After comments from my friend, Jeanne, the other day about the current legislation in Wisconsin, I decided to keep a better ear on things.

Wisconsin Capitol Building; Picture by Jarndt

In case you have not been paying attention, during budget debates Governor Scott Walker has made it clear he wants a whole bunch of concessions from most state unions including an end to collective bargaining.

The only issue unions would be able to use collective bargaining on would be salaries and nothing else. Not work conditions or hours or benefits and union existence would be voted on yearly.

The unions have agreed to every other concession which included pay cuts, increased pay deductions on their part for health insurance and pension. But they refuse to back down on collective bargaining.

The Governor states getting rid of collective bargaining would save hundreds of millions for the state whose debt load is 12% of the state budget. However, not every union in Wisconsin has to live with this last concession. Remember I said most unions would be held to limited bargaining. Members of the public safety union – police officers, firefighters and state troopers – are exempt from losing collective bargaining.

The problem is that this same union contributed to Walker’s campaign. It makes me wonder if the teacher union or nurses union or natural resources union donated to this man’s campaign. I am guessing they did not. Suddenly, the man who speak tea party rhetoric and profess to be a fiscal conservative looks like something else.

Picture by Sue Molyneaux

Walker may be a college drop-out and former Eagle Scout. He might think he is acting honorably, especially to those working class voters. To me he looks like the typical corrupt politician taking care of those people who gave him money to run and win his gubernatorial seat.  

That, my friend, is called old school politics. Last time I looked that was not what being a maverick in politics was all about.

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