Thursday, March 10, 2011

End Run in Madison

So Gov. Scott Walker got his GOP legislature to break apart the union-busting bill in order to pass the union-busting part of it:
With all 14 Democrats absent, having fled the state weeks ago in order to block the three-fifths budget quorum, the bill passed by an 18-1 margin, with only moderate Republican Dale Schultz voting no.

Per state Democratic party chairman Mike Tate:
"Using tactics that trample on the traditions of our Legislature, the Republican leadership has betrayed our state. Republicans have rubber-stamped the desire of the Koch Brothers and their godshead Scott Walker to cripple Wisconsin's middle class and lower benefits and wages for every single wage-earner in our state. The vote does nothing to create jobs, does nothing to strengthen our state, and shows finally and utterly that this never was about anything but raw political power. We now put our total focus on recalling the eligible Republican senators who voted for this heinous bill. And we also begin counting the days remaining before Scott Walker is himself eligible for recall."
This is going to be interesting, especially as Chief Justice John Roberts led the Supreme Court to the Citizens United decision that opened the floodgates to Koch Family cash for this past election and for the recall elections ahead. All their money and astroturfing against people like those who have re-taken the Wisconsin Capitol building:

After the State Senate republicans' unprecedented move earlier tonight, the Capitol was closed and all the doors locked, keeping out the thousands of protestors outside. Just now, protestors inside opened the door on the State Street side of the building to allow in those outside. State troopers ran to hold the doors but could not stop the flow of the crowd and soon gave up, allowing all the doors on that side to be opened.

The legislation itself is a rightwing Christmas tree, giving the Governor the power to fire and workers for striking, and giving the legislature the power to disqualify citizens from medical benefits, and more. But will the legislative trick hold up in court? Per a TPM reader:
It's not just the budget bill needs a quorum -- the big issue is that *any* bill with fiscal implications is supposed to have a quorum in the Wisconsin state Senate. So there are two choices here:

1. Collective bargaining has fiscal implications, and so the bill will be blocked in the courts and ruled unconstitutional.

2. Collective bargaining DOES NOT have direct fiscal implications, and Gov. Walker has been lying this entire time by making the case that it's fiscally necessary.

So either the state R's just passed an illegal bill, or Walker has been lying this entire time and really is just interested in union-busting.

I go with both.

No comments: