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Saturday, February 28, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 1.0° F  Fair
Blaska's Blog
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Blaska's Blog asks what if they reformed collective bargaining and nobody died?
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Much needed rain this week. If something was good, my Grandma Rose on the farm would say that it was "right as rain." The Experimental Work Farm green bean crop -- Jade and Roma II bush beans -- will nourish the grateful indentured servants here at the Stately Manor on Madison's beautiful SW side.

The national Weekly Standard finds that only Milwaukee and Kenosha laid off teachers because they rushed to do contracts before the Walker collective bargaining reforms became law.

The finance director for the Brown Deer school district, had been negotiating with the local union, trying to get it to accept concessions in order to make up for a $1 million budget shortfall. But the union wouldn't budge.

"We laid off 27 [teachers] as a precautionary measure ..."

On June 29 at 12:01 a.m., [she] could finally breathe a sigh of relief. The budget repair bill - delayed for months by protests, runaway state senators, and a legal challenge that made its way to the state's supreme court - was law. The 27 teachers on the chopping block were spared.

'Some honesty might be in order'

Maybe that is why Democrats in the nine recall districts aren't talking about collective bargaining, as the the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

It's just not a winning issue for them. Keep in mind that only 14 percent of Wisconsin's workforce is unionized. The 7.6 percent who are unemployed are even less sympathetic to a public employee with enviable job security paying a little something for a pension that enables them to retire in their 50s.

"Deke Rivers" at Caffeinated Politics said he was "duped."

Instead of talking about the reason we are having the recall over collective bargaining, ads are being run continuously against Republicans (such as Luther Olsen) that challenge his concern for education, and his vote in favor of the state budget.

Problem is that those are not the issues that generated the recall efforts, but instead are the type of fodder for the next general election in 2012. I think some honesty about what brought voters to this recall dance might be in order. ... Had I known that not a word would seemingly appear about the collective bargaining issue in the Democratic campaigns this summer I never would have supported a recall effort.

Did the Kloppenburg defeat sour Democrats on the collective bargaining issue? A Lawrence U. professor thinks so. If the Democrats won't talk about it, we will. Here's an ad being put up by WMC.

And super mom Sheila Harsdorf speaks out against the "lies and intimidation" from the Left during the Siege of the Capitol. As an ad it couldn't be simpler -- or more powerful. Especially against a challenger who likens the teachers union to the Mafia and means that as a compliment!

ALEC smart-alecs exposed

If ALEC is the evil Golem of the legislative right, how come it didn't order up the collective bargaining reforms introduced by Gov. Walker this year?

Milwaukee Magazine's Bruce Murphy, no one's idea of a conservative, debunks the supposedly sinister influence of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council that the husband-wife team of John Nichols and Mary Bottari have "exposed."

The reporting ... tends in the direction of suggesting that everything Republicans have stood for since the dawn of time has come from ALEC. Thus the analysis suggests Walker's key bill to drastically restrict public worker collective bargaining rights came from ALEC, but (author Mary) Bottari admits "there is no ALEC bill that mirrors Walker's proposal."

Bottari wants us to believe the voter ID bill came from ALEC, but the model ALEC bill was written in 2009 and at least in this state, Republicans have been introducing voter ID bills since at least 2001.

Tommy Thompson's idea for school choice was also bi-partisan, Murphy remembers. State Rep. Polly Williams and Mayor John Norquist, both Milwaukee Democrats, were fervent advocates. Indeed, I hosted Rep. Williams to speak on the subject at a conservative lunch group I organized in the early 1990s.

"The idea that Walker and company are simply mindless corporate puppets may be an effective way to stoke the rage of liberals, but that doesn't mean it's true," Murphy concludes.

Separated at birth?

Is Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik a dead ringer for James Bond actor Daniel Craig and Vladimir Putin?

Walker derangement syndrome

So intense is the Left's hatred that Gov. Walker can't even honor a sheltered workshop that pays its developmentally disabled workers $7.50 an hour. No, the place is "a Chinese sweatshop," says The Capital Times, relying on a single malcontent that they can't even contact. Hey, want to get your name in the Capital Times? Just badmouth Walker.

Yet, my friend and former boss Dave Zweifel contends that WisconsinReporter.com "represents yet another dangerous blow to the traditions of objective news reporting." This from The Capital Times!

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