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Wis. Gov. Walker's Rapidly Sinking Ship Takes on More Water

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From the AFL/CIO


This from AFL-CIO Political Communications Director Eddie Vale.

Just one day after a media stunt that blew up in his face, further uniting Senate Democrats and Wisconsin's working families against him, Scott Walker is facing the prospect of mass defections as Senate Republicans are no longer willing to tolerate his extreme power grab and bear the albatross of a Walker disapproval number--which is threatening to crack 60 percent. One former Senate Republican aide even penned a memo advising Republicans "to wake up before their own districts disappear in the rear-view" and get off Walker's rapidly sinking ship.

Meanwhile, evidence mounts that Walker's control over the Senate Republican Caucus is slipping away and that individual senators are fed up with his refusal to negotiate with Democrats. In addition to Sen. Dale Schultz, who has already announced he's with the 74 percent of Wisconsinites opposed to Walker's bill, Republicans Robert Cowles, Luther Olsen and Dan Kapanke--all facing aggressive recall efforts in their home districts--have indicated they want Walker to come to the table to negotiate a deal that gets Wisconsin moving forward again.

Cowles told the Green Bay Press Gazette that he believes Walker and Republicans should stick to issues with an actual fiscal impact and negotiate a deal. The Washington Post's Greg Sargent succinctly summarizes Cowles' remarks:

Cowles is endorsing the three core union arguments: that unions have already made the fiscal concessions Walker has asked for; that the rollback of bargaining rights won't have any meaningful fiscal impact; and that Republicans should compromise with labor and Dems.

Olsen, who originally called the concept of stripping collective bargaining rights from workers "radical," has also encouraged Walker to stop stonewalling and finally negotiate a deal with Senate Democrats. Olsen, who, in addition to the recall, also has faced substantial, in-district pressure, including dozens of constituents showing up at his house in the snow to demand answers, did not disclose the details of his demands but clearly seemed frustrated by the impasse Scott Walker refuses to break by negotiating a deal.

Even Kapanke, who publicly still backs Walker and says he'll vote for the budget repair bill, said today that the collective bargaining provisions that Scott Walker insists he will never compromise on are actually, indeed, very much on the table. Perhaps Scott Walker is no longer party to some of the discussions even his most ardent supporters are now having as they try to find a way out of Walker's self-inflicted political implosion.


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I got my first union card while I worked my way through college as a banquet bartender for the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee (we were represented by a hotel and restaurant local union--the names of the national unions were different then than they are (more...)

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Wis. Gov. Walker's Rapidly Sinking Ship Takes on More Water