Both State Senator Chris Larson and Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele claim to support workers' rights, including the right to collectively bargain. But only one of them has the history to support their claims.
Larson, recognizing the disaster that Act 10 would pose for Milwaukee and the rest of the state, led his fellow Democratic state senators to leave the state and stay away for weeks in order to give the people a chance to organize and fight back. For the last five years, Larson has worked tirelessly to restore workers' rights.
Abele, who likes to refer to himself as "Boss Abele," took a whole different approach. In an interview he did with the bloviating James "Snickers Bar" Wigderson, Abele praised Act 10:
In an interview, Abele agreed with the report. "Absolutely Act 10 gives more flexibility."Indeed, Abele embraced Act 10 so tightly that the pay cuts he imposed on Milwaukee County workers was more than double those that Scott Walker had put on state employees. Abele has gone on to try to steal the pensions from county retirees, remove civil service protections and deny county workers due process by refusing to put in a grievance process (even though that is required by Act 10).
Abele said the best defense of Act 10 is the effect it has. "Your taxes didn't go up and your services didn't get cut. That is the best refutation to anything the unions would say."
Before Act 10, the Milwaukee County Executive could propose savings in employee benefits in the budget, but they would have to be negotiated. Now employee benefits are no longer part of the collective bargaining process.
The differences couldn't be more obvious. Larson's record clearly shows that he is a champion of workers' rights and protecting the taxpayers. Abele, on the other hand, has a long history of wanting to stick it to the workers and to the taxpayers alike as he continues with his plutocratic agenda.
While both men might say that they support workers and workers' rights, only one them really means it.
It is imperative that we support and vote for Chris Larson.