Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Steve from Waukesha, on Walker, right-to-work

I occasionally post guest blogs, and posted one a few years ago, due to special circumstances, without a full author ID.

This will be the second such posting. Suffice it to say that I know who the person is and will post it as he wishes, by "Steve from Waukesha."

Scott Walker's Presidential Bid May Be Over

Wisconsin Republicans are positioning to rush through Right to Work legislation over the next week. Governor Scott Walker has said he will sign it. And this time, there will be political fallout.

Governor Walker has changed his position on RTW for the third time. But his latest flip-flop is different. This time Walker misled conservative union voters to get re-elected and he darn well knows it.

In Wisconsin, Scott Walker is certain to lose this major voting block. Blue collar conservatives voted for Walker and his famous anti-government union legislation, myself included, in his last 3 elections. No more.

Conversely, RTW legislation being pushed by Republican legislators in politically polarized Wisconsin will win no new voters for Scott Walker or the party. In all likelihood Republican legislators have unwittingly taken out Walker’s political future.

Many conservative supporters are cheering this legislation and will disagree with me. They have supported Scott Walker through thick and thin. Those voters will continue to support Walker. For the blue collar conservatives, Walker’s vow has exposed a wound of deep distrust and dishonor for which there is no mend. 

In his 2013 Wisconsin State of the State address, Scott Walker was joined in solidarity by union miners from northern Wisconsin. The Governor was pushing for legislators to clear hurdles for union mining jobs at the proposed Gogebic iron mine. Walker now seems unfazed attempting to dismantle their union through RTW legislation and willing to lose a major voting block in Northern Wisconsin.

In his re-election bid in 2014, Walker counted on his firewall in the Fox Valley, a corridor of communities in east central Wisconsin. Mercury Marine is a union manufacturer in the Valley. In 2009 union membership gave significant concessions to keep 1000 jobs from relocating to Stillwater, Oklahoma. In December 2014 the union signed a 5 year contract extension. Had the union known what Republicans were up to during negotiations, the negotiations likely would have died. Walker is likely to lose control of the Fox Valley over RTW.

 Organized labor across the nation will mount yet another political assault on Walker. Walker will be characterized as a special interest candidate controlled by oligarchs, a politician sent to crush the dwindling middle class, a destroyer of technical and vocational opportunities for the next generation through union skilled trade apprenticeships. Even worse, his character will be cast as a misleading betrayer of his own supporters for his own personal gain.

I fully expect the presidential primary will have a major influence from crossover voters aiming to take Walker out since their heir apparent is Hillary.  The scorned Wisconsin conservative union voters will either sit out or vote for another candidate.  

Wisconsin's well organized Democrat machine will seek majority gains in our deeply polarized state. Republicans are likely to lose some legislative districts.

It's difficult enough attracting young people into blue collar jobs as baby boomers retire.

If Republicans think RTW legislation will help alleviate a growing fear all Wisconsin manufactures and contractors have, a shortage of skilled blue collar workers, they’re wrong. Supply and demand of the labor pool will heavily favor the companies offering the best wages, training, and benefits to the next generation of blue collars workers. Whether they are union, or not is immaterial.

There is no upside of RTW legislation for Wisconsin Republicans and Governor Walker. I'm sure some get that. Others are willing to throw their baby out with the bath water. 


Anonymous said...

And he is just now understanding Walker's Divide and Conquer strategy? It was ok when he took out the teachers union but now that he personally will be affected he will not vote for Walker? Too little too late Steve. Start getting ready for lower wages, reduced benefits. It is what you voted for.....3 times over.

Tessie said...

I'm sorry Steve from Waukesha. Anyone in a union that would vote for this man THREE times is an idiot. He surprised attacked on ACT 10, why would you think he'd do any differently especially now running for President?
And just for the record, do you really think Walker changed his mind on RTW? This was planned from the day he got in office the first time. I will never understand with the amount of times this guy has lied (every time his lips move)and the divide and damage he's caused, why anyone would vote for him again. Wait, I can answer that, because it was the others getting hurt, not you.
Any worker that votes Republican is voting against their own interests, but you and 32% of UNION households in this state and the people that didn't vote put him in for another 4 years. If you aren't a white, straight, rich male, the Republicans hate you. Period.
But tell your "union" buddies thanks for ruining this state even more. Public workers, our decaying schools, and now universities, those on Senior Care, our environment being scrapped, fracked and strip mined, our land and property now owned by his cronies with no bid contracts, all of our dead wolves, the Menominee Nation, all the poor women that got free cancer screenings and birth control from Planned Parenthood,and who may in the future be forced to have a transvaginal ultrasound to have an abortion even in the case of rape or incest, all the women that had equal pay laws rolled back, the disabled and all the people that could have had health insurance but are left out there to die for Walker's political ambitions, thank you and your scorned Conservative union voters. You deserve the scorn. That's what you showed to your fellow Wisconsinites when you voted for him three times.
The police and firefighters will be next.. Walker needs them now in case the protests get too big. He'll have to lie to them at least until his new "budget" gets through.

Tessie said...

One more thing Steve from Waukesha, leave the Penokee Hills alone unless you want to live right next to the mine, breathe the air, drink the water and enjoy the view. I guess not.
Walker didn't have to push anyone to clear hurdles for the mine...all he needed was $700,000 from Gogebic and THEY wrote the legislation. Don't worry about those pesky environmental laws or regulations or the fact that iron ore is selling for about zero.
Seriously, I think the mine thing was another one of Walker's lies. The tribes would have kept it in court for years...but it gave Walker a talking point about creating jobs.
And the people that live there didn't vote for him. They were the only counties in the northern part of the state that voted against him. They don't want the mine up there, not that it matters what the actual people of Wisconsin want. Maybe if they had $700,000 to throw at him and were from out of state, their opinion may have mattered to him and Taconite Tiffany.

BR549 said...

Lay with dogs...etc.

It was all fun and games when Steve and his Republican union buddies were vilifying teachers and public sector workers then gloated when those "loser libs" lost on election day.

Suddenly he finds HIS livelihood in the crosshairs with a great big checkmark checked off on Scott Walker's list of no longer needed rubes. NOW it's time to pay attention.


And as far as sitting out the next election...fat chance. Steve's memory will disappear seconds into the first GOP campaign ad promising him a tax cut, or less gun regulations, or anything that might remotely suggest "those people" might get something he's not if he votes for anything other than the GOP. And Steve's election levers will again dutifully get pulled for anyone and everyone with an R after their name because...this time they promised me it'll be different!

Great blog. Great post. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the laugh. And good luck Steve...because now you're actually gonna need it!

Anonymous said...

I wish folks you stop saying he got elected three times. HE GOT PUT INTO OFFICE THREE TIMES. I believe his thugs stole two of the three elections for sure.

It is not who votes that counts it's who counts the votes.

Richard Charnin has an entire chapter (8) covering the recent elections in Wisconsin in his book Matrix of Deceit. http://goo.gl/v1Ak1c

Anonymous said...

While it's true any union person who voted for Walker was acting stupidly, we should take no pleasure at the private sector unions' current misfortune. Let's forgive and forget and pull them into our tent. RTW for less is a tragedy all around. The chance to form this new connection may be the only silver lining.

Tessie said...

Sorry, I don't want anyone in my tent
that dumb and selfish. I've lived in Wisconsin my whole life. Before Walker and the black guy got into the White House, I never realized how many bigots, and how much hate there was in this state. The "I got mine and to hell with everyone else" mind set is alive and well in Wisconsin. I would say Walker was brilliant in his strategy of divide and conquer, but people like Steve made it easy for him. Sheep and fools.

my5cents said...

Thanks for saying what many of us are thinking all the time.

I have wondered what would wake up the "sheep and fools" who kept/keep voting for Walker. Now we know for sure it is personal interests, what's in it for me, which is what I have always thought. I am waiting for the hammer to come down on police and fire fighters for them to change their tune. It's sad that it has to come to this to open people's eyes.

Sue said...

Steve from Waukesha, thanks for your thoughts; I want to extend my respect to you for speaking. Welcome to the club. I've lost my union completely, because my fellow workers didn't see the value in it and were happy to walk away. Some have been hurt rather badly - after all, if you can't negotiate pay raises for added workloads, or safety from having vacation and sick days taken away from you, guess what can and will happen - but none see it as Walker's fault. So I'm not sure about your assertion that conservative blue collar workers are going to see the light. My mix of conservative blue and white collar coworkers sure haven't.

Anonymous said...

I'm here to tell you that in my experience the fear of another 'Muslim' in the White House- or even worse a woman- will help keep the suckers voting for another self inflicted sucker punch.

Walker's still golden.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Agree. Welcome to the party, Steve. But understand that I and any others dont have sympathy for you and other union brothers and sisters who decided to slit their own throats by voting for the GOP

Anonymous said...

To paraphrase Martin Niemoller. . .
When they came for the teachers,
I remained silent;
I was not a teacher.

When they locked up the Democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a Democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

Tough, Steve.

When we needed you, you not only were not there -- you were one of the ones that came for us.

And now we don't have unions to stand with you.

Tough, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Okay, enough shaming of Steve. We all do better when we all do better. We need each other to get back the things that Walker and his out of state donors took from us. While I will never understand people like Steve, I don't want people like him to have less any more than I want public sector workers lime me to have less. There is a horrible budget coming up and we need to figure out how to save our state. Steve, welcome.

Anonymous said...

Tough Beans Steve. When you and your fellow union "brothers" lie in the mud with the Republican PIGS, this is what you get.

You and your union "brothers" in the heart of Wisconsin, the Fox Valley and Green Bay areas are the ones who have been voting for Scott Walker since 2011. You and your union "brothers" have been absolutely LAUGHING at the way Walker has treated the teachers in Wisconsin; joining right in with your right wing media idols such as Charlie Sykes, Vicki McKenna, and Mark Belling in demonizing teachers as "lazy, leeches, moochers, filthy bitches, fat bitches, parasites, and words even more profane than this". You and your ilk have keyed teachers' cars, boycotted Penzey's Spices, spit in the food of teachers eating in restaurants, all in support of your HERO, Scott Walker.

I am still a union member, and always will be. Almost hourly, I receive email messages from the Wisconsin AFL-CIO imploring me to come to Madison to stand with my fellow union "brothers", like you Steve, to fight against Right to Work. Yeah, right, I'm going to stand with the same people who have been voting for Walker & the Republicans in Wisconsin for the past 4 years.

We told you that Scott Walker would come for you. You told us that we were just stupid teachers, that Scott Walker was your friend, and that we DESERVED to be demonized and have our lives destroyed.

So how does it feel, Steve, to have YOUR LIFE turned upside down? Don't worry, I won't be resorting to the same tactics as I have endured for the past 4 years as a teacher in Wisconsin. If I see you eating at a restaurant with your family, I won't walk up to you and spit in your food like many teachers have faced since Act 10. I won't key your car when I see a union bumper sticker on it. I won't call you a leech, or a parasite for being a union member. But all of your FORMER friends in the Wisconsin GOP will. Enjoy living MY life now, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Look at what Walker has done to us. I feel so bad for Wisconsin. She has been divided and conquered and I don't think we will ever be the same. She was a shining beacon of progressive practice and now she is a tattered rag of division. I feel sorry for all of us.

Anonymous said...

I was too angry to comment yesterday. Today, all I have to say is: An injury to one is an injury to all.

I hope Steve understands that now and will be willing to stick up for others and not just for himself.

MadCityVoter said...

I hate to be the one to break the news to you, Steve from Waukesha, but if Scott Walker is throwing out the baby with the bathwater it's because someone on his campaign has made the cold hard calculation that fast, decisive bathwater dumping will score more points than some selective baby-saving -- essentially that the baby's not worth saving. Expect to hear your union derided by ideologues who don't know a thing about your trade or how it operates, just that ALL unions are 100% bad, bad, bad, no exceptions, followed by lots of crowing and chest thumping. These are the folks that the Walker campaign figures are strategically more important to get and keep than you and your politically conservative union buddies -- heck, if you told some of those folks that politically conservative trade unions even existed their heads would probably explode.

I expect there will be some CYA from our Governor and his political operatives -- get a few Judas school superintendents or school board members to proclaim that the "tools" are working in their districts and how all those other districts that are suffering did it wrong/badly/faithlessly (choose your trade equivalent), repeat ad nauseam in the right wing media echo chamber until all the sheep are bleating along and soon you and your buddies will be forced to choose between your conservative political principles (defined as unquestioning support for Scott Walker and everything he says or does) or your now reviled union, which will be fading in power and influence day by day by day. Remember that SKW only needs a few Judas goats to convince the sheep that everything is hunky dory in RTW-land, and hence to repair the "damage" that RTW might do to his base here in WI; you will quickly find that in the end it really won't matter how many of you see the light, you will all just be stuck out in the darkness with the rest of us, unheeded, wailing and gnashing your teeth while Walker moves on to courting a national political base.

If you decide to stick with your union principles against those odds then welcome to the fight. Having been on the conservative side of things I'm sure you know enough not to kid yourself about what we're up against. Pick an angle and start shoving.

Anonymous said...

Thought I'd show Steve, that Scott Walker is already using him and his co-worker (suckers) as a way to raise campaign money. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/26/scott-walker-right-to-work_n_6760334.html?utm_hp_ref=politics#comments