There’s an ad running on television throughout the state of Wisconsin. It was funded by the unions and it speaks the truth. It features a firefighter speaking about the governor of his state, Scott Walker; a man unwilling to compromise. It speaks of the governor’s true goal: destroy the unions; regardless of who lies in his path in doing so. This ad speaks to the true victims, the people.
See, most people believe that union workers are all Democrats. They’re not. And the firefighters are a great example of that. Although the firefighters and the police are exempt from the legislation being pushed upon the public workers and the middle class in the state of Wisconsin, these individuals as well as their organizations stand behind their fellow public workers. [See photos of the protests in Madison, Wisconsin.]
There’s been a lot of talk about this ad. How effective it is, how it speaks to hearts and minds, emotions and how it involves outside money.
The politicians in Wisconsin, specifically the governor, claim that this fight is about money. Hogwash. And I want to personally thank Americans for Prosperity, an organization funded by and cocreated by the Koch brothers--one of the largest contributors (over $40,000) to Walker’s campaign by the way--for helping me to prove that. [See who donates the most to your member of Congress.]
This organization is reportedly developing an ad to run in opposition to the union ad presently running, demonstrating that this isn’t about money, it isn’t even about politics; it’s about payback. And you know what they say about payback, it’s a “b.” How does it feel to be a puppet on a string? Or a muse? Ask Governor Walker. He’s the Koch brothers’ puppet. And for that, thank the Supreme Court for their ridiculous decision in the Citizens United case, because what’s happening in Wisconsin is just a tiny taste of things to come. Corporate billionaires pulling our politicians’ strings. [Read the U.S. News op-ed debate: Is the Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision Hurting Democracy?]
The union and their members have agreed to compromise. They agreed to make less and pay more. The amount the public employees earn accounts for less than 10 percent of the budget of the state of Wisconsin. So this isn’t about money. The money issue has been solved. This is about stripping away people’s rights by taking away their ability to collectively bargain--a practice in most states.
Let me ask you something. If I tell you I’m going to reduce your pay, ask you to contribute more out of that lower salary for healthcare benefits and your pension, tell you I’ll arrest you if you strike and oh, by the way, you also can’t collectively bargain, what do you have left? I have taken everything. What kind of a teacher are we returning to the classroom or nurse to the hospital? A beaten, downtrodden one. One who is making less and has been stripped of his or her rights. One whose value has been questioned. A happy employee is a productive employee and a better employee.
Do public workers make more? Yes. But nonunion public workers make more as well. Are all public workers more educated? Yes. Didn’t’ someone say you get what you pay for? And I don’t know about you, but when it comes to education and healthcare, I’ll pay more thank you. Oh, and by the way, schools where the teachers are involved in a union rank higher than those whose teachers are not protected by a union. How’s that for getting what you pay for? [Take the U.S. News poll: Are Wisconsin teachers unfair to skip school for protests?]
Now Governor Walker wants to fire 1,500 public workers if the Democrats don’t return to Wisconsin to vote. How low can this man go? If someone’s shooting at you, are you gonna hold another in front of you to take the bullet? Walker wants the public workers to take the bullet for the bad decision he has made with this legislation. Shame on him.