By Jeff Simpson
by now we all know what a miserable failure ACT10 has been for the people of Wisconsin. It was justified at the time as "necessary" because we could not continue to let "the teachers unions buy Democratic politicians and then get everything they wanted"(Forgetting the fact that teachers unions have never gotten much of anything they wanted).
While Democrats did very well in the Nov. 6 election, union households represented the smallest share of the Wisconsin vote in at least 20 years -- 21%, down from 26% in 2008, 28% in 2004 and 32% in 2000, according to exit polls.
“Their power before was the power of numbers, both in terms of turning people out and more important how much money they could draw from that,” said GOP Gov. Scott Walker, when asked about the union numbers in a recent interview.
Walker said the changes in labor law mean public workers aren’t forced to spend their money on union dues. He also argued it will lead to more open political competition for the support of those former union members, rather than Democrats being able to automatically expect that support through unions.
Union officials say the numbers are more evidence that Walker’s labor policies had a political purpose -- damaging the organizational, financial and voting power of the union movement.
“It pretty dramatically demonstrates the real purpose of Act 10 was not a budget matter but a direct attempt to undermine the influence of working people and unions,” said Bruce Colburn, vice president of SEIU Health Care Wisconsin. “Certainly having less and less members (for unions) to talk to hurts in terms of the ability to elect supporters of working people.”
While Walker lied about the justification, the truth is labor unions and specifically teachers unions were strong supporters of the Democratic party(sometimes it was even justified). In order to counter this, Walker and the state republican party did what they do best, legislate themselves more power. Its easier to come up with new rules to match your philosophy, than it is to try and sell such philosophy to the majority of the people.
However Walker's legislation has worked and public sector union participation is down.
Now it is time for Scott Walker to stop an even bigger problem. The corporations in our state and globally who give money to politicians and truly get everything they want. Without the balance of the unions to work on a bipartisan government, companies have run even more amok.
In Wisconsin, introduced simulateneously with ACT 10 was privatizing the commerce department and turning it into the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp(WEDC). WEDC, unlike the Commerce Department, while chaired by Scott Walker, is accountable to no one.
WEDC, since its inception, have given out approximately $50,000,000 in taxpayer money to various businesses, with no accountability or results.
Well thats not exactly correct. There were alot of results. That $50 Million in taxpayer dollars resulted in the members of WEDC going to many Badger games, vacations and even iTunes gift cards. Young, clueless and inexperienced Walker Supporter Ryan Murray has been living the highlife!
This also resulted in the director of WEDC(Reed Hall) receiving a 50% pay raise in his first month on the job!
Hall was set to make $120,000 when he took the full-time position in January and in February received a $65,000 raise, according to the Wisconsin Reporter.
Walker made the decision to increase the CEO’s salary, Hall said, and the WEDC board’s compensation committee approved the increase. Hall said the $185,000 fell in the mid-range of a recommendation by an outside consulting firm to the WEDC.
However those were just periphery benefits for the $50 million in taxpayer dollars, the true pay off came later. The true benefits came later, and it came to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the "Elect Scott Walker" campaign slush fund.
If the right-wing takeover of our state shows one thing, it's that Republicans know how to do political corruption right. Forget the penny-ante stuff that landed Georgia Thompson in the clink. A new report by One Wisconsin Now adds a twist to the jaw-dropping shamelessness over at the WEDC.
The report details how Walker's campaign and the Republican Governors Association raked in nearly $650,000 in donations from the owners and employees of the businesses that benefited from the WEDC's largess. Walker, who is chairman of the WEDC board, received $429,060 in campaign contributions from the businessmen, who got grants and tax credits from his new job-creation agency.
The Virginia-based Republican Governors Association, which spent almost $15 million electing Walker and defending him in the recall, got $218,899 from the same group of people.
Who paid for their WEDC-sponsored benefits? You and I, of course.
And what did we get? A state economy that still ranks among the worst in the nation for job creation and wage growth.
It looks like we need ACT 11.
No company or executives from said company, can donate to any politician for a period of two years aftern they have accepted and received taxpayer WEDC funds!
For some reason I do not think Scott Walker will be in such a hurry to stop that flow of money into politicians hands.