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New poll: Wisconsinites split on Walker's budget proposal

By   /   February 24, 2011  /   116 Comments

By Wisconsin Reporter staff

Wisconsinites are evenly split on their support of Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill and the union workers protesting the legislation, according to a new poll sponsored by WisconsinReporter.com.

The poll of 500 likely voters, which was conducted on Monday, Feb.21, showed 50 percent had a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” opinion of Walker’s bill, while the same percentage had a “somewhat unfavorable” or “very unfavorable” opinion.

Similarly, 49 percent of those polled had a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” opinion of the protesters, with 48 percent ”somewhat unfavorable” or “very unfavorable,” and 3 percent undecided.

The results come as the controversy over the $137 million budget repair bill nears the two-week mark Friday. The legislation would require most public employee union members to increase their contributions to pensions and health care plans to 5.8 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively.

The most controversial aspect of the bill, however, calls for the end of most collective-bargaining rights for the state’s public employee unions, who only would be allowed to bargain over salary.

According to the poll, 56 percent say Wisconsin state employees and public employee unions should have collective bargaining powers. Thirty-two percent disagree, and 12 percent of those polled are unsure. 

Walker says the changes are necessary to help local governments face the cuts he will propose in the biennial budget he will announce on Tuesday, and he’s calling for a vote on this bill before Friday in order to meet debt-refinancing deadlines.

Fourteen Senate Democrats remain out of state in hopes of preventing, or at least delaying, a vote on the issue. Without them, the Senate doesn’t have the 20-member quorum necessary to bring the bill up for a vote.

More updates to follow…

– ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE BELOW –

Poll Shows 71% of Wisconsinites Think Walker’s Budget Changes are “Fair”

February 24, 2011- Alexandria, VA – Most Wisconsinites believe that Governor Walker’s proposed budget changes that include unions to pay 5.8% of their salary toward the cost of their pensions plans and double their contributions for health care premiums to 12.6% are fair, according to a new poll sponsored by WisconsinReporter.com.

The poll which was conducted on February 21, 2011 of 500 likely voters in Wisconsin also showed a perceived discrepancy between benefits for public and private sector employees, with 69% believing that government workers in their community have better benefits than private sector workers.

“This poll shows that a majority of the people in Wisconsin are standing behind aspects of Governor Walker’s budget reform proposal,” said Jason Stverak, President of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a national nonprofit journalism organization which operates WisconsinReporter.com. “Wisconsin Reporter has been on the ground floor of this story reporting from the Capitol since the budget battle began. This poll reiterates the opinions and comments that the reporting team at Wisconsin Reporter are hearing while capturing the breaking news from Madison.”

The poll also showed that given the choice to reduce teacher pensions and salaries or cut sports and extra-curricular programs for students, 44% would reduce the pensions and only 34% would cut sports and extra-curricular programs. Full poll details are listed below.

WisconsinReporter.com is a new statehouse news organization covering all of the legislative action in Wisconsin. It is a product of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, a national nonprofit journalism organization. As this issue continues to develop, Wisconsin Reporter will be on the scene reporting the news as it breaks. For more information on Wisconsin Reporter including full analysis of this poll visit WisconsinReporter.com.

WisconsinSurvey of 500 Likely Voters

Conducted February 21, 2011

1* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable opinion of the budget repair bill proposed by Gov. Scott Walker?

39% Very favorable

11% Somewhat favorable

14% Somewhat unfavorable

36% Very unfavorable

0% Not sure

2* Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable impression of the union workers and their supporters demonstrating at the Wisconsin Capitol?

36% Very favorable

13% Somewhat favorable

18% Somewhat unfavorable

30% Very unfavorable

3% Not sure

3* Next, Wisconsin faces an estimated budget deficit of about $3.6 billion over the next two years … Which approach would you choose for dealing with the state’s budget shortfall … rely entirely on spending cuts with no tax increases … rely mainly on spending cuts, with some tax increases … have an even balance of spending cuts and tax increases … rely mainly on tax increases, with some spending cuts … or rely entirely on tax increases, with no spending cuts?

30% Rely entirely on spending cuts with no tax increases

27% Rely mainly on spending cuts, with some tax increases

33% Have an even balance of spending cuts and tax increases

7% Rely mainly on tax increases, with some spending cuts

2% Rely entirely on tax increases, with no spending cuts

1% Not sure

4* Governor Walker is asking unions to pay 5.8% of their salary toward the cost of their pensions plans and double their contributions for health care premiums to 12.6%. Is that fair?

71% Yes

22% No

7% Not sure

5* How likely is it that you would support the recall of state senators who left the state to avoid a vote on the budget?

37% Very likely

10% Somewhat likely

12% Not very likely

36% Not at all likely

5% Not sure

6* Generally speaking, are government workers in your community better compensated than private sector workers?

48% Yes

29% No

23% Not sure

7* Generally speaking, do government workers in your community have better benefits than private sector workers?

69% Yes

14% No

17% Not sure

8* Should school districts fire teachers who call in sick to protest Governor Walker?

32% Yes

53% No

15% Not sure

9* Should Wisconsin’s state employees and public employee unions have collective bargaining powers?

56% Yes

32% No

12% Not sure

10* Given these choices, which approach would you take for dealing with a school district budget shortfall … reduce teacher pensions and salaries or cut sports and extra-curricular programs for students?

44% Reduce teacher pensions and salaries

34% Cut sports and extra-curricular programs for students

22% Not sure

11* Who do you think is doing the best job at tackling spending and budgets issues — state officials such as Gov. Walker or lawmakers in Washington?

46% State officials such as Gov. Walker

33% Lawmakers in Washington

21% Not sure

12* Do you believe that President Obama should get involved in state disputes like the one in Wisconsin or focus his efforts on the federal budget battle in Washington?

27% Obama should get involved in state disputes

68% Obama should focus his efforts on the federal budget

5% Not sure

13* Is anyone in your household a member of a state public employee union?

23% Yes

75% No

2% Not sure

14* In the November 2010 election for Governor, did you vote for Tom Barrett or Scott Walker?

45% Barrett

46% Walker

8% Some other candidate

1% Not sure

15* Should Wisconsin residents be allowed to carry a concealed weapon?

45% Yes

45% No

10% Not sure

16* Should Wisconsin residents be required to present a photo ID in order to vote?

68% Yes

27% No

6% Not sure

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. The telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research on February 21, 2011. Pulse Opinion Research, LLC is an independent public opinion research firm using automated polling methodology and procedures licensed from Rasmussen Reports, LLC.

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  • James Reichow

    I am strongly in favor of Governor Walkers Bill and I am appalled by the behavior of the State Senators as an Veteran of the United States Armed Forces I view their actions as mutiny and think they should be punished to the same degree as any other service defector would be .

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  • JULIE K.

    WALKERS ATTITUDE IS THE SAME AS CASTRO,HITLER, AND ALL THE OTHER DESPOTS THAT TRY TO CONTROL THEIR PEOPLE. IT IS THIS KIND OF “MY WAY OR ELSE” ATTITUDE THAT GOT CASTRO KILLED. IN MY EYES, HE IS A DICTATOR AND NEEDS TO BE DEPOSED. I HOPE THEY FIND A WAY TO REMOVE HIM FROM OFFICE, AND SOON!

  • Denis McCormick

    What was the polling sample on this? It seems pretty weak, given the fact that Walker won by 6%. This was a main campaign issue.

    Rasmussen did a poll regarding what people thought of the Senators that fled the state. Here is the takeaway quote by them. “The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that only 25% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of this tactic, while 67% disapprove.”

    I totally agree with your statement, James.

  • Sherry Kannenberg

    I think it really funny that all these “Polls” or “Studies” are out. No one ever calls my house or send me emails requesting my take on the issues at hand. I think if your a democrat you get the calls but the short the calling to the Scott Walker Backers. You Go Scott! Stay Strong and DON’T GIVE IN. We are counting on you!!!

  • Mike K

    Then I guess raise taxes like Illinois, 67% and cut jobs. I wonder how that will poll in a few months.

  • Michelle Palmateer

    To Mr. Reichow, thank you for your service, Sir! I was appalled at the behavior of some in Madison Saturday also. The Flag is not to be worn as a cape, a glad that is torn should not be carried, and certainly a flag shouldnt be dragged. I saw all three…

  • Sherry Kannenberg

    PS – Julie you need anger management!

  • Michelle Palmateer

    The Castro/Hitler thing is getting old. Its to the point of being STUPID! Hitler killed millions of innocent people, so how you link that together is beyond me. I am not saying you dont have a right to disagree with Walker, but the comparing to Hitler is just not the brightest. It shows you lack intelligence.

  • Victor Ray

    I disagree that this is MY WAY only. We have elected officials who have left their job. Let those come back and vote as we elected them. I am a Democrat and cannot support this rash display. It is evident by what is going on that the Labor Unions are scared to death. Its time to come to the table.

  • http://theundergroundconservative.wordpress.com The UC

    Congratulations. You just jumped the shark and broke Godwin’s Law at the same time. Comparing the requirement that the parasites working on my dime actually pay for a small portion of their pensions and health insurance to a murderous genocidal dictator is arguably the most ridiculous thing I have ever read.

  • Michelle Gebhard

    In regards to questions #10 – people have to realized that school districts, school boards, and taxpayers will not have a choice if collective bargaining is left in place. There is no way that the teacher’s unions will reduce pensions or salaries if no one is forcing them no matter what they say right now. That is why this collective bargaining piece is so important. It gives each community a little more leverage in bargaining with their teachers.

  • Sweeney

    Julie, shame on you and your vile post.

  • George

    Julie—who killed Castro?

  • SCOTT WONG

    I work for a fairly large employer [private sector] here in the Fox Valley in Wisconsin. In January 2011, I was asked to pay a higher percentage towards my healthcare benefits. I was asked to do the same the year before and again the year before that. I have bills and a family just like everyone else.

    Where was my media outcry? How come MSNBC didn’t camp outside my employer and demand answers for me? The gravy train is over, folks. It’s BEEN over for the rest of us for quite some time. Welcome to the recession.

  • JBlue

    I agree with Walker 100% and also agree this polling sample appears weak at best. And Julie K., go and yell at some one who cares – Gov. Walker is not a dictator, you’d better go check the definition. The people of WI spoke and Walker was voted in. Because the Dems lost control of the legislature, the repulicans are in control. Those folks were also voted in. That’s the way the cookie crumbles my dear – that is the way this country works. This bill will pass and so will other necessary measures that must be taken in an effort to save this state – I can only pray that Obama and his cronies in Washington take heed and make the same hard cuts to spending as we must do here. It is our only salvation. The future of this country depends on it.

  • http://MoneyedPoliticians.net Jack E Lohman

    I simply don’t know the answer, and have seen numbers on both sides of the issue. What I’d like are the politicians to turn the study over to the non-partisan Government Accountability Board.

    *IF* public wages are below private, as the union claims, let’s do something to bring them up. *IF* they are higher let’s force them down. Thus, let’s “equalize” them, but at the same time let’s force the legislators to spend full time on the job they are being paid full time to perform.

    And let’s implement public funding of campaigns so our government is controlled neither by union money or special interest money. And eliminate unnecessary employees and inefficient and unneeded departments. Let’s run the state like it is a smart business!!!

  • C. Edwards

    Julie:

    There is NO REASON to type your ill-informed comment is caps. Caps suggest hat you are screaming. Can you not type a civil comment? Nor is there any reason to make ridiculous references to Castro, Hitler and others. Obviously you do not understand history. You should take a trip to a Nazi concentration camp to get a just a minor sense of what Hitler did. Then you and others would not make such disrespective and insulting comments to the thousands of families that were victimized by the Nazis. And when was it that Castro was killed?

  • Mary

    I don’t believe people fully understand the role of collective bargaining and how detrimental it is for smaller cities and schools to try to control their local budgets. Arbitration is many times not an option due to cost so the local govermental body is forced to give in.

    Government workers should have to answer to their employers – the Wisonsin taxpayers, not carrying water for their union.

  • J.Ttiefenthaler

    When did Castro get killed??? Moron

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  • J Daniel

    Julie, are you one of those TEA Party people posing as one of the protesters I have been reading about? Just wondering because from what I have been hearing on the news for the last several months only TEA Party members compare elected officials to Hitler.

    To quote President Obama a year ago when he was jamming things down our throat, “there was an election and we won”. I didn’t hear you complaining about that. Its now that an elected official that you don’t agree with is doing it that you have a problem with it.

  • stan jones

    Wisconsin teachers average around 80-100K with bennies, not too bad for 8 months a year and the other public employees are also paid well. I think this new poll is BS and that it is past due that someone (Walker) do their job and get the spending under control. The liberals always want to increase taxes, on the other guy of course.

  • J Daniel

    I want to vote for Jack E Lohman next time.

  • Imaginethat

    At least there is one consistency with lefties like Julie K ….they are juvenile and hypocritical. They can ring their hands about conservative talk radio and how we need to “have a more civil public discourse” in politics while at the same time minelessly following the party line spewing hate and vitriol towards those that disagree with them. Such is the state politics in this country. Such is the self-righteous socialists like Julie K.

  • Rob VS

    First of all, Julie K, what planet do you live on. To my knowledge Castro is still alive and kicking since he just recently was reported as offering praise and support of the demonstrators in Egypt. Perhaps you are talking about some cartoon charactor named Castro where you probably get your news from.

    Another point regarding this poll – It states that 23% of those polled had household members members who belong to state government employee union. Now think about it people, this poll is totally useless as the number of workers in state employee unions probably represents no more than 5% of of total workers in the state. How about asking all of the democrats in the state assembly and senate whether they are for or against Govenor Walker’s plan. I bet you would get 100% against, but some people would still believe that was meaningful. It’s too bad that people opposed to Walker’s plan don’t take the time to consider the illogical stance that they take.

    You know once upon a time in this country slave owners believed they had the right to own slaves. Now was that right? No, buth, the slave owners and souther states sure thought so. It’s the same here. The time has come and gone for unions to be representing professional teachers as times have changed.

    It’s nice that the employee unions are willing to give back a modest amount of their golden benfit package but that should have happened years ago. Perhaps we wouldn’t be in the dire straights we are right now. But when the bought and paid for (by those same unions) democrats were holding all of the power union members felt there was no need to be reasonable.

  • Jim

    I wonder where these 500 likely voters were polled? In the city of Madison perhaps? Because when I talk to a lot of people in my area, I don’t hear anything about supporting what the unions are doing, or the democratic senators. The only time I hear support is from some liberal people on my facebook page, or when I turn on the T.V. and see shots of protesters in the Capital.

    And I also agree with James! Shame on those senators.

    And Julie, his actions are not of the like of Fidel Castro, or Adolf Hitler. He is not proposing legislation to murder all union workers in the state, burn the bodies in massive ovens, or use them for medical testing. You should be ashamed at that sort of comparison. You don’t have to like his ideas, but this is democracy and that means when you’re not the majority, you won’t get your way. Democrats controlled this state for many years, I hated all the things Doyle did while in office, but I certainly wouldn’t compare him to Adolf Hitler. SHAME on YOU JULIE

  • bobby

    Julie k. I pray you are not a teacher because Castro is alive!!! He has not been killed. Not to say he did not have it coming.

    Walker on the other hand is not a Dictator or a bad person he just wants to save and create jobs and make Wi. as Strong as the State can be.

  • Diane L

    I’m with Denis here…Walker won last November with 54% of the vote. But only 46% of this poll sample said they voted for him. Therefore it’s impossible to believe this was a representative sample of actual Wisconsin voters and is significantly skewed against the Governor.

  • Kathryn B

    I am sick and tired of people comparing conservative leaders with the courage of their convictions being compared with murderous dictators by people who have NO clue what life under those people was/is like!

    If you can’t win an arguement or discussion with reason or facts, just call people names and make those the WORST possible names you can think of.

    Since you are such an avid observer of political leaders, you might want to take a serious look at YOUR president and the way he has skirted or completely ignored the Constitution [like it or not, it IS what our laws are based on and until it is changed in the manner intended by the founders it REMAINS the law of this land]

    Maybe you should use those eyes of yours to read history and LEARN something other than how to whine when you disagree with someone!

  • straz

    Castro’s dead, huh. News to me. LOL

  • Glenn Schiefelbein

    Wisconsin’s public school teachers and the unions that represent them are saying budget cuts proposed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker would be devastating — but many of those teachers make more money than they’re letting on.

    The Daily Caller has broken out the salaries and benefits of teachers who have publicly entered the debate by commenting to the press.

    Wisconsin’s 2010 Teacher of the Year, Leah Lechleiter-Luke of Mauston High School, told CNN the budget changes would force her to look for additional part-time work.

    “When people say that public sector employees live high off the hog, I’d like to share that for 13 of my 19-year teaching career I have held a part-time job either in the summer or teaching night class at the local technical college,” Lechleiter-Luke told CNN. “In addition to tightening the belt even more and crossing our fingers that nothing breaks, I will need to find part-time work again.”

    Lechleiter-Luke makes $54,928 in base salary and $32,213 in “fringe benefits,” which include health insurance, life insurance and retirement pay.

    Brad Lutes and his wife, Heather Lutes, told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz that Walker’s budget would hit them twice as hard.

    “Having to explain to an 8- and 10-year old that the governor of your state basically wants to take money away from dad and mom? It’s just really, really frustrating,” Brad Lutes told Schultz.

    He makes $49,412 in base salary with $27,987 in fringe benefits and his wife makes $50,240 with $9,413 in benefits. That’s $137,052 annually between the two of them.

    WATCH: Brad and Heather Lutes talk to Ed Schultz about how they think Gov. Scott Walker’s plans will hurt them

    Jim Nelsen, a teacher at Hamilton High School in Milwaukee who attended the union protests in Madison, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he thought it was “time we had to move and we did.” He earns $62,877 in base salary with an additional $26,492 in benefits.

    Julene Flanagan, a fourth-grade teacher at Story Elementary School in Milwaukee, said the reason she attended the protests in Madison was because she cares “about the children deeply” and about the “future of public education in Wisconsin.” Flanagan makes $48,406 in base salary and $37,600 in benefits.

    Chris Fons, a social studies teacher at Milwaukee’s Riverside High School, said the union protests in Madison are a “bottom-up” movement, and that the “people have been acting and the leaders are following.” Fons earns $58,976 in annual salary with an additional $25,646 in benefits.

    Teachers in the state are only contracted to work part of the year, too. Most teachers start their work year around Aug. 30 and end around June 3, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. They also get vacation time during the student breaks, like during Christmas, fall vacation and spring vacation. Year-round, teachers in the state are out of the classroom for about 13 or 14 weeks.

    Per the Department of Commerce, in 2009, the average personal income for all Wisconsin workers was $37,398.

    Check back for more updates and, if you see teachers quoted in news stories, please send links to matthew@dailycaller.com or tweet them to @mboyle1.

    The source for this Wisconsin teacher salary and benefits data is a database on the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel website that references data from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

  • JENNIFER PETERSON

    Just curious, did you vote for Obama? Did you feel the same way when he completlely SHUT OUT ALL REPUBLICANS for two solid years in the legislation process, made deals behind closed doors, put out legislation no one had time to read and even if they did would need 3 lawyers and and an accountant to understand it? I believe his exact words were, “Elections have consequences, we won, republicans lost.” And then proceeded to lead like a dictator. There are people on his CABINET who have not received ONE call from him in TWO years, yet Andy Stears, SEIU, Trumpka, etc, are in the whitehouse TWO to THREE times per WEEK???? You might need to eduacte yourself a little more about dictatorships and clean your own door step.

  • straz

    Besides everything you’ve said being absolutely spot-on, Jim.

    What about “broke” is so hard to understand for the left?

    Naturally ‘broke’ means nothing to Socialist-Communists like ‘Julie’ & her ilk; however, up to and until they have the government of their choice it does matter. That, is the bottom line.

  • straz

    “You might need to eduacte yourself a little more about dictatorships and clean your own door step.”

    You’re wasting your time with that one as well as risking spittle all over yourself, M’am. LOL

  • JENNIFER PETERSON

    This was an email I sent out to all on my list yesterday. I think it will fit in here well.

    Forgive me for this because this was only meant to be a few sentences, but it applies to and affects every American citizen, and our country as a whiole.

    So, if you are lucky enough to be working and are lucky enough to have a pension plan (i.e. 401k) and health care insurance through your employer, then from each paycheck check an amount will be taken and placed into an account of some sort to then be used later for your health needs and your retirement. So you have already paid ONCE.

    Now, for GOVERNMENT union employees, YOUR tax dollars pay the ENTIRE amount each month of these pension and health care accounts. Now YOU have paid TWICE, while the union employees, have paid NOTHING, on top of making the obscene salaries below, which are WAY above private sector jobs. (Remember too, they only work 9 months of the year)

    What the governor is asking is that they be responsible for contributing to THEIR OWN accounts, and at HALF the amount the private sector Wisconsin worker is contributing to their own account. See shocking salaries below. (Yet their salaries will be untouched, still fine by me)

    Have these salaries increased the level of teaching or increased the school scores as far as the level of learning? The fact is not just NO, it is more like HECK NO! For changes in scores over time in WI, email me.

    A teacher from the union who is FOR Walker’s plan has said she has never gone to a union meeting where the discussion was about how to improve the classroom, teaching skills, or about what teachers actually NEED to improve schools, learning, and test scores.

    The topic is ALWAYS, how can we get more for the teachers?

    What about the children they are supposed to be teaching? WHO is actually advocating for them?

    Something we all need to think about….. we are not teaching children in the 50′s anymore, yet our schools are still doing the SAME things as then. It is HIGH time we all start thinking WAY outside of the box about HOW and WHAT we are teaching our children in America, to prepare them to be able to compete in a very global (whether we like it or not) world.

    America used to be #1, now we are ranked something like 30?!?/!! WHAT?? After BILLIONS OF DOLLARS/YR, and increases EVERY year, being thrown at the problem?! Where are the RESULTS, RETURN ON INVESTMENT for all this $$? Let’s face it, just like EVERY other entity our government has taken over, the Dept of Education has FAILED MISERABLY! If this was a private business, it would be OUT of business.

    The answer? Maybe we all need to start getting involved on the LOCAL and STATE level. Maybe we need to show up at school board meetings and demand better, as well as offer, no demand, changes that would suck out all of the inefficiencies, corruption, BAD teachers, and waste.

    Technologically, we are capable of teaching in many new ways that would get more bang for the buck. I think it is time to start the discussion and to GET INVOLVED!

    Don’t think it has any impact on you? Why should YOU care? Well, I do not have ANY children, YET, I am required to pay a property tax every year that is astronomical, and raises every year. Where the heck is my money going, how is it being spent, and if I learn the truth, would I be happy about it? Would the average citizen be?

    Let me know what you think, and more importantly, what you think we should do, to begin to affect change. It starts with one person. Our countries future depends on our childrens’ future. Education matters.

    Thanks for letting me vent!

    Jennifer Peterson

    Menomonie, WI

    Subject: 2010 Teachers Wages & Fringes . . . .

    And this may explains why a survey of one hour ago revealed that 81% of the Wisconsin people are sided with the Governor!!!!

    ATTACHED: This is the official excel DPI database of teachers wages by school district. Look up your own district !!!

    The current budget repair bill would have them paying about 5.8% towards their own retirement….right now, we the taxpayer, pays 100% of their generous retirement, and most of us pay 100% of our own retirement too.

    AVERAGE WAGE AND BENEFITS (remember this is for about 9 months of work)

    TEACHERS:

    Milwaukee $86,297

    Elmbrook $91,065

    Germantown $83,818

    Hartland Arrwhd $90,285 (highest teacher was $122,952-lowest was $64,942)

    Men Falls $81,099

    West Bend $82,153

    Waukesha $92,902

    Sussex $82,956

    Mequon $95,297

    Kettle Mor $87,676

    Muskego $91,341

    STAFF:

    Arrowhead – Bus Mng – Kopecky – $169,525

    Arrowhead – Principal – Wieczorek – $152,519

    Grmtwn – Asst Princ – Dave Towers – $123,222

    Elmbrk – Burliegh Elemetary – Principal Zahn- $142,315 (for a primary school!!)

    Madison – Asst Principal – McGrath – $127,835

    UNIVERSITY of WISCONSIN STAFF (2009) (salary alone):

    Michael Knetter – Prof of Bus – $327,828

    Carolyn Martin -Chancellor Mad- $437,000

    Hector Deluca – Prof of Nutritional Science – $254,877 (really??)

    (source:Madison.com -as the UW removed salaries from being posted online in 2007- why if they are so low?)

    How about some other “public servant job” ??? What do they make?

    Madison Garbage men (2009) (salary only):

    Garbageman, Mr. Nelson earned $159,258 in 2009, including $109,892 in overtime and other pay. Garbageman, Greg Tatman, who earned $125,598 7 Madison garbage men made over $100,000 30 Madison garbage men made over $70,000

    MILWAUKEE CITY BUS DRIVERS (salary only):

    136 Drivers made more than $70,000

    54 Drivers made more than $80,000

    18 Drivers made more than $90,000

    8 Drivers made more than $100,000

    Top Driver made $117,000

    (Source WTMJ)

    (The average private bus driver makes $9-13 an hour (about 20,000 yr) with no pension, or healthcare.)

    AND WE ARE SUPPOSED TO CONTINUE PAYING 100% OF THEIR GENEROUS RETIREMENT ?

    THEY HAVE SHUT DOWN SCHOOLS AS THEY DON’T WANT TO PAY 5.8% OF IT THEMSELVES ….REALLY?

  • La Verne Cole

    To James: I agree with you 100%. Congratulations for your common sense look at this.

    To Julie K.: I think you should consider that Scott Walker & the Republicans WON Madison this go-round following the mess the Dems & Thompson made of the state. If anyone is recalled, it should be the spoiled brats that picked up their toys & ran off to Illinois. WE ARE PAYING THEIR SALARIES, Julie!!! Remember what Obama said when he & the Dems ‘won’ Washington:

    “Elections have consequences”. That was thanks to the UNION DUES that you & others paid to them! Suck it up!!! YOU LOST THIS ONE. Yes, elections DO have consequences!!! Now let’s get on with the business of our state government.

  • Jim W

    Hitler and Castro are socialists, another words LABOR. To call Gov. Walker that is absurd!!!! He wants the people to have more power, not the government. Julie, how about you buddy Doyle. He tried 15 times to get his union buddys to give something up, and they told him no. So hats off to the gov for standing up to the socialists who want to bring this country down. They reward MPS teachers with big salaries and benefits for a 15% graduation rate, isn’t that special. I say fire them all and hire people who will do a good job. There are plenty of workers out there that your friends the socialists put out of work!!!!

  • Jim Reigel

    I can tell you that in the Green Bay area, your poll doesn’t fly. Out of necessity we have had to do our own polling, not nearly as ‘scientific’ as yours, but proving useful over decades for all political issues for this geographic/demographic area, and from this I can assure you that local folks are wildly antagonistic toward the demonstrators, their positions, and AWOL Senators. School districts have been crippled by union tactics. Nor is this only related to teachers. The standing joke is whether the snowplows on the trucks are up or down, since drivers know that if they don’t get the job done during regular hours, overtime hours are coming. Regarding the GAB, it is laughable to call it non-partisan, as anyone having dealings with it can attest. Wisconsin’s budget process has been an almost criminal shell-game for years, reaching an apex in the past administration. It will take time to clean the barn.

  • Tucker

    Castro is not dead. If you want your opinion to sound credible – do some research and try to refrain from building your point on inflammatory rhetoric. Your hatred loses your reader. Take it from a educator; one at least, that actually supports our Governor.

  • Bill Fetzner

    These union members will sacrifice everything to keep collective bargaining, i.e. agree to reductions from their pay and even risk the loss of union member’s jobs. That tells us clearly that they’re sure that who survive the layoffs will make up what they lost in the long run, and they’re sure that the public won’t be able to resist their siren call of caring for the kids and needing ever more resources, pay, and members. At the very least, end compulsory dues and get union business out of our public institutions, including withholding of dues by public employers. Why should we be helping public unions pick every taxpayer’s pockets?

  • Stuck in the Middle

    I respect the findings of this poll although it’s an entirely different attitude where I live. I was in our county courthouse today talking about the budget repair bill and was surprised to hear multiple folks (government employees) who sided with Walker.

    I wish it would be reported how as Milwaukee County Commissioner it was the collective bargaining agreements that forced Walker to layoff county employees. Also Wisconsin has one of the strongest civil protection laws in the country.

    And please, the comparisons to Hitler are so off-target. This is far from a dictatorship. Besides, didn’t a bill get passed last year at the national level in regards to health care? Didn’t Obama say something along the lines that we won, deal with it? The answer is yes to both.

    One last thing, maybe a little off target. Teachers are required to work 180 days a year, that is less than half of the days in the year, (I know no one works 365 days a year) so they’re off more then they’re working. They make nearly $50,000 a year with a superb health care plan, and hardly have to pay in on their pensions. And the collective bargaining agreements don’t touch negotiation salaries. If things are run like the public sector, and working for the government become so unbearable, no one will take the jobs. DUH!

    If anything teachers shouldn’t be tenured after only working a couple. I was in school not too long ago, and trust me, there are plenty that are there for the security and paycheck. If any field of work shouldn’t be guaranteed a position it’s out teachers.

  • SCOTT WONG

    Jennifer Peterson… you hit the nail right on the head and I could not agree more with your statements. Just like everything else the Government has their filthy hands in… our Dept. of Education system is a complete and utter joke. Quite frankly, that’s putting it nicely. We throw millions and millions and tens of millions and hundreds of million dollars at this entity which does nothing but showcase less than average test scores.

    Where in the world does it state in our Constitution or Bill of Rights that our Government needs complete control of our education system? Get the functionality and control of this system over to the local level and/or state level and open this up for discussion!

  • Brad

    You didn’t say where, in Wisconsin, these 500 likely voters lived. Most of your internals favor Gov. Walker ie. questions 11 and 12. However, question 3 is flawed, because it doesn’t include any tax cuts among the choices offered, with or without spending cuts. Therefore, people shouldn’t put much stock in this “poll”.

  • Adam Gaulke

    500 people were polled? Since when do 500 people equate to popular opinion in any state? I think the most important poll was the one taken on November 2nd, which elected Scott Walker as Governor and accepted his policies. This budget is just the beginning, and it’s a welcome breath of fresh air to this state.

  • Stuck in the Middle

    Should’ve edited my post before I pressed enter. Sorry.

  • David Delahunt

    Mr. James Reichow (above) hit the nail on the head while referencing the MUTINY of the “Fleeing Fourteen”.

    I, too, am a Veteran of the U. S. Armed Services and I deplore this shameful, cowardly and untoward behavior. What a sorry, sad precedent!!

  • Art

    Such salaries and benefits are obscene! I worked my entire life in management in related fields and never made a healthy fraction of these amounts. I feel as though I have been duped, and thensome. These greedy hypocryts desrve to be hung out to dry for years and years!

  • Don

    I stand behind Gov. Walker and the Republicans completely. I feel that the cowardly Dems who are hiding under a rock somewhere (oh, wait a minute, it’s ROCKford, IL) should be docked pay, censured and recalled if possible. I feel the teachers should be docked pay and, in some cases, fired. I feel the “doctors” who gave them fraudulent “sick slips” should lose their licenses and never be allowed to practice medicine in Wisconsin.

    The survey question on collective bargaining was misleading. It should have specified that we aren’t trying to take collective bargaining away, just for pensions, etc. Had it been asked properly, the result would have been overwhelmingly in favor of Walker’s bill.

  • Ben Oloson

    If 23% of respondents have a member of a state employees union in their household (Q13) this poll may not accurately reflect the feeling of the general populace.

    Julie, Castro is still alive, and he ruled his country for 50 years with everyone working for the government. It was misery and poverty for everyone, but they had healthcare and job security.

    We’ve had more government than we can afford here in Wisconsin for quite a few years. Accounting sleight-of-hand, raiding dedicated trust funds and federal bailouts have delayed dealing with it. There is no reason why the public sector should be immuned from the economic reality that the rest of us face. It would be a great time to re-evaluate all state government services to determine their effectiveness, efficiency and even necessity.

  • Tom

    You must either be a teacher or you were for sure educated by the same people that are SO CONCERNED for the children….Castro wasn’t killed you idiot he is still ALIVE at age 84, his brother is now the leader of Cuba.

  • Brad

    Julie K. Your list of despots are the heroes of people like Jim Doyle and Osama Obama. Remember Obama groveling before the likes of Hugo Chavez, and the Muslim Dictators? Despots try to get the wealth into the government. Gov. Walker, on the other hand, is trying to return the wealth to the people who earned it in the first place. Despots want the people to depend on them. Gov. Walker wants people to depend on themselves, and so he is getting the government off of their necks. Gov. Walker knows that it is better for everyone when government is small, and people keep their own money. People can spend their own money, much more intelligently than any government.

  • David M

    Castro is still alive. Your depiction of history is wrong. And I support the Governor 100%.

  • bneary

    strong words about Gov. Walker!! did you feel the same way when our 2 [fed] democratic senators – feingold and kohl — did this to you about obamacare? or did you vote for this radical president? The way to remove Scott Walker is through the elections in the same way we will need to get rid of Obama’s policies. He was voted in as governor to do what radically needed to be done! His way may be extreme… but those state senators are cowards [who went to Illinois] and are now partying with the state senators from Indiana … sounds like a conspiracy at national levels to me [ if Indiana is now doing the same hiding in Illinois to avoid the painfully obvious task of slicing the state budgets] !

  • Nancy Smithson

    What people don’t understand, collective bargaining includes items like requiring school districts to buy health insurance from the WEA (Wisconsin Education Association). Yes the teachers union has their own health insurance company. Millions of dollars are spent on health insurance benefits simply because it is no bid contracts with WEA required under the collective bargaining agreements.

    IN Milwaukee County parks employees collective bargaining set their hours from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM costing the county millions in overtime pay to man the parks in the summer past 3:00 PM. These are two examples of why collective bargaining has gone too far.

    I am all for collective bargaining for wages but not for all the other non wage issues. Leave those to the municipalities and the workers. Governor Walker is not trying to break the union but to reign in these non wage areas from collective baragaining.

    I believe if polls asked questions specific to these specific issues you would have overwhelming support for ending collective bargaining for non wage issues.

  • bneary

    boy oh boy… just give me the lowest salary of 64,000… and i’ll be happy… my hubby doesn’t make that amount in 12 months of work with 10-15 hrs of overtime each week! we make just over that amount with both of us working! gosh… !

  • Stacey

    Jim, I agree. Everyone I know is for Walker. The media and public is being brainwashed to only believe what is coming from the protestors/unions. I am in Education and I think that Walkers bill is a breath of fresh air. I would much rather HAVE A JOB and pay a little more in pension than to NOT HAVE A JOB!!! Pretty easy choice.

  • Francis Schnider

    My comments are inspired by the pin head size normal left wing progressive jibberish of julie k. Why don’t you pick up a book to read once a year instead of listening to the lies on msnbc and the global crowd.

    Why do you think this mob crowd from all over America is in Madison. It’s not just money they want. No, this is about who will have the most political power in the 2012 election. Where do think obama and the socialists democrats get their MILLIONS of dollars for every election. If you didn’t know it comes from you and all tax payers in America through federal dollars given to democrat controlled states that goes into bloated, outlandish contracts given to PUBLIC WORKERS. The rest is easy. Those

    wonderful neighborly boy scout style unions take back from their members, like it or not, contributions that go back to DC.

    If Jennifer’s DPI data isn’t enough to explain or clear the rest of the socialist fog alittle, nothing will.

    P.S. castro is still alive.

  • Bill Lehmann

    http://www.postcrescent.com/article/99999999/APC0110/80221166/DataMine-Search-Wisconsin-teacher-salaries

    It’s a large email link, but you can look up salaries and benefits of school personnel. I was rather shocked at what they make. I’m not out to bust anyone’s chops for making money, but we pay this.

    I deal business to business in manufacturing all over Southern WI and I do not know of a single union in the private sector that did not have to loose benefits, barganing powder, and get pay cuts or a pay freeze in one way or another over the last few years; why is the private sector immune? I’ve had my benefits cut and now pay more out of pocket, but yet I don’t have the “right” to demand more…and since when is demanding your employer (the residents of WI) give you more a right???

  • Brian Mehrens

    I support the Walker budget proposal we have let the Unions walk all over us for to long. There was a time for them in the privet sector but the never should been in public sector for they have been nothing but a bed of thorns. We need to get Reed of the mentality that you don’t have to prove your abilities to move on the road to prosperity and stop paying tribute to the slackers.

  • Jean

    Obama is the one that is the dictator and needs these unions to get reelected. . . .Walker is a hero. I hope he stays strong and gets this bill passed. The tax payers are sick of getting raped by these unions. No one needs these unions anymore – - -they are abusing the taxpayer and they are costing us our freedom.

  • Gary

    We’re citizens, not military pawns. Protesting is a right, not mutiny. And punished to teh same degree as a service defector? Get a grip, guy.

  • Fred Milton Olsen

    The parent organization for “Wisconsin Reporter” is the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. There doesn’t seem to be much info around about them, and they do not disclose donors. The Franklin Center promotes itself as an advocacy group for “transparency in government.”

    If I don’t know who their backers are, I don’t know if I can fully trust either the “Wisconsin Reporter” or the Franklin Center. Advocating transparency and keeping secrets don’t go together, somehow.

  • mark molzahn

    Castro got killed?

  • Bill Fetzner

    Maybe one way to break the impasse would be to accept the gratuitous offer for reductions in pay for pension and insurance but require that the union collect its own dues, and stop requiring workers to pay as a condition of employment. Those things rankle most informed people, which include those who work in the public sector who don’t want to join the union, pay dues to it, or see their labor used to support causes that they don’t like.

  • Fred Milton Olsen

    Mutiny, eh?

    Sounds like the kind of talk that incites violence. Would this person be the kind of soldier who would fire on his own people, as they are in Libya and Bahrain?

    I am glad that Mr. Reichow is a veteran, and no longer in the military. I also am a veteran. Thank you for your service, Mr. Reichow.

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  • Jim Chiappetta

    I believe your polls are pure hogwash. The people of Wisconsin elected Governor Walker, the unions do not run this state all though they would like to. It is time to face the reality the we are broke and are going to be for a long time if we do not fix this mess now. The unions have had it to good for to long. In the Racine Unifed School District the janitors contract call for them to clean “Black Boards” but because some of the boards that are used in the class room are green they will not clean them. Give me a break! They have to be the laziest people of all. The teachers that picketed and left school say they did it for the children. If they cared about the children they would have been is school teaching instead of breaking the law.

  • Kate C.

    Jennifer P. — Thanks for the salary info… very interesting.

    In college, I was torn between going into PR or becoming a teacher. I picked PR because I was told by so many teachers how awful their jobs are and how little they make.

    Well, I was clearly misled. After 15 successful years in my field, I’m still no where near the average salary range and benefits of the teachers in my city…. and they have the entire summer off too!

  • Fred Milton Olsen

    >>”see their labor used to support causes that they don’t like.”

    There’s a lot of that going around. It’s called taxes. Me, I don’t like spending trillions on wars and mega-thefts by bankers.

    If Governor Scott doesn’t cut out the graft and corruption on the corporate level, and stop giving so much corporate welfare money to people who DO NOT produce new jobs… I can’t think of why I should support him.

    The next things coming are stealth privatization and the sell-off of our public assets for pennies on the dollar to certain rich friends. Like the Koch Brothers, maybe.

  • Earl Parker

    your caps lock is on.

  • Bill Fetzner

    Fred ~ I agree with you that taxes and confiscations to pay for labor unions are about the same abominable thing. However, given that our legislators at local and federal levels are spending through the roof, we’re not likely to escape the high personal costs of taxation. But we sure don’t need to lose what’s left of our incomes to institutionalized seizure by a labor union. Let’s start by getting rid of that, then work up to the taxes that we all abhore.

  • mary putman

    I saw them too and they were all tea party people. I saw them leaving their corralled in area wearing the flag as shawls dragging them and a lot more. Fine Americans that were trying to pick fights with the peacefull protesters there. Whats more having talked to 6 of these self appointed patriots and Walker supports 5 wer not from Wisconsin. Shame on the media for making them out to be more than they were. I even saw photos using fish eye lenses to make it appear there were more people there than were actually participating. All this BEFORE we found out what a pompous idiot Walker really is when he exposed hinself during his punking. I can’t wait for the weekend fallout.

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  • Mason Skinner

    Odd. I was in the tea party area for the entire event. I saw no corral, no disrespectful treatment of any flags and not a single fight picked anywhere in the area. There were passionate interchanges of ideas, well controlled, even respectful. I was actually very impressed by the behavior of both sides on Saturday. I must have missed you.

  • Dave H Boyce

    HANSEN IS A DESERTER

  • Sweeny

    So did your school district lay off a third of their teachers today because of the cuts that Gov. Walker is planning to make to public schools in his budget? My husband and I both teach and each of our districts have issued a record number of lay offs in the last few days. We were willing to take the cuts, but now we might both be out of the job and, worst of all, our students are going to suffer the most. The unions were/are their voice.

  • Dave H Boyce

    JULIE K. IS A PRODUCT OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND I WOULDN’T BE SUPRIZED IF SHE HAS BEEN IN 3RD GRADE FOR THE LAST 22 YEARS

  • Jim W

    I the union people don’t like or want the things we do here, then practice your constitutional right and move out of the state or country. I think we are all sick of the BS. Get over it and moove on!!!

  • http://MoneyedPoliticians.net Jack E Lohman

    Guys, we have one major problem, and until we fix that we are going to be in a constant battle. It’s a corrupt political system; perhaps not as bad as Egypt’s et al, but politicians are paid to spend taxpayer money by the special interests that want in our pockets. And that translates to high taxes.

    The pols need money for their election so they give in (to guys like the Koch Bros). There are only two kinds of money; public and private. So we need public funding of campaigns if we are to reduce spending. And at $5 per taxpayer per year it would be a bargain.

  • Chris M

    I support our civil servants. They snowplow our roads, fight fires, teach our children, police the neighborhood, and pick up the trash, and many other difficult duties. They are good people; just like all of us, they try their best to do a good job and generally succeed in doing one.

    When we compare benefits and income (as illustrated in prior postings) to the “average Wisconsin Tax Payer” or “regular people” our civil servants are compensated very well. Asking them to pay more, while still paying less than the typical tax payer for “better” benefits seems exceptionally reasonable. And suprisingly, everyone seems to agree on this point, or at least to have accepted it.

    So what is the fuss all about?

    The real issue is about “collective bargaining rights” of civil employees. Please note the “civil servants”, as the rights of employees of private employers are not affected by the bill in any way. The “right” of collective bargaining for civil service employees is not centuries old, but just over 50 years. And I do not believe it is part of either the Federal or State constitution or any of their amendments. Rather I believe it is a law. And laws change regularly and often as society changes in response to the times.

    So a good question to answer might be: Knowing what we know today, are civil service unions beneficial to society? I do not doubt they are beneficial to the civil servants, to political parties, and to politicans. But as all of society bears the cost of the collective bargaining results, do the benefits for the few outweight the benefits of the many. My assessment is they do not.

    If this change occurs, the flexibility gained in all levels of government will hopefully allow improved services and responsiveness at a lower cost. Isn’t that what we are seeking to do, enable new ideas and better ways to spend our tax dollars more effectively and efficiently.

  • Lota

    Julie killed Castro LOL

  • Mason Skinner

    Odd. I was in the tea party area for the entire event. I saw no corral, no disrespectful treatment of any flags and not a single fight picked anywhere in the area. There were passionate interchanges of ideas, well controlled, even respectful. I was actually very impressed by the behavior of both sides on Saturday, both in the immediate vicinity of the Capitol and on State street, where union supporters and tea party people shopped and sat in restaurants at adjacent tables without any rancor or disrespect of anyone or anything. Spent hours there, and that’s all I saw.

  • Tom

    Mary…what parallel universe are you living in?

  • Tim

    u have got to be kidding me, ur for the bill, did u even read the bill. Ur in favor of taking away people’s rights? im a veteran too and i am against it 100 percent. i am shocked a veteran who fought for people’s rights would be for taking away people’s rights, SHAME ON YOU

  • Mckenna

    Mary,

    I was there with the tea party, actually attending with several Democrats. I saw nothing but respect between our people and the Union thugs who were dispersed throughout our crowd chanting and laughing at the top of their lungs. They were from Illinois and were delighted to be disruptive. They tried desperately to incite the crowd, especially the men…but no one responded. We were not happy that our right to hear our speakers was drowned out but we were tolerant. In fact, I was very impressed after we dispersed to see many people from both sides having very peaceful discourse with each other. I saw two hug after their sidewalk debate. It didn’t help that we had to join the march to simply get around the capital back to where we met others on the other side poltically for dinner. But we didn’t have any problems as we jumped in and out to navigate. I only saw two older gentlemen having a very heated debate with a bench between them. Otherwise I was impressed that the good people of Wisconsin were being very civil. I can’t say that many of the protesters signs could be called civil. Surprising after the killings in Arizona and the discourse on that subject nationally.

  • daveinboca

    I notice that the ‘unbiased’ Wisconsin Reporter had no questions on whether or not the Dem senators who fled the state did so correctly. This makes the entire poll an exercise in fiction.

  • Lester

    Let us not miss the fact that both sides are free and able to express their views. That cencorship has not been taken away yet. I pray we all can help each other understand each others side better, and together change our present situation back to the original intent of our forefathers. I thank the veterans for serving, and their continued vigalance to stand up for what they were, and still willing to die for. Freedom! It is my belief that their exists those who want to control us. They smile when we are torn apart. Let’s pray we join together to eleminate the root cause of our discourse, and eliminate all evil against us. Walker is no dummy. Obama is no dummie. I do not believe either want bad for our country. Who is giving them the information to make bad decisions? Who is giving them good information? Who told Bush from the bottom of their hearts there are weapons of mass distruction? Who is taking the homes from the people? Who is controling the media to get us to attack each other?

    Who is convincing us to give up our ability to defend ourselves? Who is trying to take away our constitution? I have talked to Walker. He doesn’t want evil. He wants to help. Let’s give him the tools to do it. The pendilum swings.

    ICL

  • KaseKopf

    Wisconsin Reporter — You miss represented the poll! Whats up with that? The truth will out. Maybe rename yourself the wisconsinspinner

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/02/mysterious-conservative-poll-of-walkers-budget-plan-hits-wisconsin.php

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  • richard averbeck

    How accurate is a poll when I and no one like me has been a part of the population inputting the answers?

    I think the most credible “poll” is the ballot box … after that we expect the candidate to do what he/she campaigned on … any issues there relative to Gov Walker?

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  • Bill Fetzner

    Jack, take a loot at the State Journal today regarding your opinion that public financing works. They say is doesn’t, at least in judicial races. If they’re right, what would make it different in the political races? People, and organizations of people, do get their right to speak out in our country. The unions are certainly doing a lot of that these days, and no organization finances campaigns and political candidates more than them. Money finds a way to influence things — it’s one of the things that it’s for. I bet you used a lot of yours to get what you wanted in life, and so does everyone else. Campaign finance reform is a red herring that butts up against our enumerated freedoms, constantly trying to subvert them.

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  • James Kornfeld

    I have no issue with anyone trying to protect their jobs, families and way of life. When I speak with employees across many industries and in different Company settings, the opinions seem to be consistent; namely that workers across the state think it is unfair that Government workers should have better pay, protected status and near free benefits when the taxpayers are paying for it. This applies not only to Wisconsin State employees and teachers – but Congressional leaders in Washington as well!

  • William Nice

    Regarding the Fleeing Fourteen… For two years, the Republicans in both houses of the 111th Congress were in the minority. Did they run and hide from their responsibilities? Absolutely not! They stayed the course trying as best they could to affect outcomes in a way that served their consitutents. Were they successful? Not very. For the most part, they were shut out of the process. Still, they did not run nor hide.

    I am also reminded of the brave soldiers who fought in the Battle of Midway, the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Battle of Tripoli, the battle at La Drang Valley Vietnam, and many other battles where our forces were greatly outnumbered. Did they run or hide! Absolutely not! They lived up to their responsibilities and fought their battles against overwhelming odds.

    Perhaps our 14 Democratic vote dodgers should look to the brave soldiers of the United States of America, and to the determined Republicans of the 111th Congress for an example of what to do when they’re out numbered. The gutless 14 need to be reminded. These colors don’t run!

  • DLee

    It’s called reality. It’s a parallel universe to the conservativists version.

  • Jon

    And now, a word about our sponsors:

    “The Franklin Center, which is run by a Republican political consultant with no journalism background, supports ten state-level investigative news sites under the moniker Watchdog.org.”

    “The Franklin Center and the Sam Adams Alliance, the free-market group that gave Franklin its initial start-up money, are also mum about where their funding comes from”

    “the new breed of conservative muckraking”

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2010/1005.mcgann.html

  • Clif Morton

    As a veteran of the armed services myself I strongly applaud the Democrat’s actions. They are the true patriots here. They were left little choice in Walker’s assault on rights and his power grab with other parts of the bill that turn non-partisan department jobs into political appoints and weaken environmental protections. It’s time to wake up Wisconsin.

  • Mike

    I was a Wisconsite and am saddened by all the things going on there on this matter. I will side with those protesting and just try to shed light on some facts a lot of people who are screaming about the pay of government workers are totally ignoring.

    Firstly, it is a reality in the private and public sectors that people with higher educations tend to be paid more than those with lower educatons.

    Secondly, it is a reality that people in the public sector have higher educations on the average than people in the private sector.

    Thirdly, as a result of the first two items, it is wrong to compart the average salaries in the public sector to average salaries in the private sector. That is comparing apples to oranges.

    Fourthly, it is a reality that workers in the private sector make about 10% more than workers in the public sector doing the same kind of work. For example, an accountant in the private sector makes about 10% more than an accountant in the public sector.

    Studies done at the federal level that compare federal government jobs to the same private sector jobs clearly shows the federal government worker is paid significantly less than the private sector counterpart. One study showed that auditors in the private sector made about 2 1/2 times what a federal government auditor doing the same kind of work made.

    All the screaming about government workers making more than the private sector is true but only if you fail to consider educaton levels of the people involved, something the conservatives here are failing to do. They have no problem comparing the salary of a government accountant with a bachelor’s degree and CPA certificate to the salary of a bookkeeper in the private sector with a high school degree.

    All in all, it is safe to say that the conservatives screaming about government workers being paid more than private sector employees have never spent one minute looking at independent studies that take into account education levels of the two workforces. If they would bother to do so, they would have to stop saying the things they say, that is, stop repeating falsehoods.

  • gdaddo

    I’m sure you would all have also been appalled by the colonists actions against King George. How dare those insolent colonists “unionize”! King George et alia would have granted them appropriate rights befitting their station.

  • Former Wisconsin

    Governor Walker should declare that these senators have abandoned their positions and appoint replacements pending new elections.

  • red

    Great point! You are a discerning reader. Polls can be used to mold public opinion. The poll that counted was in November when we Wisconsinites gave the Assembly, the Senate, and the Governorship to the Republicans for the first time since 1932. I’m surprised they didn’t make it 60 percent support – the liars.

    We were very simply voting to limit the size of government, and I’m afraid that means not allowing unions to decide how big classes should be, or what their hours of service are. Not that there is misinformation that collective bargaining for pay is not part of Walker’s bill.

    I would also like to free the 20-30 percent of teachers who are not liberal Democrats from involuntarily contributing union dues that funds politicians and causes that they do not believe in . I write this to give greater voice to the young teacher who was on our bus going to the demonstrations last week – going to support Walker.

  • Ed

    I really feel sorry for people who can be so hateful that they have lie and make derogatory statements about the Tea Party members. I didn’t hear her mention anything about the teachers neglecting their duties and encouraging students to skip school to attend the violent, cursing and not even knowing why they were asked to attend in the first place. I am sure they learned alot about honesty and integrity also with Doctors handing out fake medical excuses and cowardly Legislators running, hiding and dereliction of duty to the residence Wisconsin. Shame, Shame.

  • Longjohn119

    Do you have a problem with the Democrats using the ‘Lincoln Precedent’?

    On December 5, 1840, Democrats “proposed an early adjournment, knowing this would bring a speedy end to the State Bank. The Whigs tried to counter by leaving the capitol building before the vote, but the doors were locked. That’s when Lincoln made his move. He headed for the second story, opened a window and jumped to the ground!”

    Lincoln would be, and we all should be, proud that the Wisconsin state senators have courageously crossed the state line to Illinois to avoid a quorum in Wisconsin that would have a disastrous effect, not only on Wisconsin, but on America for the indefinite future.

  • James Arens

    Did you also applaud when Obama shoved his healthcare plan down our throats? It’s time to wake up, AMERICA.

  • James Arens

    Obama did the same thing with his healthcare reform…

  • James Arens

    Amen! My health care costs have increased 8% PER YEAR for the past 4 years.

  • Kenneth Miller

    Mr. Riechow, when you sneeze does cow (expletive deleted) come out of your ears? You are not the only person that served in the armed forces, there are a lot of people with clear minds. I get pretty sick of you people calling on your service record every time you want to make some kind of point. I am not all that proud of the killing. As for Wisconsin, this guy is trying to away the rights that decent men and women fought so hard to keep. The 14 Senators are heroes for defending American Workers rights. You sound as though you are defending the Koch Brothers and could care less about the people serving you.

  • peanut1960

    First, I haven’t seen collective bargaining mentioned anywhere in the Bill of Rights. Second I wonder if you have read the bill, or how much you have actually researched anything on this subject. Did you even read the entire poll you are commenting on? While the headline says one thing, I don’t believe it reflects the results of all the questions asked. I know it’s popular to jump on Walker and the Republican party for tax cuts to corporations or the wealthy. Do you even know what percentage of taxes they actually pay? And how will it improve unemployment if No one wants to come here and set up shop. Been to Detroit lately?

  • Dave

    What they need on the Wisconsin state tax form “If you would like to donate a portion of your tax refund to the state public sector employees fund, please check the box and enter the amount you would like to donate.” . . . . . . . problem solved.

    Those who were against the bill can contribute all they want, and those who were for it can decline.

    Somehow, I have the feeling when people are left with the opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, NO ONE checks the box.

  • Denise

    Well said!!! I completely agree with you!!

  • TROY

    The only reason why we’re broke is because the unions have priced the public sector jobs out of the market. They priced their labor so high that our state cant afford them any more. They suck up over 70 % of my tax money. Their own greed has caused them to lose their jobs entirely. Its not even debatable. Thanks to the internet , all of the pay information is in the open. Shame on the public workers for raping their brothers and sisters.