March 10, 2012

Wisconsin Senate Democrats are losing some union members.

"Lyle Balistreri... represents more than 15-thousand construction trades workers in southeast Wisconsin, men and women who would have benefited from the mining reform bill."
"For the Senate Democrats to vote against this bill is a sign that they're not with us. They're certainly not job creators, and in fact they're job killers. And I'm sick and tired of the partisan politics in the State of Wisconsin. The working people in the state of are taking a beating. Democrats and Republicans are at each other's throats, and this sort of thing has to stop."
ADDED: David Blaska writes:
Real people in economically depressed Northern Wisconsin are paying the price for the Democratic Party’s fealty to government employee unions. Who has declared war on the middle class? Democrats have....

Legislative Democrats defeated the mining bill in order to sabotage the governor’s job-creation efforts. Those Democrats intend to play working men and women off each other: they’ll happily trade the industrial unions, whose numbers have been declining for decades, in exchange for the more numerous and more prosperous teachers unions and AFSCME affiliates.

35 comments:

Chip S. said...

♫ Sol-li-darity forehhh-verrr ♪

OldGrouchyCranky said...

towiloye licerocWow, so maybe all that Democrat protesting has finally done some good? OTOH, maybe not!

Somehow, in some major way, this statement by a labor leader will prove to be the GOP's fault! Don't know how that could happen, but bet it probably will!

OldGrouchyCranky said...

AA: that nasty glitch now includes embedding strange nonsense in the comments posted.

traditionalguy said...

We seem to have reached the, " ...but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time" point.

The GOP also needs to run a factual White Paper on the Keystone Pipeline's sabotage by The Obama Cell followed by a demand for Obama's indictment as a foreign sabatour.

How long will the MSM stick to their false naratives and cover for the Dem liars who have calmly fooled all of the people all of the time since Obama got the power to destroy us?

Ann Althouse said...

"AA: that nasty glitch now includes embedding strange nonsense in the comments posted."

I thought you were attempting to sing an Irish lullaby.

TosaGuy said...

Sen. Chris Larson of Milwaukee (Bayview) has Caterpillar and Joy Global in his district. They would have made the equipment for the mine and expanded their employee pool to do it. Go to his Facebook and just watch him rant about Walker and the GOP...pretty pathetic and shame on the folks in Bayview tossing a pragmatic Democrat in 2010 for this bombthrower.

Synova said...

Hey, I thought miners were the ULTIMATE union members.

They are the ones that all other union members use as the reason for their cause any time one of the other of us complain that unions are bad.

Look at mining, we're told, look at what the miners endured, look how they bled. Look how they died.

And because miners marched and bled and died, we're not supposed to talk about how bad unions are, how public sector unions are tax funded rackets or anything else.

TosaGuy said...

Curious to know how much effort Balisteri's union put into last summer's recalls, especially the one from Fond du Lac. They probably helped kick out the two guys who would have voted for this bill.

Karma is a bitch.

Petunia said...

Is it more appropriate to sympathize with the private union members now that they realize that they have been well and truly screwed by the Stupid Seventeen, or to point out to them that they were right there with the useful idiot protestors a year ago, when anyone with any critical thinking skills whatsoever could see right through the fleebaggers' and the unions' bullshit rhetoric?

I mean, come ON. These are the people who think Michael Moore and Jesse Jackson have useful things to say, and the Ed Schultz and John Nichols are legitimate journalists.

Synova said...

Interesting comments.

Or, not really. So the Dem guy said it was all Republican's fault because they wouldn't compromise. Never said what the Democrats were offering, never said what they objected to, only that they *had no choice* but to vote no.

And half the comments are "mines are icky and destructive and no one would get hired anyway" or "it's all Walker's fault."

To the Dem Senator, was he claiming that the Republicans didn't want the mine open?

I think pretty clearly that Madison liberals think that mining is evil, dirty, destroy the Earth. To pretend that liberals anywhere want any mine open anywhere is the position that requires extraordinary proof.

EDH said...

Isn't it ironic?
Don't ya think?
A little too ironic?
Yeah, I really do think...

It's like rain, on labor day.
It's the private sector union jobs, that you've taken away.
It's the good advice, that you just didn't take
And who would've thought?
It figures

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
And life has a funny, funny way, of helping you out
Helping you out

edutcher said...

This will be the pattern this fall, too.

PS Oh, jolly. Now I'm getting a WV when I sign in.

Well, that's three.

Lava said...

as a frequent visitor to the North Woods, I'm always asking myself what do the folks up there do? In MSN we're all so concerned about "living wage" jobs but in an area where jobs are so critical...what is their response...I hear crickets chirping.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Blaska is right. This is more evidence the Democrats have abandoned the working people in favor of a coalition based on environmentalists, college graduates and public sector employees.

Think of all the jobs that could be created with Keystone XL, mining, fracking, logging, nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams. These would be good jobs with good wages for people and families.

The Republicans have never supported the working people.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Edit:

The Republicans have never supported the working people. There is an opening here for the Republicans but they are too beholden to big business.

garage mahal said...

Is it more appropriate to sympathize with the private union members now that they realize that they have been well and truly screwed by the Stupid Seventee

There were thousands of private unions marching today. The entire mining bill was a sham, even if Fitzgerald's bill would have passed, it would have never been built due to the way they wrote it. It would have never made it out of the courts. They didn't want to vote for the Jausch/Schultz bill. Why not?

By the way, Wisconsin's wetlands is a 4 billion dollar industry that supports 72,000 jobs. There's also our Public Trust Doctrine.

Not one sportsman group endorsed the Fitzgerald bill. That should tell you something.

Hagar said...

The big money comes from large, wealthy unions and very wealthy individuals.
Shrinking and financially over-committed industrial unions are not that important any more.

Michael Haz said...

Mrs. Haz and I had dinner with friends last night at the Ocean Grill in Madison, on our way up north for the weekend.

The restaurant was full, as were others on Capitol Square. Near us sat a group of diners chattering about the defeat of the mining bill, and how good it was that the Dems kicked Governor's Walker's ass.

The diners were nicely dressed, educated, smug, self-importand. They were enjoying excellent seafood at about $27 per entree, soup and salad extra. It's easy to spend $50 per person there; our foursome did. They didn't seem at all uncomfortable about the cost of their meal.

We left Madison after to dinner and made it to our cabin by 1:00 AM.

We decided to drive an hour to Hurley for lunch today. We stopped at an old bar in downtown for hamburgers and beer. It was quiet; there were six people in the place at noon on a Saturday.

Since business was slow, we talked with the 50-ish woman tending bar. The topic of the mine came up. The bartender told us that she has five children; four of whom have left Wisconsin to take jobs n other states. The fourth child is in high school and plans to enlist in the Army. Her husband works in the logging business, but has been out of work for most of the winter.

She inherited the old bar from her parents. It's her family's only source of income at present. Her property taxes are unpaid and the electric bill is three months past due.

Her anger and frustration about the Democrats blocking passage of the mining bill was deep and intense. "I thought the Democrats were for the working people" she said several times. "We need those jobs! Most of the people up here are just barely hanging on. Our kids move away because there are no jobs, our men, most of 'em, stay home."

I wonder if those smug pricks we overheard at dinner in Madison Friday night, the ones so self-satisfied that the mining bill had been defeated, have any real idea of the suffering in northwest Wisconsin?

If they don't their blindness is inexcusable. If they do, their immorality is inexcusable.

Alex said...

garage - suck it obstructer.

edutcher said...

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

The Republicans have never supported the working people.

Depends how you define working people.

Calypso Facto said...

Nice post, Haz. I see that dynamic at work all the time as I traverse the state.

There is an opening here for the Republicans but they are too beholden to big business.
Bill, however, has no clue. The top 18 big business/big union donors at OpenSecrets favor Dems, because when you want to receive more irresponsible gov't spending, you support Democrats. Republicans are the party of small business and the tax-paying working class.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Synova said...
Hey, I thought miners were the ULTIMATE union members.


You are thinking of the United Mine Workers of America (UWMA) Hard core union guys, mostly underground stuff.

As I understand it, this would have been a pit iron mine with huge bucket loaders and Clams, not underground horizontal face cutters. Operating Engineers would have been the main union.

Synova said...

I wasn't trying to be precise. I was being snarky. ;-)

But it does seem to me that the guys driving the huge equipment in an open pit mine are closer to the underground guys than they are to government office workers by orders of magnitude.

Synova said...

I was talking to a lady in Telluride (?) about mining there. She presented opposition to the mining as taking care of the working class people who would be hurt by working in the mines.

I suggested that perhaps they, and not others, were the best judge of the trade-off between employment and the health risk.

She didn't look hostile when I said it. She looked like she simply hadn't heard that opinion before.

Jason said...

They didn't want to vote for the Jausch/Schultz bill. Why not?

They didnt get a chance. Jauch or Schultz had ample opportunity to amend the bill that was called to the floor with the amendments they wanted to attach to it to make the bill called to the floor look more like their own. Neither one did because the Schultz/Jauch "compromise" bill was never designed to actually be introduced for a vote, much less passed. I will explain below.

I live in Schultz's district, just a few miles from his hometown in Richland Center. Just to provide some background - Schultz and Jauch are friends. Jauch was getting plenty of heat from his district for announcing his position against the assembly form of the mining bill, so he and Schultz came up with this "compromise" bill in an effort to get some of the heat off him - he figured that if he introduced a bill with Schultz, it would be made to look like they were making an effort to get something passed, when in reality they knew damn well that A) the mining company would never endorse it, and B) it would never make it out of committee.

Schultz has become a very bitter man in the state senate. Ever since the Republicans stripped him of his leadership position a few years back, he has basically flipped into this guy who will vote with his party on the minor stuff that doesnt mean much, but butt heads and be a major pain in the ass on the major legislation. Schultz has had it in for Walker ever since Walker, in a face-to-face meeting, turned down Schultz's collective bargaining proposal (you may remember that he wanted to write a bill that put the collective bargaining laws back in place after two years). After Walker basically told him his bill had no chance and would not get his endorsement, Schultz is looking to get into his way whenever we can.

In addition to becoming a bitter man, Schultz has also become much more arrogant and self-serving. He feels the need to always be the "knight in shining armor", and will really only support a major piece of legislation only if his name is attached to it. That was the main reason Fitzgerald named Schultz to this mining committee - Schultz made it known from the outset that he was likely going to vote against any mining bill. Fitz figured that by putting him on this committee, it would actually change his mind about it. It didnt happen.

The only reason Schultz hasnt flipped parties and become an independent or Democrat is because he wouldnt get re-elected in this district. Its really that simple.

Schultz has lost a lot of popularity in this district in the past year. His wife is the superintendent of his hometown school district, so that has had a major bearing on his decisions over the past year. Normally, Schultz is a shoo-in for re-election every time his name is on the ballot, but after what has happened in the past year, the GOP WILL run someone to the right of Schultz in the next primary, assuming Schultz runs again. And right now there is a very good chance Schultz will lose.

Schultz will be a pain for this governor and this legislature until he either quits or is ousted from office.

TosaGuy said...

Great post Michael Haz. I borrowed it.

Michael Haz said...

Schultz is a venal man whose prissy ego will cost his fellow Wisconsinites the loss of thousands of good-paying jobs over the next five decades, at least.

And Tom Barrett, another pathetic politician. The three largest mining equipment manufacturers in North America are located in Milwaukee. Bucyrus (now Caterpillar), Falk and Joy Global stood to receive one-half BILLION of orders for mining equipment, plus the ongiong contracts for maintenance, repair and parts.

Tom Barrett's Milwaukee has the seventh worst unemployment rate of major cities in he US. Parts of Milwaukee's north side have unemployment rates over fifty percent!

Tom Barrett said nothing in support of the mine. Nothing. What a pathetic, small man to place his political ambition above the real need for jobs in Milwaukee.

Michael Haz said...

@TosaGuy - You're welcome. Let me know where it goes.

Jason said...

Tom Barrett said nothing in support of the mine. Nothing. What a pathetic, small man to place his political ambition above the real need for jobs in Milwaukee

Not only that, but he blamed Walker for a "lack of leadership" for the mining bill not passing. Nevermind the fact that not one Democrat in either house of the state legislature voted for either of the mining bills that were introduced. But, of course, that's Walker's fault...after all, to a Democrat, "compromise" means they get everything they want before agreeing to it.

As for Schultz, I can tell you by living here that if the GOP runs a principaled conservative in the primary when Schultz comes up for re-election, he will be in big trouble.

Like I said, only one thing is keeping Schultz as a Republican right now - and that is the fact that he wouldnt be re-elected as a Democrat in this district.

kcom said...

"I thought the Democrats were for the working people" she said several times.

It's not your father's Democratic party. And your father's Oldsmobile doesn't even exist any more.

I think the capture of the Democratic Party by the elitists, environmentalists, race baiters, academics, multimillionaire whiners and transnational leftists at the expense of the traditional Democratic working class constituency is one of the great underreported stories of our time. It's become increasingly clear over the years that when the Dems are forced to chose between the working class and jobs, on the one hand, and serving their own elite's pet priorities, on the other, it's the pet priorities that win. A recent case in point being the denial of the Keystone pipeline and other job-creating opportunities, while awarding $10,000 subsides to wealthy people to but electric cars (one of their many uneconomical but pet priorities). The sooner this state of affairs is publicly acknowledged, the better it will be for our future as a country.

Jay said...

Real people in economically depressed Northern Wisconsin are paying the price for the Democratic Party’s fealty to government employee unions.

Actually, Real people in economically depressed America are paying the price for the Democratic Party’s fealty to government employee unions.

Jay said...

garage mahal said...

There were thousands of private unions marching today. The entire mining bill was a sham, even if Fitzgerald's bill would have passed, it would have never been built due to the way they wrote it. It would have never made it out of the courts.


Lie, lie, dissemble, excuses.

Isn't it cute when you pretend you're for "jobs," bozo?

Lava said...

@Michaelhaz, a great statement on the divide among the state's residents. Drive through some of the small towns and then tell me how much of the tourist dollar is trickling down to them.

Freder Frederson said...

I suggested that perhaps they, and not others, were the best judge of the trade-off between employment and the health risk

And since you stated above that unions are bad, who exactly is supposed to look out for the workers' interests?