18 State Senators undid fifty years of civil rights in Wisconsin

Late last night – Governor Scott Walker and Republicans in Wisconsin proved to the world what we all suspected - that their union-stripping agenda has absolutely NOTHING to do with the budget. With Democrats still AWOL and public opinion turning against him – Walker used the nuclear option. Senate Republicans convened a special session last night – and stripped the budget bill of all the stuff related to an actual budget so that they could pass it without the necessary quorum of Democrats.

The resulting bill was pretty much nothing more than to screw over public unions – including stripping most of their collective bargaining rights away - and to sell off public utilities and defund women's health services. Republicans passed the bill by a vote of 18-1 – with no Democrats present. As one of the filibustering Democratic senators – Chris Larson – said about the move last night - it, “obviously wasn’t about any kind of financing, it was an attack on working families.” And Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller said, “In thirty minutes, 18 State Senators undid fifty years of civil rights in Wisconsin.”

The state capital in Madison was loaded with thousands of protestors at the time of the vote. People who saw the democratic process crumble right before their eyes as the their voices were silenced by Republican back-room deals and parliamentary maneuvers. Massive labor protests outside the capital are planned for today and this weekend – and there at talks of labor strikes.

For the Republicans – all along – it was never about the budget – it was about enacting one-party rule in America, and handing over our nation to billionaires and transnational corporations. In fact – Wisconsin Republican state Senator Scott Fitzgerald admitted that fact in an interview on television yesterday when he said they were doing this to make it harder for Obama to win Wisconsin in 2012.

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