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. Patty

    Pardon my grammer and spelling mistakes. When I get upset I type to fast
    And get ahead of what I want to sayM


    February 20, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Guy Kelley

    Democracy is not simply majority rule. It is about rules and process. The voters did not vote in a solid Republican quorum. Having a Quorum is part of the democratic process. Absent a full quorum, Republicnas need to negotiate and also respect the large number of people who voted for the Democrats. It is not simply, majority gets to rule by tyranny. A quorum rule larger than a simple majority means something.

    February 20, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. secretsquirrel

    The billions you mention are all borrowed. I would rather have 6 million people working for $15/hr building roads than 1 million working in government with billions in wages and benefit packages we cannot afford.
    The "I want MY share" mentality is not going to make things any better. I am not suggesting that the American public keep quiet and take it on the chin. I know that there are dishonest business owners just like I know there are dishonest politicians. The bickering along party and philosophical lines is only going to make it easier for the powers on both sides to come out ahead and get what they want rather than what's best. That's the rub Patty: Who knows what's best?
    A bunch of people arguing and accomplishing precisely nothing. Protesting may get attention drawn to the issue but it is not the same as productive, civil discourse. I agree that those directly affected should have their moment to speak their minds to their representatives and I would submit that they ought to bring viable solutions along with them to provide options for those tasked with making these decisions. That does not mean that the protester's will carry the day and get what they are requesting it means that a democratic process was followed and everyone had their chance to voice their concerns. I agree with Mulder that the people voted and a republican governor was seated with a well known platform and agenda. It would seem to indicate that the people want this or at least want it addressed.
    Let me ask you three questions:
    If the collective bargaining rights were left intact, what, if any, concessions would you be willing to make?
    If not concessions for public workers, then how would you correct the deficit?
    Do you think that the deficit is 'manufactured' merely to allow an avenue to bust up the unions? Or do you feel it's very real and a matter of state security?

    February 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. secretsquirrel

    Good point Guy and I agree that it should never be a matter of one party:one rule. Yet, if the majority has the ability to press their agenda, they will. Democrats and republicans both spend too much. The only difference is that they spend it on diametrically opposite objectives.
    I laugh when I read the extremist points of view because they lack the ability to discuss, consider, analyze and reason their way through anything. One side wants to save the whales and the other side wants to eat them and make a profit. Then there are those who do not care much for whale sandwiches or even watching whales because they are too busy trying to hold their own lives together. I think that a good majority of people are in the middle, trying to find something to cling to and looking for leadership in the middle of social combat zone.
    Not real promising no matter how you look at it. Until that renowned quorum sits down and start hashing these things out sans rhetoric, posturing and the usual political BS and actually focuses on the issues and possible solutions, government will be about as effective as these threads: Just a bunch of people blowing off steam and making noise. Again, we are right back to where we started from: Nothing accomplished but a lot of energy expended.
    "Nero fiddled..."

    February 20, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      Yep...right again. It's about thinking for yourself. If what is happening in WI is not good old fashion civil discourse, then what do you think discourse looks like? I love your characterization of "the sides". Here's another way of looking at it.... One side wants to send you out to catch the whales in a wooden boat with no life jackets, spend profits lobbying to make sure the government doesn't pass laws requiring boats to have life jackets, and pays salaries that rival those of the 1970's while the cost of living increases have raised 50%. The other side believes that not only should there be life jackets, but workers should be able to gather together and demand life jackets so that they are allowed to come home and see their families with less of a chance of drowning.

      February 21, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. lineman

    Just do what sucessful union busters do, replace the workers with illegal aliens. Apparently the governor doesn't think cheeseheads are very bright anyway so they can be taught with cheap labor. When it comes to people you get what you pay for. If the people of Wisconsin don't want to pay their fair share of taxes for basic government services like education then why don't they move out of the state. The same goes for the USA – if you don't like paying the taxes you pay then either put yourself in a lower tax bracket by making less money or get out.

    February 20, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeadGuy

      Hey lineman, Why don't you go back to slashing tires or clubbing scabs. Your understanding of how our political system works seems to be somewhere around a second grade level. The PEOPLE voted in the current flock of representatives/governor in Wisconsin because they're tired of high taxes and people like you. And it won't stop with Wisconsin. UNIONS ARE DEAD!! Get over it.

      February 21, 2011 at 5:06 am | Report abuse |
  6. Patty

    R U Not Listening!!!
    The people of Wisconson R willing to take cut and pay towrds their pension.What they don'want taken is their right collective bargining. Go back 20 years and U will see that collective bargening has to happen on a state and local level in order to bid out big projects. UNIONS serve a purpose. As for the billions that U say R borrowed. Wrong this money has been sitting in place for a decade. NoT just in Wisconson but many other States. Here in Florida we have 52 billion waiting to be spent on our roads and bridges and guess what our goverment is going to hire out of state contractors
    Why should we the people let them do that to us. As far as the pols R concerned there is no viable solution. Its their way or the highway. Not: The MIA dems R doing the right thing. In 2003 The dem and Repubs did the same thing to bush and before that the repubs did the same to clinton and before that it was done to reagan. In 8 years that Reagan was in office he never once balanced the budget. So I say GO WISCONSON give them a dose of their own medicine.GOOD NIGH and GOOD LUCK!!
    Whether The money is borrowed or not. Create jobs with that money and quit blaming 0bama!!!!!

    February 20, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Patty

    OH Boy, My spelling was way off.. I speak several languages perhaps I
    Should try them instead of english..

    February 20, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. secretsquirrel

    Patty, if you really want to demonstrate that money rat holed somewhere, please provide a link to the section of the state budget showing where it's location. Does Governor Walker keep it in a shoe box under his bed or is it disguised as additional debt like the rest of the money we 'have?'
    I forgot my tinfoil hat and coat hanger antennas so I am relying on you to point me in the right direction. Maybe I'm stupid like #4. I wish I could look at my bank book and make money appear by simply claiming it's there but I can't.
    I had asked a few questions a couple of posts ago that were either ignored or overlooked. Care to take a try at them? I'll repost to help out:
    Let me ask you three questions:
    If the collective bargaining rights were left intact, what, if any, concessions would you be willing to make?
    If not concessions for public workers, then how would you correct the deficit?
    Do you think that the deficit is 'manufactured' merely to allow an avenue to bust up the unions? Or do you feel it's very real and a matter of state security?
    As for your spelling/grammar, I am not an English teacher so no need to apologize for it.

    February 21, 2011 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      The workers have offered to take the wage and benefits cuts that are being requested. It's the Gov. that won't budge. It's obvious what the real prize for the republicans is here.

      February 21, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    There are a lot of you,on here,who make really good sense. I only wish EVERYONE would get their eyes~and their minds~open to what is actually going on.and not just get their news and facts from media sourses,or people,who are either lying,ignorant,or both!~or,in some cases,Crazy as well! WHERE do you even start, with a person,whose mind is already closed to the actual facts? 1) This in Wisconsin,is NOT about $~it is about collective bargining rights~and FREEDOM,which it should NOT have to be,not in the United states of America today! 2) This does NOT JUST AFFECT UNIONS! 3) This WILL affect YOUR job too~no ifs,ands,or buts! 4)If Repubs can Bust what is left of unions,WHATEVER job you have,will CHANGE~Because your employer will have NOTHING more to fear,about anything!~Whether your wages,hours,breaks~whatever,they will Know the lower and middle class wage earners backs are forever broken,at least in our lifetimes. 5) Without any protection,WHAT DO YOU THINK most employers would treat you like?6) Gov Scott Walker needs to be RECALLED ASAP~He i s very obviously irrastional at best,and a"brick short" at worst~NOT someone you want running your state in any case!

    February 21, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    As for Teachers many of you are badly informed,for sure! My neighbor and dear friend,decided,after her kids were grown,to go to college to become a teacher,which she did 11 yrs ago,and a wonderful one too ,by all reports,especially my reports from my grandaughters! As this lady just told me~they prefer a teacher keep going to school,while teaching and get at least a Masters,which she did. One of my own Son~in~laws,a long time farmer,with 2 degrees already,had always wanted to teach,and was offered a position when we lost a teacher a number of years ago. He now has a PHD inaddition to his masters! When both these fine people starting teaching~the wages were LOW~and with student loans to pay! My Soninlaw took the job because:1)He wanted to teach.2)his wife,my daughter has a good job,but because of a pre~exsisting condition,could never get health ins~even thru an employer~her meds were $1400 a MONTH OUT OF POCKET 3)He knew there wd be a small pension one day,when he retired.~He started teaching ar$21,000 a yr~now makes $35,000~hardly rich for a mam with a PHD! But he Loves teaching.My neighbor 11 yrs into teaching,is still paying her loans to get a Masters degree.She is hardly getting rich teaching either!

    February 21, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    I also have 2 son~in~laws who are long time poiice officers,who have risked their lives Many Times,to save someone like you and me. Another son~in~law is a long time Firefighter/paramedic,with lots of schooling,who has made some dramatic rescues in his career! He nearly died himself,saving a local man from the bottom of a grain bin,and not long after THAT,he saved the life of an 8yr old child,who was far from a hospital,by skills he learned thru all that schooling! Do you think HE makes a ton of $? Hardly,and his health ins is TERRIBLE. I am from another city,but when I was badly injured 3yrs ago,I asked for him to be sent,since we have a mutal aid agreement,and they were calling for a paramedic from there already. 8yrs ago I was hurt in a freak accident downtown,going into the store for milk! I was out,but 2 of our fireman and a police officer saved my life. I woke up on the way to the Hospital! You think these people do not EARN what LITTLE they make,for the job they do?? You will think so if YOUR familys`lives ever depend on them!~~AND,the Botton Line is NONE of THAT,or $~it is that nearly Every Union BUT THESE,have been slowly driven out,and THEY are OUR VOICE whether you work for them or not~just as AARP FIGHTS FOR All seniors,even without you belonging to them at all.l promise~ !Repubs WILL take ANYTHING FROM US THAT WE LET THEM TAKE!

    February 21, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  12. Patty

    Secret S. I will get U the links later on today. I am at my office today even though it's a holiday.

    Thank U

    February 21, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    My last comment on here today,is that the Defecit business,whether state or federal,while we need to get it down as soon as recovery is Much More along~defecit is a word being used as a "red herring",to drag people into getting upset and scared,like "death panels"were used about healthcare ins! The defecit will be MUCH better,once most people get back to work and paying taxes~and THEN we MUST reasonablely raise Taxes,in order to keep our service going,and our water,sewer,roads,and everthing else taxes pay for,from libraries to local swimming pools~whatever~they HAVE to have tax $ to pay for all future things and repairs,and we MUST STOP INSANE TAX BREAKS TO MILLION&BILLIONAIRES~AND RAISE THE F.I.C.A TAXES ON INCOME PAST THE $106,800 THAT THESE UBEr~WEALTHY PAY INTO IT,BUT THEN GET THE TOP SOCIAL SEC.PAYOUT! Soc.Sec does NOT add to deficit~CANT BY LAW~it is RETIREMENT INSURANCE YOU PAY FOR ALL THE 40/50yrs u work! And talk of REDUCED BENEFITS? HOW? WE HAVENT HAD A SOC.SEC.RAISE IN NEARLY 3 YEARS NOW,WAKE UP FOLKS!~and,if one$ is cut from SS,I PRAY U TEA PARTY FOOLS ARE 1ST TO GET CUT BACK!The Total HC bill will help FIX medicare if we will just LET IT! There are so many great new things on my new BC/BS INS THIS YR,and they TELL U ITS BECAUSE OF THE NEW HC LAW!

    February 21, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    @secrect s.~I wasnt going to post anymore right now,but wanted to say I am glad if patty is getting you some plsces to resd what you want to know. Thepulic Em unions already agreed to less$and pension~its all about NOT losing barginning rights~nothing else.this has Nothing to do with nor will it fix the deficit~AG

    February 21, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  15. jeff

    one final thought to every "Independent" thinker out there. If you're on the fence when it comes time to drop in your ballot, just think back to the last administration who actually reported a federal surplus. Then think about the state of the nation between 2006-2009. I think the decision about who's spending your tax dollars recklessly is pretty obvious.

    February 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeadGuy

      Absolutely Jeff... The last administration spent money trying to keep the country safe and this administration is spending money to pay off their political supporters. Pretty obvious, but thanks for the reminder.


      February 21, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
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