Topic of the Week: Falk’s budget veto pledge

To say this week’s endorsement of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Falk by WEAC prompted a lively discussion would be an understatement. Reaction to the endorsement on WEAC’s Facebook page was overwhelmingly negative, with many teachers questioning not only the timing of the endorsement, but why it was made without their input.

Along with WEAC’s endorsement of her candidacy, Falk pledged that if elected governor, she’d veto any state budget that did not restore collective bargaining rights for public employees.

So here’s my question: Is Kathleen Falk’s promise to veto the state budget if it doesn’t restore collective bargaining rights for public employees a good idea?


Related Articles

6 thoughts on “Topic of the Week: Falk’s budget veto pledge

  1. Not only is it a bad idea, it misses the opportunity to put the recall in perspective. Collective bargaining, whileimportant, is not the only concern of the 46% of the electorate that signed recall petitions. Agreeing to this pledge makes CB, and Falk, lightning rods for right-wing union hate. It makes Falk look like a panderer, and a weak candidate. That unions want to put candidates in this position is dismaying.

    1. Nancy, you’re absolutely right. It’s these kind of tone-deaf decisions that make me wonder what union leadership is thinking. They could have gotten Falk’s pledge in private and waited to endorse her until the timing was right, but instead they jumped the gun, leaving many to question why an endorsement was made before the field was settled.

      If there’s one thing a lot of people don’t like, it’s being force-fed a candidate who’s been hand-picked by party insiders and/or union leadership without any input from the grassroots. This recall effort has largely been a grassroots effort, and I’m surprised and disappointed that union leadership didn’t want to let the same folks who fueled this effort choose their own candidate.

      1. The current system where the voters are force-fed hand-picked candidates for nearly every election at the state level and above, is precisely what is wrong with the political climate in this nation. It is why and how the bogus two-party system works against the interests of the majority of citizens and in favor of those who falsely present these choices as the only ones.

        A loose analogy could be the phony system where businesses, school districts and other local government entities will engage in the self-fllattery of a “nationwide talent search” for a new manager, executive or administratior. It doesn’t take a Phd to see that in any of those situations there might be equally (more?) qualified candidates in the ranks immediately below the departing executive – candidates who would already be familiar with the organization, and who would be happy to take a promotion, and happy to accept a huge pay increase to fraction of that which would be demanded by the imported “talent.”

        In either case everybody loses except the “chosen” candidates and the entrenched “leaders” who are in actuality serving their own class interests more than the interests of the citizens or the stockholders.

  2. And in regards to Falk’s pledge to veto the state budget unless it contains provisions supporting collective bargaining, I think that’s precisely the wrong kind of message for Falk to put out there in an election against Scott Walker. Walker’s a savvy campaigner, and now he and his right-wing allies will be able to run ads portraying Falk as being so in the pocket of the unions that she’d hold the state budget hostage unless her union benefactors got what they wanted.

    That’s not a winning issue for Falk, and I still don’t understand why the unions wanted Democrats to publicly make that pledge. They could have just as easily made the pledge to the unions in private and avoided the negative perception of the situation.

    1. This is excatly right, Zach. It’s tone-deaf and is very dumb politics by the Falk campaign, because why wouldn’t you want to isolate this one issue and put the GOP on the spot, maybe even with a special session BEFORE the November 2012 elections to make the GOP Assembly lay it on the line (and probably vote it down, increasing the chances that Dems could take the Assembly back).

      Instead, Falk decided to run an election strategy based out of the 2000s instead of realizing what the turmoil of the last year has been all about. Memo to Kathy and the unions- this wasn’t just about YOU. It was about the 2-tier society of “connected insiders vs. everyone else” that Scott Walker wants and that the rest of us can’t stand. We want a REAL CHANGE in how things get done and in prorities our elected officials should have, not just trading out one interest group for another.

      I lobbed the phone call to Peter Barca’s office today to mask him to get in, and I encourage all of you who really want to make this movement matter to do the same for either Barca, Kind, or Kagen. We need a strong primary where the people make the call, not one hand-picked by a few interests.

      1. I support the rights of workers to bargain collectively whether they work for the public sector or the private sector. That said, this recall election is not just about collective bargaining rights. That is actually a wedge issue that was very effective in helping to defeat some challengers to Republican Senators in the recall elections last summer. If we allow the opposition to frame the debate as a pro-union or against union, I strongly believe that the Walker recall will fail. The movement to restore sanity to Wisconsin politics galvanized around multiple issues, one of which was labor. For many, labor is a divisive issue, and we cannot allow the debate to focus on that, which is a great risk if the Democratic challenger embraces that as her core concern. To be successful, the challenger to Walker must be able to relate to the breadth and depth of interests in the state including the environment, health care, education, elder care, women’s issues, jobs, infrastructure, and yes, labor. Only if a candidate can gain the trust of voters that he or she is fully aware of the issues that affect everyone, is there a chance that Walker will be defeated.

Comments are closed.