Assembly GOP leader: We aren't pushing right-to-work legislation

2012-12-10T18:21:00Z 2012-12-10T19:00:55Z Assembly GOP leader: We aren't pushing right-to-work legislationBy DEE J. HALL and MARY SPICUZZA | Lee Newspapers Chippewa Herald

Two of the state's top three Republicans would not say Monday whether they would support so-called right-to-work legislation in Wisconsin, but a third said such a proposal is not in the works.

Rapid-fire passage in Michigan of measures that would weaken private-sector unions has prompted speculation that Wisconsin may consider similar legislation, which has sparked mass protests in Lansing, Mich.

Gov. Scott Walker and incoming Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald both refused Monday through spokesmen to talk about whether Wisconsin would follow Michigan's lead. That state's Republican-controlled legislature is expected to approve legislation that would prohibit requiring private-sector employees who benefit from union bargaining to join the union or pay union dues.

However, the incoming Republican head of the state Assembly said he is not pursuing such a bill.

Walker's spokesman, Jocelyn Webster, declined to specifically comment on any potential so-called right-to-work legislation Monday, saying the governor is focused on other issues. Walker has previously called such legislation too divisive and said he has no plans to push such legislation. Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, also declined Monday through an aide to comment on whether he would pursue such a bill.

In 2011, Walker and the newly elected GOP-run Legislature eliminated most collective bargaining rights for most public employees, prompting demonstrations that drew up to 100,000 people to Wisconsin's Capitol.

However, a spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker-elect Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said Assembly Republicans don't have plans to restrict private-sector unions in Wisconsin when the Legislature reconvenes Jan. 7.

"Right-to-work legislation is not something that is being pursued this session in the Assembly," Vos spokeswoman Kit Beyer said. "That folder has been put away."

Said Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO: "We hope that next session the Legislature focuses on jobs, not partisan politics or attacks on working families."

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(37) Comments

  1. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - December 16, 2012 8:26 pm
    I didn't insist the links prove anything, I was just pointing out which item I was discussing and which factory as you said again and again it was a Siemens factory in Iowa..
    Those large rotors need a combination of large steel pour capacity, vacuum degassing, massive hydraulic forge and vertical heat treating... We just don't do that in the US anymore..
    Those technologies form the basis of many heavy industrial applications.. Like the rollers in a large sheet steel operation, all things nuclear, the hub and rotor assemblies of large wind turbines, large scale gas, coal and hydro power plants...
    All I'm saying is that we have ceded much of this work to other countries .....
    China, Japan, and Russia (and the Ukrainian operation which is in the link)..
    I don't think heavy forged steel operations are coming back to the US because it is a dirty, dangerous business. My contentions about our historical arc, loss of markets, etc. are just my beliefs. What do you believe?
  2. southernboy
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    southernboy - December 16, 2012 9:12 am
    actually, what you have done, is found an inconsequential fact and based an entire theory upon it.

    You use the outcome as some sort of proof to your viewpoint.

    im sorry just because you believe what you do so entirely, does not make it true.

    but i did read the links you posted and find them deficient of the proofs you insist they provide..
  3. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - December 13, 2012 3:53 pm
    South, here the picture I mean
    My point is that we have lost the ability to make these very large industrial steel basics, we can take them and add turbine blades but the basic steel rotors are beyond our manufacturing scope... We need these things and only Russia, Japan and China can build them. (A Russian company just bought the Ukrainian company the can do this)
    You want to build a large scale nuclear power plant vessel in the US? Sorry, no can do..
    We have lost the ability to do it... When we want this sort of thing we have to wait in line...
    We have taken to washing each others laundry and have left the actual creation of things to other countries...
    One day we will regret that.
  4. southernboy
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    southernboy - December 13, 2012 3:25 pm

    your interpretation of events greatly effects your outcome and rather conveniently.

    We do make all sorts of parts for rotors and shafts for turbines here in this country, Citing the existence of another country’s product and then claiming were unable to make them using the part as evidence, rather convenient,

    You choose to single out one made by Ukrainians, your decision to allocate that reason to our inability isn't very accurate unless there's an instance you can cite where we've failed in that respect. However, I observe that the company's involved in making these parts you speak of, have been investing in Wind energy for 35 years compared to our 5. I suppose it's just a matter of time, before we start making these items here, but i admit if as you say, 100 dollars a month salary over there,

    Import and Trade laws forcing them to compete with American manufacturing certainly is the providence of the United States Senate and the Congress and obviously not the Presidents domain.

    I also observe that, the industry you complain about, is being dominated by larger, older foreign company’s who face no real American competition- I've heard Big talk about what a huge waste Wind power generation is, but yet I notice European company's coming here, building huge factory's spending billions and then negotiating with organized labor to fill the jobs.

    Like the Siemens plant in the Obama photo you mentioned.....
  5. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - December 13, 2012 2:02 pm
    South, you seem intent on some sort of rhetorical battle (you must have time on your hands there at work) butnI am just making general points.
    I don't think the "right to work" matters much one way or the other, labor prices are controlled by macro economic forces rather than state house debates.
    History has handed us great opportunities and we seem to have squandered them.
    Our spending, easing, making promises we can't keep way of governing is leading us in a spiral towards a less than ideal outcome.
    My hat along with a few ironic observational asides is the gist of my chat stream. I am in no way anonymous and would never call people names or insult them from an anonymous pseudonym .
    I am in no way, nor are the other posters here, crazy, stupid or greedy, please stop making such accusations as it simply makes you look petty and foolish
    If I were a Republican (I am not) I would definately push the right to work issue.
    I will be surprised if they don't,
  6. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - December 13, 2012 1:28 pm
    South, I'm talking about the rotor shaft it self, we cannot build them in this country. It is a highly technical job, a skill we have lost. Those shafts can weigh a hundred tons, they have to be forged, tempered, heat treated vertically, center drilled(imagine holding 100 tons up in the air and center drilling a perfect 30-40 foot hole right down it's exact center) we can't do it in the US but every big electrical generation facility needs these shafts. I just thought the photo of the President standing under that massive thing shaking Immelt's hand was ironic because I knew it was of Ukrainian manufacture and the picture was clearly calculated to display American manufacturing prowess.
    I bet that the presidents advance team scanned the whole place for a suitable backdrop and what they came up with was notably .... Well, .... Ironic.
  7. southernboy
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    southernboy - December 13, 2012 12:27 pm

    .. , the 2010 rotor picture yer referring to- This was when the president began his midwest tour, he first stopped at the Siemens Factory out in Iowa, Siemens makes Rotor Blades, which noticeably are installed into Rotors, Siemens is known worldwide for making the Longest Rotor Blades in the Industry, I'll admit theres a possibility you didn't know the German company came there in 2007 and built a 600 million dollar factory and negotiated for pay and benefits. in 163 years in business it was the first time they were visited by a U.S. President We have Foundry's here in the USA that make rotors, I'm sure if you were to look you'd find Obama standing in front of a group of people who make them. Siemens has been in america for over 100 years, an in the last 10 they've invested 20 billion dollars here in property, union employees and their continued future- I hardly understand your reference to it in light of your position-

  8. southernboy
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    southernboy - December 13, 2012 11:50 am
    SRLaBelle, you don't frame your pretense, Is 100 dollars a month enough to live on in the Ukraine, how many hours does the person work in order to earn 100 dollars, Are their any protections regarding health and safety for this worker, would the Wagner Act of 1935 do them any good, would it make the Steelmaker Competitive in the marketplace,

    How does removing that protection or any policy in support of that end from american workers benefit anyone OTHER THAN the company.

    The Company seems to be the only thing you supporters have any interest in.
    The Company... isn't a person, despite your recent interpretations. You should be for people... first you'll notice that in our history,Which includes the Wagner Act that when we put people first, America always ... wins or succeeds
    Your Using Right to work legislation to combat an import/trade issue to obtain a financial goal for private enterprise-- that's not noble, that sir by definition is Greed
  9. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - December 13, 2012 9:15 am
    I think that the unions spend way more money on these sorts of studies than the right. In some ways the Washington post's wonkbook is just a compendium of the various union funded, "studies", "surveys" and "polls"...
    Their other favored device is the "fact-checking" article.
    It is hard to take that stuff seriously. When some paid flak writer is claiming to be measuring "the total happiness of the whole state" I find it hard to keep my attention there. I would prefer to infer from the basic things we all agree on. Let's think for ourselves rather than repeating the poorly conceived notions of others.
    I know a bit about the way unions are run and I can guess the rest. For straight up corruption it's hard to beat the union bosses. When I see, as we often do, local politicians parroting the union bosses' paid copy writers I can't help but feel sorry for both that politician(who's lost his or her way) and for that politician's constituency (who have lost their political voice)
  10. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - December 13, 2012 8:30 am
    South, it's not about greed... It comes down to basic reality. If a guy in Eastern Ukraine will stand next to a thousand degree oven for $100/month and the guy who runs that factory is willing to invest in the basic technology needed to produce high quality steel then it is difficult for U.S. Steel to pay some guy $6,000/month plus bennies, to do the same thing.
    Now mix in the cost of building a plant here, plus the ongoing cost of running it here.... It's next to impossible.
    If we go to protectionist trade practices than we are taxing everyone in the country to raise that worker's $6k plus bennies and stifling any chance at excelling in some other market.
    If we just cede the market and say, (as we have), "we will allow high quality large steel forgings to be poured, pounded, heat treated and tempered in other nations" then we reach our present station, we cannot manufacture the rotors/hub units for large wind turbines or the central rotors for large coal/gas/hydro generators
  11. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - December 13, 2012 7:42 am
    Let's just add it up
    $85 billion per month in Fed "bond buys" .... That is just fresh new fake money channeled through the pockets of the bankers (who get to hold it first and charge us all a fee) that's $3,000/year for each and every one of us.
    The yearly deficit plus the off budget war spending ... Last year that ran at about $1.26 trillion, this year they are talking a few dollars less, I'll believe that when I see it, but lets call that $3,600/year for every man woman and child.
    Let's not forget operation "twist" ... Selling short term, low interest treasury notes and buying longer term, higher interest treasuries.. Why? To artificially lower long term interest rates.
    Eventually twist will be unwound and it will just supercharge whatever mess we are in at that time.
    At some point our children will say "screw this, I'm not paying" they will laugh when they see TV shows about unions (if laughing is still allowed in the police state we're headed for)

  12. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - December 13, 2012 7:23 am
    Now we say to everyone, literally everyone, you can keep everything you have, or think you have and we will print money to make it so. The farmers, the workers, the doctors, the public sector, the big bankers, they are all on the dole.
    In fact the government is printing $3,000/year per person in fresh and loading up our kids with an additional $3,000-4,000/ year in debt (for which someone armed with guns will eventually come looking(in Greece the police have started coming to people's homes to make sure they are not hiding wealth)).
    The idea is that if we just give people enough money the economic engine will fire up but the same thing is going on everywhere in the world. We can't even build things like the large rotor shafts for industrial sized generators. In 2010 when Obama posed at GE he was standing next to a bus sized rotor of Ukrainian manufacture.
    We have become consumers. Centrally planned "green manufacture" can't fix this,
    We need greedy Entrepreneurs. Idea guys.
  13. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - December 13, 2012 6:54 am
    As I get older and think about the last 100 years (I was there for over half of them)
    It seems easier to connect the industrial revolution to the expansion of the cities to the realization of the great powers of the late 19th century that they needed export markets to ww1(a trade war at it's base) to the continuing massive urbanization to a moment in which we found too many workers and not enough work (the Great Depression) to rearmament and ww2, followed by the "era of good feeling" (that's us sitting here with all the chips) Then the slow waking up of the world, new manufacturing competition, Europe, Japan, the Chinese looking for markets and now, even the Soviets looking for a place to hawk their wares. This isn't about unions and closed shops we are standing right where England was in 1890-1910. Our ability to employ-manufacture-sell goods-feed ourselves is going through a long slow change. We have to embrace the change rather than promising every widget maker $30/hr forever.
  14. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - December 13, 2012 6:34 am
    Red, did the union really get us all of these things? Could it be that the real cause for all those labor gains was WW2? Most of the world's manufacturing base was leveled into smoking ruins.. Suddenly we had export markets, there was a worker shortage.
    No we are losing our export markets and the unions are fading away, not because of greed but simply due to the reality that other people are willing to do this labor for less money. We are papering over the problem by printing money but that can only go so far, at some point we will need to wake up
    I'd prefer to wake up before we have promised every last thing we have, or ever dreamed we had, to the public sector unions and the Medicare docs. We simply can't afford this fantasy. These unfunded liabilities (I saw an $84 trillion figure the other day) will cause bloodshed when the folks who have been promised these dollars come to collect payment from those on whose backs these promises were laid
    The revolution will not be televised
  15. southernboy
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    southernboy - December 13, 2012 6:17 am
    the Wagner Act created in 1935 and reviewed by the Supreme court in 1937 and found to be lawful and still is lawful today--Those are FACTs,

    the crime you want to commit, to violate another persons constitutional rights, your desire doesn't endow you any special privilege, those actions being prohibited, Are NOT a loss to you-you cant lose what dont/didn't "rightfully" have.

    you sound a little like what I assume a slavery advocate did. Its my land,my slave --its your business, your employee, i admit your potentially better than a slave owner because, the employee unwilling to accept your 3 cents a day can work elsewhere right, so your marginally better?

    you want everyone to work for you for free or at least under any ridiculos condition you propose, You want to be able to tell people how to live and if their willing to vote with your party everyone keeps their job-- LOL your not conceited at all, your convinced

  16. redfromwi
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    redfromwi - December 13, 2012 2:16 am
    Please watch the show , the men who made america.
    History will repeat its self if every state become a right to work state, the unions got us the 40 hour work week, decent hourly pay.
    Yes the unions can be greedy, so can the owners of the company you work for.
  17. Enlightenment
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    Enlightenment - December 12, 2012 9:45 pm
    SRL, I agree that most of the articles regarding right to work states, both for and against, are extremely slanted. There are large gaps in the research and the conclusions of the findings on both sides of the issue. That is why I simply posted links to the requested info and didn't interject my opinion on the subject.
  18. ChippewaFallsWisconsin
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    ChippewaFallsWisconsin - December 12, 2012 12:22 pm
    I personally don't want Walker to fail. I would love for all of his off the wall promises to come true, but they are so far off the wall, it can't happen. And what a hypocritical statement to make. Are you saying that Fox News wants Obama to flourish? They would have to shut their channel down, nothing to grip about. The same goes for the other left stations. Most don't want failure, our paychecks depend on it, what I want is honest agendas, not closed meetings.
  19. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - December 12, 2012 12:13 pm
    Enlighten, when I read the first link (admittedly I just skimmed it) I see someone who has already determined the outcome required by who ever it is paying for the "study" and carefully forming up their data around that conclusion. I vote independent, read all over, try to get balanced data... It's striking that the study mentions the "south Carolina" model with out going further to discuss the Boeing facility and the full frontal assault by organized labor against that facility.
    Everybody has a point of view and no one article or source is definitive but I have to say that the conclusions drawn regarding things such as "overall happiness" seem to be a bit beyond the scope of the discussion and the quality of the underlying data.
    I haven't read this wonk book piece but I know enough about their work to guess it might be similar ... It's like that preacher on tv who reads the newspapers with his wife and says "see there, I told you, the world is about to end"
    We will be fine
  20. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - December 12, 2012 11:39 am
    A quick google of the "more injuries" concept pulls a lot of propaganda looking stuff but nothing in the way of well founded data...
    The idea that "right to work" (a change that would only impact a sliver of the work force) would generate "60% more workplace injuries" seems ridiculous on its face.
    The union work rules seem more about reducing efficiencey (more dues paying bodies each doing less work) than increasing workplace safety...
    Right to work will certainly decimate the union bosses... In the union jobs I have held many, if not most, of the members would jump at the chance to keep their union dues.
    From a political standpoint, if I were Walker and company, I would push right to work.... The union bosses are right to be terrified because their secret is that the average union guy really would rather not pay union dues.
    Imagine the drum banging strum and drang at the Capitol ....
    I hope that they go for it,,, it would be entertaining.
  21. bluehillsmike
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    bluehillsmike - December 12, 2012 10:55 am
    The employer has no rights in a Union Shop due to the Wagner Act of 1935. Fact.
  22. bluehillsmike
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    bluehillsmike - December 12, 2012 10:53 am
    Creed and Merlin I'm with you!!!! In terms of how many jobs have been created during the Walker Administration, the Libs/Dems have taken great pains along with their media pals, some of whom own this newspaper, to put WI in as bad a light as possible. With protesting whackos taking over our Capital for over a year, who wants to move their business to WI? The anti-fracking nuts have certainly scared away quite a bit of business of all types from the Chippewa Valley. The D's/libs of course want Walker to fail. Yes I do have insider info on that---
  23. southernboy
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    southernboy - December 12, 2012 10:35 am
    Creed1212- I sort of agree with you, with the simple minded Union hating environment in Wi, Im surprised State Republicans aren't openly talking about RTW. If it offers any consolation, It's entirely possible this is about to happen, the nature of these laws recently has been accomplished almost as secretly as Wisconsin REdistricting.
    Im curious about the damage done to america's workforce. I think you said, "more damage than all other factors combined". Can you elaborate on that?

    Wouldn't freedom and liberty include the ability to direct whatever % of wages to anyone person I so choose, Law takes away my right to spend my earned money-as i choose and this, gives me Freedom.

    Union dues in Mi. are Voluntary payments, employees comprise 16.5% of the workforce. Besides the seven million dollars spent on Ads against Republicans, "who" is the Victim, whats the act you deem unlawful, Whats the benefit to society of this law, besides less money for Republican Ads.

  24. ChippewaFallsWisconsin
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    ChippewaFallsWisconsin - December 12, 2012 8:01 am
    You just contradicted yourself, and stop using cliche's. They are not blind sheep. They are adults who make the decision to accept employment in a union. You said we can't recover with big government, but they are the ones making these decisions. Most people also agree laws are written to benefit the majority, these workers are the minority so the state will spend millions implementing a new law that only affects a small minority. Like Walker says, there are more serious issues.
  25. southernboy
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    southernboy - December 11, 2012 9:16 pm
    (if) what you said was 100% true & its not(technically no one is forced more than a couple of pay periods, any union member can withdraw from any union with written notification to your employers payroll department) How does this change/create jobs in Michigan? Hows it working in Wisconsin? No good news huh?

    Technically an estimated 16.5% of Wage and Salary workers in Michigan are represented by a Union or a labor contract. In your mind what % of those people are victims, and if you would, reference the “victimization” I'd like to understand your position or establish your lack of a reasonable one.

    I have to assume that because law was “created”, there was a problem that could not be solved with any other method, That there was “a practice of society” that violated fundamental principals of our constitution, except that's not true, However there was no other way quite so effective to slap down the Unions. Michigan just like Wisconsin nobody put fourth this anti union initiative running for office, but rather surprised the electorate with it & in a few days its law.

    Whats gained, how does this create jobs and if your from Wisconsin how would you know

    2011 the worst state in the country for job creation ---
    2012 in October your job numbers went Negative for the year, so that's ZERO/ 250000
  26. Enlightenment
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    Enlightenment - December 11, 2012 9:11 pm
    SRL, according to several anti "right to work" sites, right to work states have a 51% higher workplace injury/death rate when compared to non-right to work states. The sites that quote the 51% indicate the BLS as the source for info.
  27. SRLaBelle
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    SRLaBelle - December 11, 2012 6:15 pm
    Could you cite the reference material where you find right to work state workers suffer "almost 60% more injuries" than non-right to work state workers......
    It seems a bit over the top to me..
    Thank you
  28. Creed1212
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    Creed1212 - December 11, 2012 12:47 pm
    The question is why ISN'T our legilature pushing for right to work legislation?? Every state in the union should have such legislation on the books. The evil power unions and their blind sheep followers have done more damage to this nations work force than all of the other factors combined. The only hope for this once great nation to recover is found in freedom and liberty, not in big power government and filthy big power unions!
  29. Enlightenment
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    Enlightenment - December 11, 2012 10:43 am
  30. Merlin
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    Merlin - December 11, 2012 10:10 am
    Please post the States and industries you are quoting. If any of those industries are in Wisconsin, you may have something there, if they are not (as I suspect), then you aren't comparing apples to apples.
  31. Merlin
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    Merlin - December 11, 2012 10:09 am
    What's funny is that the very people screaming that their rights are being trampled on are the ones who are FORCED to join unions and FORCED to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

    That doesn't sound like freedom to me, sounds more like socialist thuggery. Where do you think the term "pay your dues" came from? It refers to rotting in a union until you have wasted your most formative years to climb to the top only to find out your health is so bad from all of those years of slavery that you can't enjoy the fruits of your labor.

    Sorry, I prefer to negotiate my own wage according to my own performance, the skills I bring, and the quality with which I perform my work. You can't get anymore anti-union in that - a person who wants to think for themselves and be paid according to how well they do their job and the value they bring, not how long the breathed and waited their turn, you know "paid their dues".
  32. michaelj
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    michaelj - December 11, 2012 8:16 am
    Workers in right to work for less states make a little over $5500 less annually, and suffer almost 60% more injuries, than other workers. If you're a worker, why would you want that?
  33. old timer
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    old timer - December 11, 2012 8:11 am
    Didn't I just see something this past week on TV 13 where one of our local elected state officials was entertaining ideas for a pay raise for themselves and the rest of them? Or was I mistaken? It seems to me one of the justifications they used was that they spend their own money on gasoline to attend meetings for political meetings. Just wondering because I expected to see further news reporting done on it, but it never reappeared.
  34. ChippewaFallsWisconsin
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    ChippewaFallsWisconsin - December 11, 2012 8:09 am
    Everyone's a critic and a comic. We need to stop name calling to make a point. There's a reason you're not on Comedy Central. This forum is not for name calling and childish words. With that being said, of course they're going to pass this. I Don't know what other important things Walker is doing outside of Voter ID and letting business move out of state. If someone wants to join a union, that's their choice. If they decide not to, alright. Why is the gov't making the choices? They are disabling unions, but why? It's a rhetorical statement.
    Report Abuse
    OKOKOKOK - December 11, 2012 7:29 am
    More "HONEST" Nixon type Repugican'ts!!!!!!!!!!!
  36. W5951
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    W5951 - December 10, 2012 11:16 pm
    Fitzgerald said HE was not pursuing right to work laws, and Walker's spokesman declined to comment, said Walker was focused on other issues. Well that may be, but someone else will raise the specter of Right to Work, and both will not back away from. They didn't lie, but then they are probably be less than candid.
  37. Yellow River Rat
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    Yellow River Rat - December 10, 2012 8:28 pm
    The more the GOP leaders say they aren't pushing some wage killing legislation in Wisconsin the more we know it's going to happen. Like Walker, expect the lie. Walker talks jobs., but hasn't come though. It's more about paying back the people that bought his governorship. And he owes. Walker is an honest politician, once he's bought, he stays bought.
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