Wisconsin businessman: Havoc isn't 'what this process is about'
Dan Mulder of Madison says the political bickering is out of hand. "He who creates the most mayhem prevails in the day.”
February 19th, 2011
05:24 PM ET

Wisconsin businessman: Havoc isn't 'what this process is about'

Dan Mulder is staying away from the marching and chanting around the Capitol steps in Madison and staying put in his office and warehouse. But it’s not because he doesn’t have an opinion. Far from it.

Mulder is the general manager and chief executive officer of a local business employing 25 people. He’s seen costs skyrocket and health care insurance premiums continue to rise.

He describes himself as an independent — he did not vote for the recently inaugurated Gov. Scott Walker. These days, however, he says Walker’s plan on fixing the budget deficit, which includes removing public sector employees’ collective bargaining rights, is right on the mark.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/02/20/wisconsin.biz.avoids.chaos.cnn"%5D

“I just think [Walker] deserves an Oscar for standing up,” Mulder said. “He’s got the resilience and the constitution to stand up and take on this issue.

“He fully realizes and understands that you can’t pay with what you don’t have, so he’s trying to live within his means. And that’s something that is completely foreign as a concept to most government sectors because if they need more money, they just raise taxes. The people who are paying those taxes are saying, ‘We can’t pay any more’.”

Mulder is a proponent of a civil and rational dialogue and exchange of ideas. He says the protests and chaos happening at the Capitol is not the way to go about getting things done.

“He who is loudest, he who is most vocal, he who creates the most mayhem prevails in the day,” Mulder said, shaking his head. “That should never be what this process is about."

“It’s really tragic because this is somewhat akin to the Civil War. Not that we’re at that level and hopefully we won’t be. But you’ve got brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor—that’s how driven this argument is.”

As far as the Democratic legislators fleeing the state to prevent a vote on the controversial bill, Mulder says they were elected to do a job - and not just when they feel like it.

“The last time I woke up, we were in a democratic society,” Mulder said, adding that the November elections — which put both a Republican governor and Republican legislature in place—were a clear mandate that it’s their turn to try some solutions.

“That Republican administration has been put in place by public mandate. And now that they’re exercising that mandate there's a minority of the population that doesn’t want to conform to that. Then it’s not a democracy anymore.”

He concluded by saying if people aren’t careful, the situation could eventually turn into anarchy.

“It’s tragic.”

soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. Joe

    Hey, I got an idea, let's interview every person with an idea in Wisconsin. Like maybe a teacher or a nurse, so they can tell you how good they have it. Please, a business owner who doesn't like taxes and unions. Breaking News CNN. Come on. The real heroes here are the Democratic Senators using an unusual tactic and putting their careers at risk to stand up for what they believe is right.

    February 19, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JD

    The Texas Eleven were a group of Texas Senate Democrats who fled Texas for Albuquerque, New Mexico for 46 days in 2003 aimed
    at preventing the passage of controversial redistricting legislation that would have benefited Texas Republicans.
    A group of Texas House representatives, dubbed the Killer Ds, had fled the state earlier that same summer for the same reason.

    Members of the 1891 Florida Senate went to Georgia in a bid to prevent a quorum for the election of a U.S. senator.

    And in 1994, Republican members of the California Assembly refused to show up for floor sessions in an effort to prevent Democrats
    from electing Willie Brown as speaker with less than a majority vote.

    So as you can see, this isn't a new tactic. It's just a tactic that the uneducated Governor Walker and his constiuents know nothing about.

    February 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      JD They will redistrict in Missouri and take out one of the democrat districts. They are also speaking about watering down the unions in missouri.

      February 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ray

    has anyone noticed 30 years ago we never had any problems. before gloabalisim and nafta?

    February 19, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • DAISHI

      During the gas crisis, Vietnam protests, Civil Rights disturbances and all that? Yeah America was peaches and cream.

      February 20, 2011 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. JD

    ray,,,,,and deregulation.......by the republicans

    February 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ray

    stop fighting with each other. and fight the real enemy globalisim nafta immigrants. lets go back to just us !! what use to work.......not this garbadge toilet bowl.....we dont need these people..... globalisim. we need our jobs back.....we need our country back.

    February 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ray

    JD we never had any problems in the 80s Era wasnt by mistake. One nation one culture one language one border.....one culture. Nafta and gloabalisim is disaster. We dont need these people here.......... dont need any global clients. I';ll argue that with anyone of you clowns. anybody on Cnn. any business owner here. What we need is to go back to our Domestic oly society back. What worked!!!! ........made here for here by to here....only.......!!!!......

    February 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ray

    made in america for americans by americans remember that? remember when we use to be together. When we ran this place. Remember job security. remember being employed in a place 10 20 years. Remember salary rasies every year. Remember pride in american worker.....remember when there was no foriegn influence no forigen medalling. Remember when corp use to protect our jobs. Remember when every thing was built here for us. I do....and ....I.... will not let go. I reject globalisim ad very one of its detestable elements. .......Right down.......to a tooth pic made over seas.

    February 19, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ray

    We need our manufactureing jobs and many other things to return bac to the way it was prior to the 90's.

    February 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JD

    It always gets blamed on Obama.

    This fiasco wasn't started by President Obama. This started way back with Reagan. Reagan was in office for 8 years and NEVER balanced a budget,
    but he did manage to deregulate the airline industry and fire all the air traffice controllers.
    He also borrowed from social security to the tune of $350 Million back then, and never repaid it. Imagine the compounded interest!
    Thats where the loses began. President Clinton was actually the first President to clean the mess up after GHW (1) Bush,
    and then GW Bush took us into debt again to the tune of $8 Trillion by the year 2004, after borrowing from the Chinese Government to pay
    tax breaks to the American people and the rich....
    during the time we were in two (2) wars. Brilliant maneauver! Even GHW (1) Bush disagreed with his son's reasoning. Oh, then after not
    balancing a budget again, he bailed out wall street, not once, but several times, then he invoked TARP. Yes, it was GW Bush that created TARP in October, 2008.
    Oh, did I mention that Obama was elected in 2009? .......when the damage was done.

    You really need to study the issues before you express wrongful opinions.
    I think there are only about two men that could really handle this depression caused by the republicans, and one has already balanced
    his budget and created a surplus, something no republican can boast about yet...and that was Clinton. The other had one hell of a dish
    laid out on his table and he's already saved a total breakdown of the US Capitalistic System after the "right" bailed out the rightists
    that caused the collapse. How many pensioneers lost it all as a result of the thievery by the rich on Wall Street, while it went unchecked
    by the republicans? Remember when GW Bush wanted to put most of SSI into the stock market, but he couldn't get it to slide by?
    Imagine the mess we would be in now had that happened? Maybe it was one slippery scheme that GW Bush just wasn't able to pull off with Wall Street?

    Dwight Eisenhower was last Republican President to balance a budget. He had a balanced budget in 1956 and 1957.
    Since then, there have been two presidents to preside over balanced budgets, LBJ in 1969 and Clinton in 1998 through 2001.
    It even took him 5 years to balance the budget the first time.

    During the last 40 years there have been five budget surpluses, all five were under Democratic Presidents: 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001.

    Vote Democrat.... the ass you save may be your own.

    February 19, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ray

    my opinion

    February 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. me

    You know what is funny he says “That Republican administration has been put in place by public mandate. And now that they’re exercising that mandate there's a minority of the population that doesn’t want to conform to that. Then it’s not a democracy anymore.”
    That is not what the Republicans did on health care or anything else in the last couple of years. Conservatives are always wanting the other side to sit down and shut up when they are in power. But when the other party is in power and has a MANDATE they never shut up. Then they call it patriotism.

    February 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeadGuy

      Hmmm... Just exactly what input did the Republicans have to ObamaCare? They didn't even know what was in the bill. No time to read it. Pelosi said "We'll know what's in it when we pass it." Now, who exactly tells whom to sit down when they get in power?

      February 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      I dont know what Bush and the Republican Congress signed in the 6 years they reigned either, I just know the co pays went up, the price of prescripts went sky high, small businesses can no longer pay for spouses, and insurance premiums doubled.

      February 19, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Scottish Mama

    CNN CNN CNN- Instead of printing 1 persons peronal point of view, why dont you just print the bill so everyone can decide what it really says.

    February 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeadGuy

      Scottish Mama - There's this thing called Google. It's pretty easy to use. But don't worry. I helped you out.


      February 19, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Thanks deadguy I just learned to email last week. lol

      February 19, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ray

    i never blamed obama..................i blame us. cause we allowed nafata.......we allow the third worlding of this place. those guys come and go.....4 years and there gone.........who gives a crap about them. we the ones who stuck with crap......we allowed this to happen.

    February 19, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim

    I hope when the legislators of Wisconsin "collectively" discuss and approve increases to their per diem, the people of the State come together and vote accordingly! Don’t take away the right of collective bargaining; rather, sit down and negotiate fair and equitable responses to the needs of the State and the people it serves!

    February 19, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. RS

    This isn't about the state being broke, fixing the the shortfall, Public vs Private employees, or even teachers rights. With this bill Walker is single handedly destroying the strongest democratic supporters (in terms of monetary donations). He also has some things in this bill that will cost the state more money. Splitting UW-Madison from the rest of the state universities, for example. Further the state will lose millions of dollars of federal funding for public transport because the Feds require collective bargaining for public transport systems. Clearly this bill is dirty politics. I definitely don't identify as a Democrat and I can see that.

    February 19, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
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