Saturday, March 31, 2012

"The Bill Should Pass"

After I posted about Tom Barrett's third run for governor, a friend sent me the following video that helps clarify the concern that the unions have with Barrett:



Barrett will need to address this, as well as the other concerns I mentioned in the other post, in short order to keep things from getting exceedingly messy for him.

63 comments:

  1. Not fair to show him shaking hands with Walker, wasn't that after a debate?

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    1. Not fair on a number of grounds: the above you mention; clipping out Barrett's expressly saying "I would vote no on the changes in collective bargaining."; taking Barrett's remaining discussion of a bill covering only the employee health and pension contributions (to which the unions had agreed) -- of which he said such a broadly supported bill "should pass" -- and misrepresenting it as speaking in favor of the anti-collective-bargaining Act 10 actually presented and passed.

      Accordingly, PolitiFact Wisconsin has ruled the above video "False".

      BTW *Capper*, you really should note that in an update to the main item, not leave it way down in the comments. Your readers/viewers deserve to get a major advisory like that up top, don't they?

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  2. Fair? c'mon.
    On the bright side he might take the trolley to madison with him. I surprised, I would have thought he would have been embraced, since he polls better than Falk.

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  3. I'd like more context around the quotes. I know some of you are Falk fans, but it disturbs me greatly that there appears to be a segment of the anti-Walker contingent that is starting to taking pages out of the right-wing smear campaign play book. Let's keep this primary clean and come out on the other side of it with an unsullied candidate who can do the most important thing of all - beat Walker.

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    1. I am one of the Falk fans who was posting comments yesterday. I don't have anything to do with the video, I asked the first commenting question. I am just a "fan", so please don't waste your time linking pro-Falk comments to the video. I just like Falk because I heard her speak last summer in person. I post here anonymously because I don't know how to give myself a user name and because of the secretive nature of the John Doe. (just kidding about that last part)
      Falk fan

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  4. Tom Barrett is just telling it like it is here. Collective bargaining per se was not and is not fiscal, it is policy. The Republicans did not need the Democrats to pass the changes, as they eventually realized.

    I agree with Anon 5:28 am that the left should not engage in smear tactics on its own. If there are issues, that is, when there are issues with candidates, DISCUSS THEM STRAIGHT ON, not through innuendo.

    The failure to get clear positions and clear answers is what got us into this mess (nationally and statewide) in the first place.

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  5. I'd like to see the whole interview, but unless this is wildly out of context, it certainly is something Barrett should answer. Why is he on Charlie Sykes pontificating about how to screw the Fighting 14? Not a constructive way to lend his voice to the dialogue that was happening at the time.

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  6. Who made this video? Falk's campaign team headed by Scot Ross from One Wisconsin Now?

    This is NOT THE WAY TO GO, Scot.

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    1. Interesting. Same initials.

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  7. If the Dems play dirty in the primaries, good luck beating Walker. We should learn our lesson regarding the conduct by the GOP candidates.

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  8. If this is not a fair question in a Democratic primary, explain why.

    And how do people objecting propose we compare candidates? Shall voters judge by who gives the most vitriolic anti-Walker speech? Who raises the most money? What?

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  9. Didn't know Romney's campaign team was running their type of deceptive ad against Barrett now.

    Barrett should answer those questions, and I have no doubt he can clearly and honestly (he's obviously referring to the process of passing Act 10, he's not saying whether it's right or wrong) but the responses are clearly done out of context (you can tell by the jump cuts in the audio). So's that picture of him and Walker shaking hands, which looks to be from a debate in 2010.

    The candidates need to be saying why they're the best ones to end the age of Fitzwalkerstan, and not be pulling this drag-down act on each other. But it also allows Barrett to draw the contrast as the nice guy who's not blinded by ambition, and if this video is from the Falk people, it screams "Backfire!" Because if Scot Ross and Falk's campaign made this video (it doesn't say in the clip, which is weak), this type of thing is Exhibit A as to why a lot of people have issues with Kathy Falk.

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  10. P.S. looks to have been posted by a Stephen Richardson. I don't know who that is, but he just joined YouTube on Thursday. Innn-teresting.

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  11. Precisely so, Jake! Couldn't agree more - with all of your points!

    And to Anonymous who asked "If this is not a fair question in a Democratic primary, explain why" - of course it is a fair question - and now a question for you:

    Was that video a fair way to bring up the question -- cloaked in innuendo, with mere soundbytes and misleading video?

    Smear campaigns will backfire. We need to be better than this.

    I hope this wasn't connected to the Falk campaign or to a supporter. It's not the way to run.

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  12. No, the video has no connection to the Falk campaign that I'm aware of. But it is interesting on how everyone is going negative assuming it is while claiming it's too negative against Barrett. And Falk had nothing to do with the audio, which I posted earlier this weekend, of Barrett making those comments to Charlie Sykes at his Insight show last year. The video only dramatized the actual fact of what Barrett said and did. And yes, Barrett still needs to explain this and other things before I could support him.

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    1. Capper: The audio notably omitted the significant statement by Barrett -- "I would vote no on the changes in collective bargaining." -- and the video dramatized the resulting false implication that Barrett supported those changes.

      Barrett isn't the one left needing to explain things. PolitiFact details the falsehood of the video posted above, which leaves its author needing to explain things.

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  13. Capper - I love the work you do here, but no one is claiming that this is too negative against Barrett.

    What people seem to be saying is that the methods used in this video are too dubious and negative against ANY of the candidates. We can't stoop to this level - we need to come out of the primaries united, and with our long-term goal in mind - defeating Walker.

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    1. Well said. Playing hardball does not need to mean playing As Dirty As Walker Does.

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  14. Correct- What Intrepid Eye said. GOP operatives are going to try to split up this historic movement, and we can't allow those destructive bastards to do that.

    As I've said before, we come strong with truth on what Walker and WisGOP has done, because it is their disastrous methods that led to this moment. Once we're successful, we hold the new governor's feet to the fire at every turn. That's the way we do things- better than the nasty trash that is the GOP.

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  15. Perhaps the picture of Walker and Barrett shaking hands is a bit of a cheap shot. Barrett is not Walker.

    But as someone who admires the heroism and sacrifice made by the Fighting 14, it sickens me that Barrett would go on Charlie F****** Sykes' show and hypothesize about how to screw them. (And by extension, the giant masses who had their backs while they were out of state holding up the process.)

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  16. Anonymous 12:13- I can agree with that second part. I'd like to hear the context where that conversation came up with Sykes, and also why he was on that show in the first place, because you know Sykes won't have Tom on when Barrett will say something that would call out the GOP's bullshit and makes Sykes look stupid.

    It's a good test for the Barrett campaign, because I want to see him forcefully explain himself and stand up to the attacks, both now and for the next two months. He didn't do enough of that last time, and responding to the lies and disgusting garbage of the GOP is the biggest concern I have about his campaign.

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  17. Yes, let's get context, before we lose this fight.

    As best I can figure out, that quote came from a March 7 discussion by Barrett and Walker, possibly the "state budget debate" with quite a roster of Dems and Repubs that Sykes held (but also possibly on his show). By then, according to a Weekly Standard story by a Stephen Hayes (not Richardson, the newby on youtube) and John McCormack, Fitzgerald already had his go-ahead from the LRB and the like to vote without Dems, and Barrett would have been responding to that, it seems (the full transcript still is needed):

    "Republicans got serious about a GOP-only alternative. After one of the breakdowns in negotiations, a week before, Walker had gone to Republicans in the state senate to gauge their willingness to move forward without the Democrats. They were not interested — yet." But "since the earliest days of the standoff, Republicans had been engaged in an informal back-and-forth with lawyers from the state’s legislative fiscal bureau, a nonpartisan agency, about their options."

    On Monday, March 7, the had "formalized their request: How much of the budget repair bill could be passed without a quorum?." And "they were thrilled with the response — almost all of it. Despite speculation that employee contributions to benefits (what Walker and his staff called the “5-and-12” provisions) would have to be stripped out, the bureau informed Republicans these could remain — meaning both of the main components of the bill could be passed without Democrats.

    "Two other nonpartisan state agencies agreed, the Legislative Council and the Legislative Reference Bureau. The attorneys insisted that the legislation drop a refinancing provision as well as the sale of state-owned power plants. But most of the bill could be moved. Although the 5-and-12 and collective bargaining provisions would have a fiscal impact, they did not require the state to appropriate any money and thus could be included. 'Democrats thought we wouldn’t be able to do the 5-and-12 with collective bargaining,' says Walker.

    "There was more good luck on Monday. In an interview with radio host Charlie Sykes, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, who had lost the governor’s race to Walker last fall, pushed the Republicans to try to move forward without the Democrats. Barrett, working on the mistaken assumption that the 5-and-12 would require a separate vote, said" . . . and then comes (only, without context) the excerpt of the quote in the youtube.

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  18. Here is the full audio from the second hour of Sykes' "Incite 2011". Barrett makes his comments in the first then minutes.

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  19. So, as I read this re Barrett's mistaken assumption, he was saying that the Repub legislators could move forward on their own on the budget-repair portions of the bill but ought NOT vote on the collective bargaining, employe-contribution, etc., portions of the bill.

    And that is not what the youtube video says, so it is taking Barrett out of context? It would be very interesting to know who is this Stephen Richardson. Is he a "fake Dem" working for Walker?

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  20. Interesting similarities (punctuation, zoom, etc.) to this one: http://www.620wtmj.com/blogs/charliesykes/145242865.html

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    1. The problem with Walker's ad is that it doesn't give dates for the stories. How much you want to bet that most of them came when he was county exec.

      Secondly, given that the state has lost tens of thousands of jobs, is it any surprise that most of them came from where there is the most people?

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    2. The video that you post here from your friend doesn't give dates, either -- I had to figure out (and post here; I'm that Anonymous) the March 7 date of the Act 10 quote. And I'm still searching for the date of the handshake. Perhaps you could ask your friend to ask for it? as we agree that would be better, ethical practice.

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  21. The Democrats have no choice but to eat their own. They got themselves into this mess and now they are complaining that each candidate should be civil. A Democrat being civil? Now
    that's funny!

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  22. Not on anyone's side, but keep in mind that Dale Schultz was the first to bring this up, several days earlier. I think the idea at the time was that the GOP would never do a "clean vote" on just the collective bargaining issue.

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  23. Right now the right wing is claiming Barrett would have voted for Act 10---over and over they are saying that. But this video makes clear that is not so.

    .... If you listen to the longer interview recording, you will hear Barrett say that he would not go all the way with what Walker wanted to do to unions. He says that he would alter health insurance and retirement benefits but he would vote “no on the changes in collective bargaining”.

    Barrett: “The vast majority of the people in this state agree that public employees should pay more towards their healthcare and toward their pensions.”

    Sykes: “Except they don’t”.

    Barrett: “Except they don’t. But the bill will do that and and the bill will pass and the bill should pass.”

    Sykes: “But the bill can’t bind local governments and the 100′s of local unions.”

    Barrett: “But it can do a lot. Certainly with those who are in the Wisconsin Retirement System. Those are almost all public employees with the state with the exception of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County… “

    Barrett: “But again, if someone really wanted to end this stand-off the way you would end it is simply have a separate vote.”
    Sykes: “Would you favor that?”
    Barrett: “I would certainly favor that.”
    Sykes: “Would you vote for that.”

    Barrett: “I would vote for the changes in the healthcare and the pension. I would vote “no” on the changes in collective bargaining. But there’s the rub....

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  24. morninmist- Good work. So if I read that correctly, Barrett would have taken the state employees' unions' offer on pensions and health insurance (remember when the unions offered to take this as long as they kept their bargaining rights and Walker turned them down because he HAD TO HAVE IT ALL?), kept bargaining rights and moved on.

    Seems to add up to me, although I think Tom needs to jump out ahead of this and come totally clean onn the subject. Next question is: "who decided to willfully take that out of context?" Whoever it is deserves to pay dearly for their dishonesty.

    Speaking of dishonesty- I have plenty coming on that Walker ad Capper mentionswhich talks about Barrett's and Falk's records in their jobs while conveniently leaving out Walker's record of higher spending, higher unemployment, and higher taxes and fees in Milwaukee County. It's very telling....because it shows how stupid GOPs think the average voter is.

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  25. Exactly so: The Dem 14 legislators would have voted for Act 10, too, and the unions, too, just like Tom Barrett would have done -- if it did not include the effective eradication of collective bargaining rights. (The requirement for certification of a majority of all workers, the removal of the dues deduction from paychecks, etc.)

    So Capper, can your friend who provided this video tell us -- as Jake says -- who is Stephen Richardson who created it, willfully taking what Tom Barrett said out of context?

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  26. WRONG. Barrett's explanation doesn't absolve him of complicity with Walker on this. Instead of standing with he Fighting 14, he went on Charlie F****** Sykes and talked through the scenarios about how to screw them.

    And yes, he said he was for the 5/12 and against the bargaining components, but that was never the choice. He said "The bill will pass and the bill should pass" - and he advocated splitting it, he was advocating surrender. Note he didn't say "and if it wasn't split, I could not accept the 5/12 if the bargaining stuff was still in there."

    This is mealy-mouthed, tepid support at best and complicity with Walker and his weasels at worst.

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    1. Erpenbach, one of the major voices of the 14, disagrees with you, Anonymous 9:29.

      Erpenbach just endorsed Barrett.

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  27. Anonymous Apr 1, 2012 10:28 PM --

    I would agree there's a context problem if Barrett said he'd vote against the bill unless it got rid of the collective bargaining rights stuff. He didn't. He advocated splitting the bill, which is surrender to Walker and screws the Fighting 14.

    Instead he said he was for the popular stuff, against the unpopular stuff, and hypothesized about an option that didn't exist for anyone in the fight against Walker. NOT LEADERSHIP.

    While the rest of us were screaming from the rooftops about the need to stand our ground, he was on Charlie Sykes saying "the bill will pass, and the bill should pass." C'mon.

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  28. Barrett's just another corporate Democrat. Wisconsin can do better. Much better in fact.

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    1. How can you say Barrett is just another corporate Democrat when Falk has the support from every democratic leaning interest group that has endorsed so far.

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  29. Prepared sound bites with inflamitory segments repeated. Anybody who knows TOM BARRETT knows he is not anti union or anti union bargaining rights. Get a life, Barrett is the only one that stands a chance against Walker. Kathleen Falk is only popular in Madison. And much as they think they do, Madison does not elect the governor.

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  30. I heard on WPR that this video was only part of the interview and we would need to view the whole video to understand Barrett's views.

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  31. See the link to the interview upthread; you heard correctly.

    And I "heard" (read: read) on another blog that this video was produced by the unions, and they certainly are promoting it on their websites.

    I have been supportive of unions to this point, but I'm going to have to start looking at their actions a lot more closely now -- as this is the sort of action I expect from Walker's campaign.

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  32. There are some pretty damming TV commercials against Barret on TV as well. A little early for Walker to be bashing him, are they union funded? Boy, talk about imploding if they are. How does Capper put it? I think I'll fix up a big bowl of popcorn for this one? lol

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  33. Capper, did you know that your site, this post (and not the youtube link), now is directly linked from the state AFSCME site to imply an endorsement by this blog of Falk and attack ads?

    I don't recall that you have yet to endorse either -- that is, either Falk or attack ads, especially by Dems attacking Dems. Have you?

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  34. Why is it that Tom Barrett would go on Charlie Sykes to provide instruction to Republicans on a strategy to pass Act 10 (by removing the "fiscal" items from the bill)? Rumor is that Barrett did this at the behest of several Democratic Senators - Senators that wanted to end their out of state experience. It's no surprise that those same Senators are now lining up to endorse Barrett.

    It's time to stop supporting corporate Democrats like Tom Barrett and his "sell out" friends. We can do better.

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  35. Morninmist is absolutely correct! I heard the entire conversation also and that is exactly how it went. Look AFSCME, I am a union member and I believe in Unions but when you put out half-truths...it ticks me off! Tell the whole truth! Stop attacking Barrett or anyone who declared they would run against Walker. Keep the focus on Walker and his corruption, because that is what this is all about! He is being recalled for many reasons, one of them is for taking away public workers rights to collectively bargain, but there are many more also. Don't make this a smear campaign against Democrats!

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  36. The negative campaign by Afscme and Naral against Barrett and Vinehout is despicable in the way the attacks are misleading. Kathleen Falk needs denounce these attacks because these attacks are going to turn people off from voting in the June election against Walker.

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  37. Frankly I know a lot of non union public sector employees that were considering joining a union in order to stand up to Walker taking away collective bargaining and are now happy they did not join a union because of the way the union leadership choose to endorse Falk without a membership vote and now the misleading attacks on Barrett. Union dues are a lot of money especially post Act 10 and the dues seem to look a lot less worth it to people when the voices of the members are shut out by the union leadership and members are being misled by the union leadership.

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    1. Gee, I got to vote on it. Maybe they, and you, shouldn't believe the anti-union propaganda and actually get involved. As for the dues, well, they've gotten parts of Act 10 nullified, so I think that's a good investment.

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    2. I'm a public sector employee who never had a union and only got collective bargaining rights, at long last, before Walker took them away. I fought for those rights for decades, and I had hoped that we could win them back by beating Walker, so I finally could vote on whether to unionize.

      But you can bet that I'm now going to look a lot more closely at the leadership of the union that we would join, and I may have to just say no. I would be furious if I had paid union dues to see union leaders use them to attack the best candidate to beat Walker, to divide Democrats, and to turn off Independents from turnout again -- as WEAC did in 2010 to defeat Barrett then and bring us Walker now.

      I would have said that a month ago, we would win the union vote -- but now I'm not at all sure, and it's because of the union leaders.

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  38. I don't have time to read the whole thread here, so I don't know whether anyone else brought it up, but the video in question (or one much like it) was circulated by AFSCME and it has already been outed as a disingenuous smear job - splicing things Barrett said out of context. I'm not (yet) a Barrett supporter, but one of the reasons I have helped with the recall effort is to restore honesty and civility to our government. This video doesn't reflect either of those values, in my opinion.

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  39. Again, the important question here is why would Barrett go on Charlie Sykes and instruct the Republicans on how to pass Act 10. Listen to the entire interview on the Sykes archives. The fact of the matter is that Barrett was sending a message to the Republicans. He showed them how to pass the bill and they took is advice.

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  40. No, that is not a question, Anon 6:43, since it has been answered by those of us sufficiently sentient to listen to the interview and understand the context. Y'know, the words that Barrett said. All of the words that he said.

    Believe me, the small-town, small-minded Republican legislators were taking their instructions from the Kochs and ALEC, just like Walker, not from the Democratic mayor of Milwaukee.

    And they well knew that the budget-repair bill could be passed if it only dealt with the budget, because that's not only the law but already had been discussed publicly by Dale Schultz.

    So you are telling us again that Barrett, a longtime member of Congress, understands how to get bills passed. That recommends him for governor over your candidate never in Congress nor even the state legislature -- and who quit halfway through the last term of the last political post that your candidate held. Care to explain the context for that? Really want to go there? Or can you stop this and focus on a clean campaign, one not to beat another Dem to bits but to BEAT WALKER?

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  41. I really do not get why AFSCME endorsed Falk. AFSCME likes to state how they did not get everything they wanted in Milwaukee under Barrett do to the cuts in revenue from the state under Walker. What AFSCME fails to show is that Falk quit on the people of Dane County in the calm before the storm of Walker becoming Governor. Sure Falk stood up for people on the outside, but Falk choose not to stick around to make the difficult decisions in negotiations under the cuts from Walker to Dane County that Barrett stuck around for in the City of Milwaukee.

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    1. Falk is the only one to offer a plan on how to restore collective bargaining plus stood up on all the other issues on a consistent basis.

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  42. AFSCME endorsed Falk because they have a death wish. Why these people are focused on purity and not focused on the goal of getting rid of Walker, I can't understand. But it was predictable.

    I'd also like to point out to some of the folks above that the Unions (capital U) didn't care about Walker's bashing of and plans for public employees until they found out they weren't going to get automatic dues deduction anymore. Then you've never seen people move so fast. Until then they didn't give a crap about the average joe union member and it's pathetic. I've been a member and an officer and watching the paid professionals drop the ball (until it was THEIR ball) was disgusting and why I don't pay dues anymore. I will support my local in other ways and will still vote the right way, but will not support the over-paid union professionals. This AFSCME add is just another reason why.

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    1. Actually, it's just the unions making good on their promise to be truer to their missions and not just supporting anyone because they are lesser of two evils.

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  43. enough said
    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2012/apr/06/afscme/state-employees-union-says-barrett-supported-law-g/

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  44. To maximize the chances of actually *winning* the June 5 recall election against Walker, I would have thought it'd make sense to put the two top Dem pollers together on the ballot, in polling order, i.e. Barrett/Falk vs. Walker/Kleefisch.

    But this poisonously false video makes that lineup less likely.

    http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2012/apr/06/afscme/state-employees-union-says-barrett-supported-law-g/

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  45. My wife has none of the following : dental, health, vision, 401 k , triple dipping opportunities but yet pays taxes... how come she can't have none of this while she funds all of yours?

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    1. Sounds like your wife needs to unionize. BTW, my wife doesn't have any of these either, or a job, thanks to the lousy job Walker's done and the ineffectiveness of Barrett.

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    2. No health/dental/vision/pension?* Sounds like a lousy deal, man. The employer isn't thinking long term, treating employees like that. She should get her place unionized! (Which would benefit all her fellow workers too, as just moving to a better job elsewhere would not.)

      *"Triple dipping" -- could I settle for just double dipping like Texas Gov. Rick Perry, "retired" on a state employee's $7,698/mo annuity and still collecting a sitting governor's $150,000 gross salary?

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    3. Criminently, capper! If the mayor of Milwaukee couldn't override the job-slagging effect of Scott Walker (former Milwaukee County Exec, now top job-loss Guv in the 50 States so far this year!), maybe the Dane County Executive has a better record to show? [Er, whut? Oh, nevermind.]

      Dems slamming Dems is really really going to win the recall election for us, is it?

      Shades of '68, the circular firing squad never fails.

      Try to remember that the target is RECALL WALKER, wouldya?

      Shooting to wound our side's top poller in favor of your personal preference does not advance the overall goal.

      Dragging down Barrett's polls (with a slime ad even PolitiFact calls False) doesn't advance Falk's odds with respect to Walker, just hurts the Dem side overall. It's like shooting Barrett in the leg; Falk may now run faster than Barrett, but it doesn't actually increase her speed, and the chances for Team Dem are now worse than they had been. Not just for Barrett; for Falk, by reason of being associated with the ad via AFSCME; and for a pair who could and should have teamed together as Gov/LtGov candidates.

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  46. And yet my brother in the private sector, has better dental, better health insurance, free life insurance a retirement match, health insurance when she retires and gets regular raises even in this environment and bonuses.

    Anonymous 2:18 I want you to have it as good as I do. Scott Walker and his ilk wants to race to the bottom to maximize profits for his wealthy patrons.

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    1. William: I'm glad your brother gets "health insurance when she retires" -- but what sort of pregnancy leave is your brother offered while employed?

      One hopes the regular raises will continue despite Walker's recent repeal of enforcement for the equal-gender-pay law.

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