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Sunday, February 20, 2011


larry kurtz

Is the faculty at Northern part of a union, Doc?

George Mason

There are many facets to this. Gov. Walker has extended to the unions a benefit package more generous than what is available in other states or in the private sector. The public school teachers in Wisconsin have it even better. The people in Milwaukee are going to have a difficult time generating sympathy for people pulling down $100K in salary and benefits for part-time work. Walker has the legal authority to fire state employees who walked away from their jobs to participate in this action. He has an obligation to the tax payers of the state to do so. Especially now that we know that this was coordinated by the Obama machine. Elections are a method by which the citizens let the government know that things need to change. Obama and his comrades believe they can change the election results through intimidation and believe they are entitled to do so.

Donald Pay

You seem to lack even a basic understanding of public unions or how employment works, so what you have to say above completely misses the mark.

Civil service laws, together with other laws determine who becomes a state employee. By law, union membership or lack thereof, or membership in any political, religious, racial or sexual or sexual orientation group can not be involved in hiring or firing, promotion, pay or any other employment decisions. People either choose to be in the union or not in the union after they are hired. Most choose to be in a union, because unions assure that the civil service laws and other laws are fairly applied, and will represent you individually when there is some question of fairness. State employees unions fight for the rights of Republican as well as Democratic members.

Regarding "hiding from a quorum call," this is a tactic used from time to time in Wisconsin. The Republicans, by the way, aren't abiding by the part of the constitution that requires them to be locked into the Senate chambers until a quorum can be rounded up. So, let's just say both sides are not established procedures. My guess is if the Republicans were required to sleep a few nights in the Capitol Building, they'd actually start negotiating on SB 11.


The street theater by the public sector unions to demand higher taxes be imposed on already struggling taxpayers will likely backfire. The unions have the power to organize and pay for street demonstrations but they lack the support of a majority of working class voters.

The unions are “all in” because they know if they lose this battle, they’ve lost the war. I believe they’ve miscalculated their “hand”, since they’re not attempting to intimidate an individual business or individual employees this time around but they’re attempting to bully individual legislators and the public at large. Their public threats and strong-arm tactics are not going to appeal to taxpayers that are struggling to meet their own needs. The crisis of overextended government entitlements in a struggling economy is just now taking center stage, but it’s likely to have an extended run as its impact is felt throughout the year across the country in IL, MI, CA, OH, NY, etc..

The unions realize that the general public wants children to receive a quality education and frame their demands as being “for the good of the children”. As the public increasingly realizes the quality of the education it’s paying for has not only not improved but is actually declining by supporting the demands of the NEA and AFT, their BIG LIE is exposed: supporting your local teachers and supporting their national unions are two completely different things.

Donald Pay

George, none of the response to SB 11 was coordinated by anyone outside Wisconsin. And, at least initially, there wasn't much coordination going on at all. Not only did Obama have nothing to do with this, but the state Democratic political establishment was initially caught very much off-guard by the reaction of the people to this.

The decision by the 14 Senators to boycott the Senate and leave the state was done spontaneously, and only after the Republicans shut down public testimony without hearing the 10,000+ people who registered to speak against the bill ( I was one who registered against the bill, but was not allowed to testify.) The Republicans' blatant attack on the normal legislative public hearing process is what drove the Democratic Senators to leave.

The 140+page bill was not even available to Legislators and the public until Monday, and that's when unions at the University started limited demonstrations. By Tuesday, the first large scale demonstrations occurred, during which 10,000 people requested to speak at public hearing. Instead of finding a way to accommodate public input on the bill (for example by holding public hearings around the state to make it easier for people to have input without "calling in sick" and driving to Madison) the Republicans decided to shut down public hearings. It was this totalitarian approach, more than anything else, that drove up the size of demonstrations. So, if you want to blame anyone for the response to this bill, blame Walker and the Republicans. They badly miscalculated.


I'm not going to attempt to defend any legislative tactics that led to this showdown, I personally don't know enough of the details, nor do I think they're necessarily relevant, as a showdown on this issue has been inevitable.

Public support for unions in general and public unions specifically has been declining for a long time. Union contracts, work rules and bargaining positions are undermining union public support for labor unions. When we've reached a point where public sector employees are viewed as being treated as a special class by the taxpayers, the unions are in a vulnerable position.

In a distressed economy, the public at large will not support being taxed to provide wages and benefits above those they themselves are able to achieve.

If anyone has miscalculated, it's the unions.

George Mason

The Obama people having been busing in people from out of state all week. As William stated they are going all in. The involvement of Obama and company has even been reported in the Washington Post (and what liberal would question the Post?). Now that it is evident even to the union members that Walker is not going to back down we have the spectacle of the phony doctors notes. How can it get any better? First New Jersey and now Wisconsin is being led by responsible adults. There may be hope for the federal government yet.


Collective bargaining may work in a private institutional setting, but when local taxes are involved, collective bargaining essentially means loss of local control, or taxation without representation. When the budget cutters can use FDR and George Meany's own words criticizing the organization of public sector unions, the unions are facing their Waterloo. Just as the Federal government cannot make serious efforts to reduce the deficit and its unfunded obligations without targeting entitlement programs, the states cannot address their budgets without addressing the unsustainable obligations represented by the public sector unions.

Donald Pay

Great one, George. How many of these people do you think Obama bused in, and where are they staying? I've was at the Capital Square on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and Liz was there on Wednesday, and we never saw any evidence of that. Actually, quite the opposite. Many of the people protesting the bill are disgusted with Obama and the national level Democrats. On Saturday the only buses I saw were bringing in some of the 2,000 Republican counter protestors. In fact, Bob Woodward's story on ABC News documents one such bus. But thanks for the laugh.

Donald Pay

William, on what basis do you state that "collective bargaining essentially means loss of local control" or "taxation without representation?" I think you are confusing collective bargaining with binding arbitration. School boards can impose a contract, but it is far better to negotiate an agreement.

larry kurtz

The Republicans are Wizards of Mass Distraction: A million dollars a minute on the wars: http://www.costofwar.com/


The basis of my claim is simply this, as public sector unions are major political players using union dues (frequently mandatory) and leverage to influence the political process and it's indisputable that, for the most part, most of their funding is used to support one political party, the taxpayers essentially have no effective ability to influence the bargaining process. That's particularly true in the "hard core blue" states that are most damaged by the incestuous relationship between the machine politics practiced by IL, MI, NJ, etc. Public sector union involvement in party politics is one of the most corrupting influences in today's politics.

My personal observation has been that even "binding arbitration" works to the benefit of the unions, as the position of arbitrators tends to "split the baby" in any bargaining demands and inevitably leads to some increase in wages or benefits, regardless of the merit of the demands.

For what it's worth, even FDR and George Meany were opposed to the concept of public sector unions.

“It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.” - George Meany -- the former president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O -- in 1955

“Meticulous attention,” FDR insisted in 1937, “should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government….The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.”

larry kurtz

The revised Christo-Fascist Sermon On The Mount. And Jesus said "Your poverty disgusts me. Get a job, you losers."
Color: blue on sand


Ed B

Once again it appears we lose focus. Indiv. teachers may or may be active union members. The unions view is not the same as the teachers. When teachers demand they be heard, they are playing into union hands. When unions demand attention, they claim to represent the teachers, but they actually represent union interests, not to be confused with teacher interests.


So, The Dems and the unions are willing to negotiate reduced benefits and increased cost, but the Gov wants total annihilation of UNIONS. This is NOT about "cost" or "benefits" this is about STRIPING Americans of the right to collective bargaining!

Let me help you out here...

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

larry kurtz

Contrast Ken's map with this one: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/the-happiest-states-of-america/


"The report shows that of the 32 states (and the District of Columbia) that are "winners" -- receiving more in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes -- 76% are Red States that voted for George Bush in 2000. Indeed, 17 of the 20 (85%) states receiving the most federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are Red States."

Donald Pay


You really do not know what you are talking about. Taxpayers have ultimate control in who they elect to school boards. They also have a say in any new bonding for schools. In South Dakota and Wisconsin, school boards are constrained by legislated spending limits. Any spending beyond that state imposed limit must be approved by voters. If you don't like the size of the spending limits, the problem does not lie with the unions or the local school board.

When I ran for school board the first time, I told the RCEA I thought any endorsement would be the kiss of death in my district. I lost. When I ran the second time the RCEA had stopped endorsing school board candidates.

In South Dakota, SDEA isn't a big political player. I'm not sure whether they endorse in legislative races anymore, but I do know they have generally supported Republican candidates for governor. In Wisconsin, WEAC and MTI are big political players, but tend to spend in independent expenditure campaigns. They supported a mix of Democrats and Republicans until late in the Tommy Thompson administration at which point they had a falling out with the Republicans.

larry kurtz

Hey Ken: What's good for the goose is good for public universities in red states.

"Administrators at Kean University, a state institution in New Jersey, have asked faculty members to fill out daily time sheets to ensure that they are putting in at least a 35-hour workweek. The time sheets have become another source of friction in the already-tense relationship between the faculty and the administration at Kean."




While I cannot speak for anywhere else, buses and vans to haul pro-union demonstrators from Moline, Rockford and Chicago, Illinois were all arranged and ready to go when demonstration day came. Check any of the local papers in those cities for the particulars if you want to hitch a ride when the demonstrations start up again.

Ken Blanchard

Donald: nothing that you say about public unions in your first paragraph is relevant to my post. If public unions manage to bid up wages and benefits above a certain level, it will result in a reduction in the public work force.

As to your second paragraph, I was defending the Democrats.

Ken Blanchard

Dave: it is patently silly that this is not about costs and benefits. Wisconsin, like most other states and the Federal Government, has run all out of money. That is why the Governor wants to collective bargaining for teachers. I have taken no position on Gov. Walker's proposal. I only note that those who oppose it would do better to face reality than try to evade it or spend their time making puerile comparisons between a democratically elected and accountable governor and Nazis.

Donald Pay


Yes, there were a few vans arranged by regional unions that arrived for Saturday's march. I never saw any buses. They organized this drive in after reports circulated that the Tea Party had decided to ship in some people from out of state. I saw a few signs on Saturday from Illinois and Iowa. The Illinois people carried funny signs---"Bear fans support Packer unions" etc. Saturday was the first time I saw any out-of-state support in the crowd. The demonstration has been going on continuously since Monday. Your post supports my post against George's hallucination that Obama is orchestrating this show of public revulsion at SB 11.


This whole thing is about power and control. - Obama's. The teachers are a useful tool in this case. It is pathetic and shows the desperation of Obama and his cronies (Organizing for America) and the gullibility of the protestors. The use of kids who don't even know why they are protesting is abuse. Gov. Walker needs to stay strong. Obama's minions have shown their true colors and I'm hoping people area awake enough to see it.


This whole thing is about power and control. - Obama's. The teachers are a useful tool in this case. It is pathetic and shows the desperation of Obama and his cronies (Organizing for America) and the gullibility of the protestors. The use of kids who don't even know why they are protesting is abuse. Gov. Walker needs to stay strong. Obama's minions have shown their true colors and I'm hoping people area awake enough to see it.

Donald Pay

Again, KB, you really don't know what you are talking about. What bids up public employee wages/benefits is the private sector. The public sector loses workers to the private sector, not vise versa, because wages/benefits in the public sector have not kept pace with many job categories in the private sector.

In South Dakota during the 1990s, for instance, the state did a study of benefits and wages in the private versus public sector for a large array of job classifications. It was found that In order to maintain a public sector workforce, the public sector wages and benefits needed to improve. The state set about a decade long effort to improve state worker wages.



Thanks for making my argument. For republicans, this is not about cost, It's about the states ability to strip it's citizens on ANY power.

Kinda like, hmmm... Can you think of any comparisons?


48% Back GOP Governor in Wisconsin Spat, 38% Side With Unions


The unions have seriously overplayed their hand. Had they been willing to make concessions out the outset, they would have demonstrated good faith and gained public support. Conducting an illegal wildcat strike has allowed the issue to become a referendum on the very purpose of public sector unions.

In this economy unions cannot rally support for their positions against the taxpayers that ultimately pay for them.

In the current political climate, it's not a battle they should have forced.


What the public sector unions really can't abide is the legislation's requirement that public employees vote every year on union representation, coupled with an end to the automatic dues check-off on state paychecks. For the first time in decades, these organizations would actually have to prove on a regular basis that they're voluntary; and they would have to collect their own political war chests, instead of relying on the government to extract the cash for them.

In other words, it would make them play by more democratic rules. And that's what they can't stand.

Donald Pay

In Wisconsin the polling is showing Walker is out of step with the majority of people. Republicans aren't using a legislative maneuver that would allow them to pass the legislation. It appears Walker is running into some hesitation in his own ranks.




I'm sure the unions and their supports can provide polls showing union support, however today may be a tipping point. Certainly, this is going to an interesting issue to follow for the next few weeks.

Even in in the public sector, only a minority of the employees are actually union members, as states are required to provide balanced budgets, something's got to give.


Rasmussen has a history of wildly off the mark conservative/GOP biased polls.




The real shock is that despite the heavy bias of the poll, less than half the poll's respondent's backed Walker's position. If Walker were actually on solid ground, a biased instrument like the one employed by Rasmussen should have yielded support in the 70 percent range. Instead, it was just 48 percent. And when you're only getting 48 percent in a poll as heavily biased in your favor was was this one, you're in some serious trouble.


For the sake of argument...

Does Dr Ken Blanchard have tenure at NSU?

If Ken is tenured, he enjoys even greater job protection than typical "union workers."

Given Ken's obvious political slant, can Ken prove he is not indoctrinating the young minds of South Dakota to his extremist views?



Dave: Would you ever has asked such a question if my "slant" were closer to your own?


But this is the kind of innuendo used by the media against "liberals" every day.


Couldn't even answer the 1st question... Wonder why... Ken?


I suggest abolishing the US Department of Education and putting its grants to local and state education systems into block grants with broad local and state discretion for education uses, defunding the "national service" program, and ending funds in the Community Block Grant programs for "non profit" community socio-political actions groups like ACORN and Rev. Wright's IDAs—Industrial Development Associations.

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