Friday, March 25, 2011

Meanwhile, In The Banana Republic Of Wisconsin

Hmmm...it seems Scott Walker is now taking his cues from Hugo Chavez:

A law to limit collective bargaining rights for public workers in Wisconsin was unexpectedly published by a state agency on Friday despite a temporary restraining order barring publication, sparking confusion and more animosity among legislators who have fiercely debated the issue for weeks.

State officials disagreed over whether publication of the law — a procedural requirement — would allow it to be in force on Saturday. The state’s Legislative Reference Bureau said it is required to publish all laws within 10 days after they are enacted. Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, signed the bill on March 11, but a county judge issued an order last week blocking the secretary of state from publishing it. The order did not bar the legislative bureau from publishing the law.

Democrats argued on Friday that the law would not go into effect on Saturday because it still required official publication by the secretary of state.

“This bill has been under a cloud of suspicion since Day 1,” Peter Barca, a Democrat and minority leader of the General Assembly, said in a statement. “Today’s actions and statements are only perpetuating the problem.”

But Republicans said they believed the law would take effect on Saturday. Senator Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican and the majority leader, said publishing the law was the right thing to do and the Legislature could now focus on the budget.

“I believe, as of this afternoon, it’s published, it’s law, and we can move forward,” Mr. Fitzgerald said in an interview.

Uh, yeah. We shall see how that goes. Even Hot Air isn't buying this:

Democrats are surely on their way back to court even as you’re reading this to demand that the TRO be expanded to cover the LRB, Walker, the legislature, and everyone else under the sun. The judge did, after all, enjoin “further implementation” of the law generally before specifying a particular actor, so they’ll probably win and the scope of the order will be enlarged.

Any sane reading of the court order should have been enough to reach this conclusion, but when Walker and Co. is involved you never pass up an opportunity to act thuggish.

I'll tell you something else as well... in the long run I don't think Walker will accomplish anything. If anything public service unions will be more entrenched in ten years time not less. For starters there will be more of them. University faculty across the state have been rushing to unionize. Sure, they may be curtailed in the short run, but you'd have to be kinda crazy to believe Republicans will somehow monopolize state politics in Wisconsin for very long. Eventually Democrats will get back in and undo what Walker implemented, but that won't be the status quo
because of the new union members created in direct response to Walker's agenda.

Walker has been betting from day one that this past election represented a realignment. It wasn't. All indications are Walker's term will be at best severely humbled and at worst an unmitigated disaster.

3 comments:

Jose said...

I presume that you are broadly sympathetic to Walker's efforts to roll back the public employees' union. So, I'm a little puzzled by your remarks. You must be aware of the Dems' petulance and obstructionism. It seems to me that Walker, et al, bent over backwards, trying to bring the Dems back into the fold. In what fashion has Walker and company acted thuggish? What could Walker and the Republicans have done differently (aside from acquiescing to the Dems' nonsense)? Finally, what do you say to the argument that the nonpartisan state legislative bureau was simply following protocol in publishing the bill (http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/263187/wisconsin-fight-goes-court-robert-costa)?

(BTW, I'm not trying to pick a fight; I'm just trying to figure out what I may be missing here. Thanks.)

Rich Horton said...

THe courts had very clearly stopped the moving forward of the law until the matter is settled. When Walker's lieutenants (e.g. Fitzgeralds) announced they were moving forward with the law anyway, I'm sorry, but that is exactly the kind of disregard for the law we would expect of some thug like Chavez. That they had to backtrack with their tail between their legs was, frankly, an embarrasment.

What folks outside of Wisconsin dont realize is how much damage Walker is doing to the Republican cause within the state. This is WISCONSIN, it's not Texas or Indiana. Walker is acting as if he enjoys a near permanent majority. He doesn't.

I don't know if he just has crappy adviors or what, but Walker better learn some political savvy soon or the GOP will be in for a hard time and soon.

Tully said...

If only the court actually had the jurisdiction, or could actually properly frame a restraining order to accomplish what the judge wanted ... it's not a disregard for the law to ignore a judge who oversteps their authority and legislates from the bench. Quite the opposite.

Of course, your mileage may vary depending on whose ox, etc.