sure use a viral media campaign to get out huge numbers of voters in this normally low turnout off cycle election.

    http://www.kloppenburgforjustice.com/

  12. MadCityMan says:

    Outrageous! I just donated to the repeal Walker initiative. I’m happy to see over 111,000 people already have said no to Walker. Tell your friends, neighbors… we don’t need an imperial government in WI. These turkeys are trying to turn this state into Mississippi or Arizona. Their next stop is anti-immigrant activities, followed by anti-gay initiatives. Whatever happened to their job initiatives?

    • Notalib says:

      We don’t need new illegal immigration laws, we already have what we need, what we need are politicians who will stand up for America and do the right thing by protecting our borders from this illegal invasion.

      • T. says:

        Then let’s put some damn landmines there.

        HEY! How about an amazing concept? How about we end the War on Drugs, pulling the rug from underneath the drug cartels like we did with the prohibition and the various mobsters! And stop hiring illegal workers, giving them your jobs!

  13. Bob A says:

    Right ON – lectric lady.

    April 5th is right around the corner.

    Also let’s check for some mail in ballot fraud in some precincts. Does anyone know if it is possible?

  14. Zach, thanks for adding the video of the committee meeting,(i was looking for it) those two minutes are the most telling of the whole last three weeks. I have a feeling we will be seeing that video through the 2012 election cycle.

  15. This is an excellent development. When this is all said and done it will stain the republican brand in Wisconsin for a generation to come.

  16. As if Sean Duffy hasnt done enough damage to it.

  17. Notalib says:

    T said ” I am sick of the possibility that I won’t be able to get birth control when I need it for health reasons.” First what kind of birth control is used for health reasons, do you mean an abortion?

    So what you are saying is that you want tax dollars to pay for YOUR abortion? Or are you saying you may want an abortion and expect the government to pay for it? Or are you just concerned that you won’t be able to get an abortion because most people do not believe in state sanction murder?

    • T. says:

      What kind of birth control is used for health reasons? You want the nasty details?

      You know the period every month? Imagine this, your body is in excruciating pain for two weeks of every month but not a drop of menstruation comes out. it instead shows up in your skin, like you’re rotting from the inside. You cannot ever have a child because your uterus sees it as an invader, the child would be killed inside of it. If by chance, I do become pregnant and they last, the child dies. A corpse rots inside of you as you’re not allowed to take that child’s body out because of these bullshit laws.

      It’s not a fact of paying tax dollars for abortions: It’s the fact they are made illegal.

    • T. says:

      I also mean literal birth control. That is going to be banned. I mean the pills, the contraceptives, the shots that keeps my cycle regular and not having me range from me not bleeding for months at a time, to almost constantly so.

    • T. says:

      If it isn’t clear through your thick skull: I am not pissed over the fact that government stops funding it. I am pissed that Walker is thinking of making these methods illegal. I don’t go through life having abortions, I have the birth control for a medical reason because they noticed something wrong with my body when I was fourteen. The birth control is a medicine that regulates everything and while still painful, it flushes everything out on time.

      And if you conservative assholes who think you’re on moral high ground try to make that illegal? Hell yes i’m going to be pissed, because I never had sex in my life. I mean, why the hell would I want to if I’m in constant pain?

    • grumps says:

      Try to not be a dick, Nota. Just for a minute please.

      • Notalib says:

        How was I a dick? She never said why she wanted it just that she was pissed off it may not be available, so all I did was ask why she would be pissed off and then got the typical female over reaction.

        • T. says:

          Let me put this through this again: Illegal. it will be purely illegal. We won’t be able to pay for our birth control, we won’t be able to buy it. We won’t be able to use our own money to get these things.

          It’s one thing to stop the funding of abortions: but making it illegal and charging it as a crime. Do you not see why a lot of us wouldn’t be pissed? Oh well, I guess it’s the Republicans and the conservative way so I guess it’s probably the best thing right?

          Don’t derail the conversation, I am sick and tired of conservatives not looking at your actions in the face, what you reap on the United States justifying it for the greater good. Trying to say the left is just as bad when no. They’re not just as bad unless you mean things like birth control, abortions, and gay marriage.

          Do you think I like the thought that I have to get birth control and it being criminalized? Do you think I like the thought that in other states that people are trying to pass laws about miscarriages be prenatal murder? How about if someone else all the guns away in Wisconsin, including from people who need it for their various jobs without any exceptions? Wouldn’t you be a little pissed?

  18. Notalib says:

    I really am not asking this to be an asshole, but I have not heard anywhere that the state of Wisconsin wants to make birth control illegal. I will do a search on the web for this but are you able to provide evidence of this plan, because if this is true I woeful be 100% against it.

    • T. says:

      All right: Here is the portion of abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

      And here. While it is rated half true since it’s unclear? Considering what I’ve read in the bills he’s trying to pass through, it sounds like he’s trying to criminalize birth control from the writing in it. And frankly? I am not pro-abortion, I don’t like killing babies. But I am pro-birth control and making it easier for women to have that medicine so that they wouldn’t have to go to abortions. By making birth control more affordable and easier to get, women won’t have to go through that.

  19. phillip r trotman says:

    U got what u voted for! working union amercians should never vote gOP, DUMB ASS CIVIL SERVANTS!!!! U DESERVE WHAT U GET FOR VOTING REPUBILCAN

  20. hear me roar says:

    Reading these comments leaves me ashamed. Many on the right just abdicate their right to THINK for themselves. To THINK at all. For all of their mindless repeating of propaganda, they should let their parrots vote for them.

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