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. Marlene

    It's interesting when he said "That Republican administration has been put in place.................... Then it's not democracy anymore". I wonder if he made the same statement when the Obama administration was put in place and a minority tried to block the administration. The country is tired of growing costs in all sectors and with a very few reaping all the benefits. Legislation was being written to prevent what happened in Wall from happening again, and the Republicans saw to it that the legislation was "watered down". It would be really good if the majority of Americans truly understood how and why decisions are made by THEIR elected representatives. The decisions are usually made in the best interest of a FEW RICH MEN. A decision has been made to BREAK all unions, and this is just the beginning.

    February 20, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Ah nothing to worry about marlene, just another republican rhetoric...an echo from the previe Bush administration.

      February 20, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • DeadGuy

      Well Marlene, from what I read here, what business owners do is get rich by cheating their workers and the government. Doesn't seem to be too hard. Why don't you try it.

      -DeadGuy

      February 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bleh

    When writing a bill, why can't they focus on just one issue of said bill? Oh yeah, because there are too many bills so they combine them when it comes to voting on them. Then some lovely things get shoved in the back door way.
    Vote on one issue at a time? Me o my, they would be there, oh, working like the rest of us!
    How does all the extra crapola get into proposed legislation? Combining 42 different things into one vote for expediency. That's how.

    February 20, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. NoWay

    Back to the sweat shops of not too distant past.

    February 20, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mrs sippy

    ask not what your country can do for you... Boy how times have changed sad day in america dont get what you want? Lets throw a fit like a 2 year old

    February 20, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. secretsquirrel

    While everyone is talking about how unfair and unreasonable this proposal is... read this story from a local Minneapolis/St. Paul news station:
    http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/02/18/reality-check-mn-public-workers-and-their-wi-counterparts/

    February 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. secretsquirrel

    I view this more as an approach to deficit busting than union busting. I'm curious about the policies outlined in these people's contracts regarding employee conduct and honesty as opposed to freedom of speech? If I lied to my employer, took a 'sick day' and was out publicly protesting instead of staying at home "sick." I would be written up, suspended or fired. Maybe that would be an incentive for these folks to protest and exercise their free speech rights on their own time instead of their employer's (our) time?
    I just hope that once the rhetoric and anger die down that all sides can get together and work this out. No one is setting a great example in handling this.

    February 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. #4

    Hello #3. Seems like a family reunion here. You'll never find a more decent, honorable, compassionate and practical person than Dan Mulder. Easy to sit and take potshots at someone you do not know based upon one interview. Having seen both ends of the issue as he has, few people are as qualified to comment intelligently on the issue.
    No matter your political views, no money means no money. To expound on the civil war analogy: At the rate we're going in this country, maybe we can start paying people with confederate script? The U.S. dollar is rapidly approaching the same value. Look next door to Illinois and you will see what you have to look forward to by traveling this same path.
    You've acquitted yourself well Mr. Mulder.

    February 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Patty

    IMPEACH GOV WALKER and all the others elected by the Tea party. Open your eyes people the tea party is going to control the politicians. Mr Muldar donated to the tea party so what side do U think he is on!!! Do your research!!!!

    February 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • DG

      As opposed to the unions controlling everything??

      -DG

      February 20, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Patty

    #4
    The only 2 sides Mr. Mulder is looking at R the tea party side and the republican side. He is locked up in his office making sure his assets R protected!!
    How dumb R U?

    February 20, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dubrats

    Reasonable people see that not only is Walker right, he has little choice. There is no money to spend on Cadillac benefits for public employees and their union bosses refuse to accept reality that many in the public sector have been dealing with for the last 2 years.

    Their choices are to share the pain with the rest of us or lose thousands of jobs. Collective bargaining for public employees is an antiquated blockade the unions use to prevent the change that needs to happen now in the quest to preserve their power. That power belongs to the duly elected leaders of our state, counties and cities and will be returned to it’s rightful place.

    February 20, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Liz In dc

    Thanks for the Information on teacher's salaries folks. very informative.

    February 20, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • David Pfister

      Middle Class, Working Class, Teachers, Firefighters, Policemen, Health Care Workers, Laborers, Farmers, Truckers, Small Buisness, Retirees and those Out of Work. Stand Together. Stand Together For All Our Interests. We have been devided and it has been killing us.

      It's time we all figure out the game. The Rich and Powerful own the board and make all the rules. The only thing we have is numbers. The only way we can win is if we all band together. Solidarity.

      February 21, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. secretsquirrel

    Patty – Apparently #4 is pretty "dumb." He/she is dumb enough to think that at the present rate of spending and the ENORMOUS pay and benefit packages most in the public sector are receiving that we will be well past broke within the next few years. Have you opened the psychedelic curtains and looked outside lately? Do you see the little Chinese men with briefcases appraising your home? Yes, that may pose a problem when you are sending your mortgage payments to Mao Tse Tung's grandson. But then, we ARE striving toward a more diverse culture aren't we?
    Having served two active duty tours in the Marines and lived among people of several countries I’ve seen how they lived, observed their priorities and feel qualified to say that America is spoiled and has their priorities out of whack. Many take our liberties for granted. They didn’t come free and they weren’t cheap to obtain.
    We’re in a fix and there is no way to increase revenue other than increasing taxes or adding fees for services we are already paying for. Increasing taxes will most assuredly create more joblessness, more foreclosures, more homelessness and an outcry from those who advocate for more government to create (guess what) more government. The vocal few have been driving the cost of government through the roof for years and now we have no choice but to reign it in. How hard is it for people to understand the simple fact that we have no more money? Really, how hard is that? These discussions remind me of talks with my children when they were under the age of seven. They cannot grasp the concept of a finite income. To them, mom and dad will always have 'some' cash.
    Somewhere along the way, we as a society have lost track of the basics of finance and our individual responsibilities to our families. Your employer has to earn money before he or she can pay you for your work much less any benefits offered. If your employer is losing money, you get fired or laid off. I have worked for companies that literally ran themselves into bankruptcy rather than lay off employees. If that’s evil business, I want to sign up for another tour with them. Look at the teachers in "Rubber Rooms" in Los Angeles and New York City (http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local-beat/Rubber-Room-Doc-Reveals-Teachers-Paid-For-Nothing-90804024.html). Does this make ANY sense to you? Three years? C'mon. Why on Earth would that NOT make national news for all those years? Can’t say that the union was hiding it or that the administration was hiding it… they both were. You don't have to be a conservative to see a major problem with that situation.
    It's pointless to worry about politics after looking at the finances. Until then, I will find fault with all political parties and seek out reasonable, responsible and intelligent solutions to problems and similarly described people to carry them out no matter what party they are from. It's people who are entrenched in their political affiliations that blind themselves to the reality of the situation. So, if Mr. Mulder is a conservative, flaming liberal, independent or a transgender Martian from out space really makes no difference whatsoever. The source does not alter the reality. Dubrats is right: “Reasonable people see that not only is Walker right, he has little choice.”
    Okay, you can close your curtains now.

    February 20, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      So then make the financial cuts! You opinion is flawed. What does anything you are saying have to do with giving away public workers ability to collectively bargain? This has nothing to do with making the cuts and it's quit obvious that WI is being used as a republican test case to see if the people will just take it in the rear. Your right about one thing (and one thing only), "Many take our liberties for granted. They didn’t come free and they weren’t cheap to obtain." Go back and study your history friend. Blood was spilled for the right to collectively bargain. Blood was spilled for factory workers who face unsafe work conditions. It was spilled for workers who worked full time jobs and couldn't afford to support themselves, let alone their family. Blood was spilled for the ability to hold employers accountable for abuse, and corruption, and treating Americans like you and I as disposable slaves.

      Wake up solder! And by the way, we'll see what happens to your veteran benefits when your republican union busting, budget slashing friends regain control of the 3 branches and there's no more active service to keep the "boys" in the national nightly news.

      February 21, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. Perfection12

    The one truth that Fox does tell, is how the republicans have sold out America to the Koch brothers and Big Business.

    February 20, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Patty

    Hey Secret S....

    I have lived all over the world. I have seem more Poverty than U can imagine. Mothers with their infants begging in the streets late at night. Family's living in old railroad cars without heat or bathroom. Do U know why this happens because the people R not heard or cared about and once upon a time these same families living in poverty were once middle class. They voted in politicians. That told them we have no money to run the courty so we R going to cut programs and U may lose your job and some if your rights. So Secret S lets all keep quiet and let them cut the budget so that nothing is left except their fat salaries and their perks.Do your home work and U will find out that they have billions of dollars for infrastructure that is sitting there and the state is not moving on anything or providing construction jobs with this money.

    Look up the Fritz brothers that just elected to the senate by the tea party. Guess who just appointed as cheif of police their father Fritz Senior!!!! I was married to a politician "republican". We never argued about politics even though I am a dem, we always discussed our different point of views unlike these new pols. Sorry to say he passed away at a young age or he be a senator by now.

    As one blogger said Vote democrat it may be your own your saving. GOOD NIGHT and GOOD LUCK!!!

    February 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Patty

    Sorry, It may be your ASS U R saving.

    Thank U.

    February 20, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
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