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Wisconsin's Teahadist governor is about to declare martial law and arrest all state workers.

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Kickin' Ass and Takin' Names

Feb 12, 2011, 5:24:00 PM2/12/11

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, elected with millions from the US
Chamber of Commerce via the Wisconsin Republican Governors'
Association, is about to declare martial law on public workers in his
state. This is not an exaggeration.

Aware that there would be a loud outcry if he proposed legislation to
strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights, Walker
inserted a provision in his budget stripping workers of their right to
bargain. By including it in the budget, he bypassed all hearings or
opportunity for public comment, and is pushing the Wisconsin
legislature to vote on it as early as next week.

Under Walker's immediate plan, all collective bargaining rights would
be removed for state and local public employees starting July 1,
except when it comes to wages. But any salary increase they seek could
be no more than the consumer price index, unless voters in the
affected jurisdiction approved a higher raise.

Contracts would be limited to one year and wages would be frozen until
the next contract is settled. Public employers would be prohibited
from collecting union dues and members of collective bargaining units
would not be required to pay dues.

The proposal would effectively remove unions' right to negotiate in
any meaningful way. Local law enforcement and fire employees, as well
as state troopers and inspectors would be exempt.

Walker's plan also calls for state employees to contribute 5.8 percent
of their salaries to their pensions starting April 1. They would have
to contribute at least 12.6 percent toward their health care. Those
two items would generate $30 million by July 1 and roughly $300
million over the next two years when combined with the other

Walker insisted he was not targeting public employees and that his
primary concern was balancing the budget. His bill also calls for
selling off state heating plants to save money and refinancing state
debt to save $165 million in the fiscal year that ends June 30.

As you might imagine, an action like this might trigger a strike, or
at least, the threat of one. No worries, because Walker is ready to
call out the National Guard if such a thing happens.

Gov. Scott Walker says the Wisconsin National Guard is prepared to
respond if there is any unrest among state employees in the wake of
his announcement that he wants to take away nearly all collective
bargaining rights.

Walker said Friday that he hasn't called the Guard into action, but he
has briefed them and other state agencies in preparation of any

Walker says he has every confidence that state employees will continue
to show up for work and do their jobs. But he says he's been working
on contingency plans for months just in case they don't.

Russ Feingold has a thing or two to say about Walker's unilateral
attempt to strip workers of their rights:

Governor Walker�s request to the State Legislature to eliminate nearly
all of the collective-bargaining rights for thousands of Wisconsin
workers is big government at its worst. No private employer can do
what the governor proposes, nor should it. For decades, Wisconsin has
protected the rights of workers to collectively bargain with their
employer on wages, benefits, workplace rules, and many other aspects
of their employment. The governor is wrong to suggest that public
workers are responsible for the state�s budget woes, and he is wrong
to use that bogus excuse to strip them of rights that millions of
other American workers have.

And I'd go one step further and say he has no right to threaten
law-abiding citizens exercising their right to assembly and free
speech by bringing in the National Guard. What does he think that will
accomplish? Does he expect to have guardsmen pick up the garbage, man
state services' switchboards?

The last time the National Guard was called in for labor disputes was
in 1968, during the Memphis sanitation strike. Are we now going back
to those days? Again?

The Republican Governors' Association spent over $5 million to get
Walker elected. They're not shy about it -- it's right on their
"congratulations, Scott Walker" page.

The Republican Governors Association congratulates Governor-elect
Scott Walker on his election as governor of Wisconsin. Scott Walker
succeeds Democratic governor Jim Doyle. The Republican Governors
Association was a key investor in Scott Walker�s victory spending a
total of $5 million.

What they don't mention is that the RGA has its own branch in
Wisconsin. Wisconsin's state disclosure laws are not all that
transparent, so reporting is sketchy. But millions went through that
RGA branch. Millions, donated by Koch Industries, Texas builder Bob
Perry, Target Enterprises, and many other corporate interests. Some of
that money stayed in Wisconsin. Some went to other candidates in other
states, laundered through an opaque reporting system in Wisconsin.

All of that money was spent with the goal of breaking unions,
promoting corporate profits, and creating a permanent underclass to
serve their wealthy overlords.

Now Walker has the resources of the National Guard and the mind of a
dictator. Is that really what the people of Wisconsin thought they
were getting when they voted for him?

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