This post by Ann Althouse on the anemic protester response to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's budget plan - and it is an anemic response; it's bad when you have to add a statue to your crowd in order to make your crowd look bigger - reminded me about Walker's plan in the first place. I got told about this actually by Kevin Binversie, who runs Lakeshore Laments, was recently involved in Ron Johnson's successful Wisconsin Senate run, is a good guy, and who is unaccountably not being headhunted by DC Republicans*; Governor Walker's plan is fascinating in its audacity.
Essentially, what's happening in Scott Walker's budget that has the public sector unions melting down is that he's planning to strip some of them of some of their collective bargaining "rights." Specifically:
- Collective bargaining to only be allowed for base pay.
- Union dues not to be collected by the state.
- Annual Secret ballots to keep unions certified.
- UNION DUES TO BECOME VOLUNTARY.
There's also the increasingly standard expectation (at least, among people who aren't public sector union employees) that public sector union employees start paying into their own pension and insurance funds like the rest of us; also, Walker's proposed union bargaining reforms will exempt cops and firemen. All of this is to start addressing Wisconsin's pressing deficit issues; and, given that the Republicans flipped the state legislature last November, this is being pushed to pass. Quickly. As in, this week.
Walker's already alerted the National Guard in response to the expected reaction to such a bill passing, but if the above Althouse post is any indication then there's some question of whether he should have bothered. Although it is being reported that union thugs protested outside of the Wisconsin Speaker's home; hopefully, there were no kids trapped inside the house waiting for the Mob to disperse. This time.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*What is up with that?