WI Update: Workers Continue to Protest Walker's Awful "Budget Repair" Bill, Turn on Fox News
Wisconsin workers are continuing to show up in force to protest Gov. Scott Walker's horrible and disingenuously titled Budget Repair Bill, which poses a major threat to their collective bargaining rights. Here's a video of the protesters that was shot this morning by Mother Jones reporter Andy Kroll. As you can see, workers are continuing to gather at the Capitol building by the thousands, and seem to be in good spirits.
The New York Timespublished a good editorial this morning, reminding us of the pretext behind Walker's move:
Like many governors, he wants to cut the benefits of state workers. But he also decided a budget crisis was a good time to advance an ideological goal dear to his fellow Republicans: eliminating most collective bargaining rights for public employees....
Meanwhile, the governor is refusing to accept his own share of responsibility for the state’s projected $137 million shortfall. Just last month, he and the Legislature gave away $117 million in tax breaks, mostly for businesses that expand and for private health savings accounts. That was a choice lawmakers made, and had it not been for those decisions and a few others, according to the state’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the state would have had a surplus.
Sixteen state lawmakers (14 Democrats and two Republicans) who defected from the state Capitol in protest of the measure ignored Walker's demands that they return to the Capitol for a vote yesterday. CNN:
The defecting lawmakers say they won't return until Walker agrees to negotiate with the teacher's union on the governor's proposals to reduce the state's budget deficit by cutting benefits for its members. They also want language removed from the bill that critics say threatens the existence of all public employee unions in the state. "He's going to get his money. We all know that," Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach told CNN. "This issue is all about the governor's attempt to strip collective bargaining rights away from the unions and essentially bust them."
Meanwhile, a few protesters who spotted a Fox News camera yesterday took the opportunity to make their feelings known about the network. As a Fox Business reporter tried to file a live story from outside the Capitol building, several protesters started chanting, "Fox lies!! Fox lies!! Fox lies!!" Watch it here:
Update: Speaking of Fox News and its supporters, a Tea Party rally organized by American Majority in support of Walker's budget plan is scheduled to start about now in Madison and go until 3:00pm. That's sure to be... something.