Wisconsin Assembly passes controversial labor bill
March 10th, 2011
04:49 PM ET

Wisconsin Assembly passes controversial labor bill

The Wisconsin state Assembly on Thursday afternoon passed a controversial bill that curtails most state workers’ collective bargaining rights, one day after state Senate Republicans used a technical procedure to get around the intentional absence of 14 Democrats and pass the measure in their chamber.

Throngs of people upset at the developments have been protesting on the grounds of the Capitol throughout the day.

The bill will reach Gov. Scott Walker's desk for final approval. The bill would, among other things, allow public workers to collectively negotiate wages only and bar unions from taking dues from public workers’ checks. Walker has argued the bill is necessary to help the state correct its deficits and avoid massive layoffs and property tax hikes.

Here is a running account of some of the latest developments:

5:02 p.m. ET: Detail on the vote: The Assembly passed the measure 53-42.

4:47 p.m. ET: The Assembly has passed the bill.

4:41 p.m. ET: The Assembly appears to be voting.

4:33 p.m. ET: Still debating the bill, Democrats in the state Assembly are arguing that the Senate's move to pass the measure yesterday was illegal in part because the bill still addresses fiscal matters.

Senate Republicans, before passing the measure yesterday, stripped the bill of appropriations so that they could vote for the bill without a quorum. This way, they could vote without the presence of the 14 Democrats who fled the state.

Assembly Democrats, however, are arguing that the measure still has changes in appropriations, inclduing a change in appropriations for a tax credit. 

4:22 p.m. ET: Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has received two death threats, Fitzgerald spokesman Andrew Welhouse said. Both threats were e-mailed from the same address, according to Welhouse.

4:04 p.m. ET: Although Democratic state Sen. Jim Holperin apparently is returning to Wisconsin, one of his fellow Democrats in the state Senate, Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, says she and other Senate Democrats are staying in Illinois. She says the matter of whether the Wisconsin Senate legally passed the measure last not hasn't been settled.

She said that because the legality of the Senate's move last night still has to be determined, she and other Senate Democrats still will stay away from Wisconsin because they don't want to be forced to appear in the Senate to deal with the measure.

Vinehout told CNN's Brooke Baldwin that she doesn't know where Holperin is, but she said that if he is on his way back to Wisconsin, he doesn't have the most current information. She added that the courts will need to decide whether yesterday's "legislative trickery" by Senate Republicans was legal.

3:58 p.m. ET: State Sen. Jim Holperin, one of the 14 state Senate Democrats who left the state last month in an attempt to prevent the Senate from voting on the measure, has told CNN he did so because the public needed time to digest what was being voted on, and because he thought a compromise was possible.

"The governor said he wanted to balance the budget, and we thought that could be done using the sacrifices of public workers who had agreed to concessions. We thought that could be done without taking workers' rights. Apparently we were wrong, based on the Senate's action last night," he told CNN's Brooke Baldwin.

Holperin said he has left Illinois, where he and the other Democratic senators had been staying, and is on his way back to his district in Wisconsin.

3:32 p.m. ET: The Assembly is discussing the measure. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, a Democrat, has told fellow lawmakers that "the charade is up," saying the argument that the bill helps fix Wisconsin's budget is bogus.

"It doesn't fix the budget. All it does its take away workers' rights, forever," Barca said. "... Don't insult your constituents when you go home ... and tell them you repaired the budget, because you didn't repair the budget. All you did was trample on workers' rights" and Democracy."

3:04 p.m. ET: Regarding the possible recall elections that CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin mentioned below: Wisconsin residents who are angry about the saga of this measure - whether angry at Republicans for pushing it, or at the Democratic senators who fled the state last month in an attempt to avoid a vote - are talking about holding these to force some legislators out before their terms are up.

Toobin says these elections can be called by petition. Only legislators who have served at least a year would be eligible for a recall election, Toobin said. Polls suggest some recall elections would be close, Toobin said.

3:02 p.m. ET: Toobin notes that if the legislature's actions are found to have violated open-meetings law, the legislature - dominated by Republicans who want to pass the bill - will just pass it again. "The composition (of the legislature) is not going to change unless there are recall elections," Toobin said.

3 p.m. ET: Regarding whether Republican lawmakers are violating open-meetings law to push the bill through, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says its tough to tell, because there seem to be arguments for both sides. However, he says, this is more a political controversy than a legal controversy. "The courts will get involved, but ultimately the Wisconsin voters will decide" whether this bill will stay in effect (assuming the bill passes today).

- CNN's Ed Lavandera and the CNN Wire contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Jobs • Labor • Wisconsin
soundoff (498 Responses)
  1. HernandezUSA

    "Wisconsin Assembly poised to pass controversial labor bill" How this controversial ?

    It was either LAYOFF 6000 people or END Union greed.

    I say save 6000 jobs and the Union (mafia) can take a jump in a cold lake.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ozz

      A unionized public employee, a member of the tea party and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the tea partier and says, 'Watch out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie."

      March 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Or shave a hair off the corporate kickbacks and tax loopholes while preserving education for your childrens future.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo Anne

      Now Mr President – Do you want to talk about Political Bullying???

      March 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • DustyP

      Yeah, but you forgot to mention it was the CEO that bought the cookies.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      The right thing has been done. Why do you people think the President and democratic Senators and Reps stayed away from Wisconsin. Why? Because they know what the right thing is...and they want to keep their jobs a while. When are you going to realize that we do not want this country run by people that Ed Shultz and Bill Press and blowhards like them support....the radical far far left. We don't want any part of that. That is why Washington stays away. They don't want it either. Ed Shultz, Bill Press, all of you left, left, left radicals....go home.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • miguel

      I agree, and it is well past time to recall and fire the 14 democrats who left the state rather than do their jobs.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • JB

      Right on. Thanks to the Wisconsin Republicans for continuing to work and pay taxes while Wisconsin's liberals ignore work & protest.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lila

      The rich got tax cuts and the police and firefighters were rewarded, they got to keep ALL their Union rights! Walker is a corrupt dirtball.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • knucklehead

      ...and the CEO then gave 3 cookies to representatives from both parties, ran the corporation he was running into the ground, broke it up, sold it off, p!ssed away the pension funds, grabbed another case of cookies, jumped out of his penthouse office window and rode his golden parachute to a nice, soft landing.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • montylc2001

      to all you union members: unions have become what they were created to fight. Your union bosses dont give a hoot about you, its about power and money. They have become rich off of YOU and have become the enemy your supposed to be fighting. wake up

      March 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • bug

      couldn't agree more!!! unions are the (rightful) losers today. the workers fortunately aren't going to be laid off, and the front page shows how elated they are. the one guy was passing out he was so happy to keep his job 😉

      March 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      hey, ozz. let's correct your stupid analogy. there's no "ceo" at that table. a public union employee is sitting at the table with a crooked politician. a taxpayer is made to wait out in the hallway. the politician steps out to take the taxpayer's "cookies" at the point of a gun and returns to promise half of them to the union member in exchange for his vote and future campaign contributions.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • mnindependent

      OZZ's analogy of the union member, tea partier and Corporate CEO sitting at a table with 12 cookies on it. The CEO reaches out and takes 11 cookies and says to the tea partier, "look out for the union guy he wants part of your cookie", is SPOT ON!
      Dusty commented "Yeah, but you forgot to mention it was the CEO that bought the cookies" .
      Well, Dusty you forgot that the CEO bought the cookies with the tax payer bailout money they were handed and all the subsidies they get from the people year after year, not to mention a lot of them pay almost NO money in taxes due to all the loopholes in the tax law. I'm always amazed how the right wing has convinced the average wage earning Republican to fight for and defend the CEO's in the US that make 1,000 times more than them by ripping us all off. I guess if you hear a lie often enough you DO start to believe it.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mitch

      It's about time we moved away from the industrial age and started trying to be a full FREE ECONOMY. Why aren't any of the news stations comparing the rich benefits and packages of the WI employees with us poor corporate employees??? Pension? What Pension? Guaranteed Jobs? Huh?? Spare me. That doesn't even sound like America.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Dusty – the CEO did not buy the cookies, consumers (Joe Taxpayer) bought the cookies. Wake up!

      March 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      if i dont show up to work, i get fired...

      want to curb this crap, make all elected positions for one term and one term only. you may find politicians actually doing the right thing, rather than whats needed to be reelected.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lola

      @Dusty: The workers made the cookies, and without them, none would have been available for purchase. Seriously, why are you such a tool?

      March 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      What about the 5000 teachers that will lose their jobs if this budget bill is passed which cuts funding to schools?

      March 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      But then the CEO game some of the cookies to his workers and more to his executives, but then some welfare buggers entered the room and demanded the CEO, his workers and executives give 15 cookies to them.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • XxMacleodxX

      Obama campaign promise to union workers....."I will put on my comfortable shoes and march along side you."........chalk one more up in the lie column.......but it is for the best ..they should have taken the deal he offered the day before...is what happens when you go all or nothing

      March 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • RW

      This is a step in the right direction! Thank goodness that Scott Walker wants to eliminate deficits and help turn Wisconsin around. Enough of the writing out blank checks when there is no money in the checkbook. We all need to do our part to get back on track.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      Of course the union members would rather their co-workers were laid off. They don't care.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      How exactly does this impact the quality of education adversely? This move actually ALLOWS for accountability in education, meaning lazy teachers can get fired and good ones can be paid without getting extorted by unions. Only the lazy complain.

      Here is a funny fer 'ya: How many union workers does it take to protest? A: 11 – One to scream and shout and 10 more to stand around and watch.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beantown

      Well, thats smart logic, so rip off union employeess cause you don't want to do your job.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Old Guys Rule

      Amazing. Unions have their collective bargaining rights taken away and all of a sudden teachers can't teach, kids will suffer and the sky is falling. Take a look at the state of the education in this country. What have the unions and Education Department done for 'the children' up to this point?

      March 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Actually, the dozen cookies on the table were created by the workers, baked with their sweat and then taken by the CEO without question. He didn't buy them, he DID steal them.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • WI_Independent

      @MNINDEPENDENT – so in your logic, the CEO bought the cookies with taxpayer money – implying that EVERY single public company was bailed out in someway, shape, or form? You are so mindless to post that. So to your point, your company would have been bailed out by the gov't, so using that, you owe me, the taxpayer, whatever is in your pay envelope because my tax money bailed out your company that kept paying for idiots like you.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • CommonSense

      Nabisco makes more cookies than anybody, and it's a corporation.

      Personally, I like cookies. And cars, clothes, and food. The lowest cost providers of all these goods are corporations.

      BTW, even though some CEOs make a lot of money, they never make more money than they generate for their shareholders. And who are those shareholders? You and me. If you have a retirement plan, you are a shareholder. So the next time you see a rich CEO, be sure to thank him.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      All of the people that agree with this are idoits. The union has paved the way for higher wages and benefits. The american people of our great nation are aloud the right to be union or not. Just cutting out the bargaining rights. The unions and union workers pay taxes just like everyone else. If you don't like unions that's your problem but with out them you wages wouldn't be what they are today. Are the senators in Wisconsion going to stop giving themselves raises they make more than a union worker.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • GT66

      Old Guys Rule: " What have the unions and Education Department done for 'the children' up to this point?"

      You assume the state of education in this country is at its worst. You assume that it can't go any lower. Well sir, you ain't seen nuthin yet. If you think paying people LESS to work HARDER is the answer to education's woes then you are truly the favored socket puppet of the neocon right.

      March 10, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. California

    "It was either LAYOFF 6000 people or END Union greed."
    You have bought into their nonsense. This is not about public vs. private sector workers or "overpaid" union workers. This is about the 400 richest Americans that now possess wealth equal to 50% of the American population – those 400 have what is divided up amongst millions of families scraping by. Their wealth (much of it obtained through govt contracts – ie TAXPAYER money) could bring us out of this crisis if fairly taxed. The Koch brothers and such want you to believe this is about greedy teachers or sanitation workers, so you won't notice as they strip away your rights and suddenly it is you, the individual employee, against their multi-billion dollar corporation.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |

      Ok Robin Hood. Rob from the rich and give to the poor. That is the socialist mantra.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Actually Dylan, it's the mantra for every societal overthrow that has come about when the disparity between rich and poor grew too vast. Wait for it.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • scadurfee

      And just exactly where would we be with out these 400 risk takers. Ya, these are the ones who put up the money and took a big chance instead of complaining about what everybody else should do to help" poor me" wake up!

      March 10, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • montylc2001

      your a fool. there will always be a wealthy class, whether its a capitilist society, fascist, fueadul, socialist or communist(which are both the same thing)

      March 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catholic MOM and Wife

      Being apart of Unions for most of my married life – this is a step in the right direction.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • New Jersey

      Well, I understand 600 or the 700 million dollars Wisconsin got in the stimulous package went straight to the public sector Thats right, straight to public sector (public union members' retirement packages. It did not go to 'shovel ready jobs'. So, who is greedy?

      March 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim163

      Actually Robin Hood stole from the government and gave to the poor.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • JFWilder

      Well DYLANSDADDY, first and foremost, in a socialist economy, a CEO won't have that sort of power because the PEOPLE own the company. There is no greedy CEO to run circles around laws, buy political favors, and grow rich off anybody and everybody who put him where he is. Runaway capitalism IS ruining the country, big companies taking away rights supported by TEABAGGERS and GOP right wingers funded by idiots and CEO's make sure that nobody but them wins.

      This is a perfect example of rights being stripped away. You'll see those layoffs anyway...guaranteed. This was about power, not layoffs vs budget.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • mlc

      Risk takers? Inheriting wealth really isn't that risky . . .

      March 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mountainslug

      So the multi-billion dollar corporation in this case is the State of Wisconsin?

      March 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phoenix

      @montylc2001, No, there is a big difference between socialism and communism, look it up.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jones

      I am tired of the lie that this is somehow about the 400 richest people and of making them share with the working class. If unions could do that I would back them. But unions are really about making an aritificial middle class by taking from the real working class and has no effect what so ever on the rich.

      This country needs a complete reworking of how our ecconomy works. Part of this needs to be the bannishing of Unions.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      How can it be that a teacher is a greedy capitalist pig to the right but a billionaire price fixing wall street hadge fund manager a poor guy who needs to have his wages increased to $110m from $100m to help us while we get every caring profession to lose 10% of their income, the same people who founded unions to get better rights for workers.

      They are the evil ones if you just fell down the rabbit hole and bought into the koch roaches of the koch brothers funded tea party express and faux news.....if you think when the unions are gone your wages wont drop to the floor and your rights disappear then you have a big shock coming, britain killed off the unions 30 years ago....and look at the employee rights now...there are none and the minimum wage dropped, working conditions dropped, compansation for injuries are less then 1/10th of their former amounts....you want this then vote for it and ill be one of the millions to walk past your begging ungrateful ass when your homeless cos your employer decided it was cheaper to take that safety gear of the machinery so you could work faster.

      You made your crap sandwich so here's hoping you enjoy the taste cos your going to be eating it for life

      March 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      hey California. You want to whine about the rich, what about the 50% of the US population that paid NO federal income taxes in 2009? This according to USA Today and numerous sources. Corporate greed blah blah blah.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doc

      Socialism huh? That's going to be a tough sell. But hey it's worked out for so many socialist empires in the past right? Here let me pull up some examples... hmm hold on... I'm sure there's ONE example of lasting socialist success... Hmm I'll be back... I'm sure there's ONE.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wayne Dueck

      How many of those 400 richest Americans live in Wisconsin? It seems your rant is off topic
      Along that line, those who portray the NFL owners and players association fight as negotiations between billionaires and millionaires don't seem to know who the owners of the Packers are.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Zeta

    I say you haven't any clue at all about this bill...or unions in general.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Zeta

    That was meant for HernandezUSA...sorry.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sardukar

    "The courts will get involved, but ultimately the Wisconsin voters will decide" <- the thing GOP hates most...

    March 10, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whiney Libs

      Except for 2010 when the people voted in the republicans in a land slide to battle the libs non-sense and greed

      March 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • New Jersey

      Looks like the voters already decided and the DNC was shellacked.....not the GOP.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Old Guys Rule

      I see Red.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. California

    Do you know the bill well? The parts of the bill that will allow for no bid contracts on government projects? Look it up. Who would want that in the bill? Who does that benefit? The taxpayers?
    I know unions well, I have benefitted from the rights they have fought for , as have all non union workers – check the statistics.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan

    Talk about buying into nonsense, California has chugged the Kool aid, how exactly does disallowing Wisconsin, government employees help the 400 richest? Why would they care? and saying they are unfairly taxed is beyond moronic. The fact is, government Unions are the ones bilking the taxpayers, an avg of $75K a year and retiring at 45 with 65% of that? Bus drivers making 6 figures? These are facts not opinions. All of these perks are obtained by the exact means the left decries the "evil rich" they bribe the former pols to enact the rules that support their private cause, essentially 7% of the people taking money from the other 93% most of whom make less than they do. This is so simple a concept that I thought even dems could grasp, but some like Cali refuse to open their eyes

    March 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • California

      Dannyboy, do you really not get how union busting hurts the richest? The rich in this country need a powerless, cheap workforce – if they can get it here it will be way more convenient than shipping jobs overseas. Taxed fairly how? Do you know who the income tax was originally and exclusively designed to tax? ONLY the wealthy – that was the purpose – a redistribution of wealth. I always find it amusing when poor schleps defend the superriches rights and stop on the middle class's – hoping you'll be one of them some day Danny? Maybe they'll invite you to their club?

      March 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Your right California...I'm a schlep. I really have no clue what I'm talking about. I need help just to change my underwear in the morning.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • scadurfee

      very well put. The general public is starting to understand the real story about union abbuse. If their ways are not changed to bring wages and retirement into prospective with the nonunion workforce, our country will be strangeled to a point of collapse.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sardukar

      @Dan: You realize you will have to pay for the help to change your underwear in the morning this is the capitalist way..

      March 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • comm0nsense

      What you don't seem to get is that gov workers enter into low-paying, no stock options jobs precisely because these jobs offered better retirement deals. So now that the banks have run the country to the grounds (and then got bailed out by my money, were given 900 billions dollars of tax break), we are the ones to be sacrificed to 'balance the budget.' Of course you are too stupid to realize the reason the US is what it's today is because of the investment it made in science and technology (not your wall street fat cats, but because of people like bill gates). If you are going to start balancing the budget by cutting educational spending (even if you think there is corruption there), a) it will not balance the budget, b) you will kill any chance the US has of retaining its edge in the world (think China is going to cut educational spending). But, at the end of the day, if there were even few country-loving, rational minded people in D.C., things wouldn't have been as bad as they are. When bombing Libya is more important than paying our teachers, we've got series prioritization issues.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • mlc

      Dan is one of the 17% of Americans who think they are in the top 1% economically . . . keep protecting those 'upper class tax breaks' thinking it's for them.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doc

      Once again you've got it wrong California. Income taxes were originally NOT what you said. It was a Victory Tax in World War 2 that was essentially a way to keep the country from sliding into debt byt spreading the burden amongst all of our grandparents.

      For someone dishing enlightenment you sure seem to be in the dark on reality.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. California

    LOL – ok, well perhaps he'll read my comment, too – it might benefit him.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Frank

    Have you seen the actions of the union protesters? THUGS! THUGS! They make the Tea Party protests last year look like bingo night at church. The language. The disrespect for law enforcement. The anger. The signs. Etc. Etc.
    Unions = THUGS! Where is Obama's outrage? Where is the daily CNN commentary on the tone of this protest?
    Oh wait .. UNIONS = CNN = Obama re-election team ... never mind. 🙁

    March 10, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • unkowimright

      Yes, because these "thugs" showed up with AR-15s screaming racial slurs and Hitler references. Get a clue

      March 10, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nate Swartz

      Misinformed AKA "frank,"

      Haha "frank" you do not even live in this state. I do and have seen the protests first hand they are not "thugs" as described by your FoxNews (you can see the infamous Bill O'Reilly Madison with Palm tree video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRcmeA1k-ik). Wake up and look into your sources of information and stop believing all that crap they are shoving down your throat. Everyday police have commented and thanked the peaceful "thugs" for exercising their rights!

      FORWARD WISCONSIN!!! 2012 President OBAMA will paint this state BLUE again!!!!

      March 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      I live in Madison and I can assure you that the protesters have been nothing but peaceful. I've personally seen protesters cleaning up after themselves, doing their best to not obstruct traffic, and generally being respectful of their surroundings.

      Whether or not I agree with their opinions, there is no way I would ever call these protesters "thugs".

      March 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • comm0nsense

      The depth of your ignorance is just astounding. What is the future of a country so full of illiterate people like you. Quite commenting here and read up something, anything (wait, not Fox news, actual printed stuff ... called books, you know what a library is correct - ops my bad, you didn't go to college-a statistical fact about people like you .. dang, i didn't again, you don't know what a statistics is. Well, what sucks is there are so many of you. The darn thing about democracy is that you will vote Fox and Religion and your racist inclinations and bring about the end of the US). Better splits, i guess.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Frank

    Congratulations Wisconsin for moving this issue forward. Hopefully your state will pass this bill soon.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jeff Frank - Ohio

    I cant believe how I-94 in Milwaukee is falling apart. Probably no money to fix it. All the high rises are falling apart. I just don't understand how you hand out raises, when the state budget is bankrupt. It used to be if a union had integrity and was competent enough, their lawers or accountant CPA qualified individuals could " read the books", as it were, to "bargain" a raise or consession, while looking for collusion. Now all you see are protesters thinking " they're getting screwed". When there may not be funds to pay them. 😉

    March 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      I-94 in Milwaukee was rebuilt over the last three years for just under $1billion. What are you prattling on about? As for raises, I have not seen one for the last two years. Indeed, with furloughs, I gave up 3% of my pay over that period. State employees fully expected no raise in the next contract and were willing to conceded on the pension and insurance issues. We wanted to maintain the ability to negotiate it back some time down the road.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Walther Schmidt

    Hey Dan,

    Read the entire bill, and then tell us in your smug, sanctimonious fashion that this is not a giveaway to the interests of the wealthy. Or are you one of the obscenely wealthy yourself? If you have ever worked for a living, then it is YOU who have been drinking the kool aid if you back Adolph Walker.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • MN Tom

      Looks like you have a good GERMAN name. Kind og goes with your ideology.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • New Jersey

      MN Tom is racist against German – Americans. I am calling the ACLU.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. California

    help the richest, i mean

    March 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Diane Keith

    Where is coverage on the email sent to Gov Walker and Repub Senators late Wednesday night? Nut jobs are threatening to put bullets in their heads, and bomb public buildings? This threat of violence can not be swept under the carpet and ignored. All because public sector unions have to make cuts, like the private sector has been?

    March 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amanda

      The emails are inexcusable and I agree with your sentiment. But this issue isn't about making cuts. The unions agreed to significant cuts. This is about the right to collectively bargain.

      March 10, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uncomfortable_Truth

      Yeah - we'll see about apologies for these Union thugs after you tea-party thugs apologize for your threats on government officials' families and assaults on advocates for the disabled. You're all hypocrites and what you're doing to the decent people in this country is disgusting.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • New Jersey

      the DNC is mortified. With public union shake ups I am sure public union donations to the DNC will decline. Its all about the money. Christie/ Rubio '12

      March 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Frank

    Oh, my bad, I thought all this time Wisconsin was passing a gay marriage law(which I would be thrilled with). Didn't know it had something to do with unions. I had already bought a plane ticket for me and my lover to move there so we could join in holy matrimony. Sorry folks.

    March 10, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • MN Tom

      there are other countries for your perversion you can move to frank

      March 10, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • BobInIrvine

      Perversion? Thanks for being a poster boy for "mean-spirited conservatism." Compassionate conservatism (whatever that was) is as dead as a doornail.

      March 10, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
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