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Why 70,000 People Were Protesting In Wisconsin This Weekend PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chet   
Monday, 21 February 2011 00:00

If you're like me, you've been hearing the Koch Brothers' talking points about the public employees' protest in Wisconsin.  But because corporate media is owned by "people" who want to destroy the working class in America, you probably haven't heard much of the real story about why these rallies are happening in Wisconsin.  I'm gonna give you a couple things every American should be aware of when thinking or talking about what's happening in Wisconsin.

First, here's a clip from a post on Alternet:

What's happening in Wisconsin is not complicated. At the beginning of this year, the state was on course to end 2011 with a budget surplus of $120 million. As Ezra Klein explained, newly elected GOP Governor Scott Walker then " signed two business tax breaks and a conservative health-care policy experiment that lowers overall tax revenues (among other things). The new legislation was not offset, and it turned a surplus into a deficit." (Update: please see this note for more detail on the cause of the budget gap.) 

12 Things You Need to Know About the Uprising in Wisconsin (Alternet)

Click on the title to read that whole article.  It's worth it.

The second thing you need to see is a video clip of what it looks like when someone protests against absolute power corrupting absolutely.  This video is a "must watch" video...

[NOTE:  It's been brought to my attention that this YouTube video clip has been removed.  You can still watch it, but it's a little less convenient.  Just click on THIS LINK and then click to WATCH the video for "Assembly Flooor Session, (Part 4)" on 2.18.11.  To get to the specific part of the video that was in the YouTube video, you'll have to skip ahead to about the 18:00 minute mark.  If it pops up on the YouTube again, I'll update the vid.] 

That's what it looks like when absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Though the Koch Brothers' buses are bringing in dozens or hundreds of counter-protesters from out-of-state to try to make it look like there's oposition to the public employees, reports out of Madison indicate those folks are outnumbered by pro-public employee protesters 35 to 1.  Interestingly, a friend in Madison reports that the out-of-state Koch Brothers' protesters seem to be more upset about the fact they can't carry concealed firearms on the Capitol Grounds than they are about anything else.  

All this fun... Coming soon to a state legislature near you... 

Comments (5)add comment

nimrod said:

No scoop in Madison
My reliable inside Madison source tells me that the national news coverage is very slanted. Locals in Madison are following it on local blogs for the real story. Unions have stated they will concede the health care and retirement issues if Gov will negotiate union-busting. Gov won't talk.
February 21, 2011
Votes: +0

nimrod said:

It appears Koch Industries PAC donated $41,000 to Governor's election campaign.
February 21, 2011
Votes: +1

Chet said:

The Gordon Hintz video is down...
You can watch the floor speech from Rep. Hintz by watching Part 4 of the 2.18.2011 floor session at the 18:00 minute mark on THIS PAGE.

And here's an excerpt from a narrative of that floor session:

View: 02.18.11 | Assembly Floor Session (Part 4)
(direct link to video here, thanks, Nick)
Minority Leader Peter Barca gave an impassioned speech and called the move "unprecedented" and "illegal." He said "I know you are just so eager to tramp on peoples' and workers' rights, you can't just wait, can you?" Barca called for the vote to be struck.
Fitzgerald had the Assembly to stand informal while he consulted with his Republican colleagues.
At 5:07 p.m. Barca asked the chair to clarify at what time the voice vote occurred. After two minutes Braca returned to the floor and pointed out that Amendments two and three were bypassed without a vote, which is against Assembly rules.
Braca held up the rules of order and said: "If any of you have a shred of decency you will not let these people up here to allow you to ignore these rules. You took an oath of office. I don't know if you took it seriously or that you think that now that we have a Governor who wants to be a Government-of-One you can do whatever you like. Well, you can't, you absolutely can't. We have two other amendments before us that you did not take up. Did not take up. Never ever in the history of this body has that happened. I doubt it's ever happened in any body. Honest to God, what is wrong with you? Are you really that eager to shut down this process, to strip people of their basic worker rights that you're willing to do anything?"
Hintz addressed the chamber at 5:13 p.m. after Barca and said he had received an email from Republican Rep. Scott Suder telling him to be at the Assembly at 5 p.m. He told Suder that "5 o'clock means 5 o'clock."
He said "if you want to jam through a bill you gotta sit through the messy process that is democracy."
February 21, 2011
Votes: +0

Chet said:

I don't know if this is true...
Nimrod: A commenter at MediaMatters.org posted this about the money spent in Wisconsin to support Wanker's campaign:
Actually, Walker was elected into office most likely because the RGA spent a whopping $3.4 million on TV ads and mailers attacking Walker's opponent; in addition to this, add $43,000 from the Koch Industries PAC during the 2010 election.

That donation was his campaign's second-highest, behind $43,125 in contributions from housing and realtor groups in Wisconsin.
Do not forget this: The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Inc. and the Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc. made campaign contributions of $950,000.00 to Republicans and conservatives.
Media Matters

Truth-Out.org says RGA spent $5 million attacking Wanker's Democratic opponent in Wisconsin. $2 million of that came from David Koch and Rupert Murdoch, alone, says Truth-Out. (Truth-Out.org link.)

I haven't fact-checked these numbers but would be happy if someone else did and corrected this info, if these sources are wrong.
February 21, 2011
Votes: +0

nimrod said:

Lucky us.
See how lucky we were to have Gov. Hoeven hide under his desk during legislative sessions.
February 22, 2011
Votes: +0

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