Governor Walker...but Wait! There's More...

ThinkProgress has pointed out some lesser-known provisions that Scott Walker and his Republican colleagues are trying to slip through the state legislature that should worry many Wisconsinites. Even if protestors successfully defend their rights to collectively bargain – they still have to deal with a GOP-led assault on the several health, environmental, and economic programs including a bill that will allow the state’s uber-conservative Health and Human Services Secretary to override state Medicaid laws to make deep cuts into the critical health care program.

There’s also legislation that will exempt local governments from having to disinfect their waters – and a similar bill that exempts large tracts of wetlands from environmental oversight. It just so happens that many of those wetlands are owned by a rich Republican donor…talk about cronyism.

The GOP wants Wisconsin voters to have to show an ID when they vote from now on – a move that could disenfranchise many elderly, urban, and low-income voters.

And finally – there are two bills that drastically increase Governor Walker’s powers, including giving him authority to write rules for the state’s ethics watchdog agency – and allowing Walker to turn 37 state civil servants into political appointees thus politicizing critical social services.

What we’re seeing in Wisconsin is not the agenda of a Republican governor – it’s the agenda of a radical autocrat. And if Walker is successful – Wisconsin is screwed.


TJONKPTK's picture
TJONKPTK 12 years 3 weeks ago

Republican Thought Virus Spreading to Democrats. It's not just the Republicans promoting this idea of government unions are the problem. In an interview with the Seattle Times last week State Senator Rodney Tom uttered this Republican talking point. "State Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue, who is also on Ways and Means, agrees. "We can't have a world where public employees are the haves and the taxpayers are the have-nots," Tom said." Seattle Times on Saturday 02/26/2011

In response I wrote this e-mail to Senator Tom, who I thought represented me.

Dear Senator Tom:

I read your comments in the Seattle Times on Saturday 02/26/2011 "State Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue, who is also on Ways and Means, agrees. "We can't have a world where public employees are the haves and the taxpayers are the have-nots," Tom said." and found you comment more in line with anti-worker, pro-business, oligarch Republicans than pro-worker, middle class supporting Democrats. These are the exact words of anti-union Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

I certainly hope you retract this sentiment as it is not what I would expect of a Democrat. Why didn't you say, something more in line with the core democratic principle that corporations have destroyed unions in the private sector and it is unfortunate that what private unions formerly took for granted has been destroyed over the last 30 years since Ronald Regan fired all the air traffic control union employees. Why didn't you say we have a race to the bottom where wages for working people have fallen, while corporate profits are at their highest levels, and corporate taxes are at their lowest levels. We have a revenue problem and have given tax breaks to corporations and wealthy individuals.

If you continue with this attitude, you certainly won't get my support and I doubt you will get any support from the unions you apparently think are the problem.

WisconsinNative's picture
WisconsinNative 12 years 3 weeks ago

Having grown up in Wisconsin during the 70's and 80's and being the son of a Wisconsin teacher, whom today still collects her pension at age 73, I have a few observations about the Walker/Wisconsin situation.

For the record: I support the Wisconsin union of public workers and I recognize this as a political stunt. Still ...

My belief is that up to one-third of all of Wisconsin's state union employees voted for Governor Walker. The reason for this speculation is that I saw first-hand in my own household that my parents voted Republican across the board. AND, in Appleton, WI, the people who were in their teaching circle 'seemed' to support the causes of the Republican Party. Even today, the friends that I have back in WI who have gone into teaching at public schools largely support the Republican Party, as far as I can tell. Same for DMV, Corrections, and other state employees.

I certainly do not believe that the union workers are getting what they deserve, based on the above speculation. But it needs to be pointed out and/or refuted with data that I am not providing (and may not be available). During the Gubernatorial election last November, one could see this type of a situation coming from 100 miles away, yet people allow themselves to be distracted by the false foundation that the republican party offers. Shame on them. And, no, Walker never revealed this intention by any means, contrary to what he keeps stating -- that he ran on this so no one should be surprised.

This is going to be very difficult for the union to wriggle out of ... I wish all of you union members all the best.

I understand that this is hindsight, but, moving forward state-to-state and nationally, this republican slight-of-hand reality (again) needs to be heeded as we are watching the middle class disappear. Good teachers are hard to come by, during the next 10-20 years this will become worse if we don't support our public schools and its teachers.

Dig in!!

dnarnadem 12 years 3 weeks ago

Dictatorship - One Party Rule - Oligarchy - Plutocracy - Fascism.

This is the new “World View” of the ultra-Right. This has nothing to do with American Democracy or American freedoms. But has everything to do with DESTROYING American Democracy, the American Middle Class, and creating an Oligarchic, Plutocratic and Fascist nation!

The new fascist right agenda is to destroy Democracy. They plan to destroy the American middle class and Democracy as we know it and create a one party Plutocratic rule. There are actually right wing ideologues that are actually planning this and they have brainwashed millions of Americans into believing that that is the right agenda to pursue (and making MILLIONS$$$ in the process!).

The repugs have NO PLAN to create jobs in the coming two years. The plan is to NOT create any jobs whatsoever! In fact, their belief is that if 1-2 million jobs are lost in the coming 2 years, the American people will in retaliation vote in the repugs in a “Landslide” come 2012! They actually believe this and are pursuing this policy with gusto. They simply do not care what the consequences will be as they just single-mindedly focused on the objective – single fascist party rule! And the heck with the American people!

The objective(s) of gov walker in Wisconsin is a blueprint as to what the objective(s) of the new fascist repug agenda is for America. It would be wise to study and deconstruct this agenda: a complete destruction and dismantling of the Liberal and Democratic ideals of this country. This is a dangerous Agenda.

14 brave Democrats in Wisconsin stand between autocratic and dictatorship rule and retention of American Constitutional government. If walker and the repugs were to succeed, this would then occur in all states that have repug majorities.

But the people of Wisconsin should ask themselves this question: how is it we voted this liar into such a position of power? walker and his cohorts had a plan and certainly did not outline it in detail to the people of Wisconsin. In fact, he used Machiavellian tactics to get elected. Splitting of the Unions for example (How the Police, Fireman and other Unions believed this would be a study in gullibility!).

All people in all these repug governed states would be wise to question ALL actions and legislation being proposed and passed by these repug legislators. Union workers in particular and liberal Americans in general are being BLAMED for the economic problems ALL Americans all find themselves in. The very people who created this mess are now trying to blame the very people whom it tried to destroy! And making it worst in hopes that in 2012 these unemployed new poor will elect repugs in landslide elections!

renngadee's picture
renngadee 12 years 3 weeks ago

First they came for... updated.

I was out on site yesterday where they posted 50 awesome photos from the solidarity rallies across the country on Saturday. In the Comments section, a reader contributed this poignant updated version of Pastor Martin Niemoller's statement about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. This is brilliant regarding the current situation in our country. Here you go...

Perhaps the new version goes something like this:

"First they came for the car unions, and I didn't speak out because I didn't work in Detroit.

Then they came for the air traffic controllers, and I didn't speak out because I thought, yeah they are too entitled.

Then they came for the welfare mothers, and I didn't speak out because I thought, yeah they are lazy, aren't they?

Then they came for the all the industrial workers, and I didn't speak out because I thought, well, NAFTA could be good for me.

Then they came for the free press, and I didn't speak out because I believed it was fair and balanced.

Then they came for everyone's savings and retirement money, and I didn't speak out because I thought bubbles happen and deregulation will make me money.

Then they came for people with houses and predatory loans, and I didn't speak out because they said greedy low-income people brought down the system.

Then they came for the right to an education, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a student or a teacher.

Then they came for those who organized to fight the rich, and I didn't speak out because I believe them when they said it was about the budget.

Then they came for the mentally ill, and I didn't speak out because I didn't have a problem and didn't know anyone who did.

Then they came for the old and disabled, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't either and I believed them when they said social security couldn't be fixed and we must all settle for less.

Then they came for the sick, unable to afford treatment, and I didn't speak out because I was healthy and had a job with what I thought was good health insurance.

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

Posted February 26, 2011 by HollyandJohn with a contribution by lillymouse at Go to

hedu56's picture
hedu56 12 years 3 weeks ago

Where's the job growth plan,Republicans? Where's the job growth plans?

Our liberal stations need to keep repeating the question over & over again...thought you said the rich that got the tax breaks created jobs,Republicans? Where's the job growth plan from the rich that got the Tax breaks? We demand to see a job growth plan. What's with the Union Employees issue? This issue isn't creating jobs. What's the deal? Did you all LIE? Where's the job growth plan? REPEAT OVER AND OVER AGAIN....Malloy,Hartmann,Schultz,Ratigan,O'Donnell,Matthews,Maddow and all the others in the media that support the FACTS and the working class of America,start asking these questions,please. You are letting Republicans off the hook by not asking them this question...start askin'. Helen in Virginia,Minnesota

dnarnadem 12 years 3 weeks ago

Brilliant! Now if we can only have 150-200 Million Americans Read this!!

cheesesteak's picture
cheesesteak 12 years 3 weeks ago

Listening to Carrie Lucas spew the same conservative talking point (talk about group think), the public workers in Wisconsin are only asking for the same benifits that the people the unions are negotiating with gave themselves. I want to see if Scott Walker has the cojones to take away the same rights and benifits to police, firemen and other politicians in Wisconsin.

dnarnadem 12 years 3 weeks ago

Where's the job growth

You are correct about this. Where is the questioning from the Major news outlets about this? All I hear is this charlie sheen and the like nonsense nonstop! And our country in the mean time is going to pot!

Yes WHERE ARE THE JOBS??? The main objective of the ultra-right is to eliminate them - and hope that 1-2 million will be lost between now and 2012. That is the objective of the repugs. Amazing!

And all the major news outlets need a major re-vamping - all are corporate owned and corporate slanted. I still watch MSNBC, but that also may eventually disappear with the COMCAST merger - just a matter of time!

making progress's picture
making progress 12 years 3 weeks ago

Bill Clinton is the Poster Child for Bankrupt Liberalism.
It is incumbent upon us to walk away from these established institutions, even if we are alone. We have to Give Our Country Another Narrative. Reclaim the populism that was decimated.

It is our task to remember that all of the great correctives in our history never achieved political power, ever. Not The Liberty Party, The suffragettes, The Labor Movement, The Civil Rights Movement.

We have to regain that form of resistance. And it’s hard and it’s lonely. But, Simple Pride should keep us from being used by the Democratic Party again. There has to be a breaking point. There has to be a moral line that can’t be crossed.

We have to remove our trust in rotten institutions that speak a language which no longer reflects the ultimate concern of those institutions, and trust finally, in ourselves. Maybe by the end of our lives things will be worse. Probably, they will be worse. But that does not invalidate what we have done.

We trust in the good. We believe the good attracts the good. We cannot know where the good goes. But faith, is finally believing that it goes somewhere
- Chris Hedges

cornbread4t5t6t's picture
cornbread4t5t6t 12 years 3 weeks ago

I am cautious about letting the discussion center only on labor relations. This legislative chess game is, I believe, all about selling the public utilities for pennies on the dollar. Let the Wisconsin citizens be very careful about accepting an amended law because of a few capitulations.

dnarnadem 12 years 3 weeks ago

Bill Clinton is the Poster

Bill Clinton is the Poster Child for Bankrupt Liberalism.
I suggest that you pick a GOOD book on the Labor Unions in this country! There was NO Middle Class before Labor FOUGHT for its fair share. The middle class exists THANKS to the Labor Unions, not the other way around. It is amazing how history only seems to take place in the years one has been around, as if all the history before it is ephemeral.

There is a reason why the corporate elites want to destroy the UNIONS - they want to return to the days when labor was cheap and where there was NO protection for the worker. The Right leaning middle classer is being lulled into believing that once the corporate elites re-own this country that they, the Right “no-longer-middle-class”, will be rewarded for their destruction of their own livelihoods!

Yes, there are MANY Republicans and right leaning Americans who are the direct recipients of the bargaining rights of UNIONS! They may not be in Unions, and they may live in “Right To Work” States, and they may also hate Unions, but the fact is that they are all the direct beneficiaries of what the Unions created in this country!

The corporate elitists have lulled these union haters into believing that they we should all return to the good old days when unions were nonexistent, when the corporate elitist could pay whatever he wanted, where he could fire whomever he wanted, who didn’t care a hoot about health benefits, who hated social security and wishes it would all go away, who hated anything that had to do with safety in the workplace, etc etc!

And millions all believe this propaganda nonsense! Suggestion – if you believe all this nonsense and want to return to those “GOOD OLD DAYS”, than do so and leave the rest of us rational middle class folk out of it! We will protect and FIGHT for what we believe in and what our forefathers fought and died for.

MarleneD's picture
MarleneD 12 years 3 weeks ago

I live in Wisconsin, am a retired law enforcement officer and do not support the Republican agenda and most of my friends and cops do not either.

As far as people who tend to lean toward the Republican views, even those who voted for Walker, are changing their minds as the days go by here in Wisconsin.

They have now illegally shut down the State Capitol building and are refusing to allow the public into this public building today. We even have reports of over 100 firefighters and police officer being turned away, a state assembly legislator was turned away while friendly lobbyists were allowed inside. We have reports they are welding the windows shut as I post this. At the very least a fire violation and very unsafe for the people inside, including the Gov. Nothing is beneath the Repubs at this time.

MarleneD's picture
MarleneD 12 years 3 weeks ago

This so called Budget Repair bill has so much more to it than just the removing of our collective bargaining rights. It's long and it's by design a very confusing document. They don't want regular people understanding what all is in there. It's includes things like the right for Walker, basically by himself, selling off any state owned property. That could be power plants to the Koch brothers or others; state owned parks, water management lands, etc. It includes ways to take away medicare and medicaid for our elderly, education money which has already been cut to bare bones (I never heard of yearly referendums as I was growing up just to keep the doors open to the local schools, and it's getting worse every year); once they gut public worker rights, private workers are right behind and will be the next ones.

People take this seriously. These are fights that were fought successfully for MIddle America years and years ago. Why are we letting a few of the 'haves' take away everything we hold dear from what will soon be the 'have nots'. Middle America will cease to exist as is.

MarleneD's picture
MarleneD 12 years 3 weeks ago

cheesteak, don't make this about us vs. them as far as union workers go. The police, the firefighters and all protective services are SUPPORTING workers rights. We are not so foolish as to believe anything this man says. He has proven he is a total liar and will sell his own Pastor Father down the river to keep the Koch brothers happy. He certainly didn't pay attention growing up as he has no morals at all.

Carrie Lucas is spewing lies about violence in Wisconsin. There has been no violence. She has nothing to say, so is making it up. Is she related to Mr. Walker? If not by blood, certainly by ideology!.

JJOR's picture
JJOR 12 years 3 weeks ago

Hey Tom,

Regarding violent signs at Wisconsin. I don't recall seeing any member’s exorcising their 2nd amendment rights at the demonstrations like at the Tea Party demonstrations. And I challenge anybody to show more violent signs then here:

JJOR's picture
JJOR 12 years 3 weeks ago

I meant "exercising". Sorry about that.

Jimspy's picture
Jimspy 12 years 3 weeks ago


The rumors that a Republican Wisconsin Senator may retract his support of the bill may or may not be true...but it may also be a ruse. As I recall, the number of Republicans needed to turn their back on this bill is precisely one. If a GOP senator seems to be backing down, it might just be a trick to get the Wisconsin 14 back in the state. They may not be able to count on his vote.

There was a time when such a thing would be unthinkable, dishonorable, and disreputable. But we apparently live in a brave new world.

Just something to think about.

stonesphear's picture
stonesphear 12 years 3 weeks ago

If the right succeeds , then what ? Trillion-airs ? Perhaps labor can earn their salt by building gigantic tombs in their memorial.

jimshady's picture
jimshady 12 years 3 weeks ago

Bill Clinton left office with a net worth of $325,000--4 years later he was worth an estimated 32 million. I dont think he was a true democrat thats for sure because all those millions came from those big corporations that benefited from NAFTA and GATT! And they weren't American companies either! He was a neo-con just as most of the Republicans are. These people that say they are Republicans are not true Republicans! They are neo-cons! Look up the definition of NEO-CON and FASCISM--one and the same! Then look up the definition of Republican--(true republicans are different). The same thing that is happening in our country is the same thing that took place in Germany during the late 1920's and into the 1930's--far right neo-con/fascist ideology! Every country that has slid into this political nationalism has fallen and no longer exists!

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 12 years 3 weeks ago

The Governor of Wisconsin may be an idiot . . . if he is lucky is he only an idiot. However, you can fool some of the people, some of the time, you can fool all of the people, some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people, all of the time. His chickens will come home to roost. I expect that he will either resign from office or be recalled. He has stepped so far over the line of civility and common sense. The good people of Wisconsin, Democrats and Republicans will drive this fool out of office.

If he is allowed to succeed, he will make Wisconsin a second class state. So much hubris, so little sense. I expect the next big story will be a recall movement. I live in California. If Governor Gray Davis could be recalled for the folly he allowed to happen with Enron, then Scott Walker is ready to be booted out of office for his malfeasance. He has done every thing he could to give the State of Wisconsin a bad name. Time for him to go!

Philip Henderson, Ethical Magician

dnarnadem 12 years 3 weeks ago

How about where walker has refused Federal $$$ for a High Speed Rail in Wisconsin??? That would have created thousands of jobs, brought in more business, and advanced Wisconsin into the modern rail age?

Just another bit of evidence that the repugs have no plan to create jobs! The only plan the repugs have is to lose as many jobs as they can so come next election cycle the American people will overwhelmingly elect only Republicans in 2012! (Another bit of evidence - the proposed repug buget bill will cause the loss of 700,000 jobs in the comimg 2 years!)

These repugs are all drinking laced Kool Aid! It is their plan and it is a Conspiracy. Check out their wordage when they all talk about this - all scripted and all identical!

To all you unemployed, how does that make you feel? To all those who will be unemployed in the coming 2 years, how do you all feel about that? In my wildest dreams I would never have believed that a political party would be as corrupt, immoral and unethical as to deliberately cause the loss of millions of jobs and the demise of our industrial system for purely Machiavellian and political reasons!

This is pure evil.

Rabbi Beans's picture
Rabbi Beans 12 years 3 weeks ago

The same war on Education that is going on in Wisconsin is simultaneously happening here in Texas. Very very slowly a segment of the population down here seem to be waking up from their tea party induced haze.

brian a hayes's picture
brian a hayes 12 years 3 weeks ago

The Prank phone call has shown that Gov. Walker has a lack of remorse, shame or guilt. he has a grandiose sense of self. he's manipulative and conning he has a glibness and superficial charm. he has no empathy Pathological lying. these are some of the traits of a sociopath. this is what i believe and i wanted to state my felings.

readsome5's picture
readsome5 12 years 3 weeks ago

I just don't know if or where these union bashers went to school. Do they actually believe America is better off with 100's of million's of workers earning poverty wages and benefits? Just because private corporations have gutted the manufacturing sector, sent their jobs off shore, destroyed unions and living wages for most workers, do these people actually believe the public sector (the last vestage of middle class jobs) should also be crippled? These union haters probably went to public schools (but unfortunately didn't pay attention in class) because their parents and grandparents (probably union members or supporters) made the sacrifices so their children and grandchildren could have a "free" decent education. America's socioeconomic rush to the bottom is accelerating. Our children and grandchildren must have the same educational advantages we had, if America is to have any hope of competing with the rest of the world. Please read your kids history books. The assent of the unions built America's middle class from the ground up. Todays socalled Republican party want's to return America to the days of the "Robber Barons." Check out PBS's "American Experience" special on the Triangle Shirt Waist factory and the valiant struggle of those courageous women. Eisenhower, Nixon and even Ronald Regan would be shocked at the greed, arrogance, vindictiveness and shortsightedness of todays GOP. God help us all.

dnarnadem 12 years 3 weeks ago

brian a hayes It's called Machiavellian politics - the means justify the ends! Absolutely no morals or ethics are required - just cold and calculated power mongering! The repugs have no soul!

dnarnadem 12 years 3 weeks ago

It's very simple. This is a culture war. The repugs believe that the Public Schools are the problem for ALL our social ills. Their biggie - Abortion. They believe that if they get rid of the Public Schools they can get rid of liberal education and create Private Schools where all that will be taught is what is in the Bible. Science, Evolution, the liberal arts - all evil. They will no longer be taught. History - only what BIG BROTHER repug wants you to know.

This is BIG BROTHER in a BIG WAY! Small government? Forget it! Totalitarianism is NOT SMALL!

This whole UNSPOKEN agenda of the new repug party is COMPLETE control and COMPLETE dismantling of liberal democracy as we know it. This all sounds nice on paper but they will reap the whirlwind if they actually believe they can implement this in AMERICA!

To tell you the truth I am really getting sick of these smug, know-nothing, incipient fascist, fundamentalist autocrats who are trying to ram their in-tolerant bible toting nonsense down all American throats! Least they forget – this is AMERICA founded on the bed-rock of separation of State and Church. I live by that credo. But they want to eliminate that and make America a Theocracy. It’s not going to happen, at least in my lifetime.

We know what they are about. And we true Democracy loving Americans are not going to let it happen.

green.willow's picture
green.willow 12 years 3 weeks ago

Today, on the radio Thom suggest referring to Walker as the Koch's poodle. I think mini pinscher is closer: He's an impotent, mean little yipper who is going to get kicked across the room by the good people of Wisconsin.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current
From Screwed:
"Once again, Thom Hartmann hits the bull’s eye with a much needed exposé of the so-called ‘free market.’ Anyone concerned about the future of our nation needs to read Screwed now."
Michael Toms, Founding President, New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network and author of A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues for Deep Democracy
From Screwed:
"Thom Hartmann’s book explains in simple language and with concrete research the details of the Neo-con’s war against the American middle class. It proves what many have intuited and serves to remind us that without a healthy, employed, and vital middle class, America is no more than the richest Third World country on the planet."
Peter Coyote, Actor and author of Sleeping Where I Fall