The pro-union forces in Wisconsin aren't quitting after the huge standoff between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Senate Democrats earlier this year over a plan to eliminate collective bargaining rights for unionized public employees. Walker eventually won, but at a high cost to his and really any Wisconsin Republican's standing. Union supporters have stayed mobilized and are hoping to recall up to eight Republican state senators later this year, after all. But the first big test of their organized might came last night in a Wisconsin Supreme Court election for Chief Justice, the type of off-calendar race that few would usually give a crap about. And now it's too close to call.
Judge Maryann Sumi of Dane County, Wisconsin has blocked the state's infamous bill eliminating most collective bargaining rights for public employees from taking effect, at least temporarily. The question is whether the Republican leaders violated the state's open meetings law when they sneakily passed an amended version of the bill in a matter of minutes last week.
This is just perfect. Ian Murphy, editor of the Buffalo Beast, prank called union-busting Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pretending to be industrialist and secret Republican overlord David Koch, whose money has been fueling Walker and state Republicans' ongoing battle with labor. And Walker believed it.
Indiana's Republican legislature tried to pass a major anti-union bill this morning, as is the hot new trend. It would have passed. But thanks to the Wisconsin example, Indiana's Democrats knew how to respond and have fled the state to deny Republicans a quorum for a vote. They're either in Illinois or Kentucky because, as the Indianapolis Star explains, they "need to go to a state with a Democratic governor to avoid being taken into police custody and returned to Indiana." This gets more fun by the day. Aren't you having fun? Well, in any case.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's plan to eliminate 50 years of collective bargaining rights for public employees is supposed to come to a vote today, and Senate Republicans there have the numbers to pass it. So what are Democrats supposed to do? Flee the capital to stop the vote from happening! And far, far away from the capital, hopefully, because police are hunting them down.
Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to strip away public employees' longstanding collective bargaining rights has been met with some incredible resistance from employees and their unions, college and high school students, members of the Green Bay Packers, and other sympathetic Sconnies.