Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Wisconsin right-to-work shell game is all about Walker

[Updated Tuesday, 12/9, and Sunday, 12/7 from 12/6] We are supposed to believe that this preposterous series of events took place without a script this past week:
A) Out-of-nowhere, the obscure, Waukesha County GOP conservative State Rep. Chris Kapenga, all on his own, suddenly brought forward a politically-toxic right to work work for less bill, though...
B) GOP legislative leaders and Gov. Scott Walker running a disciplined ship day-in-and-day-out all these years had said during the fall election campaign season the issue was not a legislative priority, but then...
C) The notoriously stubborn GOP State Sen. Majority Leaders Scott Fitzgerald, out of nowhere, suddenly changed his mind and said he was fast-tracking the measure, while...
D) Out of nowhere, an obscure new ultra-right advocacy group began airing radio spots propagandizing about the bill, and...
E) All the while, Gov. Walker looked down from on high above the fray, tried to distract political observers by calling it all "a distraction, though...
F) He'd assured, on video, a billionaire super-donor nearly four years ago that he had a "divide-and-conquer" plan in mind to weaken private sector unions the way he'd ambushed public workers through Act 10, and had introduced his own bill for right-to-work union-busting as far back as 1993.
This push for right-to-work legislation right now, coming on the heels of the November elections, has been years in the making.
By politicians and funders and consultants who are the master practitioners of political coordination, including a team of experienced, focused, detail-oriented and loyal protectors which surrounds Walker and who were recently featured in a long, glowing portrait in the Journal Sentinel.
Like just about everything that happens in or near the state Capitol these days, right-to-work - - the legislation, the trial balloons, the need for coordination and timing and long-range planning, is calibrated for and ultimately by Walker - - and that goes double for this one because it's a top priority for the upper-tier corporate interests who've financed his rise.
So let's set aside the fiction that right-to-work in Wisconsin came out of nowhere all of a sudden, driven by a nobody ultra-rightist state legislator and a flip-floppy GOP Senate majority leader.
This is all Walker - - for him, about him, and by him - - which means the bill and the issue will take one of two paths to serve what he decides is his strategic need before he ultimately signs it:
*  The bill will move forward quickly as Fitzgerald promises because polling shows potential advantages to Walker with out-of-state core GOP primary voters outweighing any hit he'd take in Wisconsin (where he won't even commit to serving out this term), or in media nationally.
In this scenario, he'd sign the measure, invoking the will of the legislature and Wisconsin voters to whom he's Constitutionally bund, etc., and bet that the uproard dies down before early campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire makes everyone forget about right-to-work here.
At the bill signing, perhaps in private, Walker channels in a news release the feigned reticience he professed when he said he was reluctantly signing the controversial native mascot enabling bill.
*  Or the bill is shelved because polling shows the risk to Walker's national standing is unacceptably great right now. Walker promises to further study it (a la the long, lingering avoidance of the Kenosha casino permission) thus spinning the stall as fine-tuning to buy time, and letting other issues take center stage.
And when he's not distracted by national campaigning - - when his run for office fizzles - - Walker can get the bill re-inflated and on his desk for a muscular , take-that slap at unions and Democrats in a matter of days.
Either way, the bill's resolution will be determined by what Walker wants and needs for Walker.
And he will sign it into law - - though key Wisconsin newspapers here, here and here think the while thing is a mistake.
But it's what Walker and his party's big donors and most rabid union-hating constituencies expect. They didn't get him to where he is now to go away without this Hooverite prize.

Cross-posted at Purple Wisconsin.


Anonymous said...

Yup.........that's the script exactly and you can put a fork in it....it's a done deal. What is really amazing is the blatant arrogance by Fitzgerald to publicly acknowledge that they will exempt certain unions that supported Walker. This corruption is normally kept secret and slipped in to the bill at the last minute. Obviously Walker, Vos and Fitzgerald are so power drunk and control even the judicial branch that they feel comfortable saying and doing whatever they want as they know nobody can stop them. Walker's ambitions have always been front and center but these three have now definitely put Wisconsin and its people in the rearview mirror!

Anonymous said...

On November 5, when Walker met with his Administrative staff, you have to know that he gave them his list of things he expected them to get done for him, and at the top of the list you can be sure it was the right-to-work bill. He also told them that he intended to publicly say that he doesn't want them to do it now (meaning go ahead and get it done), that it is not a priority. This is Walker's M.O. For those who can't see that by now, they are wearing blinders. Fitzgerald's idea to push it through quickly is so that enough time will elapse between passage of that bill (and Walker signing it of course) and the 2016 Presidential campaign that people will forget about it. He has to know that there are people out there who are keeping very close track of absolutely everything Walker is doing. Those things will be brought up on a regular basis should he throw himself in the ring to run for President of our now great country.

When Walker gets this bill on his desk and signs it, he will shrug it off by saying "it's what THEY wanted," and reiterate that he didn't want it. That's what he does with all controversial bills. If he really doesn't want these bills passed, why doesn't he veto them? Right, because he wants them passed into law.

Anonymous said...

Wisconsinites are surely getting mind f'd royally. They WILL NOT see the light!

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Speaking of shell games and distractions, is anyone talking about the exploding budget deficit? They aren't, are they?

And these tie together, because lower wages, lower revenues, and a higher need for benefits all tie together.

C'mon Dems! I can't give you all the tips!

Anonymous said...

"Or the bill is shelved because polling shows the risk to Walker's national standing is unacceptably great right now. Walker promises to further study it (a la the long, lingering avoidance of the Kenosha casino permission) thus spinning the stall as fine-tuning to buy time, and letting other issues take center stage." I guess it depends on who coughs up more money - the oligarchs he relies on to fund his campaigns or the big unions he relies to appear moderate. My money (ha!) is on the oligarchs.

Anonymous said...

Your firends at mjs are doin' what they can to protect walker over this. For days on end now, they proclaim that walker calls this a "distraction" instead of highlighting that he:

1. introduced this type of legislation when he began his ongoing belly-up-to-the-public-trough

2. will not not take any action to prevent a "distraction".

In fact - this word, being spread across the state largely by mjs lies that every other media outlet amplifies -- actually demonstrates walker intends to sign the law once it is passed.

But in the meantime, mjs is protecting him from being held responsible for more divide-and-conquer and undermining wisconsin's economy.

James Rowen said...

To Anon 12:21. I posted a long analysis about all that on the JS Purple WI site, but you probably have bashed me for using the site.

The editorial board has also advised against the bill.

Your one-note is tiresome.

Anonymous said...

Thank milwaukee journal sentinel -- a few days before election, they reprinted some made-up trash directly from a koch-brothers fake news site -- and they did this after endorsing him directly (proclaiming it a non-endorsement).

You can cry about walker and his repug cronies -- but the real problem is the media machine that props this guy up. Not a single time did mjs or any other major wisconsin media outlet ask him any pressing questions, including on right-to-work, and every dishonest statement he made was repeated in headlines in mjs.

Anonymous said...

And not a single time did anyone from a major news outlet really challenge Scott Walker face to face about the felonies that were committed by his County Executive staff, or the secret email system that he and his staff used to facilitate the campaigning by avoiding open records laws. Or the racist jokes that were circulated on that system. Or the deaths and sexual abuses that occurred at the Mental Health Complex during his tenure. Or the fact that his campaign/county staff sought to ensure that he wasn't implicated in any way in the death of a teenager at the O'Donnell parking garage. Or the video shot in January 2011 with a major campaign donor in which he discussed the plan to address right to work by going after public sector workers first in order to "divide and conquer". Or the $700,000 campaign "donation" that Gogebic paid to pave the way for legislation that would allow them to mine the Penokee Hills. (Legislation that it turns out Gogebic helped write!) Or the mismanagement of millions of dollars at his "jobs" agency, WEDC.

And of course, there's the 250,000 jobs pledge itself -- the pledge Scott Walker repeatedly said he should be held accountable for, but in the end failed to reach. And why? Because instead of being "laser focused" on jobs as he had promised, Scott Walker instead set about to implement the agenda dictated by the outside interests.

Paul Berge said...

By the way -- having just watched the incoming Minority Leader on Gousha's show -- it's been over a century now: can't somebody come up with a suitable alternative terminology? Half the battle is already lost every time a Democrat calls it "right to work."

Anonymous said...

Excellent point!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of brain-drain in the State of Wisconsin, you should read the comments to the right-to-work stories that run in the Journal Times, Racine, Wisconsin newspaper. There are not too many who look at this intelligently although one comment from a person who moved here from a right-to-work state laid it out as to how bad it will become for workers, and they still got shot down. Those workers who are for it won't believe how much damage it will do to the Wisconsin work force until they experience it. What a shame they aren't smart enough to see what it will do to them.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, this is a lesson those who want to work-for-less are destined to learn the hard way.