Boycott blocks vote banning public employee unions - no quorum...

Report: Democratic legislators have left the city...

State Troopers may be sent to escort them back to session...


UPDATE: Republican Senate President Mike Ellis announced a "call of the house" to send police to force errant Democrats to return to the chamber.

UPDATE: Downtown Madison streets closed: "We need to make sure the protesters will be able to move safely," DeSpain said. Madison Police Chief Noble Wray said, "Our job is to create an environment for democracy to take place."

RELATED: About 1,800 descend on Ohio Statehouse to protest collective bargaining changes

SEE ALSO: The Value of Due Process

Sandy L. 's picture


I'm so glad their elected officials are standing with the unions. This is how Democrats should act. I loved Obama's comment that Governor Walker's budget was an "assault on unions." Yay, Obama.

If it can happen there, it will spread all over the country. Repubs are going to have a long four years.

redmondkr's picture

Walk Like an Egyptian.

Walk Like an Egyptian.

adanovi's picture

How many Democrats does it take to stop a war?

The difference between Wisconsin and our state or others is that they have enough Democrats in office to effectively shut down the government. Unfortunately the TN Democratic Party has failed to run effective candidates and effective campaigns and consequently has become so emaciated that all the TN Dems can do is what Roy Herron did earlier this week: file 4 amendments, stand on the state senate floor and articulate a position on each of those amendments, and then watch as the Republicans table every single one of them, watch as Ketron tells the Democratic Legislators that he doesn't see the need or have the time for further questions, and then watch as the Republicans impose their will. They'd do it whether the dems were there or not because they have the super majority.

Regardless, most of today has been focused on Wisconsin as though it is a singular issue with the state of Wisconsin! It's not just Wisconsin. It's a national assault! As long as we believe this only an attack by a few individuals in far flung state legislatures, then we will NEVER see the big picture of the national assault and the war being waged against Americans across the nation!

For a local activist who recently said that the TN assault on teachers would never happen in Colorado, exemplifies how she along with many others do not understand that this is a national agenda that was begun long ago in the political arena and in many cases is now being forged ahead with greater force than ever before.

James Calloway's picture

The echo in here is getting deafening

Of course the folks asked to give more back are going to take to the streets. Heck the only reason the left needs to hit the streets is because it is a Thursday.

There is scant evidence the public is with them. What, the folks who voted in the Republican had no idea he was going to push this sort of thing and are now lining up against him ? There may indeed be pushback to this event but not in the way you folks are thinking. Republicans picked up the Gov seat, the State Assembly, and the State Senate. Throw a few more of these mob protests and we'll see what else we can wrestle away in 2012.

For your reading pleasure...


James Calloway's picture

huh ?

What are you talking about ?

Elrod's picture

Actually, you've got it wrong

Walker came into office with a surplus and then rammed through an obscenely irresponsible tax cut and spending bill - all of it going to cronies - and THAT created the deficit in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, he claims to be offering "moderate solutions". If it was just a matter of rolling back salary and benefits then that'd be one thing. If a state faces a huge shortfall then it should cut spending and raise taxes. But he went out on a mission to destroy a collective bargaining agreement that dates back to 1959 - and for no reason other than to break the unions for political gain. Screw him. Wisconsin is a far more union-friendly and progressive state than Tennessee. Wisconsinites voted for Walker for the same reason the rest of the Midwest went to the GOP - the economy stinks and the Dems were in charge. They didn't want the governors and legislatures to start screwing over teachers.

Scott Walker was an atrocious manager of Milwaukee County and is busy working to destroy one of the greatest states in the Union. Hopefully he'll be recalled in a year.


S Carpenter's picture

Did they know he was going to focus on busting unions?

No he isn't doing what he said he would do. According to the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association (WLEA), "When he was Candidate Walker, he never talked publicly about union dismantling during the campaign."

The WLEA opposes the Wisconsisn Gov.'s bill.

Andy Axel's picture

(No subject)

EricLykins's picture

To Walker: when you're on the

To Walker: when you're on the wrong side of the archbishop, the president, & the Packers, you should reconsider denying rights #SolidarityWI

Chris Larson State Senator from Bay View, fighting for modern transit, vibrant parks, and a stronger community in Southeastern Wisconsin (link...)

In Tennessee, "hot tea on TEA action".

Casada then contacted him again, Winters said, and declared that was not enough; that Republicans wanted equality in receiving money with Democrats. He refused.

“Three months later, we see this bills. I think any thinking person would see the connection,” said Winters. “What I resent most is they’re coming down here now and saying this is education reform… It’s just hardball politics… They’re trying to take us out.”

EricLykins's picture

“I’ve got tears in my eyes

“I’ve got tears in my eyes right now and I hope I get through this,” Crowe said. “I can promise you that’s not part of this. … I know that what we’re trying to do on our side of this is the right thing. We’re not trying to create a situation wherein we hurt. We want us all to work together.”

The narrative these people believe is that unions are blocking education reform. What new learning techniques have teachers' unions been keeping from us? The narrative always comes back to mediocrity. How are unions imposing mediocrity on our schools? That sounds more like a job for legislators.

The Narrative talks about pro-parent reforms that have been fought for desperately for decades but the only specifics they point out are that there are not many charter schools or private school vouchers.

Bad schools happen in communities that are left behind.

Levon's picture


Unions have served a great purpose in the past but should not blindly be supported. Many will likely serve a great purpose in the future; however, government workers are typically compensated higher than their private counterparts and results in a less-effective organization.

Stick's picture

Nice Narrative... Not True

Levon's picture

Thanks Stick

Thanks Stick. I would think that most public union members would range in education from high school to associates making my statement still valid. If I'm incorrect, it would appear as though the union isn't really helping then. Just a thought.

Rachel's picture

government workers are

government workers are typically compensated higher than their private counterparts and results in a less-effective organization.

Show me the evidence.

gonzone's picture

It's just another popular

It's just another popular right wing lie. There's no evidence to support the claim.

Just as in the "raising minimum wage costs jobs and destroys small businesses" lie. No evidence, just repeat every day.

EricLykins's picture

Fannie and Freddie forced all

Fannie and Freddie forced all the other lenders to write high risk mortgages, The top one percent aren't able to create wealth because they pay almost half the taxes,

Levon's picture

Sorry...replied in wrong area.

Stick's picture

Yep... That's what a google

Yep... That's what a google search will produce for you! All of those links are based on bls data. If you look at the file you linked to from and look on page four of the report you will see the following "technical note".

Comparing private and public sector data
Compensation cost levels in state and local government should not be directly compared with levels in private industry. Differences between these sectors stem from factors such as variation in work activities and occupational structures. Manufacturing and sales, for example, make up a large part of private industry work activities but are rare in state and local government. Management, professional, and administrative support occupations (including teachers) account for two-thirds of the state and local government workforce, compared with two-fifths of private industry.

That is why I offered a chart that attempts to disaggregate the data.

EricLykins's picture

Recent news stories about

Recent news stories about pension plans paint a discouraging picture regarding the retirement security of many workers, particularly those in the private sector. In addition, a number of public pension plans in states and localities around the country are underfunded and may require extra taxpayer support to achieve solvency.

As of 2005, there was almost half a trillion dollars missing from pension funds nationally. It doesn't break down how much of that was private and how much was public, but...

We could raise taxes, we could gamble on some sort of wealth creating financial innovation, we could make them all part time employees more easily if they weren't unionized, what else?

Mark1971's picture

Union pensions seem to be

Union pensions seem to be most common in the public sector with 401k's in the private thereby increasing Levon's point.

But if Stick is correct and the mostly union public sector makes less, then it would appear as though unions are not that valuable to the public sector employees.

EricLykins's picture

Union pensions seem to be

Union pensions seem to be most common in the public sector with 401k's in the private thereby increasing Levon's point.

Maybe ya'll could explain your assumption that a defined contribution plan is more valuable than a defined benefit plan. It's an argument that's less of a done deal in a lot of states.

Economic instability is another reason to steer clear of these types of savings plans. One only needs to see how recent market volatility has crushed workers with 401(k)s and the ripple effect it has had on the entire economy. Defined benefit plans work because large employers like the state can handle the ups and downs of the market, even when individual workers cannot.

Stick's picture

Exactly. There is no neat and

Exactly. There is no neat and tidy narrative that can sum up the complex situation we are discussing here.

As for a defined pension plan versus a 401k... The 401k was created as a supplement for traditional pension plans; it was never intended to be a retirement plan in and of itself. 401k's are volatile. If you wanted to retire in 2008 on a 401k you know what I'm talking about. That unions have been able [thus far] to secure real retirement plans as opposed to making public employees the slaves of Wall Street would appear to be a victory to me.

Bart's picture

Even Upton Sinclair would

Even Upton Sinclair would agree that most unions have outlived their value.

EricLykins's picture

2010 union member attitude survey

A nationwide poll of private and government sector union members demonstrates the stunning disconnects between union members and the union bosses who claim to represent them. The National Right To Work Foundation commissioned pollster Frank Luntz to conduct this scientific survey.

more about Frank Luntz here

The noise machine is dragging out FDR and accusing Obama of "militant tactics".

Rachel's picture

Any survey sponsored by The

Any survey sponsored by The National Right to Work Foundation and done by Luntz is automatically suspect until one examines the questions and methodology.

fischbobber's picture

I'd vote for this guy.

Stick's picture

More chart porn here...

More chart porn here... Econbrowser

fischbobber's picture

I love these Hitler parodies

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