Continuing coverage: Wisconsin Capital in Chaos/Melt-down
Posted March 10, 2011on:
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The Republicans in Wisconsin finally gave up trying to reason with the missing Democrats and took the item concerning collective bargaining for public employees out of the budget bill. By removing this item from the finance bill they could vote on the item without a Democrat being present. This is what they did and of course the item passed. Wisconsin teachers will not have the right to collectively bargain for pension and health care benefits but they will still be able to collectively bargain for wages. This is by no means union busting , or maybe it is because now employees can decide for themselves if they want to join the union and fork over several hundred dollars every year to an outfit of thugs with whom they may not agree. This morning on FOX and FRIENDS they showed the figures of all the money the union had collected in dues in Wisconsin last year and that money would have hired 151 teachers! Remember that in Wisconsin and most other states where the unions control people are forced to join and pay dues and they then have no say how their dues are spent. BB
If you like a more spicy read you might want top follow Michelle Malkin on this .
Wisconsin GOP Finds Way Around Fleebaggers; Senate Votes to Strip Bargaining Rights for Public Workers
**Written by Doug Powers
by Brett Healy
Three weeks after Senate Democrats fled the state, the Wisconsin State Senate passed the bulk of the Budget Repair Bill in a series of swift and deliberate moves Wednesday.
Late in the afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and the GOP lawmakers assembled for the Special Session voted to send the bill to a bipartisan Senate-Assembly Conference Committee.
“This afternoon, following a week and a half of line‐by‐line negotiation, Sen. Miller sent me a letter that offered three options: 1) keep collective bargaining as is with no changes, 2) take our counter‐offer, which would keep collective bargaining as is with no changes, 3) or stop talking altogether,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau). “With that letter, I realized that we’re dealing with someone who is stalling indefinitely, and doesn’t have a plan or an intention to return. His idea of compromise is “give me everything I and the only negotiating he’s doing is through the media.”
Shortly after 6pm, the Conference Committee convened and quickly approved Fitzgerald’s changes to the budget bill over the forceful objections of Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha).
Democrats fled the state on February 17th in an extreme parliamentary maneuver to prevent a 3/5th quorum from being present.
The Wisconsin Constitution requires more than a simple majority for passage of appropriation bills. A quorum of 3/5 of each house of the legislature is needed to pass any bill that “imposes, continues or renews a tax, or creates a debt or charge, or makes, continues or renews an appropriation of public or trust money, or releases, discharges or commutes a claim or demand of the state.”
To dispatch the 3/5th quorum concerns, the Conference Committee amended the bill, stripping it of appropriations and bonding authority but retaining the collective bargaining changes and other provisions.
It was a move many had speculated for weeks that the GOP could make. On Wednesday, Senate GOP leaders pulled the trigger.
From Illinois, Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) issued a statement, “Tonight, 18 Senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people,” Miller said. “We will join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government.”
Among the items removed from the bill were nearly $250 million in debt restructuring and lapses of authorized spending to the Department of Administration, as well as a reversal on the sale of state power plants to private entities.
Increased funding to the Department of Corrections and the state’s Medicaid programs, needed to forestall shortfalls in those programs were also not included in the Conference Committee report. Planned changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit and an audit of eligibility requirements for state entitlement programs were also scrapped.
Despite the presence of financial provisions in the bill, Fitzgerald said in the Conference Committee the move to vote was reviewed and cleared by three important non-partisan state agencies – the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the Legislative Council and the Legislative Reference Bureau.
“The people of Wisconsin elected us to do a job,” Fitzgerald said. “They elected us to stand up to the broken status quo, stop the constant expansion of government, balance the budget, create jobs and improve the economy.”
The unamendable bill now awaits action in the State Assembly where passage is expected.
This is the capital of Wisconsin today:
From Big Government correspondent on the scene:
We have almost completely lost control of the Capitol building. We now only control the 3rd and 4th floors.
Teachers Unions are sending out robo calls and emails to all their members, asking them to get to the capitol NOW. We know this as a fact.
Democrat Senators are opening windows and letting protesters in. Door’s have been ripped off their hinges.
Next 6-8 hours will determine who controls the capitol. If we lose control, the assembly can’t meet tomorrow.
Quasi-military forces are the only option to win back control of building. They are very close to being called in.
Law enforcement are leaking legislators whereabouts to protesters. No one is safe.
Today they escorted State Senators across the street via an underground tunnel. It’s top secret, but protesters were waiting for them.
National Guard may be called in….plans have been set. We are running out of options.
More from Wisconsin:
A mob currently controls the Wisconsin capitol building. They are trying to prevent an elected legislature from convening. If the left will go this far to protect their own pampered status in one state, imagine what they’ll do when we have to tackle the federal budget crisis.
From BG’s man-on-the-scene, Josiah Cantrall:
[The Assembly] are still planning on convening at 11 am CST. If they can get control of the building… As of right now, even the legislators themselves aren’t sure of it’s status.
Police control the lobby to the Assembly Chambers. They think they are in a position to take back control of the actual Chambers. However, right now all they control is the lobby.
Today members of the Assembly will be going to Madison though.
At a certain time, security forces will pick up legislators from their houses, proceed to Madison, drop them off at another secure location where they will receive new instructions.
Madison police won’t be used due to their lack of cooperation. State troopers and other statewide security forces will provide the escort.
If they get inside, they will give the Democrats a set time when the vote will take place. No amendments. Democrats are free to do whatever in the meantime. Go into caucus, scream at the Republican etc. But once they reach the set time, if the building is still secure, the vote will be taken.
For security reasons, exact time of vote will not be released until 11 am.
Note that ’security forces’ will be escorted legislators to the capital.
From 620AM Radio in Wisconsin:
Since the MSM appears intent on downplaying the growing intimidation and escalating threats of violence around the union power issue, I am reprinting verbatim an email that was sent to Republican senators. The email was signed, but I have deleted the name pending what I hope will be a thorough police investigation.
Sent: Wed 3/9/2011 9:18 PM
To: Sen.Kapanke; Sen.Darling; Sen.Cowles; Sen.Ellis; Sen.Fitzgerald; Sen.Galloway; Sen.Grothman; Sen.Harsdorf; Sen.Hopper; Sen.Kedzie; Sen.Lasee; Sen.Lazich; Sen.Leibham; Sen.Moulton; Sen.Olsen
Subject: Atten: Death threat!!!! Bomb!!!!
Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your familes [sic] will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks. Please explain to them that this is because if we get rid of you and your families then it will save the rights of 300,000 people and also be able to close the deficit that you have created. I hope you have a good time in hell. Read below for more information on possible scenarios in which you will die.
WE want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me have decided that we’ve had enough. We feel that you and the people that support the dictator have to die. We have tried many other ways of dealing with your corruption but you have taken things too far and we will not stand for it any longer. So, this is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records.
We have all planned to assult [sic]you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head. However, we decided that we wouldn’t leave it there. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the message to you since you are so “high” on Koch and have decided that you are now going to single handedly make this a dictatorship instead of a demorcratic [sic]process. So we have also built several bombs that we have placed in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent.
This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won’t tell you all of them because that’s just no fun. Since we know that you are not smart enough to figure out why thisis happening to you we have decided to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it’s necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families and themselves then We Will “get rid of” (in which I mean kill) you. Please understand that this does not include the heroic Rep. Senator that risked everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. We feel that it’s worth our lives to do this, because we would be saving the lives of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. YOU WILL DIE!!!!
Remember, again, the proposal in Wisconsin would give state workers slightly more rights than federal workers currently enjoy. Their pay is not being cut. No one will be laid off. But, they will have to contribute something to the health and retirement benefits.
From Josiah Cantrall, BG’s man-on-the-scene in Madison:
Capitol is in an uproar! A man sported a sign, “burn Walker”. Complete with a drawing of Gov. Walker withering in flames of fire.
Protesters recognized me from my Fox News appearances. One lady refused to leave me alone and began yelling my name and position to anyone who’d listen.
She approached a burly union man and continued with her, “Josiah” rant. He then followed me around for over ten minutes. I went up three floors, turned corners, visited every wing of the building and yet, he remained on my trail. He was at least two inches taller and 100 lbs heavier than me.
Approximately 3,500 protesters are present. When I left they had dragged a sound system into the capitol building. The first speaker was outraged by the “unconstitutional metal detectors”. He followed it up by declaring that any windows screwed down “violate the American Disabilities act”.
Much to the crowds delight, the main speaker promised ” we will break in tonight, the next night and the next night if we have too”. I left the scene as they began chanting, ” we wont leave”.
At 5:00 pm the entire Democrat caucus is rallying with crowd at State street and Carrol.
Wisconsin Educators Association Council is bringing in 15 busloads of teachers for the rally.
A man just dropped his pants….In defiance of Gov. Scott Walker.