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Posted on Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

Democrats unfairly circumvent the system in Wisconsin public union votes

By Letters to the Editor

I’m confused over the ethics involved in the controversy over legislation, now underway in several states, that will weaken or eliminate collective bargaining rights of public unions.

Union officials support the move of Democrats in Wisconsin, who somehow feel justified in circumventing the political process they took an oath to uphold. Now I’m sure there were opponents to the legislation that gave public unions the right to collectively bargain back in 1961. Did those opponents avoid the “table?” Apparently they did not.

It seems public unions, which spent more than 100 million dollars in a failed attempt to get Democrats elected to office, are now willing to support the corruption of the very system that made collective bargaining possible. In effect, public unions are OK with taking the table away if it suits their needs.

Democrats in Wisconsin also feel it’s OK to take that table away from the electorate. In fact, Democrats are willing to shut down the whole Wisconsin state government in their efforts to circumvent, what might now be inappropriately called, the Democratic process of government.

I don’t think newly, and might I add fairly, elected Republican officials are taking the proverbial “table” away from public unions, I just think the “tables” have been turned. That’s the way our political system works. The same political system provides the right of public unions and their supporters to voice their opposition and engage in discourse and protest to persuade others to join their cause.

But when elected officials start interfering with the rights of citizens by not showing up to the “table” to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities they took an oath to uphold, that’s a problem much bigger than just eliminating collective bargaining. Frank G. Dalimonte Ann Arbor



Thu, Mar 10, 2011 : 2:07 a.m.

What middle class, mom and pop business owners and non-union middle class workers will realize is that they will be crushed by the big corporations once the union buffer for the middle class is removed. "First they came for the.....but they didn't come for me so I didn't speak up ...Then they came for the ....Then they came for me, but there was noone left to speak up for me.. It's not an exact quotation, but it's the idea of how those who don't support unions now will wish they had. I'm not a union member, but I understand how important unions are. Work safety, hours, pay, etc. for all middle class workers are likely to suffer from the destruction of unions.


Thu, Mar 10, 2011 : 2:18 a.m.

Also, without the campaign contributions by unions on behalf of members, all the major organizations that contribute to political campaigns will support Republican candidates, as they do now, and the U.S. will no longer have 2+ political parties. Some call it autocracy. Also, since the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, corporations can give unlimited contributions to political campaigns. Push back now unless you want Government by the corporation. If you own a small business, work in a non-union job, are involved in education, health care, or other occupations where you don't create money directly, expect lower incomes and less freedom. It's the trend these days. If you don't close your eyes to these likelihoods, we the people may be able to stop the encroachment. By the way, the financial abyss has been caused by Wall Street banks, corrupt officials, greedy CEO's getting huge bonuses for firing American workers and sending more production to low wage countries with unsafe working conditions, and reducing taxes on unlimited incomes even while fighting a war started on false pretenses. Middle class workers, whether union or non-union didn't cause these problems. Push back of this trial of divide and conquer. Don't let those at the top divide the middle class in order to conquer the opportunities and comforts of the middle class.


Wed, Mar 9, 2011 : 11:41 p.m.

Here's how it works. Democrat politicians enact a law that automatically takes money out of union member paychecks and gives it to the unions. Then, unions contribute money to Democratic politicians. That's just not right. Get rid of the law or get rid of unions. Take your pick.

Kelly Davenport

Wed, Mar 9, 2011 : 6:03 p.m.

Some comments were removed because they were too personally directed. Remember that you are talking to your real and your virtual neighbors here, so be mindful of the spirit of the community of fair and constructive discourse.


Tue, Mar 8, 2011 : 5:33 p.m.

For the most part I agree with you 1bit. Unfortunately, we are already in the midst of the same issue as in Wisconsin. There are bills being introduced to restrict employees right to bargain. The appointment of Emergency Financial Managers with the power to cancel contracts, reduce pay, take over city management, etc. is just the start of Mr. Snyder's agenda. I think Forest Gump says it best, "Stupid is as Stupid Does". The cities and unions rights are only the first to go.


Tue, Mar 8, 2011 : 5:48 p.m.

"Stupid is as Stupid Does". Sounds like most government policies over the last 40 years!


Tue, Mar 8, 2011 : 5:09 a.m.

The unholy alliance here is with the unions and the democrats. They work together to elect the democrats then they bargain for their benefits with the democrats ( public unions). This is why these unions like AFSCME have apparently become so well entrenched with their power -- they buy the democrats with the unions members money. This would be O.K. if this was voluntary (the payment of dues as well as a right to choose to be in or out of a union), but it is a requirement of a job that you must pay a fee to a union. Sort of sounds like Tony Soprano getting paid protection money -- whether or not you need the protection. Corporations on the other hand are private entities that are freely doing what they want -- they are not forcing people to give them money (union dues) and then giving this money to politicians (mostly democrats). The Corps and small business people freely give their money to mostly republicans . Denise you argument is really not based in fact.


Tue, Mar 8, 2011 : 4:12 a.m.

"All this anti-union talk can't hide the fact that the Republicans are bought and sold by corporations and banks and do NOT hold the higher moral ground in politics." Denise, that's purely an opinion. I'd rather talk facts, as in it's a fact that the people of Wisconsin overwhelmingly voted in Republicans for the state house and senate.

John B.

Wed, Mar 9, 2011 : 12:22 a.m.

The fact is that 70% of the people of Wisconsin are against what the Governor is trying to do. Nationally, 61% are against it. Those are huge numbers in these days of 48/48/4 politics.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 10:43 p.m.

ERMG You might be better served if YOU circle back and look at one of my earlier replies! "Well in that case my personal opinion is that any elected official the purposely misses more than scheduled vote be they Republican or Democrat should be dismissed from office. The reason we send them their is to vote." So while you may think you have all the answers don't be so quick to jump to conclusions!Because even you are not infallible.


Tue, Mar 8, 2011 : 12:25 a.m.

ermg Ever have any kids in your neighborhood that when they started to lose would take their ball and go home? Sound familiar? I sure tried to teach my kids different!


Tue, Mar 8, 2011 : 12:19 a.m.

ermg Pretty certain that no state constitution in the country provides for dismissal of any legislator. Recall? Yes. Dismissal? No. Never indicated that was an option just that it should be! And voters in their districts will have the chance to dismiss them from office in the next election cycle. Yea I guess there is no way for them to run and hide from that vote! Pretty un-democratic for a person who justifies their opinion about what's happening in Wisconsin on an extreme view of how democracy works. What do you mean I have listened to every argument you gave unlike the legislators in Wisconsin! And I did from my home town.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 10:56 p.m.

I ignored it because it really made no sense. But since you, apparently, wish for me to lay bare exactly how little sense it makes: Pretty certain that no state constitution in the country provides for dismissal of any legislator. Recall? Yes. Dismissal? No. And voters in their districts will have the chance to dismiss them from office in the next election cycle. Pretty un-democratic for a person who justifies their opinion about what's happening in Wisconsin on an extreme view of how democracy works. Good Night and


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 6:51 p.m.

The program lost the last bit of my comment: All in favor, say: "Every man for himself!"


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 6:48 p.m.

Interesting, arguing for ethics from a party that has displayed zero concern for ethics in the past eight years. No Republican mentioned budget concerns, bank regulation, reasons not to torture people, for the entire Bush era, or expressed concern for helping the two million children NEW to living below the poverty line, or those who've been homeless for longer, yet NOW ethics are of concern and the deficit is of over-riding importance? In fact, ethics are cited as a reason to take away the right to self-advocate for the working class? Seems un-American in the extreme to me. Beyond the irony, step back and look at the BIG PICTURE: The wealthy have set the lower two-thirds of the economic pyramid scrabbling for crumbs falling from the table of the Wall Street buffet, a classic divide and conquer strategy. Textbook misdirection--"Look over there--that guy has a job with benefits and you don't"--allowing the wealthiest .01 percent of the country to rob us blind while we blame each other, and they give one another obscene bonuses and mock us by telling us we've all got to "share the pain". This is Union-busting in disguise, and not a very good one--just a dime-store fake nose, mustache & eyeglasses--apparently fooling people who've not been paying attention to what's been happening in America. This is class warfare, and Warren Buffet has already declared victory for his class. If they disable the Unions then the working people have no effective voice in America, and the corporations can go back to the 19th century vis-a-vis child labor, work hours, wages, benefits, OSHA standards--you name it. That's their goal. Corporations do not have our best interests incorporated into their "Mission Statements." While we fragment into a discordant mob of suckers, Republicorps devises ever more effective ways of separating us from our rights and money. In the absence of our united opposition, they're moving us to plutocracy. All in favor, sa


Tue, Mar 8, 2011 : 10:42 p.m.

I'm OK weith calling it union busting. Like the unions don't resort to trickery, buying demo votes, and bullying their employers into submission. That a 7% worker population can hold a state hostage, is in itself, unethical. Walker will hold his ground and risk the state shutdown. Then we'll see where public opinion falls in regards to supporting the "rights" of public unions and the Democrats purchased to do their bidding. I suspect the union will lose this battle. It is not winnable.

John B.

Tue, Mar 8, 2011 : 12:06 a.m.

Excellent summary. Couple that with a Supreme Court that will rule in the Republicorps' favor 100% of the time, and the future looks very bright indeed (for them). For the rest of us - not so much. Did folks see Fareed Zakaria's show last night? His bottom line (as to how to make America #1 again) was to fix our broken Government. The rest really pales mightily in comparison (and I agree with him).


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

All this anti-union talk can't hide the fact that the Republicans are bought and sold by corporations and banks and do NOT hold the higher moral ground in politics.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:52 a.m.

ERM; I'll try this time: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> &quot;According to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, Tenth Edition, the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order, the &quot;requirement for a quorum is protection against totally unrepresentative action in the name of the body by an unduly small number of persons.&quot; In the case of Wisconsin, it seems as though the Democrats have deserted in order to prevent a representative action by a majority of the number of persons. Do agree though that it is none of our business. This makes it the perfect topic for our council to take up a resolution supporting the deserters in lieu of doing what WE elected them to do. (although I guess I am not a subset of WE since my candidate typically loses around here).


Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 3:19 a.m.

Not sure if you are even checking this long dead thread, but I finally found the article regarding the quorum. I was in today's Milwaukee Urinal. (So I must be able to see into the future.) <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> &quot;From Feb. 17 until Wednesday, the Senate Democrats were able to block a vote on the original version of the bill because the state constitution requires 20 senators to be present for bills that authorize spending money. Republicans control the house 19-14. Walker said appropriation measures were removed from the bill and that allowed the Senate to approve it. Although the bill contains requirements that employees pay half the cost of their pensions and pay toward health care premiums, Walker said those fiscal items did not require that 20 senators vote. Once Republicans determined it was legal for a vote on a bill containing those measures, Walker said they decided to proceed with it. Walker said the pension and health care measures had to be included because they are the tools school districts and local governments need to avoid layoffs and hikes in property taxes. &quot; Personally, I think it was a mistake for the Republicans to do that, especially from a political point of view. Voters responded poorly to the health care ramrod and I expect similar backlash here. Not my fight, but interesting anyway.


Tue, Mar 8, 2011 : 4:16 a.m.

Don't worry about it. I've been sent to the &quot;snark bin&quot; more times than I can count. I'll see if I can dig up the article regarding the necessary numbers for the quorum. I agree that the end result is the same, the minority holds up the majority. Perhaps that isn't the worst thing. Like everything else, it depends on if you are buying or selling. I think we would even love the sweater vest if he coached here. Yes, I do enjoy the sparring.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Tue, Mar 8, 2011 : 2:10 a.m.

Actually, you have it reverses about what can be filibustered. Budget bills cannot be; everything else can be. I don't disagree that the Wisconsin senators are exploiting a loophole, but the reality is that it has the same impact on legislation as does the filibuster. I don't think that the Wisky Dems are hanging out poolside at the manager's reception. If you're keeping up with events there, there is a serious contest of wills going on and maneuvering happening behind the scenes. I think the filibuster process is broken in the Senate. Republicans madea joke of the process in 2009 and 2010, but democrats had many stealth filibusters in Bush's first six years (albeit fewer in six years than Republicans had in two). And the result is that the minority simply blocks any legislation it does not like--there is no cost and no risk for doing so. Again, my apologies for my earlier. There are times I get way too snarky. That was one, and it was uncalled for. I rather enjoy tangling with you--you make me think, and that is never a bad thing. Best to you. Good Night and Good Luck

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 10:58 p.m.

You did misunderstand and it is a comment that, in retrospect, I regret making. Sorry. Please accept my apologies. No time now to respond to your latest at length. Might not get to it until tomorrow. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

I see your point, but I think that the time honored filibuster is part of the process, whereas the dereliction of duty recently employed in Wisconsin is more of the exploitation of a loophole, although they both lead to an impasse. My understanding is that the US Senate just moves on if a filibuster is threatened, so it is more of the &quot;Stealth Filibuster&quot; that you mention. The &quot;Mr. Smith Goes to Washington&quot; style filibuster seems to be more of a test of wills than hanging out by the pool and taking advantage of the &quot;managers reception&quot; at the hotel, so I don't think they are really the same. Although, if I understand it correctly, your point is that the pain free filibuster recently used in Washington is on a par with the &quot;managers reception&quot; style filibuster employed in Wisconsin. Actually, I think the rules in Wisconsin only require 60% for budget related issues. One of the tactics employed by the members that chose to show up for work was to threaten the Dems with implementing various legislation that the Dems find distasteful but only requires 50% to pass. I don't think much of this was actually done. Technically, I think the Wisconsin legislature could implement most of the union de-clawing measures without the Dems if the really wanted to. So there is probably some political reason they don't do it. BTW, I didn't take offense to the &quot;you can disagree all you want comment&quot;, until it seemed to be reframed as &quot;you can disagree all you want, but my opinion is correct.&quot; I hope I misunderstood that.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

Apparently my &quot;You can disagree all you want comment&quot; needs to made more clear for those who cannot infer meaning from written English. One can disagree with the observation that the sun will rise tomorrow. They are free to disagree with that sentiment, but disagreeing does not change the fact that the sun will rise tomorrow. Good Night and Good Luck

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

Then, to circle back, jcj, one presumes you were just as angry at the obstructionism of US Senate Republicans in the last term of Congress? Because, in the end, they were using the body's rules to obstruct legislation just as Wisconsin Democrats now are. But, of course, that was different, wasn't it? Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

BTW ERMG You can disagree all YOU want!


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:02 p.m.

ERMG &quot;You can disagree all you want.&quot; Thank you so much for not denying us the right to disagree! And dispite your view to the contrary when I vote for someone I expect that they will be present to vote yea or nay on things.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 11:42 a.m.

You can disagree all you want. The rules of the state senate says that they need 60% for a quorum--that less than that is too small a number. And applying your very well quoted RRoO, it means that less than 60% is an &quot;unduly small number of persons.&quot; It does not specify the circumstance whereby that number might happen. This is working exactly as a filibuster is meant to work in the US Senate--a small number of people are bringing all business in that body to a halt in an effort to either kill the bill or force compromise. It hasn't worked that way in the Senate for decades--there hasn't been a real filibuster there many many years. Today's &quot;filibuster&quot; there means that virtually every bill needs 60 votes to clear the Senate and it means that no compromise is possible--there is no cost or pain for the &quot;stealth filibuster&quot;--business continues to be conducted--so there is no reason for the minority to accept some of the majority's position in order to avoid a painful and costly process. The Wisconsin senators are trying to do what the original filibuster tried to accomplish--they want certain provisions of the bill pulled--they are not trying to kill the entire bill. So I guess the point that others are trying to make (and with which I agree) is this: what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Someone who is upset with Wisconsin Dems shutting down the Wisconsin Senate be denying it a quorum because their action is &quot;anti-democratic&quot; out to have been equally outraged at the number of time (a record) that Republicans pulled out the &quot;stealth filibuster&quot; in the last session of Congress. And if you're thinking that the reverse ought be true--only if the senate returns to having real filibusters rather than stealth filibusters. Both are maneuvers that put a check on the will of the majority. Both are anti-democratic in their nature. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 4:40 a.m.

I disagree. I think the example would be that minority waits until a low attendance day - it snows or the Packers are playing int he super bowl or whatever - when few people show up for work, then sneak in some legislation that would never have passed, had everyone been there. I don't believe it was so that you could skip town and duck your responsibilities.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 4:32 a.m.

Apparently the Wisconsin senate, in setting its rules, decided that 60% before they could do business. Thanks for digging this up, eyeheart. Makes my point, EXACTLY. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:30 a.m.

Of course the lib's responses to the facts presented in this readers letter are all just ridiculous rants, no facts, just angry rants. Like moths attracted to a burning candle in the night, these rants will all die, but tommorrow will come and Wisconsin will still be held captive by democrat politicians run amok. At their mercy are thousands of state employees who will lose their jobs because of their selfish and childish behavior and outbursts. Good Day


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 11:15 p.m.

Maybe the working class voters in Wisconsin really *do* want to give power away to their employers? It's a bit startling, but it could be true. Maybe a referendum would convince the rest of us that they really did have that in mind when they voted in their Republican slate. &quot;I want to make myself relatively less powerful in the face of large corporate and government employers: yes or no&quot;


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 11:13 p.m.

Just curious on what your opinion is over the use of the filibuster by Senate Republicans in the US Senate from 2008-10. I believe they set a record.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:42 a.m.

&quot;to prevent the majority from forcing something on the minority.&quot; So any time the majority wins it is a matter of the majority forcing something on the minority? As opposed to democracy? cowerdes? That is a term used when the wrong button is hit by mistake as opposed to cowardliness. Or it could be a female coward?


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 2:39 a.m.

A filibuster is a parliamentary procedure used to extend debate. To leave your state to avoid debate is an act of cowerdes

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 1:58 a.m.

&quot;A filibuster is COMPLETELY different no comparison.&quot; Really? How so? Please explain. Inquiring minds want to know. Because, from where I sit, the requirement for a quorum serves EXACTLY the same purpose as a filibuster in that it prevents an overbearing majority from jamming something down the throat of a political minority. But, actually, as I think about it, you are correct. They are different. In the US Senate there hasn't been a real filibuster in years. All it takes is for there to be less than 60 votes for legislation to not go forward. If there were a real filibuster, all business in the Senate would grind to a halt until the filibuster was ended and, in such an event, the entire country would know who was responsible for the filibuster. So today's &quot;filibusters' in the Senate are stealth filibusters in that they never happen and no one never really needs to take responsibility for it. But such is not the case in Wisconsin--we know exactly who is stopping business in the Wisconsin Senate. But I'm certain that this is not what you meant. So, please, enlighten us. How, exactly, is a filibuster in the US Senate any different from what the state senators in Wisconsin are doing. Good Night and Good Luck


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 11:35 p.m.

A filibuster is COMPLETELY different no comparison.


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 10:22 p.m.

CEO Koch Brothers unfairly circumvent the system in Wisconsin Public Union votes.

Jay Thomas

Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 11:14 p.m.

Exactly. Meanwhile George Soros is doing the lord's work.;)


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

The Republicans with the billions of dollars of the Koch Brothers (who have already purchased our Supreme Court) are now intent on destroying the last bastion of Democratic financial support (the unions). Sounds fair to me. The super wealthy and corporations bought this country, our legislators so they should be left free to do what they wish to the rest of us without any annoyance from things like unions, courts and democracy in general. Welcome to the corporate paradise where you're on your own and the corporations and the rich decide how hard you are supposed to work, for how long and for how much (matching Mexico, India, etc.). If you don't like it then you'd better move or get very rich very fast.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 9:32 p.m.

What is different from the Public Sector Unions and A non-citizen handing billions to the Democratic Party? Both sides are guilty. No one's hands are clean in today's politics. Corporations or Unions, there is no difference when it comes to politics, they both want POWER


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 10:12 p.m.

yes, minority rights very bad for country. like Senate Democrats failed Thursday to win a procedural vote to open debate on a bill that would provide medical benefits and compensation for emergency workers who were first on the scene of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The motion for cloture, or to begin debate, needed 60 votes to pass due to a Republican filibuster, but fell short at 57-42 in favor. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Jay Thomas

Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 10:08 p.m.

We've gone from teabaggers being accused of racism for objecting to new taxation under an African American President, to now the fleebaggers representing their constituents by fleeing to other states. It's another example of &quot;heads I win and tails you lose&quot;... not democracy. The Democrats are the uncivil party I'm afraid and trying to hold the WI State house hostage while democrat lawmakers hide from the police reminds me of the left's long history of shenanigans in taking over universities and other institutions instead of accepting the rules of a civil society.


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 9:09 p.m.

While I have my own feelings on this to remain consistent the following dawned on me. I did not feel the Ann Arbor city council should be telling AZ how to treat immigration so I guess I would be a hypocrite if I presumed to tell Wisconsin how to conduct their affairs.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 2:13 a.m.

You can disagree or whatever you want, but the rules are clear. There is ZERO obligation for any senator to attend any vote. The ONLY rule is there must be a specific number for the vote to take place. You might not agree with the tactic, but it is as viable as any other tactic used to get the other side to the table. If the republicans had a large enough majority they could produce a quorum on their own. If the people of Wisconsin want to change the quorum rules or the rules on forcing elected officials to participate then let them do that.


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 11:34 p.m.

Not coming for my job I don't have one! I am retired. I don't completely agree with proposed legislation! But whether I agree or not I can disagree with tactic being used.


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 11:21 p.m.

You can feel that way until they come for your job. Then it will be too late.


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 10:49 p.m.

Well in that case my personal opinion is that any elected official the purposely misses more than scheduled vote be they Republican or Democrat should be dismissed from office. The reason we send them their is to vote.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 9:11 p.m.

There's a difference between having a personal opinion and issuing a papal bull (I mean an Ann Arbor council resolution).


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

The art of compromise is dead. Long live Dogma!


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:02 a.m.

That would be mandatory &quot;mediation&quot; not dediation.


Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 3:01 a.m.

Unions do not compromise, they go through mandatory dediation that is heavily weighted in their favor. They get increases in wages and benefits even when there is no money for it. That's not compromise, that's stealing from the taxpayers.


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

Well, both sides are equally adept at blocking legislation that the minority does not want to see passed, by following rules or not, as they see fit. Last year, in the house of representatives, the republicans only had to threaten to filibuster some bill to have it dropped. There is also a new(?) &quot;no compromise&quot; mentality that is preventing any kind of meaningful negotiations. What the governor and republicans in Wisconsin are trying to do sure fit the definition of &quot;railroading,&quot; as I see it. I also thing the democrats fleeing the state is dirty pool. Both sides are surely representing their constituencies, though.

Joe Hood

Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 8:37 p.m.

Concerning filibuster, you meant to say the Senate. The Democrats had a supermajority (60) in their caucus, they were able to pass everything to their hearts content except to a point where their own members were uncomfortable.

Macabre Sunset

Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

The democratic process was what created the financial crisis in the first place. And now, the people of Wisconsin have voted in a group of people who, using the democratic process, are trying to fix the financial crisis. But a minority of people, instead, is trying to shut down the government. Those public unions are so entrenched that they can command legislators to abandon their jobs. We've come a long way since the days of the Joads and the Great Migration. Unfortunately, past the point of balance and the teeter-totter economy has hit the ground on the other side.

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Mar 7, 2011 : 2:28 a.m.

We now have more than $3 Trillion promised to public unions that we simply cannot afford. If we meet those obligations, we will not have a future as a country. The crisis has yet to fully manifest. What we saw two years ago was simply a natural reaction to the speculative real estate bubble the Democrats created by changing the rules for down payments on Freddie and Fannie loans. Again, legislating outcome by giving people something for nothing. What you don't seem to understand is that Big Government creates just as many winners and losers as Big Business. The advantage of business is that at least it's somewhat merit-based. But I'm not a Republican, so I would advocate coming down hard against welfare for corporations as well.


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 11:20 p.m.

You have to be kidding to believe that the democratic process caused the financial crisis. The global financial crisis was caused by capitalist greed, pure and simple. Unions and contracts had nothing to do with it. Now the crazy right is spinning anti union sentiment to beat the band. The next thing we'll hear is that unions are the main cause of high cholesterol.


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

It is unfortunate how civility and compromise seem to be dirty words in politics nowadays. The democratic process is alive and well in Wisconsin. The budget repair bill in question was never &quot;democratically&quot; voted upon by the populace as the people elected representatives to vote their interests. The Democrat Senators in Wisconsin believe they are representing the interests of their constituents by their actions. Whether you disagree is irrelevant. As we are not in Wisconsin, it is not our place to tell them how to settle their business, regardless of our own biases for or against &quot;union bosses&quot; or &quot;corporate fat cats&quot;. With that said, I hope we in Michigan never have a governor who says no to compromise and thinks there is no way out of a problem or budget but his own view.


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 11 p.m.

I agree, Joe. On the other hand, I knew better than to play the game when my brother stacked the deck against me.


Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 9:21 p.m.

Joe this is not a board game. It is a little more important than that.

Joe Hood

Sun, Mar 6, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

It is a pity that this maneuver has been introduced into our government. As a child, I always detested when one of my brothers would upset the game board rather than face defeat.