newspaper headline is irresponsible and deceiving

The headline on today’s Green Bay Press-Gazette reads “SENATE BYPASSES DEMS”.

What a downright crock of crap. The article is from the Associated Press, written by Scott Bauer. Other news outlets picked up the same article using the same headline, while others chose more appropriate headlines:

Wisconsin Republicans cut collective bargaining, Real Clear Politics
Wisconsin Senate strips collective bargaining rights from workers
, Lake County (IL) News Sun
Wisconsin GOP Strips Public Workers’ Bargaining Rights
, AOL News

The Wisconsin Senate passed a bill last night, without Democrats in attendance. But those Democrats weren’t bypassed. They left the state. Obviously the Press-Gazette feels that when the Democrats leave the state, the remaining Republicans should just go home and do nothing until the Democrats feel like returning. And that, since the Republicans went on with the state’s business, they were bypassing the authority of the Democrats hiding out in Illinois.

Look. Back on January 8, Gabrielle Giffords, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was shot in Tuscon, AZ. A terrible tragedy, she’s been in the hospital ever since. No disrespect to her, but the business of the U.S. House of Representatives must go on. The remaining representatives have still gone to work, still voted on legislation. They can’t just stop and wait. Now, the only difference here is that in Wisconsin, the senators didn’t get shot. They left the state on their own accord. It was their decision to do so. But like the U.S. House of Representatives, the business of the Wisconsin Senate must go on.

The Wisconsin Senate Democrats are smart people. But what did they expect would happen as a result of leaving the state? They left for a specific reason, and that reason was so that the remaining Republicans could not pass a budget repair bill. Doesn’t it stand to reason that the Republicans would then just work on whatever they could without the Democrats there? What did they expect?

No one was bypassed. The Wisconsin senate Democrats went AWOL. And the state business went on without them.

Comments 2

  • All CAPS? The only way to pass the bill to strip the Unions of collective bargaining was to wait until the Democrats returned (that was not going to happen) or declare that the bill was NOT a fiscal issue and then it did not need the supermajority.

    Now for weeks the Guv has stated that stripping collective bargaining from the states workers was a fiscal issue (that’s why it was part of the fiscal bill). In stripping that out and passing it as a non-fiscal issue the Senate and Legislature have admitted that there is nothing fiscal about this, but it is a move to destroy the Unions,plain and simple.

    There is not one penny that will added to the states bank account because of this. There is not one iota of fiscal savings in stripping the unions. None.

    And wasn’t that what this was all about? It was all about the fiscal mess that had to be addressed at once. You know that before Walker came in and gave over 140 million dollars in tax breaks to corporations that the state had a 140 million surplus? So, if Walked had not done the big giveaway there would have been no “crisis” to fix.The bill to strip Union workers would never have been able to be submitted.

    One would hope that having the same game played on you time and time again, the people would wise up. There was no fiscal crisis in WI. Without a crisis you can make dramatic changes in policy or direction. But with a crisis, in the mood of fear, it is very possible to make massive changes in the rules. So, Walker manufactured a crisis so he could make massive changes in the rules. By spending all the surplus and then some by giving tax breaks to people like the Kock brothers (the ones that financially backed his campaign) Walker could then claim that he needed discretionary powers to deal with the crisis he created.

    In simple terms, Scott, the people in WI were PLAYED.

    What is the path forward? Well, there lies the problem. You see the Union leadership only has one tool in their arsenal. The membership. The problem is that the Union leadership are actually on the same team as the CEOs and GOP. If you look at what a Union Leader makes, compared to a Union member, they make from the low of TWICE the average salary of the membership to, up to EIGHT times the salary of a Union dues paying member.

    Now, considering that the Union leadership just FAILED at their jobs to protect the Union membership, I would hope to see them fire and replace these jerks that sold them out. But, sheeple being what they are, they will not do that. And while I know it would be a problem for friends of mine living in WI (you Scott), I would love to see, after they sack the incompetent Union leadership, a full 100% strike by the membership of the unions (that is the fund that Union dues go to… to help them when they strike).

    The upside of this is that it is the ultimate response to getting screwed. The downside is that the people in WI, in poll after poll have been siding with the unions more each day, and since this would actually hurt them as well, there is the possibility of some public backwash from taking the hard stance. The answer to that is for the Union (specifically the Teachers) to set up “tutoring centers” where teachers will continue to work, “teaching kids”, preparing junior’s for the SAT’s, ACTs, etc.

    WI averages 178 school days. It averages $11,000 per student per year grades K-12. That’s $61/day per student. The average class size is 30 students. The average teachers pay is just under $300/day. If the union was smart they would set the cost to use the tutor center at $30/day. That would be $900/class. Assuming that the pay for a working teacher in this class is $ rather than $300 that would leave $500/day for a classroom location per class. It would also be a savings of $31/student

    In other words, rather than just striking and sitting there leaving parents on the hook, the Union can use the teachers to make the strike turn around so that parents will know that the villains are NOT the teachers (and the unions).

    But in order to do that, the Union leaders must either show that they have the ‘nads to lead, or get sacked and let new leaders take over who have the ‘nads to go head to head with corporate bought GOP leaders and beat them by playing hardball.

  • EDITOR’S NOTE: I posted this article late last night, though I still had a paragraph to finalize (the one about Congresswoman Giffords). It was late, so I just finished it up a short while ago. Unfortunately, JM caught the post overnight and commented very early this morning. Since his comment, I added the paragraph and made other minor edits as a result (including removing several words that I originally wrote in all caps, they were redundant). I don’t believe I’ve changed the message or the overall point of my post. But in the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to make this clear. In hindsight, I should have just waited until this morning to publish the article.