more about the bill, and today's links

The protests in Madison slowed down briefly (but did not stop) yesterday because of nasty weather (and I mean nasty - ice pellets! snow! sleet!), but everything is ramping up again today. I may have mentioned that our previous governor imposed mandatory furloughs on all state employees, which amounted to a 3% pay cut, and as it happens, today is one of those days, so thousands of those people who have a forced unpaid vacation day will spend it on the Square, continuing to protest Scott Walker's budget bill. I plan to be at the noon rally with my children.

There are some things you need to know about this situation, and rather than explain it all myself, I'm providing some links with more info:

1) The protests, which drew a crowd of 68,000 on Saturday, were entirely peaceful. We are angry, but we are also civilized.

2) This account of the protests, by a graduate student at the UW-Madison, sums things up very nicely.

3) The mega-rich Koch brothers poured a lot of money into getting Scott Walker elected. They also fund Tea Party efforts and, it is rumored, paid for the buses to get the pro-Walker supporters to Saturday's demonstrations.

4) Union rights aren't the only thing at stake in Walker's bill. Though the atrocious proposal to remove nearly all collective bargaining rights has captured national attention and fueled the protests, Walker's bill threatens Medicaid and Badgercare. Here is an article from madison.com about the issue, and here is an excellent blogpost from a local, anonymous blogger that articulates just what is at stake and why you should contact the governor and your local representatives about it. This issue deserves more coverage than it's getting.

5. Gordon Hintz is outraged, and you should be too.

6. Read this article in Mother Jones, which answers questions clearly and succinctly, and explains the whole situation.

Comments

Thank you for the links, Susan, and for keeping us posted from the front lines. I'm listening to coverage regarding the Wisconsin bill and protests on Diane Rehm right now. I hope the legislature listens to the voice of the majority of working people on this issue.

I can't understand how those who favor the bill continue to try to say that collective bargaining rights have anything at all to do with deficits.
Thank you for the links, Susan, and for keeping us posted from the front lines. I'm listening to coverage regarding the Wisconsin bill and protests on Diane Rehm right now. I hope the legislature listens to the voice of the majority of working people on this issue.

I can't understand how those who favor the bill continue to try to say that collective bargaining rights have anything at all to do with deficits.
JoyMama said…
Thank you for spreading the word on the Medicaid issues. Your little guy and his sign just melt my heart!
ML said…
Thanks so much for providing a quick place to understand what is going on in WI. I posted the Rep Hintz video on FB. Democracy is messy and we as a public should be allowed to participate.

~ML
Claire said…
Don't get me started on his budget ideas. He's going to spell out his budget next week and there was a leak that said he plans to cut $900 million (M.I.L.L.I.O.N.) from education.

WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!??!?!

I'm officially scared.
gianna said…
Okay, so my last comment about your governor doing what was best for your state was a bit premature and I'm sorry that I sounded so self righteous.
I do believe that drastic actions sometimes need to be taken.
But after a couple of discussions with my in-laws who live in WI, I have a better perspective.
I still don't think he's a monster (because I think he is a person), but I do think he is being a big bully. Not willing to compromise? Come on! That's what life is all about! Especially government. Threatening jobs if this doesn't get passed. Come on, gov'nor, seriously?
Suze said…
Thank you, gianna. For the record, I never called Scott Walker a monster. I agree that hyperbolic name-calling, while it feels good in the moment, is not constructive. Goodness knows we need constructive conversation right now.

This situation is highly charged because the bill is SO drastic and the governor refuses to budge on any point, even union concessions that would go along with his economic demands. If my kids give me a minute, I'll do another post soon!

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