Wisconsin Dems Who Hid Out In Illinois Can’t Vote

MADISON, Wis. (CBS) — The Democratic senators are back and Gov. Scott Walker’s budget plan has passed, but there is more trouble brewing now in Wisconsin.

State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) says the 14 Democrats are still in contempt for leaving the state to forestall a vote on the budget, which included a controversial measure to strip collective bargaining rights from unionized public employees.

Thus, Fitzgerald says, the Democrats may attend hearings, listen to testimony, debate legislation, and vote all they want, but their votes won’t count.

Fitzgerald spokesman Andrew Welhouse says Democrats will remain in contempt until they attend a session. None is scheduled this week.

Democratic Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel it doesn’t matter, because Walker has already signed the bill restricting unions.

Even though the Democrats hid out in Illinois to forestall a vote, the Republicans found a way to pass the bill restricting unions anyway.

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures on spending money. So the Republicans took all the spending measures out of the legislation, and the Senate passed the bill a short time later.

The state Assembly passed the bill soon afterward, and Walker signed it into law.

The Democratic senators argued that the Republican colleagues’ actions are illegal, and are challenging the new law in court.

Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette says he plans to publish the law on March 25. But Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, a Democrat, has filed a lawsuit to block publication and challenging the legality of the state Senate’s vote on the plan.

A court hearing is scheduled for Friday, but the issue is not expected to be settled anytime soon.

The new law forbids most government workers from collectively bargaining for wage increases beyond the rate of inflation. It also requires public workers to pay more toward their pensions and double their health insurance contribution, a combination equivalent to an 8 percent pay cut for the average worker.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Jim

    They should be fired for not showing up to work; thus not able to vote! Working families don’t get to take a few weeks off of work because we disagree with our coworkers. They are NOT for working families. Go Governor Walker! Recall Quinn in 3 1/2 months!

    • The Truth

      @chimom…………………………….just what do your democrats have to offer?? BTW- get your facts straight about defining socialism. Then again people like you will just cry GOP conspiracy when the FACTS about Obama’s and the other liberal democrat’s agendas are put right in front of you. Bottom line is that they are in the pockets of extortionized labor whose members will follow their corrupt leaders off a cliff. I’m glad you support bankrupting the system.

    • The Truth

      Very well put Jim!! Simple enough that even a pro-union democrat can understand it.

      • ChicagoMom

        Why do Republican posters always have to resort to insults? Don’t you have something better to offer up? Sheesh!

  • Just the Average Joe

    So what did the WI public unions loose? They still have their union, their jobs, their health care and retirement benefits. It seems to me that they still have a great deal, and I am glad for them as we need good workers. The only real cost to the employees is they now have to make minor contributions to their pansion and health care cost, just like the rest of us in the private sector. That’s really radical legislation!

    • KE

      It is BIG legislation given the size and strength of the unions, their lobbyists and lawyers — all who get richer and richer every day off the backs of the everyday families.

      • ChicagoMom

        KE, Union members lost their right to Collective Bargaining, which is huge. They had already agreed to concessions to wages and benefits, as they’d done year after year in Wisconsin. Wages and benefits were not the issue. So you think the thousands of corporate lobbyists have more of your interests at heart? Then you must be happy that Koch Industries, 2nd largest supporter of Gov. Walker, has set up lobbying offices in Wisconsin.

  • ChicagoMom

    The Republican legislators in Wisconsin are depriving thousands upon thousands of Wisconsin residents of representation by their elected officials. This is absolutely unbelievable. Fascism has come to Wisconsin. God help us! This is happening across our great country. One party desires ABSOLUTE power, and it is willing to strip citizens of their basic rights in order to achieve it.

    • Michael

      The Senators left the state. No one deproved anyone of their representation. The fact of the matter is there were more Republicans in office then Democrats, and enough were as most Republican bills, within reason, would get passed. So, the Democrats, knowing they could not stop them, left the state to try to stop the vote on a technacality. It was low. They were not deprived of anything. The same situation came up with Obamacare. The Dems had the votes and the REpublicans didn’t want it. The Republicans didn’t leave the Country to prevent a vote and had they no one could argue that they were deprived their representation by their elected official because he or she decided to leave.

      • ChicagoMom

        The Dem 14 did the public an honorable service by delaying the legislation long enough that the citizens had time to learn what was contained in the proposed legislation.. They really had no other option. And by the way, why didn’t Walker recognize and accept the numerous concessions that the Unions agreed to? He refused to engage in good faith negotiations about anything. It’s all phony baloney. There are lots of outrageous provisions in this legislation, such as Gov. Walker giving himself the right to sell off all the state’s utilities (paid for with taxpayer money) to whomever he wants at a price HE sets (e.g. one dollar)! Too many other problematic provisions to list here. The Dem 14 basically did a temporary filibuster. Republicans in Washington have filibustered almost everything for the last 2 years. In fact, the current Republicans have set a record high number for filibustering legislation, far above anything seen before in our country’s history. RE Health Care bill, Dems worked with the Repubs for two years on health care legislation, and made so many, many concessions for the Republicans that the final legislation was a shadow of what was intended. It just seems like a double standard, that the Party of No keeps all legislation from moving forward, yet Republicans feel that what the Dem 14 did was somehow different. The 14 Democratic senators were hearing from their constituents, who wanted them to stay away in order to prevent a terrible bill being rammed through.. The Democratic Senators were allowing time for light to be shed on that proposed legislation.

    • KE

      You are kidding right??
      Stripping the citizens of their basic rights — hey Chicago Mom I have lived and worked in Chicago for DECADES and I never ONCE got any of these rights.
      And my Democratic boss praises my work everyday but has not even increased mt pay in 5 YEARS!!! And my health ionsurance is 43% od my wages

      • ChicagoMom

        I’m speaking about the rights of the citizens in Wisconsin who elected the Democratic Senators to represent them and speak for them. Those citizens are having their rights to representation taken away. Get it?.

      • Jim

        I agree ChicagoMom that the democratic senators left their constituents and fled to Illinois for a taxpayer paid vacation.

    • Pro-Fairplay

      The Republican legislators are not ‘depriving’ any one of any thing. The Democrats are the ones who chose to run away and not ‘play’ the game by the rules that have long been established, i.e. if your side has less votes then you lose. Taking their votes out of the state is the same as the poor loser in childs-play saying “I am taking my ball and going home, if you don’t let me win”. And the fact that the unions have the money to bus people in from all over the country should never have been used as “proof” of what the people wanted. They should have carded all of the people in the capitol building and arrested any that were not citizens of Wisconin.

    • kal

      You lost, we won–shove it; just like the Bamster and Pelosi did us with Health care–how does it feel?

    • Baba Ganoush

      ChicagoMon is obviously Michelle Obama’s sock puppet.

    • smokehouse56

      Hey ChicagoMom. Ain’t it great. Won won, you lost. Live with it with your “thousand and thousands” of Wisconsin residents. Fascism has come to Wisconsin and has been defeated.

  • John

    ChicagoMom is right! One party wants absolute power, and if they don’t get their way they’ll sit and pout in a hotel in Rockford. They deprived thousands of Wisconsin residents of representation by their elected officials by refusing to do the job they were elected to do.

    They are indeed in contempt. They show nothing but contempt for the Democratic process. If they don’t get their way, they whine and pout and take their toys and go home like little children. The only time they respect the Democratic process is when they win.

    • KE

      Isn;t that the way it has worked in Chicago for the past 50-100 years.
      But in Chicago and Illinois is has been the Democrats that have held all the power

      • The Truth

        @ KE, and look at the GREAT shape Illinois is in and it will most certainly keep getting “better”.

        @ John, I don’t think she’ll understand what you wrote, but GREAT last paragraph!

      • Jim

        Yes that is how the state of Chicago runs. Look how the Democrats ramrodded the tax hike down our throats. We the people were willing to take several cuts to public and politician jobs and the Democrats didn’t want anything to do with any type of cuts.

  • ChicagoMom

    It bears repeating: There was no budget crisis in Wisconsin when Gov. Walker came into office. Wisconsin was slated to have a budget surplus, in fact! Walker manufactured the “crisis” by giving away billions to his corporate backers immediately after becoming Governor. He then declared a budget crisis in an almost identical amount to his giveaways. You can verify everything I’ve stated with just a tiny amount of research, but Fox won’t tell you this. Walker and other Republicans of his ilk work for their corporate masters, not the people. They are very good at brainwashing and manipulating ordinary working folks into fighting with each other, so they won’t recognize who is actually taking everything away from them. Please wake up. “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Neither I, nor my family members, have ever belonged to a Union. Still, I understand that all workers have benefited from the efforts of the unions. We all stand to lose a great deal if the unions are destroyed. If that happens, we’ll have absolutely no rights or benefits at our job. Employees will be back to 7-day work weeks, very low wages, forced, unpaid overtime, firing without cause, etc. The rich want to portray unions as the problem so that Americans will allow this total takeover. Think! The Wisconsin 14 Dems were doing their job, representing their constituents. Wisconsiniites overwhelmingly support their unions. And no, Scott Walker did not campaign on this issue. He knew he’d never get elected if he did, so he sprang it after he was in office.

    • Mike

      Keep in mind this is only getting rid of public sector unions, not private sector unions. There will not be a 7 day work week. And, I agree, Unions have done a lot of good, bt now they have (for the most part) gone too far. They demand certain perks that businesses and governments cannot afford anylonger. I am afraide the tide has moved so far one way that we need to put the brakes on and let is swing back the other. It will never rest in the middle, we all know this, so when it rolls to far the other way, we take steps to pull it back the way of the unions.

    • smokehouse56

      You lie. But that’s par for the course for baby killing, God hating tin cup liberals.

  • The Truth

    You and the fat sack of S**T Michael Moore can go F yourselves as can all who believe the socialist propaganda that spews forth from the likes of other like-minded fools! How about the millions that are being pocketed by these corrupt union officials that push their agendas through on the backs of ALL tax paying citizens??

    • ChicagoMom

      Spoken like a typical Republican.: lots of childish and vitriolic name-calling and not much critical thinking. Sorry, but I have to call it as I see it. I mean really, if you actually know anything about real Socialism, you’d know that socialists would never give corporate bailouts, for example! But hey, fire and police departments are an example of socialism–do you want to get rid of those too? The whole “Socialism” thing is so old and tired. It sounds like the Republicans from The McCarthy era (“Communism” was the big, scary word then) but with a new boogie man in the closet: “Socialism”. Educate yourself and stop listening to millionaires who benefit from all this fear mongering like Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, etc. You’re good for their ratings.

      • FP

        Allow me to educate YOU: if you’re working for a company that produces “widgets” and happen to belong to a union, then collective bargaining comes into play because your labor had a role in the profits of that company. And if you also had/have other benefits, you are/were luckier than many. But if you’re a municipal, county, or state worker who belongs to a union and you want to have collective bargaining, then you’re doing nothing more than scamming the rest of us!

      • Mike

        Exactly!!! Well put. Public sector jobs have a built in security and it’s called a vote. If/ when things get bad enough, the people (workers and non-workers) will elect a rep. that will make things right. You do not need a union for wages, safety, security, etc. … Private sector unions negotiate into profits, there is a breaking point eventually and even they know it for the most part. Public sector unions negotiate into tax hikes, and provided no single tax hike is large enough, the hikes are virtually endless. They are only there to take a bigger piece of the pie then they should.
        When the average public sector worker gets paid more than the average private sector worker, (which is the case by the way) you know there is a fault in the system.

      • ChicagoMom

        The average public sector employee gets paid LESS for comparable work. This data is easy to substantiate. Workers take lower wages in exchange for some benefits, and a little job security. How would you feel if you were hired, and after 20-30 years on the job, were told that you would not be received the benefits you were promised. Even though you had been promised those benefits if you made r wage concessions for those 20-30 years, and had done so. Whether company or government, we should honor our agreements and contracts. And all these middle class public sector workers also happen to be tax payers too, just like you and I.

      • LOTD

        Are you trying to tell me that teachers in the CPS are making less then private (as in catholic schools) school teachers!!?? You are dead WRONG!!! That data is even easier to substantiate!!! As is the fact that kids get a better education in the private sector, kinda strange how that works isn’t it??

        BTW- REAL easy for me to find this to support my claims!! http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-03-04-federal-pay_N.htm

        Where are you getting your facts from?? Gimme a break!

      • smokehouse56

        Show me where this is “easily obtainable.” What did Stalin call people like you? Oh yes, I remember now. Useful Idiots.

      • Truth baby

        YOU REALLY NEED SOME MENTAL HELP ChicagoMom. Really, you do.

      • smokehouse56

        Oh, I’m supposed to listen to someone like you? Go kill a couple babies and protest Easter.

      • Mr. Justice

        @ Smokehouse 56, now that was a funny comment. Great Job!

      • TS

        Clearly you weren’t reading the signs in Wisconsin. Name-calling and hate language has hit a new high. To say it exclusive to one party just continues the circle of ignorance.

    • mike

      hey truth ….change the channel ..turn off Fox ..its workers rights .

  • Audi ExellenceInengineering Jensen

    Zelvis and ChicagoMom you both hit the nail on the head.

  • mike

    i work for a freight company that is non-union ..my boss use’s union contracts to keep us equal and happy ..I know if it was not from the unions my boss would work me 7 days a week and pay me much less than what i am making now.What is going on in Wisconsin and the other states are a crime to us middle class working people .

    whats next for these power hungry republicans…i use to vote for the person and not the party ,but i learned you give to much power to the republicans they crush the middle class as fast as they can so they don’t lose the power again.I will not be making that mistake again i will vote for a monkey before a republican.
    One more thing i think the 14 Dems that ran did the right thing..look at walkers actions how do you stay and try to talk to this guy ..what they did was give the public time to research and look at his bill and see the bad in it ,other than shove it down our necks..

  • Audi ExellenceInengineering Jensen

    The Truth? Is it mere coiencedence that 19 states are pushing the exact same Unoin strpping bill by the republican party? And if you think the Unions are so corrupt.do tell what is your take on the manner for which this Bill in Wisconsin was actually passed? And in the bigger picture Unoins aside ,if Bills can be passed in this Manner, does’nt that bother you at all ? That a Senate vote can be voted soley with one party voting whether it be Republican or Democratic? As a Redblooded American whom loves her Country and The Constitution that is currently being trampled over I have to say ,Wait for it folks ,because this is just the start. And Michael Moore said one thing that should be carved in stone ..Wall Street should be held in Jail.. But I suppose thats “propaganda” too?

  • mike

    very well said..finally someone said it…its about taking away your right to collective bargain …today its service sector ..when will the power hungry go after the public sector…why did walker leave out the policemen and firemen,they are part of the municipal…this whole thing stinks and its just a punch in the middle class America face.

  • Go North Young Man

    My Senator went to Illinois, and all I got is this stinking orange t-shirt.

    • LOTD

      Pure gold!! LOL!!! I hope those shirts have the “union label”

  • zelvis

    Alan Greenspan used to famously say that it was part of his job as Fed Chairman to combat “wage inflation”. This was his way of saying that corporations want unemployment to be somewhat high. Then they can reduce worker pay and cut benefits, and the beleaguered workers are forced to accept it. Soon, unemployment comes down a bit, but the quality the jobs is less than it was before. This increases the profit margin and raises the share price. It’s the reason Wall Street has recovered and Main Street has not. Supply and demand applies to the labor force too.

    And, it has also been proven that, in the last 60 years, every time taxes have been reduced, within 2-to-3 years, wages have gone down an equal amount. That is because employers know the real wage that an employee will work for. When taxes go down, new hires (and existing employees, if the employer can get away with it) have their wages adjusted down to swallow up the tax cut. Consequently, when taxes go up, many employees respond by seeking higher paying work, and wages rise to meet the increase.

  • jfhdsiu

    The Flee Party 14 are just Wisconsin’s representation of the CANCER of Liberalism. They showed themselves for who and what they are when they slithered across the state line to avoid doing their jobs. And then they STAYED in another state to avoid law enforcement officers. Isn’t that what criminals ALWAYS do? They deserve the contempt charges and consequences. The Flee Party 14 certainly showed contempt for the rule of law and the legislative process by their actions!

  • CHog

    There are @ 12-15 million unemployed people in the US today. There are @ 8 million advertised job openings in the US today. Why is that? We generally have a lazy, entitled working populace that DEMANDS great pay, benefits and security, yet don’t have the skills to help US corps compete in todays global market. ON TOP of all that we have the highest corpoarte tax rates in the world and with all the BS regulations that hjave been lumped on corporations, the cost to comply are ridiculous. This is why all the middle class, unskilled jobs are moving across seas. You dont think a comnpany would prefer to set up shop in one of the richest countries in the world. It’s just too damn expensive to do so. Labor is only one piece of the problem, but its a pretty big one.

  • Gladys

    Good job, Scott Fitzgerald, but I agree with some of the earlier posters: these Senators should lose their jobs. If you go AWOL in the Military, you get kicked out. I for one am sick of my union dues paying to get useless politicians like these elected. Unions are no longer for the workers, they are for the Democratic party and should be defeated before they drive this country into bankruptcy entirely.

  • proudunionman

    Typical rich Republicans blaming unions for the ills of the wasteful spending of goverment. Give it a rest already. Do you tea party Republicans really believe that you get paid vacations and paid Holidays because Companies are so good to you .NO! It is because Labor unions forced companies into 8 hour days, with a five day work week. Read History books people! The other problem is these people didn’t get voted into office by non-union members, so any union member who votes Republican gets what they voted for. Chose wisely next time!!

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