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GOP Shreds Worker Rights - It started in Wisconsin...

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Judge strikes down Wis. law limiting union rights. MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge has struck down nearly all of the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers. Walker's administration immediately vowed to appeal the Friday ruling, while unions, which have vigorously fought the law, declared victory.

But what the ruling meant for existing public contracts was murky: Unions claimed the ruling meant they could negotiate again, but Walker could seek to keep the law in effect while the legal drama plays out. The law, a crowning achievement for Walker that made him a national conservative star, took away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most workers and has been in effect for more than a year.

Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled that the law violates both the state and U.S. Colas also said the law violates the equal protection clause by creating separate classes of workers who are treated differently and unequally. Republican Rep. Video Player. Secret Tape Reveals Wisconsin GOP Plan to Hijack Recall Election. The same tape that revealed state Senator Republican Kapanke worrying about the many public employees in his district, whom he “hopes are sleeping” on election day, also reveals the Wisconsin Republicans discussing planting a Democratic candidate in order to delay the recall election.

Those boys in Wisconsin are never too far away from sleazy, are they? Instead of having faith in their record or in the voters pleasure with them, the Republicans were planning to hunt down a spoiler candidate in order to beat Democrat Jennifer Shilling in Kapanke’s district. The Lacrosse Tribune reports: La Crosse County Republicans discussed running a spoiler candidate against Democrat Jennifer Shilling in an effort to delay the recall election of Sen. The recalls are currently scheduled for July 12, 2011, but with the Government Accountability Board requiring more time to review the petitions against three Democrats due to numerous legal issues, they may be pushed back.

About Sarah Jones (2,403 Posts) Judge voids controversial Wisconsin union law. 5,400 Layoff Notices To Detroit Teachers. House panel taking up anti-strike bills Wednesday | Michigan Education Association. The House Education Committee on Wednesday will take up bills to punish teachers and unions who engage in an illegal strike. House bill 4465, sponsored by Rep. Bill Rogers, R-Brighton, would strip a striking teacher's license for two years. House Bill 4466, sponsored by Rep. Paul Scott, R-Grand Blanc, would increase the penalties to fine unions $5,000 per day. MEA vigorously opposes these bills that seek to further silence the voices of school employees -- especially given lawmakers' unprecedented attacks on public education and Michigan's middle class.

The bills were proposed on the heels of a decision by the MEA Board of Directors to ask MEA members statewide for authority to initiate crisis activities up to and including job action. Please contact members of the House Education Committee and urge them to ask tough questions before voting on this proposal AND to vote NO on House Bills 4465 and 4466 if they come up for a vote. The House committee meeting is 9 a.m. The Beast File - Koch Brothers (HUNGRY BEAST) Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Admits It.

Walker And Prosser Crushed Regulations On Koch Industry’s Phosphorus Pollution In Wisconsin. By Lee Fang on April 13, 2011 at 5:40 pm "Walker And Prosser Crushed Regulations On Koch Industry’s Phosphorus Pollution In Wisconsin" Shortly after helping to elect Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), Koch Industries opened a new lobbying office in Madison near the state capitol. However, little has been disclosed about the Koch lobbying agenda in Madison. The New York Times reported that Koch political operatives privately pressured Walker to crush public employee unions. ThinkProgress has learned that the Walker administration, along with state Supreme Court judge David Prosser, has quietly worked to allow Koch’s many Georgia Pacific paper plants to pollute Wisconsin by pouring thousands of pounds of phosphorus into the water.

Koch’s Georgia Pacific plants are well known for releasing large amounts of phosphorus into Wisconsin’s waterways. . – Rewriting Environmental Regulations For Koch: Last year, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board called for strict numeric limits on phosphorus pollution. Waukesha voting irregularities go back to 2004... Waukesha 2004, Bush v. Kerry. Apparently in 2004 the polls in Waukesha were teeming with voters as the Waukesha County Clerk's office showed a 97.63% turn out. No, that's not a typo. 97.63% Of the 236,642 registered voters in Waukesha on Nov 2, 2004 apparently 231,031 of them came out in a hint of rain and drizzle and did their civic duty. Just to put this in perspective, Australia has compulsory (mandatory) voting and their turnout is 95%. The estimated population of Waukesha in July of 2004 was 375,350 with 91,530 residents under the age of 18. Kathy Nickolaus bragged about 2004 turnout on the eve of the 2008 election: WAUKESHA, Wis.

I can't imagine how it's would be within the realm of reality to suggest that turnout could again hit such levels considering the county had well over 250,000 registered voters in 2008 but that's not really pertinent to this diary just yet. So, in November of 2004 there were 236K registered voters. Scott Walker Gives Donor Jerry Deschane's Son an $81,000-a-Year Job. SCWMTA: Wisconsin voters pass referenda in support of amending the U.S. Constitution. Maine GOP Legislators Looking To Loosen Child Labor Laws. WASHINGTON -- Far from places like Ohio and Wisconsin, Maine has become a new battleground in the labor fight. Gov. Paul LePage (R) recently sparked the anger of the union community by ordering a mural depicting workers throughout the state's history removed from the Department of Labor.

Now, Republican members of the state legislature are attempting to loosen child labor laws that the community fought hard to put into place. The minimum wage in Maine is $7.50 an hour, and there is no training or subminimum wage for students. But under a new piece of legislation introduced in the state's House of Representatives, employers would be able to pay anyone under the age of 20 as little as $5.25 an hour for their first 180 days on the job.

The bill, LD 1346, also eliminates the maximum number of hours a minor 16 years of age or older can work on a school day and allows a minor under the age of 16 to work up to four hours on a school day during hours when school is not in session. Rep. Wisconsin Republicans Break Law to Bust Unions (Mar 9, 2011 - msnbc) I wanted to make sure I was clear on Wisconsin. Here's what I found (1) Politifact was wrong and Maddow was right (2) The teachers are a red herring, what Walker is really after is replacing much of Wisconsin Corrections with prisons for profit companies. Wisconsin Republicans get Washington payoff tonight. The Con Is On. It's on when Wisconsin’s governor denies there’s anything nefarious about a clause in his union-busting bill allowing public power plants to be put up for sale, without bid, notification, review, or disclosure of fair market value.

Yet at the same time a local energy group—apparently Alliant Energy, a corporation that made direct contributions to Governor Walker’s campaign--is soliciting resumes, seeking “experienced Plant Managers for multiple power plants located in Wisconsin.” Look over there! Unions! Pensions! Deficits! It's on when D.C. floats a proposal to allow banks to “reduce the loan balances of troubled borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth.” Look at that! The con is on. Because the proposal also says this: “The cost of those writedowns won’t be borne by investors who purchased mortgage-backed securities.” No, those poor unfortunates will be held blameless. Who are they? Look! With Wall Street off the hook, who will bear the burden for these massive losses?

Look! Michael Moore: Michigan Governor Pushing Unbelievable Anti-Democracy Measures -- Join the Fight Wednesday. March 15, 2011 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Friends and neighbors, The call has gone out and I'm asking everyone who can to take Wednesday off and head to the State Capitol in Lansing to protest the cruel and downright frightening legislation currently being jammed down our throats. What is most shocking to many is that the new governor, who ran against the Tea Party and defeated the right wing of his party in the primaries -- and then ran in the general election as "just a nerd from Ann Arbor" who was a moderate, not an ideologue -- has pulled off one of the biggest Jekyll and Hyde ruses I've ever seen in electoral politics.

Governor Snyder, once elected, yanked off his nice-guy mask to reveal that he is in fact a multi-millionaire hell-bent on destroying our state and turning it over to his buddies from Wall Street. In just 8 short weeks he has: Much attention has been paid to Wisconsin in recent weeks. Don't let it happen. Kucinich Rallies Wisconsin | Frequency. Why The Battle For Wisconsin Is The Future Of America. Posted on March 9, 2011 in Articles Most people will experience the political overreach and push-back happening in Wisconsin only once or twice in their lifetimes. It’s creating a fundamental ideological shift of formerly entrenched constituencies, and although it takes time for a ship the size of the US to reverse course, that’s exactly what’s happening. Wisconsin is just a harbinger. After 30 years of “austerity politics,” Republicans have only grandmas, the poor, and school teachers left to attack.

In political cycles, ideologues eventually seize control of the party, increasingly catering to their most militant constituents. Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. In 2010, 64% of those 70 million Baby Boomers voted, making them the second largest voting demographic. Wisconsin Gov. Do you enjoy driving on interstate highways? Ohio governor: When union bill passes, I'll sign it. Updated 3/4/2011 11:42:14 PM | COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gov. John Kasich said Friday that he anticipates the Legislature will pass a tough bill restricting union activity by public workers in Ohio and that he'll sign it into law with little fanfare, out of respect for the raw emotions surrounding the bill. The measure — which still has to go through the GOP-led House — would limit the bargaining rights of roughly 350,000 teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public employees.

They wouldn't be able to negotiate health care benefits or certain other working conditions. "The day we sign it, it's not going to be some — you know, I don't anticipate some big deal because this is hard for people," Kasich told reporters at a separate bill-signing event. "And anything that's hard, I want to be respectful of other people's feelings, their thoughts and their emotions. " "Glad it passed," Kasich said, adding that he wasn't surprised. WISCONSIN: Gov. Wisconsin GOP Bill Allows State to Fire Employees for Strikes, Walk-Outs. Pensito Review » Wisconsin GOP Senator Most Vulnerable to Recall Found to Be Living Outside District with Mistress.

Hopper and Cass Last week, GOP candidate for president Newt Gingrich came up with the best pretext yet to explain his serial adulteries and multiple marriages: NEWT GINGRICH: There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and that things happened in my life that were not appropriate. Wisconsin state Sen. Randy Hopper, R-Fond du Lac — the most vulnerable of the senators facing a recall because of their support for Gov. Scott Walker’s union-busting bill — may need to try that excuse himself now that his constituents have discovered that a) he is having an affair with with a much-younger lobbyist and b) he has left his wife and two children and is living with his girlfriend in the state capital. It appears he has been living outside his district since he filed for divorce last August, if not before.

But then this happened: Protesters went to his home in Fond du Lac. Randy Hopper is 45 years old. Dean Baker's response to 'Unions badgering Wisconsin's finances?' - The Arena | POLITICO.COM. You have to give Gov. Walker and his wealthy patrons credit. Here we have a situation where Wall Street fat cats wrecked the economy - people like Richard Fuld, Robert Rubin, and Angelo Mozilo - and they've somehow managed to blame schoolteachers and the highway patrol. Now we have a situation where the villains are sitting on their hundreds of millions of dollars, while tough guys like Gov. Walker are beating up school teachers to take away their $2,000 a month pension. And, the best part of the story is the Walkers are being heralded as statesmen for their efforts. This situation speaks to the incredible corruption of U.S. politics.

The right has been very effective in highlighting the few cases of overpaid workers or excessive pensions and convincing large sectors of the public that their problems are due to overpaid government employees. However, politicians like Gov. {20f346be-2222-4bf9-b96a-f7c959b48ca6}.gif (JPEG Image, 600x433 pixels) - Scaled (81%) Senate orders arrest of missing Democrats. Senate Republicans Thursday ordered the forcible detention of their 14 Democratic colleagues, who fled the state two weeks ago to avoid a vote on Gov. Scott Walker's controversial budget repair bill. "They have pushed us to the edge of a constitutional crisis," Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said of the boycotting senators.

But it remained unclear Thursday whether the resolution and warrants seeking to force the senators back to the Capitol are legal. The state constitution prohibits the arrest of legislators while in session unless they're suspected of committing felonies, treason or breach of the peace. Democrats say the Republicans are overreaching, and they have consulted an attorney for an opinion on whether the GOP actions are legal. "The Republicans have gone around the bend," said Sen. Troupis insisted the detention is not an arrest because the senators are not suspected of any crimes. "The Legislature has its own powers - that's the principle here," he said. Wisconsin Republicans Getting Desperate. Is the End in Sight? (Mar 2, 2011 - msnbc) | Frequency. Wisconsin Uprising Continues Under a Barrage of Disinformation and Dirty Tricks. February 25, 2011 | Like this article?

Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Over the last 10 days, well over 100,000 people have descended upon the picturesque capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin, braving freezing temperatures to voice their dissent. The source of their ire is a newly elected governor who refuses to back down from his push to abolish most of the collective bargaining rights of his state's employees. Union members have come in droves to the capitol building to fight for their survival, and they have been joined by service employees, pipefitters, private school teachers, university students and children. Hundreds of them have set up a permanent camp around the capitol, with many sleeping on the hard marble floor. “Come to Madison,” said Norm Stockwell, a local community radio station manager. Demonstrators like Matthew Curry, a student at the University of Wisconsin, were not short of reasons to explain their semi-permanent presence.

Scott Walker smuggles ringers into the capital for the legislative session. Providence Mayor Defends Firings As Teachers Protest. Hide captionTeachers and union members rally on the steps of Providence, R.I., City Hall on Wednesday to protest the firing of the city's entire teaching force. Stew Milne/AP Teachers and union members rally on the steps of Providence, R.I., City Hall on Wednesday to protest the firing of the city's entire teaching force. About 1,500 people jammed the street in front of City Hall in Providence, R.I., on Wednesday to protest last week's dismissal of the city's entire teaching force. "I thought the only insanity was in Wisconsin, not in Rhode Island," Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, told the crowd, which raised signs and banged drums.

Weingarten calls the terminations insane, but city officials say they had no choice: The city is facing an estimated deficit of more than $100 million for the next fiscal year, or roughly 20 percent of the city budget. Those workers serve more than 23,000 students in what is by far Rhode Island's largest school district. Report: Wis. Dem State Senators Leave State To Block Budget Quorum.

Dems Closed Much Larger Budget Shortfall In Wisconsin Without Destroying Worker Rights. Walker Concocts 'Scoop and Toss' Borrowing Scheme to Pay for $140 Million in Special Interest Spending - One Wisconsin Now. Wisconsin Showdown: Gov. Walker's Secret Weapon, the Fitzgerald Family.