Governor Walker And Shades Of Richard Nixon

OMG!

I laughed when I first heard the tape of Governor Walker being ‘punked’ in a phone call.  The flood of words and thoughts that flowed from Walker is amazing…and troubling

When Walker admitted to thinking of planting troublemakers among the peaceful protestors at the State Capitol I thought of the antics undertaken when President Nixon was in the White House.  Make a mess, create confusion, and blame others.

Walker, believing he was getting a telephone call from billionaire campaign contributor David Koch, discussed the possibility of “planting some troublemakers” among people protesting his budget repair bill and the end of collective bargaining.   

The phone call of course was with a New York-based blogger who recorded the call…gotta love bloggers!

On the tape Governor Walker said “we thought about that” when the topic of placing troublemakers in the Capitol crowd to create chaos was being discussed.  That the very idea ever hatched itself in Walker’s head, or was considered by others around the Governor is appalling.  It is very important that the ‘we’ involved in this matter be ferreted out.  

That the crowds in and around the Capitol these past nine days have been very peaceful is without question.  Not one single arrest was made last Saturday when 68,000 demonstrated on the Square.  NOT ONE! 

As I thought more about the phone call and Walker’s remark I reflected about how Richard Nixon and those around him acted when in power.

Recall the Brookings Institution and the idea it should be bombed?  The Nixon tapes made it clear what the goal was.  Create a problem and blame it on others.

Nixon: “We are going to use any means… . Get it done. I want it done. I want the Brookings Institution cleaned out and have it cleaned out in a way that has somebody else take the blame.”

Hmmm……

Chuck Colson thought a great idea would be to firebomb the institution and steal files while firefighters……public employees with collective bargaining….would dash the flames.

I think we need to know who the “we’ happen to be that work for Governor Walker that would hatch an idea about placing “troublemakers” into a protest crowd at the Capitol. 

Were they trying to test the patience of all involved, including law enforcement?  Who brought the idea to Walker?  Why was that person not released from state service at once?    Where did this idea get discussed?  In the Governor’s office?  The residence?

This is serious as it could have led to chaos and even bloodshed had it been put into action.

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There was some levity at one point on the tape.

As the tape wandered along I was smirking when Walker confessed that he reads The New York Times, as he commented on a front page story the paper did about Wisconsin.

Can you imagine Richard Nixon ever admitting that on tape?

State Representative Brett Hulsey, My Type Of Democrat

I knew last fall when I threw my support to Brett Hulsey that it was being placed on the shoulders of someone who would step up and show spine when it came to the issues that matter to workers of  Wisconsin.  I strongly felt that Hulsey had demonstrated leadership which would make him an important part of the Wisconsin Legislature.  At that time however, I could never have predicted what was to happen at the Madison Capitol, or  how proud Hulsey would make me once he was elected.

This evening while watching local news I was pleased to see that Hulsey rose to the occasion…literally….to advocate for the truth when it comes to Governor Walker and the Republican desire to end collective bargaining for state and public employees. 

Following a press availability by Governor Walker, who again made his pitch just in time for the local newscasts as to why he wants to destroy collective bargaining,  Hulsey marched to the podium in front of the assembled reporters and gave some pointed remarks.

Hulsey called the governor a dictator, not a leader, and said this budget bill is about union busting, not about balancing the budget.   The budget numbers from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau underscore the words from this freshman Democrat.

“The budget despair bill that we have right now, according to our non-partisan fiscal bureau does not have to happen. We do not have a budget emergency in this state except the one that he is creating by creating union busting,” said Hulsey. 

It is important that the Republican lies created and retold about the state budget not be allowed to just linger.  They need to be stripped bare and cast out into the bright lights of media scrutiny.  That is exactly what Representative  Hulsey did tonight…..right in the Governor’s Office!

Over the decades I have thrown my support to scores of candidates, but I can say tonight that few have lived up to the ideal of what leadership means.  Taking the initiative and pounding home the truth, even in unorthodox ways, places Brett  Hulsey head and shoulders above what passes too often for Democratic leadership.

We can only hope that what Brett Hulsey has unleashed in Madison will be emulated by others, and even make its way to Washington.

We need more Democrats to stand up and pound home the truth!

Thank you Representative Husley!

Mood Inside Wisconsin Capitol All-American

One of the best stories….and there have been many to fill the pages of the Wisconsin State Journal concerning the protests taking place at the Capitol…is this one regarding those who are sleeping under the dome.  It is a remarkable piece by Dan Simmons.  The State Journal has been doing a very good job with this story over the past nine days!  Congrats!

Shortly after 10 p.m. Monday, the drummers and other musicians on the rotunda’s ground floor wrapped up for the night. A man grabbed the microphone and, without instrumental accompaniment, started singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Most of the protesters packed tightly around the first- and second-floor balconies, joining in the anthem. Police officers and firefighters — about 40 from various departments who spent the night on Monday — sang along, hands on heart. Elliott Tomaro, a union ironworker from Oregon, sang, too, holding his hard hat over his chest as he stood with other protesters.

“It’s a moving experience to have so many people singing the national anthem inside the seat of the government,” he said.

General Strike In Wisconsin Being Planned If Union Busting Bill Passes

There is no doubt that a general strike will take place in Wisconsin, and needs to take place, if Governor Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans in the State Legislature pass a bill to remove collective bargaining for state and public employees.  

We can hope that matters are not forced into this direction, but if they come to the point where it is required, than the people of  Wisconsin will need to face their moment of making a real choice and a real difference.

Either we have convictions we live by and stand on, or they are mere words.  It is not enough to speak the words, they only mean something if you are ready to act on them and put your principles into action.

Therefore  I am proud that many understand the role they may need to play in our democracy.

A coordinating committee is being formed to contact European unions with experience conducting general strikes, and to begin educating and organizing unions, students and other groups, said Carl Aniel, labor federation delegate from AFSCME Local 171

“Schools come to a halt, construction sites come to a halt, our printing presses come to a halt, our state administration comes to halt — you can’t go the DMV anymore,” Schaeve said.

A coordinating committee is being formed to contact European unions with experience conducting general strikes, and to begin educating and organizing unions, students and other groups, said Carl Aniel, labor federation delegate from AFSCME Local 171

“It doesn’t mean that everyone is going to stop working on a particular moment or day,” Aniel said. “It means that we are preparing so that the decisions are made in a very significantly different way so that it protects the people of Wisconsin.”

The unions haven’t begun to map out a plan for what services would be shut down, he added.

“If it was decided the governor’s mansion really wasn’t that important and it wasn’t that important to heat it or give it electricity or to guard it, then those things wouldn’t happen,” Aniel said.

Indiana GOP Governor Daniels On Right-To-Work Bill

I wonder if Governor Walker in Wisconsin reads the newspapers……or understands that  what Indiana Governor Daniels stated is also true about Wisconsin.  

That is funny what I wrote….read and think in the same sentence…..about Walker….

Gov. Mitch Daniels had warned his party late last year against pursuing so-called “right to work” legislation. While he agreed with it philosophically, he said it was a big issue that needed a state-wide debate and noted no Republican had run on this in the November election.