That Other Question in the Public Unions debate… [Reader Post]

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First off, I'd really like to hear from members of unions on this one, particularly the public sector ones. Please drop your comments below.

In the not too distant future the state of Wisconsin will be holding what a number of pundits are dubbing, “The second most important election in 2012.” This is referring to the recall election that Governor Scott Walker faces against Democrat challenger Tom Barrett. The long and short of the reason for this election is that Wisconsin, like many other states was facing a budget crisis. Walker noticed that a large chunk of their budget woes were from contracts with the unions representing state employees that were not economically feasible. Walker passed a series of laws to reign in union power, which naturally the unions were not about to take lying down. So after a long series of battles back and forth that are too long to document here, the recall election looks to be the final end game for both sides. However, in all of the debate there is one question regarding public sector unions that has only been discussed as sidebars.

When I was in grad school our Business Communication teacher was a pretty good leftist. One of my classmates, who at the time was a driver for a shipping company and working toward getting a position in management (which he did) was grumbling about having to deal with the union and having to pay dues to them. The teacher chimed in by asking him if he was willing to give back all of those raises that it had earned for him over the years, at which time I think my classmate just shook his head on his way out. At this stage in my life I was about as apolitical as one could get, so I had no response. It's a shame, because looking back on it now the response would have been an easy one:

“Of course I would give those back. Instead I'll take all of the raises from the people who earned them and promotions through the merit of their work. I've followed the same path and expect to be compensated more than the average employee. And how much were those raises after you deduct the dues we are forced to pay?” I would have added that knowing nothing about this guy's performance I'd have conservatively placed him in the top quarter of his peers. All I knew about him on his job is that he had the initiative to give up his free time away from his then pregnant wife (who delivered a healthy baby during our final year) to try to improve his career prospects I'd say that it was safe to say that this guy was one of his company's stars. Knowing that he was worth more than most of his peers, why should he settle for the same pay as the ones who just go through the motions or under perform?

Let's take this idea a step further – unless your goal is to be paid for being no better than at least half of your peers why wouldn't you prefer the freedom to individually negotiate your compensation? Is it really better to be assured a fixed raise when you could be getting paid more if there weren't so much of the payroll budget being spent on people who don't share your work ethic? Or how much more could go to reward your hard work if the company were able to fire nonperformers instead of jumping through union-negotiated hoops? And if they won't pay you fairly, you have the freedom to move on.

That was too long a sidebar to get to my main point that goes back to the public union employees. A while back I believe it was Mark Steyn who looked at then governor of New Jersey John Corzine negotiating on behalf of the people of NJ with some of the public employee unions. He told a crowd of union members that he would fairly represent them at the bargaining table. Of course, this earned rousing cheers from the audience but raised an important question – if Corzine is negotiating on behalf of the unions, who is representing the people whose taxes will pay for his promises?

This leads to another question. Regarding private sector unions I think that both ends of the political spectrum can agree with the statement that the unions are negotiating on behalf of the employees to ensure that they get their share of the profits from ownership that might not have their best interests in mind. Yes, we can add a lot and argue more points of this but I think most of can agree with that basic statement. And that brings me to the subject of public sector unions. If in the private sector the ownership is the enemy, aren't you stating that your enemy is the people who you took this job to serve?

I know that statement is a bit incendiary, but how do public sector employees view their neighbors? We don't want you to starve, we don't want to see you without benefits, but we also don't feel that you deserve a system that allows you to game $300,000 per year pensions from us, either. Asking you to contribute to your health care plans and pensions like your private sector counterparts is not unreasonable. Politicians like to score points by pointing out how hard working you are, but if that's the case why don't you want to be judged on the value of the work that you do? I've worked alongside government workers from both ends of the spectrum. Some of the govvies have been the smartest, hardest working people I've known. And I have seen some where over the course of four months did I never once witness them doing actual work. It drives me crazy as a taxpayer that someone whose work day consists of sleeping, personal phone calls and browsing every non-work related site possible can't be removed.

The question also comes up with teachers. Yes, they are in a critical job role. But given how critical they are is all the more reason to not have them union protected. If you care about the children how fair is it for them to lose the chance to learn with an ineffective or incompetent teacher? And how fair is it to their parents to have to pay for one of the bad apples to spend years on full salary in a rubber room while they get processed in the system? For that matter, why do we need teacher tenure? Nobody should be given a status of unaccountability. Everyone can agree that we value teachers and want to see the best in those roles, but wouldn't we like to see more money available to reward the best teachers and get the bad ones away from our kids? Even a president as pro-labor as Franklin Roosevelt was against the idea of public sector unions – I never thought I'd see myself eye to eye with FDR on anything regarding economics.

And this is not to say that we should abolish public unions. If public employees want to choose to negotiate their terms of employment collectively they should be allowed to do so. But people who do not want to should not be forced to join a union or have to pay dues if they choose not to. Nor should any government body be required to hire strictly union employees.

So I've laid out the conservative argument against public sector unions. I'd really like to hear from some of the public union employees to hear the other side, because in today's economic climate I'm just not seeing it.

Cross Posted from Brother Bob's Blog

jfdghjhthit45

Blogging by the credo of "Making the world a more offensive place, one blog post at a time", Brother Bob started writing posts around the beginning of the Obama presidency over at Brother Bob's Blog. A born-again Existentialist and self-professed libertarian with conservative tendencies, he has ironically chosen to live in the Washington, DC area - deep behind enemy lines. He has always loved history, and spent eight years volunteering as a tour guide on weekends, giving over 200 tours to roughly 2,500 mostly foreign guests. His tours were highlighted by stories generally not found in the history books or most other tours, such as the importance of the Battle if Antietam, the origins or Arlington Cemetery, and dispelling the myths of FDR's New Deal. Although his favorite subject to blog about is Economics, as seen in his Economics for Politicians series, his posts try to address angles that other conservative writers and the mainstream media (naturally!) miss. "There's no point in putting up a post on a subject that someone smarter than me has already written". He believes in the "Happy Warrior" approach, and tries to inject humor in his posts, sometimes successfully. Two such examples are his posts comparing the modern left to the horrible Star Wars prequels, and analyzing the laments of a DC woman in search of a feminist boyfriend. Brother Bob lives with his very patient wife known as Sister Babe, and their fantastic son. Little Bob. Little Bob is also the reason that being a tour guide came to an end, as spending Saturdays raising a son takes priority over giving lectures to foreign visitors on the folly of Keynesian economics. BB is also grateful for the opportunity to take his place among the outstanding writers at Flopping Aces, appreciates every person who takes the time to read his posts, and especially those who join him in the conversation in the comments.

55 Responses to “That Other Question in the Public Unions debate… [Reader Post]”

  1. 1

    Common Sense

    I hope Walker wins this one!! I love how the Democrats said this would be an historic election when they thought they would win and now of course it’s no big deal. Well guess what you wacho liberal union thugs , it is and your on the wrong side of history!!

  2. 2

    Nan G

    When I think of public employee unions I think of unions which are aiming to protect and expand their ”workers’ ” leisure.
    There was a ”teacher” who had put in her 20 years and expected to retire with full benefits at 43.
    Of course, her union had not negotiated that much leisure….yet.
    There is still a minimum age below which even a unionized teacher cannot retire and get full benefits.
    She missed some of her fine print, poor dear. (And yet she TEACHES!)
    Rubber rooms are prevalent as are private unionized ”workers” who spend their breaks and lunch getting stoned and/or drunk.
    Not working seems to be the true goal of unions and their ”workers.”

  3. 3

    Bobachek

    As a Cheesehead who lives just outside of the Madison area I will be glad when the insanity is over. Unfortunately the recall genie has been let out of the bottle and there is no stuffing him back in so the insanity will continue until people have finally had enough of recall mania regardless of which side of the fence they are on.
    Scott Walker may not be perfect but he’s a hell of a lot better than the status quo crap we can expect from Tom Barrett…Even the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, newpaper of Milwaukee that Barrett is mayor of, is endorsing Gov Walker because he really hasn’t done anything wrong other than piss off the other team because they lost power.
    And at the end of the day this is really what this whole thing is about, for the 1st time in a long time liberals can no longer dictate what happens in Wisconsin. Now they know how conservatives feel when liberals are running the show.
    I’ll be voting for Gov. Walker tomorrow but unfortunately my lovely wife, whom I adore, will cancel out my vote…

  4. 4

    Bruce

    I have no beef with private unions, except I have observed how inefficient they are on the job. The owners of the companies for whom they work do have some control.

    The public unions, however, should not receive wage or benefit increases until their owners (the taxpayers) have the right to vote on each and every issue. This would stop the politicians from currying favor with them in return for their votes! Are you listening Mr. President?

  5. 5

    Dumbplumber

    How does it feel to see what happens when you give unions (12% of the workforce) $890billion dollars to backfill their pension plans, only to see much of it get paid out to unseat a conservative Governor? And the best part is 100% of the taxpayers put up the cash for this clown rodeo. Just think how great it will be when every worker is unionized. That $112 trillion dollar unfunded liability (mathmatically speaking) would be $1 quadrillion (a number we never considered until Obama took office). Think I will buy some stock in a printing ink company.

  6. 6

    Greg

    @Dumbplumber, #5:

    @Dumbplumber:

    How does it feel to see what happens when you give unions (12% of the workforce) $890billion dollars to backfill their pension plans, only to see much of it get paid out to unseat a conservative Governor?

    Hey, the Mitt Romney flair for hyperbole seems to be catching on!

    From The Center for Public Integrity:

    While Barrett has received about 26 percent of his $4 million in campaign donations from outside the Badger State, Walker has drawn nearly two-thirds of his $30.5 million contributions from out of state, according to campaign filings released May 29. Walker has outraised Barrett 7 ½ to 1 since late 2011, though Barrett didn’t enter the race until late March.

    A bit short of $890 billion.

    Besides, union contributions have been from member collections and from union treasuries, not from pension funds.

  7. 7

    Steve

    If the government is the arbiter of worker’s rights; why would government workers need unions to protect their rights from the arbiter of worker’s rights???

  8. 8

    Bobachek

    As a resident of the state, if outside people or entities want to dump money towards one candidate or another, I could care less…As a resident who has to fund this 3 ring circus with his tax dollars, I have a serious issue with that.
    It isn’t just the Gov and Lt Gov we are spending money on but the multiple Senate recalls that have either happened or will be happening. If the race is close then we will end with up a recount and continue pissing away even more of my tax dollars because as the liberals in my state love to chant “this is what democracy looks like”.
    These people simply don’t get it but the easy ride is over….

  9. 9

    Brother Bob

    @Curt – 1st off, thanks for getting this posted so quickly! I meant to get this to you yesterday morning and this would have probably gotten lost in the shuffle tomorrow night.

    @Bobachek – I keep meaning to give you props on your avatar – Viva Billy!

    @Greg: How much of the union money is considered inside or outside? And do you factor in the salaries of all of the union workers whose sole job has been to campaign against Walker?

  10. 11

    Greg

    @red, #10:

    Scott Walker has received 7 ½ times the total money that Barrett has. Where do you think Walker’s contributions are coming from?

    Two-thirds of Walker’s money came from out of state. Most of Barrett’s money comes from inside Wisconsin.

    This isn’t quite the same picture that the Walker campaign likes to paint, is it? Basically, out-of-state state special interest money is trying to buy Walker a win. It really shouldn’t be that hard to figure out the obvious.

  11. 12

    Mr. Irons

    Where is your hard proof of this Greg? More facts out of thin air? OH wait let’s see…:

    Walker’s supporters have raised to his Fund 5.9 Million dollars.

    Barrett’s out of State Supporters have contributed to roughly 2 times that to ousting Walker… So let’s see… Walker 5.9… Barrett almost to 11 Million from out of State interests trying to remove Walker…

    Oh wait what’s this? Unions have raised a whooping 40 Million dollars to fight Walker and are using it to aid Barrett’s run for office…

    So much for Walker having more…

  12. 13

    chipset

    Unions are outdated. Public unions are a disservice to the public.

    @Greg,

    Why should people who don’t want to belong to the union have to pay dues?
    Why should unions gets to negotiate with the people they vote into office? Is that not a conflict of interest?
    How many people were bussed in to Madison to protest?
    How many people came from other states and even other countries (such as Canada)?

    I was in Madison at the time. It wasn’t quite the site the news media made it seem. I was literally across the street from the Capitol.

  13. 14

    Nan G

    What state was it that stopped collecting union dues FOR the unions and started making the unions collect their own dues?
    Seems their union membership dropped 50% just from that one act.
    It was Wisconsin, wasn’t it?

  14. 15

    ilovebeeswarzone

    YES THE UNIONS FROM CANADA DO HELP THEIR AFFILIATE BROTHERS WHEN THOSE QUARRELS HAPPEN, AND SUCH ALSO FROM THE US UNIONS TRANSPORTED TO CANADA TO DO THE SAME WORK,
    I THINK THERE ARE SAME AFFILIATIONS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD,AND SUPPORTED BY THE OTHER,
    THEY ARE NOT ONLY PROTECTING THEIR MEMBERS THEY ARE ELECTING PRESIDENTS AND INFILTRATING IN THE POWER LEADERSHIP, THE WORSE IS THE OBAMA THEY PUT THERE WHO WILL DO ANYTHING FOR THEM, BUT DON’T GIVE A HOOT ABOUT ANY OTHER AMERICANS, WHO EVER YOU ARE, AND WHAT EVER COLOR YOU HAVE, UNLESS YOU HAVE LOTS OF MONEY TO GREASE THEIR WHEELS
    YOU BETTER KNOW IT NOW AND COME OUT OF YOUR ADORATION FOR A FALSE SELF CENTER REPRESENTATIVE
    PRODUCT OF THE UNIONS AS BIDEN IS THE SAME AND MANY IN THE WHITE HOUSE CLAN,
    THEY DO NOT DESERVE A SECOND CHANCE BECAUSE THEY ARE UGLY AND DANGEROUS. EVEN THE DEMOCRATS ARE NOW JUMPING THE SHIP AND WILL VOTE FOR MITT ROMNEY,
    HOW’S THAT FOR A CLEAR MESSAGE PEOPLE?
    WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT? SEND THE ONE YOU LIKE TO HOLLYWOOD, YOU WILL HAVE YOUR IDOL FOREVER IN YOUR VIDEOS AND MOVIES, BUT FOR THE SAKE OF AMERICA GET DEMS OUT OF THERE, AND START AT THE TOP TO DOWN,

  15. 16

    Liberal1 (objectivity)

    Ever since I’ve been alive, Conservatives give lip-service to paying for ‘good’ teachers, cops, and fire-fighters; but when it come to paying for them, that’s where the story ends.

    If you want to hear from union members, publish on a liberal-site. I dare you.

  16. 17

    Nan G

    Voter intimidation in Wisconsin.
    A flier went out to neighbors listing voting histories of all the neighborhood.
    Then it says, Walker won because too many of your neighbors stayed home.
    A group, the Greater Wisconsin Committee, paid over $12,000 to get the list.
    It has also supported the recall.
    Now it’s flier is encouraging people to intimidate their neighbors…..into voting against Walker and using peer pressure to force more neighbors to do the same!
    Shades of how the unions in Las Vegas forced people to vote for Reid!

  17. 18

    johngalt

    I saw a bumper sticker this morning on the way home from work. It read, “Unions = Jobs”.

    It’s almost as if the person saying, or agreeing, with that believes that being a member of a union is an end unto itself, as far as having a job is concerned. Really? Who actually gives those union members a job? The union management? No. It’s the people who invest their time and wealth into creating a business, or knowledge and managerial skills into running a business, or, in the case of public unions, the people themselves who actually pay taxes. Without any of those, union members don’t have a job. Neither do non-union members.

    And the liberal/progressive idea is to punish those that create the jobs for the union-members, and insist to the union members that by doing so they are “helping” them. That’s like trying to grow a nice, lush, green, grass-only lawn with no weeds by spreading vegetation killer all over it.

  18. 19

    Mr. Irons

    @Liberal1 (objectivity):

    It’s clear you’ve not been alive long enough, nor been in an actual Union Job. I belonged to the International Machinist Union and been alive long enough to see the Union betray and toss away thousands of people like they were garbage to keep the backing of Democrats and the most Senior of members (and also smallest population) of the chapter I belonged to. You must never had to pay a Union due in your life, I.A.M. 776 and 774 wanted Union dues to double taking monthly Dues from 60 dollars a month to 120 a month and in Kansas that’s sometimes more than a Ultilies bill and as such majority of members pushed back against Dues increases. In a Closed Union Shop, the Dues can be hiked without a single damn vote or a forced voting with ballots exposed to members, but in a Right to Work system Dues have to be voted on in a secert ballot system by members.

    Keep spewing your nonsense and stupidity, hopefuly sometime in the future you’ll get to experience the sheer joy what it’s like to be betrayed and treated like a walking corpse by the very political party and Unions you so defend.

    And what I really do love is I.A.M. chapters have floated around an anti-Romeny attack on those damn dirty 1 Percenters… The issue is with this Igorance, in Aerospace unions like the I.A.M.’s is that the very product they produce and build rely on those damn dirty 1 Percenters to purchase Aircraft. A buyer of a product does not want to do business with a manufacturing company or a service provider when the labor force of the Business is hostile and beligerent to the buyers of said goods especialy more so when the product is a either an Aircraft or a fleet of Aircraft. A hostile manufacturing labor force towards buyers can not promise a safe, reliable product to the buyer and they will take their money elsewhere such as with Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft having former buyers take their dollar to Brazil’s Aerospace or China’s Aerospace businesses.

  19. 20

    Nan G

    There are LONG waiting lists of journeymen union workers who sit at home!
    One journeyman carpenter I talked to said he asked why the union couldn’t rotate working men onto the bottom of the waiting list and put men out of jobs the longest into new jobs.
    No answer.
    He said he watches as one after another of his union friends uses up all their unemployment.
    Meantime, the jobs stay with family and friends of the union bosses.
    Even new jobs!
    Well, color me surprised!
    A bumper sticker that says ”UNIONS= JOBS” is a lie.

  20. 21

    ilovebeeswarzone

    Mr. Irons
    I believe what you say 100 per 100, and it is very true that, they care only of the member’s money they can spend on their specialty, not for the best of their members,
    they are desperately trying to win this election, even if they despise OBAMA BIG TIME,
    THEY KNOW HE’LL DO WHAT THEY WANT IN THE NEXT 4 YEARS, HE BETTER OR ELSE, THAT’S THEIR FAVORITE QUOTE

  21. 22

    Greg

    @Mr. Irons, #12:

    The figures you’ve just provided appear to be an example of “pulling facts out of thin air.” You haven’t even bothered to provide a link to a source.

    I’ve listed a source. The Center for Public Integrity:

    While Barrett has received about 26 percent of his $4 million in campaign donations from outside the Badger State, Walker has drawn nearly two-thirds of his $30.5 million contributions from out of state, according to campaign filings released May 29. Walker has outraised Barrett 7 ½ to 1 since late 2011, though Barrett didn’t enter the race until late March.

    “It’s big time,” said Mike McCabe, director of the campaign finance watchdog Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which compiled the numbers. “We have a level of outside interference in this election that the state has never seen before.”

    While you’ll probably object to the word “Democracy” in the name “Wisconsin Democracy Campaign,” it refers to the democratic process, not to the Democratic Party. I assume the right still believes the people should be allowed to vote for their governmental representatives.

    Have you got a credible reference for the numbers up in #12? Any reference at all?

  22. 23

    DCAM

    I voted for Walker this morning at 7am and the lines were longer than I thought they would be. The union playbook is over 60 years old, and it’s showing its age. It’s out of date. Unfortunately, many have dumped the old standby and are now more radical and psychotic than ever. It will get worse as unions decline at a faster rate than before. Teachers are teaching unionism. They are more aggressive in the classroom than ever. There are more ways to intimidate, and the mindless jack-booted thugs are more numerous. Besides that, unions have a tendency to eat their own. The younger and brighter teachers get the lay-offs while the deadbeats are still there.

    Recently in northern Wisconsin a huge mining project was shelved because of leftist arguments…and one RINO in Madison. And I believe it was already cleared through the state DNR. At stake were hundreds of good paying jobs and probably union at that. The unions were very silent on this. It is often bewildering who the unions actually represent at times…other than their own cushy over-compensated jobs!

  23. 24

    Greg

    @chipset, #13:

    Why should people who don’t want to belong to the union have to pay dues?

    Because they personally benefit from provisions of the contracts that their union representatives negotiate. They expect equal treatment, don’t they?

    Why should unions get to negotiate with the people they vote into office? Is that not a conflict of interest?

    The people they support don’t always get elected.

    Unions support and vote for candidates as a matter of their members’ collective self-interest. Is there any PAC, individual contributor, or corporate contributor that isn’t doing exactly the same thing? People don’t support and vote for candidates because it’s in their opponents’ best interest.

    How many people were bussed in to Madison to protest?

    Beats me. As many as possible. It’s a matter of union solidarity. Are all Tea Party demonstrations composed entirely of locals?

    How many people came from other states and even other countries (such as Canada)?

    I have no clue. I would guess not very many, other than reporters, journalists, and a few international observers. There might have been a Canadian presence, owing to proximity. Do you have the figures?

  24. 25

    Greg

    @DCAM, #23:

    Yep. Eventually it will be the individual blue or white collar working person under total control of whatever monolithic corporate entity he or she works for, with whatever worker’s rights that still exist being defined by a government that’s bought and paid for by a collective of those same monolithic corporate entities. You will, of course, still have the right to quit, and try to find a similar job somewhere else.

  25. 26

    Nan G

    Voter Fraud allegation:
    TRANSCRIPT:

    CHRIS PLANTE, RADIO HOST:

    Lets go to Mike… Mike. You’re on the Chris Plante Show

    CALLER MIKE:

    Hey how ya doin’ Chris.

    PLANTE:

    Hey I’m good.

    CALLER MIKE:

    I’m trying to be quiet… I’m actually on a bus. I’m from Michigan and I’m actually on a bus. Three other buses following us and we’re on our way to Wisconsin. I’m not even a registered Democrat.

    PLANTE:

    …and what are you doin’? What are you going there for?

    CALLER MIKE:

    I’m gonna vote for Scott Walker…

    PLANTE:

    You’re going to Michigan? You’re going to Wisconsin from Michigan?

    CALLER MIKE:

    No, we’re going to Wisconsin. We’re from Michigan.

    PLANTE:

    Yes

    CALLER MIKE:

    It’s four buses total.

    PLANTE:

    ..uh huh..

    CALLER MIKE:

    We’re going to Wisconsin. We’re from Michigan. Right outside Detroit and… they got four buses up here, Chris. I dont know if they got other buses coming from other directions but it’s four buses and we’re going to Wisconsin to vote.

    PLANTE:

    ..and you’re going to Wisconsin to vote for? For Scott Walker?

    CALLER MIKE:

    ..I’m voting for Scott Walker. I know most these people arent.but I’m actually…

    PLANTE:

    Now, wait a minute, now wait just a minute. You’re going, you’re on a bus. in a convoy of four buses. You left the Detroit area. The convoy of four buses is headed to Wisconsin to vote. Now who organized this little foray?

    CALLER MIKE:

    Chris, I’m not even sure. I just heard about it and I jumped on the bus. I’m talking low key cause’ I guarantee that if these people knew my intentions..man I’d be killed.

    PLANTE:

    You’re on a bus full of people going from Michigan to Wisconsin and you believe that most of the people on the bus..other than yourself..you believe that ALL of the people other than yourself are going there to vote for Tom Barrett

    CALLER MIKE:

    Most of them are Democrat..it’s a Democratic union..its actually a Democratic union organized by Democrats. But I’m not goin on there to vote for the Democrat. I’m going on there to vote for Scott Walker. Once I heard about it I- I was thinking, hey..this is an opportunity to sabotage what they always do to Republicans.

    PLANTE:

    But you’re all alone on this bus whispering into your cell phone

    CALLER MIKE:

    Well I dont know if theres other people with my intentions but I know most of these people..most of these people..their intentions are to go vote for Democrats. I mean I know why people vote for Democrats, man they give out all kinds of free stuff Chris!

    PLANTE:

    Well thats the plan. Now, let me ask you this because this is a very interesting and very curious telephone call. How are you listening to the show?

    CALLER MIKE:

    No. I drive tractor trailer. I told you..I drive tractor trailer and I know your number. I’m always in DC, Virginia, Artisan area. I’m always in that area. I deliver out near 27 up there near the Pentagon

    PLANTE:

    Alright and how did you hear about this convoy of buses going to Wisconsin?

    CALLER MIKE:

    Because I live in that area. I live right outside of Detroit

    PLANTE:

    But how did you personally get wind of this convoy?

    CALLER MIKE:

    Lets just say my uncle works for a union out here, at the Chrysler plant.

    PLANTE:

    And is it a United Auto Workers convoy?

    CALLER MIKE:

    I mean their not really..their not really like labeling who they are but it is uh..it is the auto union..it is a union but their not labeling EXACTLY who they are

    PLANTE:

    Okay and these four buses, do they have any obvious markings on them? Are they Greyhound buses? Are they marked in some way?

    CALLER MIKE:

    They’re just charter buses

    PLANTE:

    They’re just charter buses…

    CALLER MIKE

    They’re big, black with gray lines on the side. Charter buses.

    PLANTE:

    Alright, what you’re telling me is the Unions in Michigan have organized a bus convoy and you’re riding in that bus convoy and they’re bringing Michigan residents to Wisconsin in order to vote illegally for Tom Barrett?

    CALLER MIKE:

    Well, when the Democrats do it, its not illegal, Chris. They treat me to lunch!

    PLANTE:

    And you get lunch?!

    CALLER MIKE:

    They have alot freebies on this… alot of freebies with this deal. Alot of freebies.

    PLANTE:

    And the unions are busing people in from Michigan to vote in Wisconsin and everybody knows that they’re there to vote illegally?

    CALLER MIKE:

    That’s the intention. That’s exactly the intention. The election

    PLANTE:

    And have they told where you are going? Are you going to Milwaukee? Kenosha? Do you know where are you going?

    CALLER MIKE:

    I’m really not sure, I don’t think we’re going all the way to Milwaukee, I’m not sure we’re going that far in. But, I could find you what town and call you right back.

  26. 27

    Greg

    That’s not exactly up to The Mercury Theater on the Air’s radio drama standards, is it? But I suppose some explanation will be needed, if Walker happens to lose the recall election.

  27. 28

    Nan G

    “A significant number of new voters were registering at the polls.”–Sue Edman, Milwaukee City Election Commission Exec. Director

    This is one of the scariest statements and if Walker loses this would be why:

    Photo ID is not required and same-day registration is permitted in Wisconsin

    Official turnout predictions were for 60% to 65%.
    https://twitter.com/politico/status/210097163831742464

    BUT…..due to the BUSES from Michigan as well as the right of anyone to just show up without ID and register then vote today, the poll watchers on the ground are predicting 80% to 88% of all adults over 18 voting today.
    Huh.

  28. 29

    chipset

    @Greg,

    By your definition, if there’s a toll road and a free road next to it, by taking the free road, I should pay the toll, too. I mean, after all, we are going to the same place.

    What wrong with merit based compensation, Greg?

    And when they elect the people they put their money into.. is that a conflict of interest? After all, they’ve now been bought and paid for, haven’t they?

    As for figures, I know busloads came.

  29. 30

    ilovebeeswarzone

    GREG
    YOU ARE A COMMUNIST AND YOU ARE A DANGEROUS PERSON,
    YOU SUPPORT THOSE BUSES COMING ILLEGALLY TO TRY TO BREAK A WIN ON THEIR GUYS,
    THAT REFLECT ON WHAT THE NOVEMBER ELECTION WILL BE CONDUCTED BY CRIMES LIKE THIS,
    THE UNIONS USING CRIMINAL ACTIONS TO WIN ELECTIONS
    HOPE WALKER WIN AND YOU ALL BE SHOWN THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE
    WHICH ARE THE REAL AMERICANS.

  30. 31

    ilovebeeswarzone

    IF THE UNIONS ARE WINNING IT WILL BE A FRAUD, AND ALL AMERICA WILL KNOW HOW CORRUPT TH IF THEY WIN THEY ARE THE LOOSER OF WISCONSIN

  31. 35

    mossomo

    @bees

    Registered voters is the key word. Turnout in excess of 100% is possible because Wisconsin allows same-day voter registration.

  32. 36

    Brother Bob

    @Liberal objectivity: If you know of any leftie sites that will publish this let me know. I used to occasionally comment on Alternet to see if I could get a good discussion but the results were h either factually challenged assertions like from Greg or childish drive-bys like from you. But if you a leftie site that will post me I’m more than happy to reach out.

    @Greg: In your numbers for overwhelming spending are you counting in the salary and benefits of all of the unionistas whose full time jobs have been to campaign against Walker? What about how much money they dumped into the primary campaigns? What about all of the indirect outside groups who might not fall so neatly under the Democrat’s umbrella?

  33. 37

    mossomo

    @Brother Bob – Reaching across the aisle will only cause a fiery explosion of brain cells. Below is the reality they live, enter at your own risk.

    Hanity had on some folks from Madison lastnight. It went like this.

    Hanity: Governor Walker ran on a platform, and he followed through. He inherited $3.6 billion in the budget deficit. Now the state has a surplus. He has 23,000 new jobs in the state, 6.7% unemployment, much lower than the national average. He brought $3.6 billion to a surplus. How can you not say that this is not a good thing for your state?”

    WOMAN: Yeah, that is good, but that’s not all true. I just don’t believe it.

    HANNITY: So what part is not true?

    WOMAN: We’ve seen jobs lost.

    HANNITY: Wait a minute.

    WOMAN: We’ve incomes go down.

    HANNITY: What part is not true?

    WOMAN: The budget that Scott Walker inherited was actually in the black. Scott Walker falsely created a budget crisis.

  34. 38

    Brother Bob

    @mossomo: That’s why I stopped wasting my time over at alternet.

    *Sigh* Where have you gone, Larry Wiesenthal?

  35. 39

    ilovebeeswarzone

    mossomo
    hi,
    I always thought that 100 per 100 is the total percentage, and if it exceed
    mean that the buses from MICHIGAN ARRIVED IN TIME TO VOTE,
    BYE

  36. 40

    ilovebeeswarzone

    mossomo
    WALKER IS IN
    GREAT, FOR WISCONSIN GREAT PEOPLE OF WISCONSIN, HAPPY FOR YOU,
    IT’S JUST A BEGINNING, HOPE YOU HAVE A BIG PARTY,
    GOD BLESS WISCONSIN, AND GOD BLESS AMERICA

  37. 41

    Common Sense

    @Greg: Greg, just because you say it doesn’t man anything to me. Show me the numbers spent by each candidate and don’t forget to show how much of the union wages and dues where spent as well.

  38. 43

    Mr. Irons

    Greg = The blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that’s not there while wearing a blind fold.

  39. 45

    mossomo

    @ilovebeeswarzone:

    I always thought that 100 per 100 is the total percentage

    Bees – check it. I can have 10 registered voters and that establishes my baseline for 100%. Register another voter who votes and you have 110% participation. WI allows you to register on election day. <– Interesting trend and who did it benefit?

    About Walker – am optimitic this trends through November. God bless.

  40. 46

    Petercat

    Posting a conservative viewpoint on a liberal blog like alternet is like scattering good food on a pile of dung. It doesn’t make the dung any more palatable, and it’s a waste of good food.

  41. 47

    ilovebeeswarzone

    mossomo
    I was figuring it as 100 per cent of the population registered, and the extra are not from that STATE WISCONSIN,
    after I read about those buses coming from MICHIGAN loaded with people to vote ilegaly
    would have been the extra of 100 per cent of the population of WISCONSIN,
    thank you for taking the time, but it did not register in my mind yet, that 100 / 100 of the population votes
    plus more of,
    If I pay 100/100 of my debts didn’t I paid it all?,
    okay, you don’t have to waste your time answering,
    I’ll understand
    bye

  42. 48

    Mr. Irons

    @Greg:

    And someone needs to teach you how to read as you really have issues with reading comprehension and literacy analysis let alone a lack of humility and awareness that you may not be the be all knowledgable person you present yourself here. Many users here have constantly debunked the myths and, “facts” that are spewed forth from you far too many times to count.