Walker says he should have done more to prepare public for plan to limit unions; Conservatives sing new tunes in CapitolWisconsin Legislature
Gov. Scott Walker has again admitted he did not build enough of a case for his plan to limit collective bargaining for most public employee unions. But he still thinks we should have seen it coming – even before he ran for governor last year.
Gov. Scott Walker has again admitted he did not build enough of a case for his plan to limit collective bargaining for most public employee unions
But he still thinks we should have seen it coming – even before he ran for governor last year.
Walker told Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editors Monday that he should have done more to prepare the public before he submitted his plan to the Legislature in February. He made a similar admission at a recent conference in Madison, but that didn’t get a lot of statewide attention.
Still, Walker said he gave plenty of warnings during his election campaign that he would limit public union bargaining, and we should have seen it by the way he treated unions as the Milwaukee County executive.
Walker also said the furor over the issue is subsiding. As time goes by, he says, both the unions and the public will come to accept the changes which begin to take effect tomorrow.
Walker said the changes will avoid public employee layoffs, unlike in other states with large budget deficits. And he said it would give school boards and local governments the tools they need to hold down their costs.
Walker also said there’s been a lot of misinformation about the issue – especially from teachers who asked him why he was attacking them. Walker has praised public employees throughout the debate. He said all of the nasty talk came from opponents and protestors.
Conservatives sing new tunes in Capitol
The political fireworks are over for awhile at the State Capitol, but that doesn’t mean it’s quiet.
Monday a group of conservatives held a half-hour sing-along in the Capitol Rotunda. A pro-union group which normally sings in the building each day agreed to hold its event outside.
Blogger David Blaska obtained a permit from the Capitol police for the one-time show. He told the Wisconsin Radio Network that some folks are frustrated because the Solidarity Singers do the same songs every day and his group wanted to demonstrate that it’s everybody’s Capitol.
Organizer Chris Reeder of the Solidarity Singers agrees fully with that. He says his group is quick to move outside when others want to use the rotunda for their mid-day activities. His group sang pro-union songs while the conservatives inside belted out some patriotic songs, plus some lighter things like the theme to the old “Gilligan’s Island” TV show.
Yesterday was the first day in four months that all eight Capitol entrances were open without metal detectors. The security limits were imposed during the protests over the state’s new limits on public union bargaining.
Assemblyman two signatures short of getting name on ballot
State Assembly Republican John Nygren says he’ll challenge a state panel’s decision to leave his name off the ballot in an upcoming recall election.
The Government Accountability Board ruled Monday that 26 of Nygren’s nominating signatures were invalid, and only 398 were valid, leaving him two short of the required minimum.
Nygren, of Marinette, wants the Senate seat held by Green Bay Democrat Dave Hansen.
Board director Kevin Kennedy said Senate candidates often file 700 signatures, just to make sure they have enough good ones. But Nygren said he didn’t have time to get more than 424 since he busy rewriting the new state budget as a member of the Joint Finance Committee.
State Democrats challenged Nygren’s petitions, and he blamed Hansen for “legal maneuvers to silence the voters of northeast Wisconsin.”
Nygren said over 15,000 people were upset enough about Hansen’s performance to sign recall petitions against him. Nygren said he owes it to those people to keep trying to get on the ballot.
State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate called the episode an “embarrassing blunder” for Republicans.
Monday’s decision leaves Green Bay wind farm developer David VanderLeest as the only GOP candidate for Hansen’s seat. They’ll square off July 19.
The board also certified four other GOP challengers to Senate Democrats Bob Wirch and Jim Holperin. Primaries in both contests will be held July 19, and the winners will face the incumbents on Aug. 16.