Category Archives: unions

Next Time Keep Yer Yaps Shut, Tennessee Republicans

Uh-oh, looks like Sen. Bob Corker has embarrassed himself and maybe cost the entire South some jobs:

Reuters reports this morning that Volkswagen’s “top labor representative” has threatened to block any future expansion plans in the South, citing conservative interference in the United Auto Workers vote in Chattanooga.

Quoting an interview with a German newspaper, the news service reports Bernd Osterloh, head of VW’s works council, as saying he can imagine further expansion in the United States, but it probably won’t be in the South unless some sort of labor representation is established in the Chattanooga plant. Workers in Germany have representation on corporate boards, giving them a say in citing decisions.

Osterloh’s remarks seem to contradict statements by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and others that Chattanooga would get another vehicle if workers rejected UAW representation. Osterloh describes such talk as conservative “interference.”

Hey, Senator Corker: Thanks for nothing, asshole.

Interfering in a manufacturing plant’s business, is that how this “small government” stuff works? Is that how Republicans show they’re “pro-business” and “pro jobs”?

Let’s be real, “small government” and “pro-business” are just Frank Luntz-crafted slogans used to dupe the rubes. As always, when reality collides with conservative ideology, it’s the ideology which wins. “Unions are bad, nobody wants ‘em, corporations hate ‘em, they’re anti-business and kill jobs, whasthatyasay?”

Man, everything you guys touch just turns to shit, doesn’t it?

What’s so funny is that when Corker said VW would really move their next expansion to Mexico if Chattanooga workers approved the UAW he forgot to mention that Mexico’s VW plant is union. Dumb and dumber.

I suppose this means Tennessee Republicans will go back to looking for jobs in ladies vaginas. Aw who am I kidding, they don’t care about jobs, they care about making themselves and their friends wealthier.

Major FAIL, Senator. Major FAIL.


Filed under Bill Haslam, Sen. Bob Corker, Tennesseee, unions

So, What Is A Works Council, Anyway?

One thing which has been lost amid all of the conversation about the pending UAW vote at the VW plant in Chattanooga is that VW would implement a “works council” concept at the plant. The UAW would negotiate benefits and wages but the Works Council would negotiate specific workplace rules and job training.

So, what is a Works Council, anyway? This is something which is a big part of the German business culture. They are very common in Europe, but it’s an entirely new idea in the U.S. From the WaPo:

While the details of the arrangement would be ironed out after the election, works councils — which are elected by all workers in a factory, both blue and white collar, whether or not they belong to the union — usually help decide things like staffing schedules and working conditions, while the union bargains on wages and benefits. They have the right to review certain types of information about how the company is doing financially, which often means that they’re more sympathetic towards management’s desire to make cutbacks when times are tough. During the recession, for example, German works councils helped the company reduce hours across the board rather than laying people off, containing unemployment until the economy recovered.

This is an entirely new concept, and I think it will be very interesting to watch what happens. All of those scary billboards cropping up around Chattanooga saying a yes to the union vote will turn Chattanooga into Detroit seem pretty silly when one learns what exactly workers are voting for.

I find this interesting:

Works councils are also typically not allowed to call strikes, but they also don’t usually need to, because their authority is baked into their agreements with the company (and, in Europe, usually enforced by law). If the UAW wants to strike over wages and benefits, it’s still able to do so, but the likelihood of arriving at a mutually agreeable solution without one is much higher.

That’s why VW wants its plant to go union. According to VW’s global works council leader, Bernard Osterloh, the company even sees its culture of worker codetermination as a “competitive advantage.”

That politicians like Bob Corker, Gov. Haslam and the rest of the Tennessee Republican’ts would presume to tell VW not to do something it sees as giving itself a “competitive advantage” seems outrageous to me. I guess Republicans have no problem ditching their core principles when said principles become inconvenient.

Could American manufacturing see more Works Councils? I don’t see why not, especially if they work for both the company and its workers.


Filed under Tennessee, unions

I Hate It When Mom And Dad Fight

Oooh. Grab the popcorn, y’all. Tennessee’s Republican Daddy is having a big fight with Corporate Mama over this week’s UAW vote at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga. And how scared are the Republicans? VERY:

On Monday, state Republican leaders accused Volkswagen of supporting the UAW and they threatened to withhold any tax incentives for future expansion of the three-year-old assembly plant in Chattanooga if workers vote to join the UAW.

“Should the workers at Volkswagen choose to be represented by the United Auto Workers, then I believe any additional incentives from the citizens of the State of Tennessee for expansion or otherwise will have a very tough time passing the Tennessee Senate,” State Sen. Bo Watson, R-Chattanooga, said in a statement sent to the Free Press.

A worker opposition group called Southern Momentum echoed that position in a statement.

“Further financial incentives — which are absolutely necessary for the expansion of the VW facility here in Chattanooga — simply will not exist if the UAW wins this election,” Maury Nicely, a Chattanooga labor lawyer representing Southern Momentum said.

Today’s threat comes less than 48 hours after Volkswagen said it favors a German-style works council with union representation.

“Outside political groups won’t divert us from the work at hand: innovating, creating jobs, growing, and producing great automobiles,” said Sebastian Patta, Volkswagen Chattanooga vice president of human resources.

The anti-union forces now are countering that VW isn’t neutral, it is pro-union.

Speaking of “outside political groups,” has anyone looked into who is paying Southern Momentum’s bills? All of those lawyers’ fees and anti-union billboards? I wouldn’t be shocked to find Americans For Prosperity or some similar conservative group financing this operation.

I find this absolutely hilarious. The company everyone embraced with hugs and kisses back in 2008 is now no longer welcome. Screw those thousands of jobs, amiright? We don’t want your kind around here.

Sen. Bob Corker wrote in 2008:

It’s difficult to find a sector of our state that will NOT be affected positively. Not only will the Chattanooga region be transformed by the tremendous economic impact and new job creation that will result from Volkswagen’s investment, our entire state will reap great benefits from suppliers and other supporting businesses this facility will attract.

Apparently allowing the workers to decide whether to have a collective voice in their workplace will somehow change all of that. Of course it’s not just Tennessee Republicans who are terrified of the implications of Volkswagen joining the UAW. It’s the entire Southern wing of the party (which, let’s face it, is basically the entire party). Would Nissan be far behind? Toyota up in Kentucky? The Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama? Kiss cheap labor — and a treasured talking point — goodbye.

So now Tennessee Republicans are threatening to end the incentives they claim lured VW to the state in the first place. But did they? From the memory hole:

Mr. Jacoby said the decision went well beyond the question of the state’s financial incentives and of state and local investments in infrastructure in an excellent competitive site. It hinged equally, he emphasized, on the city’s deep and durable commitment to the vision of renaissance and quality of life that resurrected Chattanooga from pollution and decline; to the community’s dedication to a sustainable future; to our efforts at nurturing our natural environment and enriching our cultural amenities; and to the sense of commitment and determination for a better future that Volkswagen’s leaders culled from their conversations with people who live and work here and who spoke optimistically of their values, culture, schools, housing, hospitals and quality of life.

VW found shared values

In all these ways, he said, Volkswagen found shared values and common goals — “something in our heart … in our gut,” in the city’s history, culture, environment and natural beauty — that reinforced the company’s decision to come to Chattanooga to build a car for the future, a car designed specifically for the American driver.

Of course, that’s likely just ribbon-cutting nice time talk we’re used to hearing at these press events. Regardless, I guess the honeymoon is over. We love having jobs, as long as they’re, y’know, the right kind of jobs. Cheap labor jobs. The kind that know their place and don’t cause trouble in the neighborhood. The ones that don’t hang around with the wrong sort of elements and start rabble-rousing up in Smyrna or down in Vance, Alabama.

Tennessee Republicans are right to be scared. As I reported in a recent Good News post, Tennessee ranks number one in the nation for the largest percentage increase in union membership. That no doubt reflects how far we had to go compared to other states, but it also reflects the fact that Tennessee’s workers realize the low wage, low benefit jobs where workers have no voice in how their plants are run might not be jobs worth having.

Crushing organized labor to maintain low wages and oppressive work conditions has been a long-cherished Republican value. If VW falls, would Nissan be far behind? Or any other manufacturing plant? Stay tuned.

(Some history on the issue here.)


Filed under Tennessee, Tennessee politics, unions

Corker’s Anti-Union Stance Blows Up In His Face


Good piece on this here (h/t, Crockett Policy Institute).

I thought this part was adorable:

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said Friday that some auto suppliers considering moving closer to Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant may balk if the United Auto Workers succeeds in unionizing the factory.

“[VW] wants more suppliers closer to them. We’ve worked really hard to do that. A lot of those suppliers are saying, ‘If the UAW comes into the plant, I don’t know if we’ll be as close as we would,”‘ the governor said.

Haslam, speaking to Times Free Press reporters and editors, said business recruitment to the state is being hindered by the UAW’s organizing efforts at the plant.

“I’ve had several folks recently say that if the UAW comes, that would dampen our enthusiasm for Tennessee,” he said. “They feel like, ‘We’re looking at Tennessee because it’s a right-to-work state.’”

Please name one, Governor. ONE. Also, to the news media which publishes this stuff? How come you never ask that fucking question in the first place?

Republicans love, love, love to fearmonger about these imaginary businesses which will be yanking their jobs if x, y, z happens (or doesn’t happen.) They love to talk about these people they know who said these things, but they rarely mention a name. Which makes me think mostly they’re just talking out of their ass.


Are Tennessee’s foreign auto manufacturing plants unionizing? Looks like that may be happening:

A majority of the workers at Volkswagen’s Tennessee plant have signed cards signaling they want union representation, according to the United Auto Workers. But so far, the UAW isn’t rushing the global automaker to meet them at a negotiating table.

UAW president Bob King said he’s being patient and that he has “deep respect” for VW, which recognizes unions in all of its major plants, except for Chattanooga.

Sen. Bob Corker, who brought the VW plant to Chattanooga, is none-too pleased about it, either. In fact, he’s hopping mad:

“For management to invite the UAW in is almost beyond belief,” Corker said. “They will become the object of many business school studies — and I’m a little worried could become a laughingstock in many ways — if they inflict this wound.”

I think the laughingstock here is Corker. I’ve always thought it was part of the Republicans’ national strategy to bring foreign car manufacturers down here as a way of undermining the UAW. We’re certainly told ad-nauseum that it’s because we’re “right to work” that these auto manufacturers are locating south of the Mason-Dixon line as opposed to the Midwest or places like Detroit.

But VW is different from companies like Nissan and Toyota. Under German law, labor representatives have half the seats on Volkswagen’s supervisory board, and it is these folks who are raising concerns that Chattanooga is VW’s only non-unionized plant. With VW being pressured by its own board to deal with organized labor at its U.S. plant, it seems likely a deal will happen.

That’s bad news for Corker, the naive dufus who unleashed this on the South. If the Chattanooga plant goes union, it’s just a matter of time before the rest follow. German automakers like Daimler, which has an Alabama plant, and BMW, which has a facility in South Carolina, will face similar pressure from their boards. Employees at Nissan’s Smyrna plant have met with UAW representatives this year, as well, and it makes sense if the Germans go, the Japanese will follow.

I just love that if and when these auto plants unionize, it’s all going to be Corker’s fault.


Filed under Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee, unions

The Question That Finally Is Asked

Finally someone (cough*cough*HIPPIE AT NPR*cough*cough) asks the question that no one has bothered to address during this whole Michigan right-to-work debacle. Which is, why does anyone think there’s a connection between “right-to-work” and employment? Why would anyone think that, when all you have to do is look at the unemployment figures from RTW states? Via ThinkProgress:

Pressed by Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to explain what proof Snyder had that Michigan would see a job boom as a result of the law, the Governor cited neighboring Indiana’s recent job numbers as his only evidence:

SNYDER: This is about more and better jobs coming to Michigan. If you look at Indiana, they did similar legislation in February. And literally, thousands of new jobs are coming to Indiana where this was a major consideration in companies’ decision to move to that state.

HOBSON: Are you saying then that companies decided to go to Indiana, for example, because there’s less union membership in Indiana?

SNYDER: No, and I don’t want to speak for the companies but it is very clear that companies are looking at Indiana that previously did not.


HOBSON: Well, make that connection though. You’re saying that, by not requiring workers to pay union dues, that therefore companies are going to be more attracted to the state. Why would that be?

SNYDER: Well, that’s a question for the companies but there is a strong sense, and companies do look at that. That’s something we’ve suffered here.


HOBSON: Union membership has fallen dramatically in Michigan and across the country and it’s not as though that has translated into some boom in employment. I see the point you’re making, but it hasn’t been borne out in the evidence, has it?

SNYDER: Well, it’s been borne out in the Indiana case.

Tennessee has been a right-to-work state since forever, and our unemployment rate has consistently been higher than the national average. In October, we saw a modest decrease to 8.2%, but that was still higher than the national average of 7.9%. Furthermore, many Tennessee counties are still struggling with unemployment at a rate well over 10%.

I don’t understand why, during the whole debate about Michigan ramming right-to-work down peoples’ throats, no one ever asked how RTW is supposed to fix unemployment, and if it indeed does so in states that have these laws. I keep hearing beltway pundits yammer on about stuff like Nissan and VW plants in Tennessee, but there’s just this grand assumption that right-to-work is the #1 reason. You know what else we’ve got? Really, super cheap energy (thank you, big, bad, quasi-government TVA), a moderate climate, and most important, a central location within a day’s drive of 75% of the U.S. From a transportation/get your products to market point of view, that is huge.


Curious. Right to work for thee but not for me?

ALTO, MI – Michigan House Democrats are calling an assistant majority floor leader a hypocrite for proposing an amendment that would have exempted her husband from right-to-work bills that lawmakers passed, and Gov. Snyder then signed into law.

State Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons, R-Alto, was among right-to-work supporters quoted in The New York Times on Tuesday, Dec. 11, saying “this is the day that Michigan freed its workers.” But she also proposed to add corrections officers to the list of public employees – including police and fire – not covered by the right-to-work law.

The amendment was gaveled down and did not come up for a vote.

If right to work is so awesome, how come the GOP always want to exempt police and firefighters? And how come this Republiweasel tried to exempt her husband?


Filed under employment, unions

There’s Something Happening Here

For all that talk we’ve been hearing about an “enthusiasm gap,” I have to think that’s right-wing wishful thinking. Because liberals, Democrats, progressives, unions, and working people are taking it to the streets. From coast to coast, people.

This doesn’t look like an enthusiasm gap to me:

The Transport Workers Union Local 100 unanimously voted to join the protesters, the Huffington Post reports. The union boasts a membership of 38,000 people.

The protestors will reportedly march to the NYPD headquarters Friday.


Meanwhile, similar protests seem to be spreading to other cities.

In San Francisco, several hundred people gathered in the city’s Financial District on Thursday to protest the banking system, the Examiner reports. Six people were arrested after staging a sit-in at a Chase bank, according to the Bay Guardian.

The DCist reports that hundreds of people in the nation’s capital are planning to protest in McPherson Square on Saturday. Protests will be held in Boston on Friday.

Here are some scenes and links from around the country:

• Firefighters in Ohio protest job cuts:

Postal workers in Michigan march to save their jobs:

But union leaders say that if the 2006 austerity measure hadn’t been put into place during the ’06 “lame duck” session of Congress, the Postal Service would have posted a $611 million profit over the past four years.

“They want us to pay for retiree health care now for the next 75 years, for people who haven’t been born yet,” said Mike Sheridan of the South Macomb Letter Carriers union.

No representatives from Miller’s district office ventured outside to face the crowd of about 200 – nearly double the attendance that was expected. The postal workers gathered at the curb on Van Dyke near 22 Mile Road, waving pro-union signs and American flags, and urging supporters of the cause who were driving by to honk their horns. Many emphatically complied.

• Postal workers also take to the streets in Maryland:

• Hundreds of union members in Washington State rallied to support longshoremen at the Port of Longview, “one of the area’s largest labor demonstrations in recent memory”:

They’ve been occupying Chicago in front of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank for a week now (first I’ve heard of this, too. Um, media?)

• They’re getting creative in Boston :

• … Even a little devious in Washington:

At sunrise, each member of the Association of Washington Business Policy Summit received a call in their plush suite at Suncadia. When they picked up the phone, this is the message they heard:

“Good morning! This is a wake up call. While Wall Street Bankers, corporate CEOs and their lobbyists go to wine tastings, play golf and plot how to maintain special interest tax breaks, middle class and poor families are struggling to make ends meet. Today, you will notice hundreds of community members here to protest at the Showdown at Suncadia. Our message: It’s time Wall Street Banks and wealthy CEOs pay their fair share.”

Showdown activists also delivered an “agenda” for the day to each room, prior to the wake-up call. You can download the agenda here.

And let’s not forget the tens of thousands who rallied in Wisconsin all through the winter and spring.

Enthusiasm gap? Naah. That’s just a meme the media has co-opted, hoping if they repeat it often enough it will become fact. Hasn’t happened yet. I predict we’ll be hearing that the left is “too angry” is 5… 4… 3…


Filed under protests, unions

>Republican Math, 2.0

>Here’s some Tennessee hippie-punching:

GOP Looks To Drop ‘Labor’ From Committee Name

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republicans in the Tennessee Senate want to drop “labor” from the name of the committee that handles commerce and employment issues.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris of Collierville said Thursday that it’s in the interest of brevity that he has proposed excising the term from the Senate Commerce, Labor and Agriculture Committee.

Removing the five-letter word instead of the eight or 11 letter word for the sake of brevity? Hilarious.

Okay, to be fair, Tennessee Republicans also want to ditch “Conservation” and “Tourism” from the panel on Environment, Conservation and Tourism and add “Energy” and “Committee.” So they’d be changing a 37 character committee name to a 32 character committee name. Or something.

Yes this is truly a pressing issue for the people of Tennessee right now. The length of our committee names. Praise Jesus Tennessee Republicans are in office to right these grievous wrongs that have gone unchecked for so many administrations.

Or something.

Hey guys, we get it. You really, really hate us. You want to wipe us off the map. You want to erase our very existence. Guess what. We aren’t going anywhere. Suck on that, asshole.


Filed under liberals, Tennessee politics, TNGOP, unions

>They Forgot Poland


You know, despite conservatives’ claim that Ronald Reagan singlehandedly destroyed the Berlin wall with the tweak of his mighty pinkie, those of us who actually remember the 1980s remember the Polish trade union which got the democracy ball rolling. You kids who were still in your nappies back in 1981 might want to read up on Solidarity and how it took down Soviet domination in Poland, the first chink in a movement which steamrolled across the Baltic region and ultimately destroyed the iron curtain. I was a sophomore in college then and well remember the Polish uprisings. By 1982 I was living in Copenhagen and several friends traveled “behind the iron curtain” to Poland to see what was happening for themselves.

I went on an organized student trip to the Soviet Union instead — all trips by Westerners to the USSR were closely monitored, rigidly organized affairs back then (though that didn’t stop us from having some adventures). We had a Q&A session with some low-level Party official, can’t remember his function now, where we asked tough questions about oppression of gays in the USSR (“We have no homosexuals in the Soviet Union,” the guy actually told us. “This is a Western issue.”) And we asked about Solidarity. He told us it was an example of how much freedom the people of Poland have, that they can protest and strike (never mentioning martial law and other attempts to oppress the movement). It was all a ruse, not too different from what we see from conservatives today, where they talk publicly about the freedom to assemble and all that and then privately talk about sneaking in troublemakers to discredit those protesting.

Today Poland’s Solidarity leaders have sent Wisconsin workers their support:

On behalf of the 700,000 members of the Polish Trade Union NSZZ
“Solidarnosc” (Solidarity) I wish to express our solidarity and support for your struggle against the recent assault on trade unions and trade union rights unleashed by Governor Scott Walker.

We are witnessing yet another attempt of transferring the costs of the economic crisis and of the failed financial policies to working people and their families. As much as some adjustments are necessary, we can not and must not agree that the austerity measures are synonymous with union-busting practices, the elimination of bargaining rights and the reduction of social benefits and wages.

Dear friends, please rest assured that our thoughts are with you during your protest, as we truly do hope that your just fight for decent working and living conditions, for the workers’ rights will be successful.

Your victory is our victory as well.

In Solidarity,

Piotr Duda

You know, conservatives have long tried to connect labor unions with communism. Yet it was a labor union which destroyed communism in a key Soviet Bloc country.

I guess they forgot Poland.


Filed under unions, Wisconsin Protests

>Crank, Prank or Pwn? It’s Real! Walker Punk’d

>[UPDATE]: 2

After threatening to file ethics charges against Wisconsin Democrats, it appears Gov. Walker may be in some ethics trouble himself. Taking a phone call from a big campaign donor? That’s a no-no:

“If you didn’t believe it before, you have to now—this fight isn’t about the budget, it’s about favors for corporate special interests,” continued Donnelly. “If Wisconsin law forbids coordination with political donors similar to federal law, Gov. Scott Walker is not just in political trouble, but in legal hot water.”

Public Campaign Action Fund is currently in discussions with election experts on whether Gov. Walker may have broken state election law and whether a complaint should be filed.



Walker’s office confirms the call is for real. Oy vey. Scott Walker just made a colossally stupid mistake, bragging in true fan boy fashion to a man he thought was oil billionaire David Koch. Wisconsin, this just tells you so much about the guy you elected governor, where his allegiance lies and how he thinks. He won’t talk to Senate Democrats (unless it’s a trick to get them back into the state capitol so Republicans can declare a quorum), but he eagerly takes “David Koch’s” phone call and dishes all his secrets.

Schadenfreude. It’s what’s for breakfast.


Did a crank caller really convince Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker that he was talking to David Koch? And did Walker really spill the beans on his strategy to hold Wisconsin Senate Democrats’ pay and file ethics charges if any took help from union supporters? And did the prankster really tape the whole thing and post it on the internet?

We still don’t know if This is for real but the tapes sound pretty convincing. and it’s not the first time a prominent conservative got punk’d, either.

(Note: I accidentally left off the second recording in my original post. I’ve corrected that mistake now …)

Here are some juicy bits. For one thing, if this IS for real, it seems Walker is trying to set a trap:

GOV. WALKER: An interesting idea brought up to me this morning by my chief of staff, we won’t do it until tomorrow, is putting out an appeal to the Democrat leader that I would be willing to sit down and talk to him, the Assembly Democrat leader, plus the other two Republican leaders. Talk, not negotiate, and listen to what they have to say if they will in turn — I’ll only do it if all 14 of ‘em come back and sit down in the state Assembly. They can recess it to come back over and talk to me but they’ll have to come back there.

The reason for that is, we’re verifying it this afternoon but legally we believe once they’ve gone into session they don’t physically have to be there. If they’re actually in session for that day and they take a recess, this 19 senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have a quorum because they started out that way. Um … so we’re double checking that.

If you heard that we’re gonna talk to ‘em that would be the only reason why, is we would only do it if they came back to the capital with all 14 of ‘em. My sense is hell, I’ll talk, If they want to yell at me for an hour, I’m used to that! I can deal with that! But I’m not negotiating.

What. An. Asshole.


More ….

I just finished listening to the second part of the recording. I’m struck by three things: Walker has a tremendous ego and is incredibly arrogant. This is not a humble man.

Two: he realizes this is not about Wisconsin, this is about crushing organized labor nationally. He knows what killing collective bargaining in Wisconsin means. This was the plan. This was never about Wisconsin.

And three: Walker’s obviously seeking David Koch’s approval, which speaks volumes about Koch’s role in all of this. Walker might as well be saying, “I did good, didn’t I, huh huh, didn’t I?” He reminds me of my dog when we’re playing fetch, the way she’s just so eager for approval when she drops the ball at my feet. Walker is practically doing somersaults and handstands to show Fake Koch what a star politician he is, what a big player he is, how in control and manly. If he were a peacock he’d be spreading his tail feathers. He is, in short, showing off. Which, knowing this was Fake Koch not a real Koch, is sorta pathetic.

Anyway, it’s clear David Koch is the Republican Party’s new king maker. That’s just obvious from the conversation, from Walker’s conversation. Fake Koch barely says two words and Walker is tripping over himself doing the “how do you like me now!” song and dance.

And here’s my question: Who the hell is David Koch’s “guy on the ground” in Madison? Hello? Hello news media, the fact that Koch Industries has “a guy on the ground” should sorta tell you everything you need to know about the Tea Party!

Anyway, here’s some more transcript:

FAKE KOCH: Goddamn right! We sent Andrew Breitbart down there.



WALKER: Good stuff!

FAKE KOCH: He’s our man, y’know.

WALKER: Well it has been amazing to me the massive amount of attention .. I’ve done all, you know — every day I do a 5 o’clock press conference, tonight I’m actually doing a fireside chat which the state TV stations are gonna tape but I guess a bunch of the national ones are too, and um in the last couple of days when I do the TV shows I’ve been going after Obama, ‘cuz he stuck his — although he’s backed off now — but he stuck his nose in here and I said — they asked me what I thought and I said, “Y’know, last time I checked, this guy’s got a much bigger budget deficit than we do, maybe he should worry about that!

FAKE KOCH: (laughs)

WALKER: … and not stick his nose in Wisconsin business, right?. We’ve had all the national shows, we were on Hannity last night, I did Good Morning America, The Today Show and all that sort of stuff, was on Morning Joe this morning, we’ve done Greta, we’re going to keep getting our message out, Mark Levine last night. And I gotta tell ya, the response from around the country has been phenomenal. I had Brian the new governor over in Nevada call me last night, said he was out on the Lincoln Day circuit in the last two weekends and he was kidding me — he’s new as well as me — he said, “Scott don’t come to Nevada, cuz I’d be afraid you’d beat me running for the governor.”

FAKE KOCH: (Laughs)

WALKER: That’s all they want to talk about is, what are you doing to help the governor of Wisconsin? The next question is, I talk to Kasich every day, and John’s gonna stand firm in Ohio, I think we do the same thing with Rick Scott in Florida. I think Snyder if he got a little more support probably could do that in Michigan, when you start going down the list, there’s a lot of us new governors that got elected to do something big.

FAKE KOCH: You’re the first domino!

WALKER: Yup! This is our moment.

FAKE KOCH: Now what else can we do for you down there?

Walker: Well the biggest thing would be, and your guy on the ground is probably seeing this, is the, well two things: one, our members, originally kinda got freaked out by all the bodies down here, although I told them an interesting story about when I was first elected county executive in Milwaukee of all places….

Actually, the story was really boring about how when he was a county executive and pissed off the unions, everyone totally loved him at a Veteran’s Day parade except one guy who gave him the finger. It was another piece of arrogance and ego on display, showing off to the guy who is clearly Very Important. Later in the conversation Walker compares what he’s doing to Ronald Reagan firing the air traffic controllers, and how he sees that as the first chink in the Berlin Wall because the Communists were put on notice that Reagan “wouldn’t be pushed around.”

So this is all very interesting … very interesting indeed.


Filed under Fake Koch, Gov. Scott Walker, unions, Wisconsin Protests

>Next Stop Indiana!


Gov. Mitch Daniels now tells legislature to drop “right to work” legislation that forced Indiana Democrats to flee.

I’ll bet someone is thinking of his 2012 presidential aspirations.


Indiana statehouse fills with protestors as Indiana’s Democrats leave the state to avoid vote against unions:

Here’s a question I’ve asked: how come no one is mentioning ALEC in all of this? The industry-funded, free-market, limited-government, conservative anti-worker American Legislative Exchange Council? Through their “model legislation” they push industry’s agenda at the state legislative level. I mean, it’s no coincidence that so many states have similar anti-union legislation on the floor right now. This is all coordinated. And ALEC is funded by big corporations.

And here’s another question: if industry can unite and push their agenda under the aegis of groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, ALEC, the American Enterprise Institute, etc., then why can’t workers unite and push their interests in the form of unions? I mean, if you’re going to say unions are bad for democracy (though no one has ever adequately explained that one to me) then isn’t the U.S. Chamber bad for democracy, too? If you want to get rid of one, shouldn’t you get rid of the other?

It doesn’t make sense unless your entire worldview is based on the idea that everything is peachy when workers are slaves to their employers, that all of the power should be handed up to big business and workers should be silent and take what lumps of coal they are given. You know, I get why billionaire corporate elites think this way, but I don’t get why anyone else does.

It makes no sense.

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Filed under protests, unions, Wisconsin Protests