Sly from “Sly in the Morning” interviews Rich Abelson (AUDIO)

Earlier today I posted an entry regarding some misinformation being spread about Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s record when it comes to his dealings with unionized City of Milwaukee employees. In that entry, I name John “Sly” Sylvester of WTDY-AM’s “Sly in the Morning” show as one of the folks responsible for attacking Barrett, as Sly has spend a fair amount of time on his show attacking Mayor Barrett’s labor record.

In response to my entry, Sly sent me a message saying that if I had any courage, I’d post the audio of his interview with Rich Abelson, the Executive Director of AFSCME District Council 48.

In the interest of allowing Blogging Blue’s readers to hear for themselves the attacks being leveled against Mayor Barrett by leaders within AFSCME, here’s the audio of Sly’s interview with Rich Abelson on April 2, 2012:
(Audio courtesy of “Sly in the Morning”)

For the record, I’m not saying Mayor Barrett’s record when it comes to his dealings with unions has been perfect, but the recall election of Gov. Scott Walker is too important to blindly support the candidate who was hand-picked by union leaders (without input from rank-and-file members) based on that candidate making promises to those union leaders.


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16 thoughts on “Sly from “Sly in the Morning” interviews Rich Abelson (AUDIO)

  1. The unions Mayor Barrett has been dealing with supported Walker’s agenda. So what is the problem? He’s only doing what the unions wanted.

  2. Rich Abelson and AFSCME 48 did not and never would endorse Walker and that is who is talking. I very much want to hear Zach’s position on Barrett and his dealings with the public workers in Milwaukee after hearing this segment. I can’t believe any progressive individual could get behind Mayor Barrett to replace Walker. I honestly see some of the appeal of Vinehout and where people are coming from there but the mayor leave me cold. “Third way” Democrats should just admit they are the lost moderate wing of the Republican party at this point

      1. The thing is Zach, I don’t feel like you are being very consistent. You wrote repeatedly about the Zielinski and Pierce race for Alderman. You made a significant issue of Zielinski’s links to anti-labor business owners as an reason why people should not support him. To the point where I changed my vote and supported Pierce. At the same time you seem to be dedicated to defending Barrett who has a very high end private fund raiser with union-busting, service privatizing Rahm Emmanuel. Not only that but clearly Barrett has major, well documented problems with labor. To the point that of the three major unions who dealt with him as mayor, two endorsed Walker and one sent out the now notorious attack e-mail to all of it’s members. You say you aren’t behind a candidate and are just putting out the information, but it doesn’t seem that way reading your previous post and that doesn’t seem in line with past positions you have put forward

        1. Paul, I appreciate what you’re saying. I’m simply trying to provide information here, because I haven’t made a decision on who I’m supporting. To be honest, I’m actually leaning towards supporting Sen. Vinehout, but I haven’t completely made up my mind.

          My point in posting this (as well as the earlier Barrett entry) was simply to provide information, even if that information happens to conflict. Folks deserve to have as much information as possible before they make a decision on who to support.

    1. All of the progressive individuals in Wisconsin won’t get a Dem elected.

      I’m an Independent, and the last thing that I want is another Madisonian, after Doyle.

      I want Walker out, and I want decency back. Barrett is the one who can win it. That would be enough for me — but I also happen to have had Barrett represent me in Congress, and I know that he is decent, ethical, conscientious, truly listens to his constituents, and is the one who can begin to heal this state.

      However, I begin to think that no one can heal you Dems with your love of divisiveness.

      1. So everyone in Madison is a clone of Doyle? Thanks for telling me! I’ll get right on that… :rolleyes:

        Slogans like “decency back (to government)” “begin to heal” sound suspiciously Republican. Ford used that “heal” line as an excuse when he pardoned Nixon. That worked out real crappy…

        Screw platitudes like “decency”, I want legality!

        I want Walker gone, and I want the stench of a festering open wound to remind everyone in Wisconsin what the consequences are for voting with your head up your @$$. I want to see that deplorable “open for business” [sic] sign replaced with one that says “teabaggers turn around”.

        1. Wow, sad that you think that “decency” does not sound like a Democrat. You must not have had my good experience for decades now of a decent guy, Barrett, as my Congressman and mayor.

          He never would pull what Doyle did to state employees, the fake furloughs without warning (read: pay cut, as my job category was ordered to not cut back on time or workload) and the rush to unfair judgment of Georgia Thompson. And Doyle did not “get” what life was like for state employees outside of Madison.

          Those of us outside of Madison have endured this treatment for too long from others there, too. So I have test questions that I tried on all of the Dem candidates’ campaigns (by emails), and I know which ones failed the test again.

          Above all, as a state employee as well as a Wisconsinite, I also want to win back Wisconsin, believe me. Or believe the polls, when even the one that skews Republican (Rasmussen) finds that Barrett is the best bet to beat Walker. And I know that after the election, Barrett also is the best bet to bring back effective and good government (are those terms better for you?) in the Wisconsin tradition — and for all Wisconsinites.

          1. Gee, Gee…I never said any such thing. But it sure is like a GOP to dictate to people what they are supposedly thinking, and to never ever say “Democratic” and instead use “Democrat” as a sort of invective. Looks like your red roots are showing… IJS

            There are some things that simply go without saying. Nobody needs to hold a press conference every morning to remind us to wear clothes when we go outside. There has never been the need to record a TV commercial to remind us not to knock down little old ladies. We know that these things are things that, in the immortal words of Chris Rock, “you’re supposed to” do without being told.

            I suppose that you’re quite proud of yourself for e-mailing (loaded?) questions to candidates’ campaign staffers. The problem is that your premise that people in Madison always do things that you object to is still unjustified. “You missed an important step. Please start over.” says the voice on TV.

            Have you stopped to consider that your animosity towards “Madison people” has a serious flaw? You can elect your local hometown hero over and over to state office, but the moment they sit down at their desks in Wisconsin’s capitol city, Madison, they become an instant bogeyman per your rules?

            I’m sorry that you are a disgruntled employee, I truly am. But the fact of the matter is that Doyle is gone and you’re still disgruntled. IJS

  3. When you are negotiating for that home, and you have only so much money to put down, most rational people get what concessions they can to get their family in the house and have enough money left to pay for upkeep. Walker cannot say of Tom Barrett that Wisconsin will cave in to any Union demand. And that is what most sensible people would expect. And yet Wisconsin has shown that most sensible people would NOT expect that you take away the Union’s right to negotiate. Nor do most people expect that Unions do not make sacrifices when the public is making them big time. As long as the Unions can negotiate they can get their concessions back.

  4. I know for a fact that many folks who have worked the hardest for Union rights Democratic candidates across the state support Baker. These are very knowledgeable Democrats. AFSCME should not try to make points with its membership by dissing a mayor for doing his job. As a canvasser for some of the Democrats who didn’t get elected in recall elections, my personal take is that people in Wisconsin have had enough of negative political attacks.

      1. Another excellent point!

        I for one remember the “new wave” partisan politics that Reagan/Bush, Garmm-Rudman et al. ushered in, promoting the fallacy that federal income tax was the only tax on earth, then dumping unfunded mandates onto the state and local governments with no funding bills to make them fair.

        It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that dumping the imperative for funding on local government after convincing taxpayers they can have their cake and eat it too is a lose-lose proposition for the local population and the local leaders. Why can’t local leaders create the ideal balanced budget out of a couple loaves and fishes? Answer: Anybody that can pull off something like that isn’t wasting his or her time in local politics.

        I’m not committed either. But the more childish sniping I read against a candidate over alleged slights, the more attractive that candidate looks to me. Anybody who wants to be the not-Republican Governor of Wisconsin better have a cadre of screaming meemies on the interwebs to get their name noticed.

  5. After talking with mary bell and other union leaders, I would say that to say no rank and file members were consulted is not exactly accurate. This is not a typical election and they know they couldn’t pussyfoot around waiting until the end of march to see if some people maybe wanted to get in the race or not.

    Falk jumped in immediately and knew that you need every day campaigning to offset walkers millions.

    1. So Mary Bell told you rank and file members of WEAC were consulted? I’d love to know which rank and file members of WEAC were consulted before the union made an endorsement, because the rank and file members of WEAC that I’ve talked to weren’t consulted.

  6. Union boss Gooch McGowan, local 139, Operating Engineers, SUPPORTS WALKER with union paid staff support and $1,000 in campaign contribs. Contact for pdfs.

    The above is always worth repeating to rank-and-file union members who believe that their union bosses reflect and support their (i.e the rank-and-file members) wishes. The bosses are after all, using rank-and-file union dues money to support political candidates. The Wisconsin tragedy is that those same local 139 union dues are also use thru the Fed and State AFL-CIO, TO ATTACK Walker.

    McGowan also spent 10s of thousands of members dues money, sending all 9,000 members a 4 page snail mail letter, TRYING to continue to justify his support of Walker to the few brave fireproof members who dared to speak out against Walker. Boss McGowan controls local 139’s hiring hall/jobs dispatch system.

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