• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Bravery and Common Sense Prevail in Wisconsin

    In what Reuters is calling “a confrontation with unions that could be the biggest since then President Ronald Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers nearly 30 years ago,” the Wisconsin Senate approved a scaled-down version of Governor Scott Walker’s (R) budget-repair bill last night that would rein in government union collective bargaining powers. After securing approval from three widely respected nonpartisan agencies—the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the Legislative Council, and the Legislative Reference Bureau—Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald removed the appropriations measures from Walker’s budget, thus eliminating the need for any of the 14 truant Democratic Senators to be present for the vote. The State Assembly will take up the new version of the bill at 11 a.m. today, and if it passes, Walker will have achieved a significant victory for taxpayers everywhere.

    The courage of the Wisconsin Senate conservatives cannot be understated. Before the vote, lawmakers were threatened with death and physical violence. After the vote, thousands of protesters stormed into the capitol building, ignoring announcements from police that the building was closed. Once inside, and at great risk to the public welfare, activists handcuffed some doors to the capitol shut. When security escorted the Senators to another building, a Democrat tipped off the mob, which then surrounded their cars and tried to break their windows as Senators returned home.

    Senate Democrats, who are still hiding in Illinois, are now claiming that the majority’s committee meeting that broke up the budget-repair bill violated Wisconsin’s Open Meetings Law. But the Open Meeting Compliance Guide clearly states that when there is “good cause,” only two hours’ notice is required. The Senate majority did provide the two hours’ notice. If the Senate Democrats’ 19-day refusal to show up for work wasn’t “good cause” enough, certainly minimizing the opportunity for union mob violence is.

    The passion coming from liberal activists is understandable only if one believes in their apocalyptic rhetoric. Democratic Senator Timothy Cullen said the bill will “destroy public unions.” And Senator Chris Larson has said, “collective bargaining is a civil right” that if removed will “kill the middle class.” This is all false. First of all, since unions care more about seniority than good government, public-sector unions kill middle-class jobs; they do not protect them. Second, collective bargaining is not a right. And finally, Walker’s bill will in no way “destroy public unions.” Government unions are still perfectly free to practice their First Amendment rights to freedom of association, and in fact still retain more bargaining power than all unionized federal employees. They only difference is that now they will have to actively recruit members instead of forcing government employees to join them, and they will have to collect their own dues instead of getting the state government to take them directly out of workers’ paychecks. And there are many more benefits as well. Governor Walker writes in today’s Wall Street Journal:

    When Gov. Mitch Daniels repealed collective bargaining in Indiana six years ago, it helped government become more efficient and responsive. The average pay for Indiana state employees has actually increased, and high-performing employees are rewarded with pay increases or bonuses when they do something exceptional.

    Passing our budget-repair bill will help put similar reforms into place in Wisconsin. This will be good for the Badger State’s hard-working taxpayers. It will also be good for state and local government employees who overwhelmingly want to do their jobs well.

    Even in good economic times, the case for government subsidies for radio stations, cowboy poetry, and union dues is very weak. But in a time of fiscal crisis, all of these subsidies are patently absurd. Taxpayers throughout the country should be inspired by Walker’s stand for common sense. We need more leadership like this in every state capitol and here in Washington.

    *Heritage recently produced a two-minute video explaining government collective bargaining. Click here to watch.

    Quick Hits:

    • According to Gallup, of seven possible ways to balance their own states’ budgets, Americans are most likely to favor cutting back on state programs (65 percent) and reducing the number of state workers (62 percent).
    • The head of National Public Radio quit yesterday after an NPR executive was caught on tape disparaging the Tea Party and admitting NPR would be better off without government funding.
    • House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) announced Wednesday that the House will defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
    • Americans expect gas prices to rise to $4.36 a gallon this year, and more than one in four foresee prices rising to or exceeding $5 per gallon.
    • According to a new Ipsos poll, the proportion of people who believe the United States is on the wrong track is 64 percent, a two-year low.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    90 Responses to Morning Bell: Bravery and Common Sense Prevail in Wisconsin

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      3-10-11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      I got an Email from Michele

      She wants us to "Work Together"

      Hey, Michele – WE do,


      And YOU BOTH Should.


      Wisc passes a UNION BUSTING BILL Another Victory for Murdochs Empire.

      Reagan tried to END Unions,


    2. Watertown, WI says:

      As a Wisconsin citizen, I have to say to those who keep saying the Governor and Conservatives are going against the 'will of the people' that they are voting FOR many of Wisconsin's citizens. The protestors are only a small part of Wisconsin. Many of them were from UW campus, there because someone tweeted that they should go protest. PROPS to our Wisconsin lawmakers who did their job yesterday and took a stand for the future of Wisconsin. I STAND WITH SCOTT WALKER.

    3. Mary............WI says:

      I am so proud of our Republican elected senators, representatives, and especially Gov. Scott Walker for standing strong. For me and many Wisconsinites, it's a great day for WI. CiviI Service in WI is one of the best in the country and will "protect" state workers better than a union. AND WI taxpayers will receive cuts in their proerty taxes. I pray these brave politicians and their families will all be safe because the union members are absolutely vicious!

    4. Chip Donovan says:

      I worked in municipal government for 28 years, started in union, ended up not in union due to being able to move out of Blue collar to management. I think the people who are footing the bill, the taxpayers should vote for any benefits to their employees. In local government the guy negotiating is also doing it for himself. Government only provides services, not products.Every government employee should thank their neighbor for being to make living by SERVING them not aking from them . I sued to think I paid myself to a small degree because I apid taxes, but where did that come from??? The family next door who pair their taxes

    5. florin, waterbury, c says:

      Scott Walker is an incredibly brave and honest man. It must have been terrifying for all those who voted with Gov. Walker when hostile crowds stormed into the Capitol building. And they say that their families are being threatened. I wonder how many main stream media programs will show this display of violence? They made up stories about the Tea party people being violent…will Nancy Pelosi cry at this surge of violent people coming up against the Governor and others who stood with him as she cried at the supposed violence of the tea partiers? Gov. Walker gets his courage and integrity from his faith and his family…may God protect him and all those who stand for truth and justice.

    6. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      The striking teachers should have been fired.

    7. Robert, North Richla says:

      Bravo, Wisconsin! Now, if only we could get this kind of action out of John Boehner and Eric Cantor. Kay Bailey Hutchison (shocker) is actually putting forth a bill in the Senate (with Landrieu from Louisiana) to extend leases in the Gulf of Mexico another 12 months. Let's hope Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham don't block this – and maybe some Representatives in the House will help fight this battle to open up our U.S. Energy industry (where over 300,000 high-paying jobs are at stake) and prevent another 2008 debacle.

    8. Glynnda White, Orlan says:

      OMG!!!!! Thanks to Mr Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature!!!! And for making the smart move to remove the democrats from the mix!!!! Can they go to Washington please and give the "big boys" some lessons on backbone??????

      WOO HOO!!!! Glynnda White

    9. RUTH SC says:

      God bless Walker, It is so good to see someone stand up and fight for the right of all the people instead of just some of the people. What was asked for was not heads on a platter, just some common sense at a time when not a lot of it is being used by our government. Let us just pray that more of our people will come to their sense and do the right thing, not the greedy thing. We are all feeling the crunch, and everyone has to work together for the better good. I love my country, God Bless America.

    10. Paul Stone, Sumter, says:

      The comparison of the Tea Party's behavior during and the Health Care debate.and the liberal's behavior is instructive. The Tea Party made it's views heard, did not try to drown out legislative proceedings, and respected rule of law although the outcome in this case was not desirable. The protesters in Wisconsin threatened legislators who planned to vote contrary to their views, tried to drown out legislative proceedings, and showed no respect for rule of law even after a bill that they opposed was made law.

    11. Pete Belardino, New says:

      Kudos to Scott Walker ! Now to FIRE the 14 Senators !!

    12. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Nice piece Conn. In industry unions will "strike" for higher compensation based on the success of their company. When compensation becomes too high industry goes elsewhere or the business bankrupts. In government unions spend taxpayer’s money and do not create wealth. It is up to government units to competitively compensate otherwise no one will apply for the jobs. When unions hold hostage government units there is no recourse – no checks and balances and we have Wisconsin et al. People make career choices based on risk, reward, aptitude, and availability. So far, the government does not assign careers to citizens. And it never should.

    13. Jim-MN says:

      What a refreshing bit of news last night in WI. Now this is what leadership is all about in the political world. The Republican candidates that wish to challange Obama for 2012 had better take notice. What the people want and need is true statesman leadership. Lead and they will follow. Stand on Principle and fairness and ye shall be rewarded.

      The boloney position of the Union fools and the Progressive left that they actually think that they can hijack and disinfranchise an election outcome by simpling running away from their required duties. Think about it. And if Obama decides to bring the the Chicago style way of doing business over this issue…..Oh please bring it on Dear Leader. We are in waiting for you and your ilk. We need that final issue to begin impeachment proceedings on you just in time for the 2012 election.

      The corruption and unholy alliance of the Public Unions and the Democratic party has finally been exposed and ended. The rest of the states will follow over time and this country will begin it's long awaited and needed restructuring of the Republic form of govenerance and true democratic principles. Not this protect our "bought" Union funded votes for the Democrats taken from the sap public tax payers.

      The first victory of many more to come to take back this country from the Libs.

      How do you like those apples Jarvis?

    14. Jill, California says:

      Great move! What took them so long?

    15. Becky, Austin TX says:

      Gov. Walker's WSJ article today made this issue clear and understandable. I applaud the WI Senate for finding a path to move forward following the rules, in spite of the Senators who have been AWOL for too long.

      Democracy works best when debate can happen. Removing oneself from the process does not facilitate anything. These are trying times and we all have to participate and seek solutions.

    16. Robert says:

      Union members every where are generally thugs; but still it is a surprise to see teachers acting as such total fools. On the other hand, there is symmetry considering the fact that children learn so little. They have just showed us how truly horrid they are.

    17. Jjay - Louisville, K says:

      There is not doubt that unions need controls, just like business need it. THAT'S why unions were formed and why they are still needed – to give the middle and poorer classes a voice, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of those who have the most money, also have the loudest voices in Congress. It is not an excuse to devastate the rights the fast fading middle classes have won for themselves over the past century.

      There is no "union mob violence" and no threat of it. THAT is typical inflammatory rhetoric you routinely use to "make" your false case. Unions are about using legal and nonviolent pressure on corporations who will and do ignore individual rights whenever given the opportunity.

      Collective Bargaining IS A RIGHT because it was fought for and won by the unions. Just as MANY rights in this country were not automatically given to all citizens, all had to fight courageously and bravely against the SYSTEM to gain them. THAT struggle ALONE makes these rights valid.

      It is not "bravery" for an elected official to hide behind a supposed political mandate from less than 25% of registered voters giving an election victory, because they actually speak for less than 10% of the actual citizens in this country. The bravery you should be touting is the middle and poorer classes who refuse to be cowed by behind the scenes questionable financing and deals with the likes of the Koch brothers and the control they hold over consumers.

      Get real.

    18. toledofan says:

      I think these Senators in Wisconsin have done a remarkable job under some intense pressure and they should be applauded and protected. I'm sure some nut job will emerge and try to do something stupid, I hope I'm wrong, but, I just think some of these guys will go to jail to support the union. Hopefully the momentum in Ohio will continue down the same path. Emotions are high on both sides, but, in the long run this will prove to be a good thing for the state, the taxpayer, teachers and others as well. The real benefit will be for the kids and getting teachers that are dedicated, creative, and willing to go the extra mile.

    19. R Holland, Chandler, says:

      Wisconsin republicans have shown the way. Keep up the good work. Stay on point and on message.

      1. Fiscal responsibility.

      2. Constitutionally limited government.

      3. Free markets.

    20. William Bower, Racin says:

      With all due respect, you are missing the bigger picture of what is happening in Wisconsin. I would encourage everyone (Democrat and Republican alike) to read through the 1300 page budget bill in order to make an informed decision as I have done. There are provisions throughout the bill that will forever alter the fabric of Wisconsin- the ability to sell off our forest land for logging, no bid contracts to sell state owned power plants, remove pollution laws, spinning off University of Wisconsin so that it is controlled by the government, raising tuition 20%. The new law give complete authority to the government to use the University for whatever purpose they see fit. Using the non profit status the University has, it is conceivable that the new "corporate owned government" will build massive power and coal plants in Madison on the land and make huge profits selling the power across the US. Who will donate to the University if this happens? What will happen to our great institution who is a leader in research? All I ask is this- do your own research and be informed.

    21. Naomi Musch, Norther says:

      I'm a public employee as is my husband. We both say, "Bravo, Gov. Walker!" In my mind, collective bargaining means, "we will collect your money for our union, like it or not, and we will bargain for those who have more seniority than you." I find passage of this bill a huge relief.

    22. Oneida, N.Y. says:

      I cannot believe this is happening in my life time!

      I was once forced to join a teachers union if I wanted to work a simple part time job as a teachers aid. I fought it, called the head of the union, and that is when I realized the kind of scum that ruled in the unions. I went to the school district management, and was invited to a meeting and still lost. Even thought I refused to sign a deduction from my paycheck for union fees, it was deducted and I eventually was let go.

      I discovered that they are vicious people, working only to secure their pay and comfort zone and it had NOTHING to do with merit or their interest for the welfare of the children. What shocked me was that district management were rather helpless in making any decisions other then setting up meetings to briefly bring up the issue which only empowers the union to take charge of the whole system, and the district is just there like puppets administering the paychecks, etc.. I felt alone and villainized. The fulfillment came from from being kicked out for raising awareness among some parents, students and some teachers about the neglect and cruelty and mishandling of the children by these so called unionized personnel including the passive principle, where the problem started for that taking an active role in being aware and doing something about it.

      Anyhow, my argument to the union was that I am a competent individual and did not need any help from a third party to speak on my behalf and therefore refused to pay any dues.


    23. GRG says:

      THANK you Gov. Walker and the sensible people of Wisconsin for standing strong not just for Wisconsin but for all of AMERICA.

    24. Mary of New York Cit says:

      God bless Gov. Walker and those brave Republican lawmakers. They are true heroes.

    25. Zack says:

      This anti-union/anti-working class/anti-middle class/anti-american bill will be destroyed in court and we will win. Conservatives, do you really want a war? You got one coming.

    26. Nancy, Georgia says:

      At first blush I have to admit I was taken aback by what seemed a parliamentary maneuver similar to that of Pelosi and Reid's shenanigans in getting a very unpopular and poorly (if at all) understood healthcare bill passed. I don't want to support either party when they resort to political games. After taking some time to think it over I realized that with the 14 democrats hiding out of state, it's a bit of a "you started it" scenario, which is also ugly and demeaning to our Republic and the States within that Republic. The political posturing, the aggressive ideology of government union leadership, name calling, etc. is all very distressing to behold. I do champion the passion exhibited by both sides of the issue. The bottom line is this; collective bargaining by government employees shouldn't be legal. They are bargaining against the people. We pay them, they take union dues, give large contributions to democrats, the democrats in turn support the unions and it's all a hugely disgusting cycle without regard for the people, only for government jobs for elected officials and union members. It's disgustingly incestuous.

    27. Bev, Denver says:

      Way to go Wisconsin! And can I just say, nice job protesters. You really showed the rest of the nation exactly what you stand for – self-serving violence.

    28. ThomNJ says:

      Years ago, I had to join the Steelworkers union to get a certain job. Later on in my career, I dealt with the very same union and the Teamsters union in other jobs as an engineer. I detested the fact that New Jersey was and is a state that forces one to join a union – that ought to be purely the worker's choice. Unions had a very brief time in history where they did some good, even though many employers were waking up to good changes on their own. I do not see any value added in government unions at all, except to fleece the taxpayer. I get a chuckle when I see a person with a bumper sticker claiming to be a proud union member. I wouldn't be proud to be a dupe to an organization that takes my dues money and uses it for political issues that are unrelated to me, my job or my beliefs – and then when there is a strike or lockout caused by the very same union – there is no money in the strike fund or the pension is underfunded because of union shenanigans and waste(I have seen that happen).

    29. DoubleAce Dayton, OH says:

      Once again, I am asking, when protestors storm public buildings that are closed why aren;t they arrested for trespassing. When they threaten the lives of public officials why aren;t they arrested? It is time someone reign in these lawbreakers. They have gotten away with it too long. I am here to tell you someone is going to get hurt if the law isn;t enforced. This will get out of hand and as an American Veteran, I am not willling to surrender my rights to safety to a bunch of thugs who are using the Democratic party to steal money from me and my family.

    30. Frank, Florida says:

      Charles Krauthammer on about day #1 of the crises in Wisconsin laid out the correct path to resolve the problem with the runaway Senate Democrats. Namely, separate the fiscal issues in the budget bill (which need the Senate Democrats to be present to pass) from the union collective bargaining issues (which do not require the Senate Democrats to be present to pass). This is exactly what the Republicans in Wisconsin finally did, but about 3 weeks later and after much trouble. This second issue was the main issue the Democrats, who are beholden to the unions, wanted to avoid at all cost. It's the reason Obama unleashed his political machine against the Wisconsin Republicans, despite the fact that he has more pressing Federal budget deficit issues to tackle. Assuming the House Republicans will be able at 11AM today to pass the Senate bill, the Governor will sign it & the main battle will be over & the Republicans will have won the test of strength. America will have caught a glimpse at one of the reasons America is going broke today: government workers had become the masters of the taxpayers and not the other way around. Many more issues remain to be faced fiscally for America. But at least that is one battle won in Wisconsin and when taxpayers in other states look at what happened, I can only hope they will come to their senses & vote along similar lines.

    31. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      Almost everyone of those that are threating and intimidating Republicans in Wisconsin are the same breed of radical leftist anarchist we're seen in Greece, England, and France. This bunch are being bused to the capital by union bosses with a nod of approval from the Obama White House.

      Yet despite what is happening in their own state, these gutless Dems, that were elected and paid to do their jobs by the citicens of Wisconsin, continue to cower in Illinois on direct instructions from Obama's union bosses, with every penny of their expenses covered by our tax dollars.

      It's about time a few Repubs grow a pair of balls and do what the people elected them to do. I just hope the Washington crowd does the same

    32. Bruce J. Kolinski says:

      Thank you so much Wisconsin, but I believe it's too little, too late. Our Cities, Counties, States and Federal government are all bankrupt. If all income in the U.S. were to be 100% taxed, that is, confiscated – it would not be sufficient to balance our budget.

      It is likely that the U.S. dollar will lose its " world reserve currency" status in the not too distant future. The U.S. economy will tip upside down almost immediately thereafter. We have acted like children and the world will soon treat us like children.

      We must do what Wisconsin is doing, but we still should prepare ourselves for the coming "very difficult" times.

    33. Gayle Cranford says:

      I'm so proud….and heartened….by the conservatives in Wisconsin.

    34. Fred Stickler Sierra says:

      This is how I have attempted to get people to understand what is at stake in Wisconsin. I am a landlord. My tenant wants new carpet. He goes to a carpet store and selects the carpet he wants and when he wants the carpet installed. Later, I as the land lord, receives the bill for the new carpet and installation. Please note that I was not the one who went to the carpet store and participated in the deal. Yet, as the land lord, I am stuck with paying for the carpet because it is my house. My tenant is the union, the carpet store in the government and I as the land lord is the taxpayer. My tenant committed me to costs that I did not have a say in. So it goes with the cozy arrangement between public unions and government. The taxpayer who pays the bill, is left out of the loop.

    35. C. Richardson, Yorkt says:

      God bless those who are willing to put the survival of the states and the nation. The unions and their thugs put their pockets before all things. That their "collective bargaining" has placed the fiscal stability of our states in jeopardy. It has also been a contributing factor to the United States loss of its major industrial basis. The unions have changed from advocates for fair wages and working conditions to promoters of socialism and anti capitalism. They have become political bullies that strong arm thier members as well as their opponents. It's time for people like those conservatives in Wisconsin's capital to stand their ground and insist that the unions back off.

    36. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      What I've seen on the TV this morning is nothing short of Mob Rule, the State Police should be called in and if they don't leave the building they should be arrested and charged with the imprisonment of the legislatures and any other charges that might apply. I have been Union all my life but DO NOT condone Mob Rule. This is a Wisconsin leg. problem and anyone from another state should also have charges, BHO and others need to let Wisconsin settle it.

    37. Ed Turk Independence says:

      The legislature needs to pass a law returning the pay of each senator to the treasury for every day they are not in the State of Wisconsin making it retroactive to the day they crossed the border.

      The democrat senators are the ones guilty of thwarting democracy. It is their fault that these demonstrations are going on with many demonstrators from outside Wisconsin.

      The legislature needs to start recall petitions on all of these absent senators.

      The Wisconsin governor needs to forcefully state the onerous collective bargaining "rights" over and over again, and to pound home that there is a budget problem that won't get solved with runaway costs. The demonstrators have forgotten just why they have turned into a mob.

    38. Roger TN says:

      Too bad that the Wisconsin Republicans didn't use this tactic early on. The delay due to the absconding Democrats only provided a means for the Union thugs, reprobates from the 60s and wannabes to gather and make noise. Few of those I viewed looked like mainstream America. BTW, don't these people have jobs? Or do they just work for the Unions and get bussed around to the latest issue? One tactical error on Gov. Walker's part was lack of communication on what it would mean to the average Wisconsin family if nothing was done. For example, it was reported that the $3.6B shortfall would have resulted in a property tax increase of approximately $1000 per year. Also, the duplication of civil service protection and what the Unions have. It is my understanding that Wisconsin has the strongest protection in the nation. So why pay for the duplication? This will impact the ability of the Unions to play the game of getting what they want from local politicians in return for campaign funding.

    39. KC - New Mexico says:

      I commend the politicians who have stood up to the unions! Get the union oversight out of the picture and improve the internal working environment. Improvement will occur with good management and dedicated workers. Get rid of the workers who do not care! I was appalled watching the protesters moving into the state capitol – bring in some police and National Guard to throw the lot out. Let the bleeding heart liberals cry in the street – not in the capitol building. Let these bums become unemployed and put some folks who care about working in the government jobs.

      Working in the private sector for most of my career, I loathe the union scenario. There is no need for unions in governmental functions and in most cases the private sector. We tax payers own these workers and they work for us. No one asked us if we needed a union to represent the workers. Many of these workers would be fired if they worked for me. In the private sector, we do not need the complainers, low productivity, low esteem, incapable workers. At the same time, we the public need some capable, productive, and enthusiastic workers in the government offices that we need to visit. They don’t need the union to hide behind. Unions are a joke! Typical and stupid liberal thinking!

    40. Michael Boston, MA says:

      Well. It looks like some more Democrats got a cold slap of reality in the face. They tried to hijack the the state government by fleeing across the border. They tried to oppose the will of the people. Well. Guess what? Our elected officials, no matter what party, are answerable to US. They are not our lords and masters, though a lot of them think they are. We need to get back to government by the people, and for the people. We elected these guys, and we can get rid of them, too. Because every American has the most dangerous thing in the world. A vote. Use it!

    41. Kendall Svengalis, N says:

      Governor Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature in Wisconsin deserve the gratitude of all hard-working Americans taxpayers in taking on the excessive power of the public employee unions and the stranglehold they have exercised over government. Unlike the private sector unions that have been shrinking, public sector unons have been organzing larger number of workers against their will. And because they have a vested interest in growing the size of government, this development has omininous implications for the country generally. Stopping forced unionization and forced dues extractions are critical to returning government to the control of the taxpayers and bringing fiscal sanity to state governments across the country. Sadly, in CT, we have a Governor (Malloy) who has decided to raise taxes in advance of any concessions from the public employee unions. CT is already the 3rd most highly taxed state (state and local taxes combined), exceeded only by NJ and NY. With Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo promising not to raise taxes, CT will, if Gov. Malloy's budget is passed, likely end up with the highest state and local tax burden in the nation. This will only accelerate the departure of individuals and businessess from CT and hasten its financial demise. CT, like all states, needs to look to Wisconsin's example and sharply reduce the coercive power of the public employee unions and shrink the size of government.

    42. Neal Garbenis Morrow says:

      Thank God for the bravery that Scott Walker showed.

    43. rosemarie douglass says:




    44. ArnieJr, WV says:

      After seeing all the protests in WI, and the profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility it becomes obvious that these folks need the unions and collective bargaining. They would not know how to approach an employer to ask for an increase in wages!

    45. Judy Krause, Texas says:

      Thank you Governor Walker for standing up and promoting common sense. You can't get blood out of a turnip……We wish Washington had half the courage that you have shown.

    46. George Dubendris Rum says:

      Ah yes, remember "On the Waterfront?"

      It didn't work for the union thugs in the movie and it won't work for the union thugs in Wisconsin.

      I congratulate Gov. Walker and the people backing him. Most REAL Americans are backing him.

      They will give the courage required to face the mobs in other states such as mine.

      Gov. Paul Lepage of Maine is trying to accomplish fiscal responsibility also.

      All these governors and their backers need our support in returning state government to the people where it belongs.

    47. BOB MADISON WI says:

      The Governor has done nothing but lie and obfiscate the truth. There never was a real chance to debate this overreaching so-called "repair" bill. The Republicans have done nothing except ram this bill down our throats and that is not how politics are run in Wisconsin. HEIL WALKER!!!

    48. Shirley, TX says:

      I am so proud of Walker I want to shout!! What courage they have shown. I see our Constitution being held high and ignoring the liberal few who are trying to tear it down. God bless you Gov. Walker and God bless the WI senate. I sure hope DC gets the example and the courage to do the right thing.

    49. Pat says:

      Thank you to Gov. Walker and othe Constituents who stayed by their stand and did not run away and 'play hide and seek' in Illinois. All that the Democrats did was show their lack of integrity and respect for the office they have been elected to. Perhaps this will show their true hearts in regard for basically their own selfish wants. Example – being elected to office by monies from unions.

      When taking a look at the actions of the union members and supporters who have came in to 'support' them, one has to wonder just what kind of Americans they have become. Thank the Lord for the pictures and accounts that went worldwide to show the maturity of these union members. And for the school teachers–they should have been fired. They are not a good example for their students.

      Gov. Walker and the others who stood by him are heros.

    50. Rhonda Rogers- Va. says:

      Does it really matter who's right or who's wrong, when everyday we are digging a deeper hole. Sorry but you cant have everything the way it has been or we will keep on going the way we are to the bottomless pit. STOP! Take a deep breath and really think about what is really important, as we cannot continue in all directions at the same time and get anywhere fast. Fast is how we need to force the balancing of the budget or no one and I repeat this – no one will have anything left to balance!!! We will be broke and busted and are money gone.

    51. Lou, San Diego says:

      At last an end to the nonsense in WI! The public sector unions and the dems have now realized the consequences of their greed—the end of automatic dues going directly into union coffers. This is what all the hoopla was about-automatic collection of union dues! Public sector unions will now have to answer more fully and completely to their members and the dems will have to work harder in order to collect union monies for elections!

    52. Dinah Garrison Fairb says:

      I am sitting here reading my "Bell" (I got behind today) and watching the chaos in the Wisconsin statehouse on TV at the same time. I am so depressed that my 35-year-old son will never know the country in which I grew up. He doesn't seem to realize how much our country has changed. Of course, he doesn't. He has grown up seeing and hearing this type of thing around the world and gradually sneaking into our country. To make things worse, all of this mess is in the name of teachers. It is so humiliating. I was a teacher for 30 years. We were eventually forced to join NEA, the Federal union. At that time most of us joined because we had little choice, not because we chose to do so. Please, when you hear these loud mouths talking about the teachers wanting this, take it "with a grain of salt." I would love to know what per cent of teachers would support this. And when you hear "it's for the children" forgeddaboudit. Even the union officials–local, state, and national–are on record making it clear that the union is not for the kids! I was told this to my face at one time. I guess I had been naive, but I learned my lesson.

    53. Henry Illinois says:

      As far as I recall my high school civics, mob action is AGAINST the law no matter what state one lives in, then can someone enlighten me as to why the union thugs and others that participated in that despicable action in Wisconsin have not been arrested and charged ?

    54. George Colgrove, VA says:

      This is a significant win, but int he big picture a small step. The biggest evil is being headed off in the District of Columbia. As public unions, public employees and the federal workforce steps up their actions against the American taxpayer, it will get harder and harder to get reason intot he debate. We need more of these wins to start getting the needed momentum we need to take down the District of Columbia.

      Now the public employees all over are creating chaos in Wisconsin to put the rest of the country into fear!

      Some drudge headlines:

      Pandemonium in Wisc as protesters storm Capitol over union vote…


      Death threats against Republicans…

      Senate Majority Leader: Capitol is 'unsafe'…

      Gov. Walker: Why I'm Fighting…


      We need to keep this bravery going. This is the new Amrican Revolutuion – hopefully we can keep this in the realm of politics. So far the public workforce seems dead set to physically battle over stealing from the impoversed taxpayers. This is a real shame!

    55. Hermes Liberty New-Y says:

      Hail to Governor Walker and the Senate Majority of Wisconsin! This is a victory of tremendous importance as its effects will be telluric. It shows also how far these "unionized" powers can go, as when they thretened physically the Senators and broke into the building despite the retenue the respect of law and order should have dictated. This prefigure the oncomings and outcomes of US battles to have itself back. Let us stay vigilent and ready to save this country from Enemies deep hidden, who go beyond these unions that they use without the knowledge of our Leftist compatriots.



    57. michael,PA says:

      Congrats Wisconsin. PA and Washington look to Wisconsin

    58. Anita from NC says:

      Yeah for Wisconsin! I hope more states follow your lead!

    59. Anita, Asheville, No says:

      Yeah for Wisconsin. I'm hoping more states will follow your lead!

    60. F.D. O'Toole, N says:

      One of the commentator today advised both Democrats and Republicans to read the bill before the State Senate very carefully because there were sections in there that were harmful to the environment and to the future freedom from government dictates. Now that's exactly what the Democrats who fled the State should have done. That was their job as the loyal opposition. Instead, they snuck out of town in an all to clever attempt to bring the process to a complete stop.

      Well, if this were a baseball game and the losing team refused to come out of the dugout in late innings, would you blame the umps for calling the game against the defaulters?

    61. Brian Duke says:

      For all those applauding this move, when you begin to suffer the cosequences of the action, you'll see the error, particularly regarding teachers. These are the people who influence your children on a daily basis and actually spend more time with them than YOU do. When children disrespect their teachers we can see from whence that attitude came.

      "As ye sow so shall ye reap"

    62. RUTH SC says:

      There is so much violence over political issues these days, I am all for the obama care protests, because it effects all of us, but why so much hatred from states that have no interest in Wisconsin? I just don't understand it. God bless America, lets pray God will touch the hearts of these politicians making all these bad decisions for America.Walker did a good job and gave a month to resolve the matter, I think that was long enough.

    63. Bobbie says:

      Lets also keep in mind how many union strong members and heads have been bussed in from around the country while the real constituents are at work. The derelict dems suggest coming back for the Wisconsin workers? it's really an impression for the unions that paid dems off. How sad and disappointing. All for bratty attention.

    64. laurie from hawaii says:

      Jjay in Kentucky!! Were you ever in a union? I was for over 30 years, forced, of course and oh, by the way, 30,000 of us employees of Eastern Airlines lost our jobs, benefits, life style, medical (and some suicides) because 1 union leader would not budge about an increase in money during hard times in 1989. Because of his thug tactics, an 8 month strike, all of us lost everything, yet he happily went into the sunset with union dues money and his golden treasure parachute. And you actually believe union leaders care about the members????

      Whh, you have a lot to learn.. Eastern Airlines went bankrupt and no one bought the company…..it was a disaster. God help you thug-believers. You don't know what Hell is.

    65. Ray Burke, Houston, says:

      Gov. Walker walks on water !!!!!!!!!!

    66. mike hutchings says:

      the first step has been taken and the next will be a re-assertion of states rights that frees local authourities to pay the REAL PREVAILING WAGE rather than one dictated without regard to local economic conditions…in poorer districts and jurisdictions federal money is used to EQUALIZE opportunity…which predictably has the result of paying people to not work and in rural areas puts in place generational poverty which must be continually propped up with outside resources for political reasons not practical economic reasons….multiply that by thousands of subsidy streams nationwide….and you have a cancerous entity with a ceaseless want to control….where people are not free but clients and wards of the state…is that the america we want?

    67. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      How do you spell COURAGE?

      Scott Walker

    68. David Bess, Carson C says:

      As a young engineer for a company my boss told me "he who is silent, concents and he who is absent, also consents". Seems that the 14 democrat senators should have known my boss. Because that's exactly what happened.

      My congradulations go out to Gov. Walker, The WI. senate and the people of that state. Great job under intense fire from the unions Reid and obama. Great resolve was shown by the 14 republican senators for standing their ground aginst a tyranical advesary from Washington DC and the union bosses,

      These senators have shown the rest of the country that right and just can prevail. They have brought us real change for the good, not only of their state but the whole country.

      Thank you again. God bless America

    69. Gerry, Madison, WI says:

      To all the misinformed:

      Your blind support the for the agenda of those who only wish to take your money (aka: Wall Street) and destroy your way of life (aka: Koch, Rove) is amazing. Walker is a college dropout, career politician who is simply doing the bidding of his masters. He's trash that will be discarded when his usefulness is over.

      There's so much I want to say about what is wrong with your perspective but I understand it would be a waste of energy. So let me keep it simple … WAKE UP! Believe it or not you won't have anything in the end. No money, no freedoms, no protection. This isn't about unions, budgets or whatever nonsense your being told. It's about power, control and in the end all of us will have none.

      God Bless America and protect us from the evil in our midst.

    70. Pingback: Updates On The Cheeseheads | Around The Sphere

    71. Mike, Chicago says:

      liberals always resort to threats and violence when they don't get their way (something they say they deplore). they are the biggest hypocrites around and will steal, cheat, and lie to get their way. As a former union member I can honestly say that unions mostly ruin companies and if allowed to do so can ruin a country.

    72. Sue Marie Detroit says:

      So glad Governor Walker did what he did. Thank God. This article should be posted on ever representative's, government wage and salary earner's and every government union head's door.

    73. John R. Maravich says:

      I am thrilled about the news from Wisconsin. It's long overdue when an elected official stands for the rights of the people who elected them. Congratulations!!!

    74. June says:

      Congratulations to Gov. Walker and the legislature, for getting on with business! The democrats "abdicated", coward that they are and couldn't be bothered to do the job they were "hired" to do – -so their electorate should, promptly, "fire" them! The mob mentality, of some of the protestors, new need to be addressed and promptly stopped. Were I in Gov. Walker's shoes, I would order the State Police and the National Guard, to round up "out-of-state" protesters and escort them back out of state – -they are not residents, nor taxpayers of Wisconsin and should have no voice in any proceedings there!

    75. June says:

      Congratulations to Gov. Walker and the legislature, for getting on with business! The democrats "abdicated", cowards that they are and couldn't be bothered to do the job they were "hired" to do – -so their electorate should, promptly, "fire" them! The mob mentality, of some of the protesters, now needs to be addressed and promptly stopped. Were I in Gov. Walker's shoes, I would order the State Police and the National Guard, to round up "out-of-state" protesters and escort them back out of state – -they are not residents, nor taxpayers of Wisconsin and should have no voice in any proceedings there!

    76. Pingback: The Heritage Foundation on Wisconsin

    77. Big Bill, Missouri says:

      The Mafia want-to-be's are seeing just the beginning of the Great Operation, an operation in which the Cancer named Unions, will be cut away from society and destroyed as it should be.

      P.S.: Union leaders, are annoying the Mafia Leaders by associating the name " Union " with the prestigious name of the " Mafia ". You union people forget so easily that Jimmy Hoffa still has not gotten use to his Concrete Boots after all of these years. Do you think that you will ??

    78. Kathy - Phelps, WI says:

      My husband and I are rejoicing over the good news from Madison. They did it!!

      With all the opposition, threats and National badgering….the brave Politicians hung in and accomplished what they started out to do….. something that has been needed for many years. The question has been asked by some, "Where were the Tea Party in this?" They were at their jobs, working and doing all they could to support what was happening….including praying protection over these brave people, also including cleaning up some of the mess in Madison.. They are also about the recall business for those that ran away from doing their jobs. I Thank God for Governor Walker and those that supported SB11. It is still not over yet but for the moment we can breathe easier. I wish the out of state Union thugs would go home. They have given our state a bad reputation.

    79. Justin T says:

      It is strange… Why is there no discussion over Governor Walker’s double standard that exempts police and firefighters?

      Whether you are a taxpayer wanting to abolish collective bargaining or cut government spending, etc., or a WI union teacher wanting to preserve your household, all of us must demand immediate answers for some very simple questions, such as…

      Is it merely coincidence that…

      Teachers supported WI Democrats and their collective bargaining rights are removed?

      Police and firefighters supported the GOP ticket and they are exempt?

      The exempt group is trained to receive and execute orders by politicians, no questions asked?

      Where might this state trend lead, to a police state in all states?

      Rome's fall was precipitated by fiscal collapse brought about by political leaders jealously guarding their power with overextended armies and local police that quashed liberties and opposition at home. Is America on this road so soon after it comes of age?

      Again, why is there no discussion over the double standard that exempts police and firefighters?

      Why has the mention of this double standard been yanked since the initial press release?

      A free press armed with independent journalists is the best offense and defense for liberty and justice.

    80. Yun, CA says:

      Finally, someone with courage!!! GOV. WALKER, you make us Americans proud and Ronald Reagan has a huge grin on his face!!! For those of you who keep saying that this vote had nothing to do with the budget, you are in serious denial! Collective bargaining is DIRECTLY and INDIRECTLY connected to the budget. Bargaining for more pay, more benefits, more vacation, more EVERYTHING comes from the BUDGET!!!!!!! Not to mention the good taxpaying citizens of Wisconsin!!!! But what people are not talking about is the $400+ million the unions donated to Obama's campaign! Hmm, I wonder how much of that money the average union member got of that $400 million???? Collective bargaining in today's world is disguised as something good for the worker. Today it just means, you do it our way, or else! Your "MANDATORY" DUES went to Obama and other Democrats whether you voted for them or not!!!! Does this sound like the unions are your advocate or a growing power that you have no chance fighting against?????? MANDATORY MEANS YOU HAVE NO CHOICE. YOU HAVE NO VOICE. This is the first step to get back that choice and your voice. Congratulations, WI!!!!!! America stands strong with you! Gov. Walker, you and your Republican counterparts deserve a huge congratulations for your unwavering courage. Someone needs to throw your name in the 2012 ring asap!

    81. Erick Vega, Phoenix says:

      May this continue to spread across the nation!

    82. Mary, Wisconsin says:

      Common sense? Is it common sense to take from the middle and lower class and give to the rich? Remember, HUGE tax breaks were give to the super wealthy (Koch bros.). As a result, Wisconsin is now deeply in debt. It was not the teachers and other public workers who created this huge debt.

      In this bill, Mr. Walker's removal of collective bargaining will result in larger class sizes for the children, which will bring down the high ACT scores that students in WI earn. (currently Wisconsin ranks #2 in the nation). The lowest ACT scores in the US are in states that do not have collective bargaining for their teachers.

      Governor Walker does not care about the people and the future of Wisconsin.

      Some say that his bold moves are great for the GOP. His extreme ways will not be forgotten, here. Recalls are underway.

      Thank you, Mr. Walker for opening our eyes to your bait and switch tactics to get elected (only 51% of the vote in Nov.). You never campained on stripping collective bargaining, but here we are, and you're shoving it down our throats.

      And thank you Mr. Walker for helping to invigorate the Democratic (common sense, and fair) party.

      The pendulum will swing back to fairness, I look forward to the day when we have a leader in our state who cares about the people. Hmm…and he call himself a christian.

    83. Scott, Madison, WI says:

      I wanted to comment on the open meetings complaint. First, the Wisconsin Constitution gives the Assembly and the Senate the power to set the rules for their own proceedings. Article IV, Section 8. If the open meetings law attempted to limit this right, it would be unconstitutional. That's not a problem, however, because section 19.87(2) specifically states that Senate rules trump the open meetings law. The only notice requirement is posting to the legislative bulletin. That was done. There is no requirement for 2 hours notice, and the Democrat legislators complaining know it. Two hours notice is customarily given, and it was in this case notwithstanding reporting and complaining to the contrary, but is not required.

      Governor Walker and Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald showed courage and leadership in the face of death threats from an unruly, lawless mob. The only cowardice was shown by Democrats like my disgraceful Senator Erpenbach who didn't dare defy their union masters or their union mob to show up at the Capital and actually do their jobs representing their districts.

    84. Bobbie says:

      Zack, why are you threatening a war? Decent people have to come to know they can't be afforded. If their government union job means that much to them, they wouldn't use this as if it's a life taking situation. Decent people don't overreact. Decent people would fulfill what is needed without trouble to anyone else.

    85. Zack says:


      Every single comment you make brings nothing to the able but akward talking points without the slighest spec of credibility. You never make an ounce of sense in anything you write. You continue to crontradict yourself in every comment you make. Your comments are literally, the most apparent waste of time for any website in this country.

      A few quick facts…

      1) Walker is a liar. He said this was about the budget but the only reason this could be jammed through is because it is NOT budget-related. It is simply to bust the unions.

      2) Elections have consequences. This is what the tea party is all about and it's certainly does not stand for freedom and the middle class.

      3) This move will leave an uneasy feeling in the gut of all Americans, especially Independents. This is not how the people want things done.

      4) We now know that corporate interests and money influence is far greater than the polls.

      5) What is happening around the country-an assault on the middle class-is really starting to wake up Americans-who have given so many concessions over the years as the rich are asked to give less and less and even get big tax breaks-and may actually inspire a real push-back and fight.

      6)Without collective bargaining rights, each union worker will have an 8% loss in available income. That's around $3,400 per year. Why take that from the middle class, the working man, American families? These workers average about $42,000 a year anyways. This is nothing but a political power grab and will result in a massive backfire to conservatives nationwide. Union cost to tax payers is less then .003% of the national budget and .02 percent of the wisconsin state budget.

      7)A petition is already gaining strength to shut down this legislation before it even starts. Millions of people across the country reject Governor Walker. All polling shows americans in favor of the unions…..except for Rassmussen(because Rassmussen is such a credible poll source:)

      8) The day after Scott Walker's ceremonial signing of a bill stripping collective bargaining rights protestors once again filled the Capitol Square Saturday. Madison police estimating a crowd size of 85,000-100,000. This is what democracy looks like. Do ahead, google the pictures :)

      “In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, as 'right-to-work.' It provides no 'rights' and no 'works.' Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining… We demand this fraud be stopped.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

      "These are the values inspiring those brave workers in Poland … They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." –Ronald Reagan, Labor Day Address at Liberty State Park, 1980

      Heritage and Conservatives,

      Your 15 minutes of fame is up, you will lose. I promise you, it's over.

    86. Bobbie says:

      If you don't want to understand you're not going to.

      The people want what's not within their control (government) things done with honesty and competence. Neither government or unions show either.

      Eyes have opened to the corruption going on behind our backs. You may be speaking for government union members but don't put words in the mouths of those you don't know.

      Millions of union government employees may reject Governor Walker but not the people who know the difference between government union jobs paid by tax dollars and private sector jobs that aren't. Unfair all the way. Government unions are total thievery driven by childish, violent thuggery where the concept of fairness is not a concept. Where consideration of those paying is not considered.


      No one is here for fame but you, Zack. Now go back to your corner and do your worthless job at the expense of the unknown. Crying babies are always given into… but I wouldn't hold your breath. This may be your opportunity to mature… a little…

    87. Zack says:

      Haha, wow, I sure got to you. Such an emotional response! Very, very akward comment.

      So let me ask you this Bobbie, what gives you the right to take away (8% or $3,400) of a families annual salary? So you can take back small portion from your taxes ($1.75) a year (if you lived in wisconsin) becuase you say unions are corrupt.

      I'm paying for wars that I disagree with, im paying for the debt cause by tax cuts for the wealthy that I disagree with, im paying for a recession caused by deregulated markets that I disagree with.

      As far as my job, what would you like to know? It's private sector at no cost to the tax payers. I pulled about $75,000 last year. Automotive sales and marketing. Need to know anything else?

      The bottom line is that you cant see that this is nothing but a political stunt. Unions cost tax payers .003% of the entire budget. Why focus on such a small portion.

      I have realized that whatever Heritage blogs about, you take as instant fact. They can produce whatever they want and you eat it right up. It's a shame that people like you vote, it really is a shame. Infact, you don't know enough about unions to even debate this subject I can tell.

      As far as corruption…haha, look at your party. Look at private corporations, military contracts, high income tax evasion, etc.

      Your probably the least educated person I have ever come across on any political website for the last 12 years. I'm astounded by your ignorance. :)

    88. Bobbie says:

      You sure got to me? Hmm, that's silly,

      I don't have the right to steal from anyone, Zack. What gives the unions that right? Another useless entity that needs to go! I don't believe any tax dollars makes working conditions so bad, that a union is needed? Obviously those that hire, supervise, create etc (paid by tax dollars) are unfit in their positions. Disciplinary actions necessary. Why is it the tax payers fault when it's not within their control, that government runs harsh working conditions to the point of needing a union? That is so disheartening. There is always the private sector to make an honest living.

    89. John Becker, 559 Wyn says:

      If this newly passed Wisconsin government employees bargining restriction is upheld in the Courts, then perhaps Union members will no longer be the…'.Privileged Elite' …. in our labor pool. Let us get back to the balanced position where the uncertainities of the private sector provide a higher rate of reward.

    90. a praal says:

      How can a union member be stealing when they are tax paying citizens too. Where do all of your children go to school? I hope you say private schools, because all of your silly remarks show that you are not informed or involved in your schools. Support him if you wish, things will never be the same in WI. Wit until Senate Bill 22 is passed and demolishes the public schools. All the money that you pay in taxes will be going to private schools that are operated by business and overseen by the gov and his appointed staff. what do they know about education? Money is all they know. Being a parent and a student at one time does not make them an expert.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.