Wisconsin State Senate Passes Anti-Union Bill, In End-Run Around Dem Boycott
"...state Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate has released this statement, vowing to recall all those Republican state Senators who are eligible under the state's recall laws, which require at least one year of a term to be completed -- and to recall Walker next year:
'Using tactics that trample on the traditions of our Legislature, the Republican leadership has betrayed our state. Republicans have rubber-stamped the desire of the Koch Brothers and their godshead Scott Walker to cripple Wisconsin's middle class and lower benefits and wages for every single wage-earner in our state. The vote does nothing to create jobs, does nothing to strengthen our state, and shows finally and utterly that this never was about anything but raw political power. We now put our total focus on recalling the eligible Republican senators who voted for this heinous bill. And we also begin counting the days remaining before Scott Walker is himself eligible for recall.' "
State Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D) who has been in Illinois, released this statement:
"In thirty minutes, 18 State Senators undid fifty years of civil rights in Wisconsin.
"Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten.
"Tonight, 18 Senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people.
"Tomorrow we will join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government."The move is likely to have an enormous political impact in the state, as unions remain an important base of the Democratic Party organization in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, the unions and Democrats have been actively organizing recalls of Republican state legislators -- leveraging the power of the tens of thousands of people who have protested the bill, and numerous opinion polls showing that Wisconsin voters oppose breaking the unions.
Wisconsin AFL-CIO president Phil Neuenfeldt has released a statement, entitled "Statement on Scott Walker and Republicans' Despicable, Extreme, Anti-Democratic Activities." Key quotes:
Tonight's trampling of the democratic process in Wisconsin shows that Scott Walker and the Republicans have been lying throughout this entire process and we have been telling the truth - that NONE of the provisions that attacked workers' rights had anything to do with the budget.
Scott Walker and the Republicans' ideological war on the middle class and working families is now indisputable, and their willingness to shred 50 years of labor peace, bipartisanship, and Wisconsin's democratic process to pass a bill that 74% of Wisconsinites oppose is beyond reprehensible and possibly criminal."