The wackiness in Wisconsin over proposed changes to collective bargaining for government employees just keeps getting…wackier. Is that a word? Well, for today, it is. Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate have been on the lam for 3 days, preventing any further work in the Senate. Attempts to have then retrieved and compelled to attend by state law enforcement were stymied by a simple counter move: all 14 of the Dems in question jumped on a bus and have taken “refuge” in Illinois. By crossing state lines, Wisconsin troopers can’t come get them, and Illinois law enforcement isn’t going to get involved. From the Dems:
“This is a watershed moment unlike any that we have experienced in our political lifetimes,” Miller said. “The people have shown that the government has gone too far. . . . We are prepared to do what is necessary to make sure that this bill gets the consideration it needs.”
Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) said the decision on when to return had not been made yet. Sen. Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee) said Democrats were prepared to stay away “as long as it takes.”
In a situation like this, one has to wonder which set of “people” should have the most say in this? The people that are part of the union, with something to lose? Or the people that elected the politicians (and in this case put Republicans in power in Wisconsin)?
Another great article on this comes from Patrick McIlheran in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called Unions want to overturn election result where he not only makes the point about the will of the electorate, but also makes a very important point in regards to public sector unions:
They insist this is the end of unionization in government, something to which they have as much right, they say, as anyone else.
But they miss a bedrock difference. Unions in the private sector are a way of organizing private interests, those of employees, against other private interests, those of a company’s owners, for economic gain and for protection against unfairness. In government, workers are already protected against unfairness by civil service laws, and Walker has supported expanding those. Economically, government unions pit a private interest, that of employees, against the public’s interest, that of taxpayers and voters.
Private sector unions are one thing. But personally, the idea of a group demanding more perks, paid for by taxpayer money, that are over and beyond what the normal taxpayer gets, gives me pause. Isn’t it enough that public sector unions use what is essentially taxpayer money to support candidates of their choosing, donating millions to politicians that will further their interests?
Wait. That’s another story for another day.