Gets curiouser and curiouser…
First, (and thank you to commenter morzer for this) Governor Walker seems to be spreading some confusion on collective bargaining:
And yet on the morning of Feb. 18, 2011 — a day after Democratic state senators fled to Illinois to prevent a vote on the bill — Walker made a startling declaration in a Milwaukee radio interview. Walker then added: “Those fully remain intact. Civil service does not get altered by the modest changes we’re talking about here. Collective bargaining is fully intact. You’ve got merit hiring, you’ve got just cause for termination and for discipline. All those things remain.”
Collective bargaining would remain “fully intact”? But let’s take a look at what was said.
In contending that collective bargaining would remain fully intact, Walker mixed civil service protections with collective bargaining rights. They are not the same.Walker himself has outlined how his budget-repair bill would limit the collective bargaining rights of public employees. To now say now say collective bargaining would remain “fully intact” is not just false, it’s ridiculously false.
On to Ohio, and the excellent Ohio political site, Plunderbund. Walker’s proposal really is radical, which may be why he’s spreading misinformation about it.
The Canton Repository, a newspaper that endorsed Kasich:
The collective bargaining process in Ohio isn’t broken. It does need to be tweaked. But state employees don’t need to be stripped of collective bargaining rights.
The collective-bargaining law has been an asset in providing a vehicle for settling disputes that many times had turned ugly. Now the law requires updating and repair. Must that include the elimination of collective bargaining at the state level? Proponents still haven’t offered a persuasive answer. Take such steps, and the impression builds of a party more interested in ideological warfare than responsibly solving a problem.
A bill on a fast track in the Ohio Senate would outlaw the use of binding arbitration to resolve contract disputes that involve police officers and firefighters, who are legally barred from striking. John Kasich and the General Assembly are using the bare cupboard in the Statehouse as a pretext to roll back decades’ worth of labor law
Cleveland Plain-Dealer, another paper that endorsed Kasich:
That said, it’s unfortunate the GOP approach has been to set a maximalist tone on an issue that should be looked at carefully —-before discarding a system that has brought decades of labor peace to the public sector, just as it was intended to do. On one front, the Jones bill is incontestably radical. It would flat-out abolish collective bargaining for employees of the state government and of state-aided colleges, and would abolish longevity pay and “step” increases.
“Decades of labor peace”. So why launch a preemptive assault, conservatives? What’s going on here?
Conservatives in the Ohio legislature cannot make a rational argument that connects their actions on collective bargaining to the budget. Ohio has a long history with collective bargaining, and the negotiation process works. They cannot explain why they refuse to sit down with workers, or why they seek to write the negotiation process out of law permanently and deny employees a seat at the table. Until they can do that, I have to assume they have some national political objective that is unrelated to the state budget. I wonder when they’ll get around to telling Ohio newspapers or their state constituents what that national objective might be?
Jest doin’ me bit fer de revolushun.
Seriously, thank you so much for your posts and keeping us aware of the situation and the realities of the Walker-Koch Putsch. We have to win this one,no two ways about it, and the key is fighting the good fight and getting the facts out there. It’s encouraging to see that at least part of the media is willing to call extremism by its true name. More please!
I believe Ohio benefited from all the exposure in Wisconsin. The newspapers who gave Kasich a complete pass during the campaign are asking good questions about why he’s doing this, and he’s been unable to come up with a sensible answer.
I think he’s probably accustomed to the “broad themes” and lack of state-by-state specificity in the national press, which seems to benefit conservatives, because he was in the US House. He’s in a different world as governor. He has to answer specific questions on state law and process. He hasn’t been able to do that.
How much is Kasich trying to duck answering questions at all? Is he trying to pull a Palin here?
John in DC
At what point can we begin discussing “republican over-reach”. This was (smugly) brought up often in regard to anything and everything the democrats were doing in 2009 and 2010.
In fact, it was probably democratic over-reach for the Obama’s to move in to the White House.
They knew that they would gain a lot of congressional seats, state houses and governorships, because there always is some backlash against a new president. Then they decided to go all-in to maximize their gain, because they knew that if they did nothing demographic changes would doom them, so they made a risky bet to alter the institutional and social framework for good before the demographic timer would run out. For the mid-terms they mobilized as many seniors as they could with their lies about medicare and the persona of the president. But by focusing on older voters they only made their demographic problems worse, which is why they have to take these radical steps now, immediately after the inauguration of the newly elected officials. Citizens United was another step of this risky bet by the way, why else use a narrow case for a fundamental change of election laws? And when I say “they” I mean those who gather at the Koch residency to discuss the 2012 election strategy, i.e. republican operatives and big business.
They are probably still banging their heads against the wall for not taking the Senate, too.
Did Walker and Kasich campaign on these policies? Did either one come right out and say that on day one they’d be going after the public unions, and no one was paying attention? It’s interesting that both governors have the legislation all ready to go. The Kochs must have a version ready for all fifty states at the push of a button.
This from Lawyers, Guns and Money, seems pertinent.
I think the roll-back goes farther than the New Deal. I think civil service is in their sights. No more merit employment–it’s back to the spoils system for us.
It should be obvious this is a loosely coordinated national assault on progressive/liberal initiatives. Part of the reason is taking advantage for political cover of poor economic conditions, part of it is lack of national leadership to where the GOP has become like a hydra monster representing all sorts of aggressive action that once were measured and thought through to consequences of leading with the chin to get what they want.
It is all set in the wake from complete failure of conservative movement philosophy, hastily revived by a core right wing base, fueled by tea party energy representing the more primal impulses from the right. Demagogues like Walker feel empowered by this take no prisoners atmosphere from a temp mid term election win based on anger at HCR and general success of Obama producing liberal law, and a bad economy as a backdrop, that was largely caused by conservative governance in the first place. It is all smoke and mirrors created by reactionary and ill informed American voters giving back some power to the wingers, and they seem uninhibited to hoist the most radical elements of conservative thought on the nation and states. Sort of all in and let the chips fall where they may.
Wel, IMO, he’s not a great politician. He’s abrasive and a hot-head. It’ snot a shocker, because that was his reputation prior. He had to apologize for calling a particular police officer an “idiot” and before that he made a series of stupid statements on the (notable) lack of diversity in his cabinet.
So, he’s constantly addressing his own blunders, and that seems to take up all the air in the room.
His problem is, there are stats on collective bargaining w/public employees in Ohio, and they don’t support the conservative argument. Collective bargaining works here. Maybe not with him at the helm, because he’s an arrogant SOB, but that’s his problem. I don’t know why hi lack of skills at dealing with people in a respectful and forthright manner has to mean we blow up the table. I didn’t hire him, and I knew this egotistical belligerent inability to deal was going to cause problems. But they’re HIS personal problems, not mine.
Mornin Joe was hysterical about the amount of money unions give to campaigns while forgetting to mention who gives and how much is given to the pukes. it’s the math sports fans, it ain’t all that hard.
I’ve feel like I’ve seen quite a bit about Wisconsin on here and elsewhere in blogistan, not so much about what’s happening in Ohio. Do you feel up to writing a post laying out the Ohio situation and an up to date analysis of who wants what and who is saying what?
BTW, I think you need to switch these sentences around:
On to Ohio, and the excellent Ohio political site, Plunderbund. Walker’s proposal really is radical, which may be why he’s spreading misinformation about it.
Rachel Maddow had a segment last week (can’t find a linky) that spells out just how much the Democrats depend on unions for election money. They are literally the last big–money organizations that the Left has. Stripping them of collective bargaining will leave them irrelevant as funding sources and as organizations.
It’s one way to remove a form of organized opposition to the corporate steamroller that is today’s Republican Party. Not sure I’d use the term “loosely” to describe it. It seems too well choreographed for that and has the look of a plan that has been well thought out. In my dreams I see this as a catalyst that sparks the middle class of this country into serious opposition to this assault but I think the groundwork has been laid by conservative talk radio and Fox News to minimize any true pushback.
What the Unions and Wisconsin Democratic Senators are doing is noble but they (and we) are up against a professional army of conservatism that is far more ruthless and focused and who will take no prisoners.
Lying and spin worked with HCR and AGW denialism.
why shouldnt it work here?
The conservative base has been memetically engineered to be unable to learn. Inverse darwinian selection, memetic selection for stupid.
the problem after 50 years is they cant turn the base racism off.
Consider birtherism. conservative leadership has tried to turn that off since last years CPAC. it is holding steady at ~3/4s of republican voters.
they hear the demographic timer ticking but they cant turn it off.
rachel maddow made excellent points (also seen at tpm and – of all places agence france-presse about how the union GOTV contributes the republican fears of a permanent dem majority. so the agenda is to further weaken unions, with the added bonus of further the corporate slave agenda.
i mean, if your union can’t bargain for anything, why even join? and certainly why bother to pay any attention to their voting suggestions.
There’s additional insight and information on all this, with links, over at http://www.ginandtacos.com. Very much worth the reading, and yes, it certainly does appear to be a well-planned Brothers Koch strategy.
kay, I put up a big post on Jim Jordan, who really gets under my skin. Unfortunately, it references George Will’s column featuring Jordan from yesterday.
just posted the link. great segment she did there, eh?
Also, Jordan is all in favor of bulldozing the unions. Luckily, he isn’t my representative. Unluckily, Boehner is.
heres last years CPAC
hah! We’re collaborating here. In cahoots.
You’re right, your suggestion is better. I don’t do anything quickly, and if I do, it sucks. That includes posts.
I have to work, but I will try to do an Ohio post later. I offered a tank of gas to a lovely local woman who is an activist if she would drive our people to Columbus, not because she can’t afford gas, but because I have hearings tomorrow and Columbus is 4 hours away, and I wanted to contribute in some way. I’m afraid I offended her with the offer, because she emails me almost daily and uses the law office copier for her activist copying thing and I haven’t heard from her or seen her since I (perhaps) insulted her.
Well, it might just be that she’s lost her internet connection, or maybe she’s feeling under the weather. She might even be heading down the highway for Columbus with other people. If she’s going to be upset about free gas for the cause, that’s a bit precious, IMHO.
And no, your post overall was excellent. No suckitude about it. Give yourself a pat on the back, praise de Lord and pass de factual ammunition. Facts to the GOP are like garlic to vampires, which is why they hate the French.
heres Rove today.
birtherism is subliminated racism, because overt racism is taboo in modern america. the leadership hasnt budged the percentage– 73% in 2010 and 72% in 2011.
my point is, the just-share-the-pain-paycuts is what the conservative base will believe, just like they believe in ensoulment, AGW denial, supplyside economics and Kenyan Obama.
Because of backfire effect (only observed in conservatives) fact correction just increases the salience of the falsehood.
Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q)
@Kay: And he won’t be able to. As you know, he’s long on nasty and short on policy. Not to mention sense. “Ever been pulled over by a cop who’s an idiot?”
Our new Gov in Ohio is gonna get real old with the voters, real fast. He barely beat Strickland, and behaves as if he won in a landslide. It is going to be interesting, to be sure. And not without hard times. Hence my pursuit of a gig at a non profit in Kentucky.
The contribution and the formation of giving a percentage of our union dues to a PAC began around 20 years ago in my location. Our then union rep. came around asking everyone for their opinion on it and recorded it. I was not in favor of it then for I had 3 more children to support alone and every bit of my money was needed. Today I would give all of those dues to rid ourselves of the bullseye on our backs.
It’s nothing new for us public employees to be the target of the masses. Somehow they believe we are the recipients of enormous salaries and free benefits. The incident that opened my eyes about this erroneous assumption came on day when I was working for TRA and UI benefits for Ford employees. A claimant came barreling at me to complain bitterly about his check being late. His words: “How the hell would you know how it feels to not have my check. I have to pay for my new house (in an upscale area), my 4 kids ( I had 6) and my new boat (I had a clunker car)” I had his wages in front of me (4x mine) and he was only laid off for a few weeks for retooling. Do I need to mention he belonged to a union?
What’s going on here is that moderate republicans are “moving to the right” in response and in order to distinguish themselves from Democrats who have moved to the right.
If the Democrats are the party of tax cuts, spending cuts, anti-labor rhetoric, wage freezes and so on….what have the Republicans left to run on? They’re not just going to stand still and meet the Dems in some weird orgy of bipartisan fetish.
They’re going to move even further to the right: strip unions or kill unions, enact anti-abortion laws, remove the right to sue corporations, etc etc.
What did you think they were going to do?
@Another Commenter at Balloon Juice (fka Bella Q):
But that’s the conservative tactic. Remember Bush? I agree with you, generally, though. Every time I see that clip of Kasich calling the cop an idiot I think of our local common pleas judge, who I don’t appear in front of (he’s general division, not juvenile), but I know fairly well. He’s a rabid law and order Republican, but civil and soft-spoken.
They just don’t do that here. I cannot imagine a local Republican “leader” saying that about a cop who gave him a ticket.
seems first that the hardline repugs want to do a workaround to shove this through without the dems, but also a moderate republican is offering a compromise.
key test of walker’s resolve and general dickheadedness. he can always be recalled in january and replaced by feingold!
This is part two of a coordinated attack on the Democratic Party. The demographics are going against Republicans and they have chosen to fight at a different level. Part one was the Citizens United decision, which allowed corporate money in virtually unlimited amounts to flow to Republican candidates. Part two is the defunding of the Democratic Party. Unions are a major and reliable source for Democrats. Kill the unions and the funding goes away. The Tea Party is a second front, to remind everyone that Democratic ideas are unAmerican and have led to teh soshulism. Part three? Ask Roger and Karl.
@morzer: I’m sure he’s spreading misinformation, because what he actually wants to do doesn’t poll well. I’m also pretty sure the Goopers are having polling problems on this issue, because of the fact that they are trying to shift the issue to Obama. Of course, our so-called liberal media comes right along and takes the bait, so I can’t say that the Goopers won’t be successful in the strategy.
I’d missed this little legislative development in Tennessee: GOP legislators file bill to outlaw union political contributions; majority of Tennesseans approve while giving the nod to corporation contributions.
We were told repeatedly by GOP candidates campaigning on the need for spending cuts that a campaign was no time for detailed proprosals. Apparently they think it’s also unreasonable to expect reasons once they start trying to enact the policies.
@lllphd: Yes, it’s easy to feel like the unions were the only ones left. Rachel spelled it out. Maybe she was just preaching to the choir who watches her show, but hopefully this gets traction in the general public.
Of course they do. And you, Kay, being a very intelligent person, already know what that objective is. (Hint: it’s not political.)
Out here in NorCal, every gas station, be it Shell, Chevron,
UnionKoch 76, has the exact same price up on their sign boards for gas. When one changes the price, they all do. (Presently $3.69.9 per gal). Does this qualify as “Corporate Collective Bargaining”? And when can we expect Republobaggers to go after that long established practice?
This isn’t rocket science. In the private sector a union uses collective bargaining to offer better work in exchange for better benefits. The better work and increased productivity leads to increased profits for the firm, which can be turned into more benefits for the workers. When the cost of the benefits given to unionized workers exceeds the cost of or burdens the quality of work, consumers are free to buy a non-union produced product at lower cost. Don’t want to buy a Chrysler or GM because of the cost and questions about quality? You’re free to buy a Hyundai made in Alabama, or a Subaru made in Indiana by a non-unionized workforce.
In the public sector on the other hand, unions offer political support in exchange for increased benefits – which aren’t the result of increased productivity, because revenue is contingent on the collection of taxes, the rate of which is dictated by elected officials. In other words, all you’re offering is votes in exchange for an increased share of tax rev. There’s no corrective mechanism, like market competition, to step in and keep things honest. There’s no incentive to getting rid of shitty employees, or off loading the students who suck into a system where they won’t drag others down. It’s a corrosive bargain. FDR saw it for what it is, and though he was an advocate for private sector unions he drew the line at allowing collective bargaining in the public sector.
Thank god a majority of the voting public seems to understand this. Public sector unions are on the way out. Hopefully we’ll be able to get to a point where other rent seekers are given the boot too (those that use their wealth and electoral influence to shelter industry from competition, recipients of farm subsidies, corp tax loopholes, personal tax loopholes for the wealthy).
And to the Einstein who suggested that WI does better in education rankings than states in the south because of collective bargaining, I’d encourage you to adjust your stats for race and income. GA, AL, MS, VA, SC, and TX have large minority populations and all that that entails – bigger waistlines, dumber students, and more poverty. WI is lily white. Like other academically high performing states with lily white majorities, you’re not operating with the same kind of handicap that the south is (not a bell curve argument, the result is due to generations of structural racism, discrimination, etc). Don’t assume that a unionized workforce is the factor, it’s your starting point population. By your logic, I could argue that most private school K-12 teachers make less than their public school counterparts, and yet they “produce” better students. I could argue that less pay for teachers must be the factor. This is just retarded. Is that what they teach up in WI?
He was going to testify before the Senate committee tomorrow about collective bargaining, but canceled when the demonstration for tomorrow was announced.
If anyone is interested, check out the 2/18 broadcast of Columbus on the Record (a local version of Washington Week):
They discuss Kasich quite a bit, and aside from tidbits like only 2% of arbitrations go against the government, they discuss how tightly leashed Kasich must have been during the campaign. Ah, hindsight!
Actually, the reason they are doing this seems fairly obvious: the economy is fucked up. Voters want them to do something about it. If they don’t throw the public service unions on the bonfire as a sacrifice to the voters’ anger than the voters will demand something else. And that something else might be higher taxes on the rich.
So, in order to protect the ultra rich, the Republicans have to make the unions into scapegoats. The fact that it won’t fix the problem and that it will probably return us to the years of violent conflicts between workers and management is irrelevant. They must protect the tax cuts.
I also happened to catch the rebroadcast of a speech Kasich gave to the Toledo Rotary Club:
Someone once told me that anyone who waved their hands around a lot while speaking was always trying to hide something.
Towards the end of this speech, Kasich talks about choosing to support entrepreneurship whenever it comes up against provisions supporting prevailing wages. I’m not sure if this is connected to collective bargaining, but it doesn’t sound good.
I’m shocked, SHOCKED, that my local Media Madlibs of GOP talking points (Cincinnati Enquirer) has evidently not challenged Kasich.