Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin’

Why Christians Should Care About School Choice

zschoolchoice

This is one of many reasons why we homeschool, but homeschooling is not for everyone.   Parents have a God-given right and responsibility to choose the best education for their children.  They should NOT be forced into a government monopoly that deliberately undermines the values they are trying to instill in the next generation.

Alliance Defending Freedom offers a timely warning:

When discussing the school choice issue with other Christians, I often here responses like “How are we supposed to be salt and light in the schools if we pull our kids out?” and “We can counter-act the bad stuff they learn in school by teaching them about God at home and in church.”

These are valid concerns, but the truth is that our children are not being salt and light; rather, they are being corrupted by the very system they are trying to influence. A recent study by the Barna Group found that approximately 70% of kids who grew up in a Christian church were no longer faithful to the church by their 20s. According to Barna, this is a fairly recent phenomenon. During the first half of the 20th century, young adults pretty much stayed faithful to the Christian faith. But this trend changed during the 1960s, when we saw the Bible and prayer taken out of government-run schools while at the same time witnessing the birth of the Sexual Revolution.

For decades, the anti-Christian crowd has been using government-run schools to undermine and attack Christianity. And that strategy continues today. Just last week, the Southern Education Foundation issued a paper claiming that Georgia’s school choice program (where individuals and corporations can receive tax credits for contributing to charitable funds that award scholarships to enable underprivileged kids to attend private schools) is supporting Christian schools with “anti-gay” policies. SEF claims that any private, Christian school that expects it teachers and students to adhere to Biblical standards of conduct—including those that prohibit pre-marital sex, adultery, and homosexual behavior—is “anti-gay” and that those schools should not be allowed to participate in the scholarship program.

If a private school teaching Biblical morality is “anti-gay,” then wouldn’t parents and churches that teach these same ideas also be “anti-gay.” And this is the message that is being taught 8 hours a day, 5 days a week to our kids attending government-run schools. They are taught that Biblical values and beliefs are bigoted, ignorant, and unacceptable. So we if think that 2 hours a week (if that) at church can counter-act 40 hours a week of teaching that Christianity is wrong, we are fooling ourselves.

If you take seriously the Biblical command that you, as a parent, are to train up a child in the way he or she should go, then you realize that the command means more than just taking them to church once or twice a week. It means making sure that every aspect of their education affirms, not mocks, Biblical principles and values.

Read more at Alliance Defending Freedom

Part I of the Case for School Choice

IndoctriNation: A Powerful Film for Christian Parents

Why is the Church Silent on Education?

It’s Time To Take Back Education

Support School Choice!

Keep government out of the schools

Whoever Controls the Schools Rules the World

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Non-Stop Activism: How The Left Is Beating Us In Between Elections

The Community Organizer-in-Chief never leaves campaign mode. And neither do his foot soldiers. The entire Executive Branch has become his campaign arm – at taxpayer expense – to sell his ruthless agenda.

The election was barely a week ago, but already Obama is recruiting and organizing activists to push his agenda forward:

The White House is pulling a tactic out of its campaign playbook – and President Obama’s own community organizing past – using the organs of government to enlist average Americans to help Obama advocate for his priorities.

In an email sent to people who signed up to receive official updates from the White House, recipients are told to forward the message to their friends, asking them to help promote what is in effect White House propaganda. The White House email list, which government officials began compiling earlier in Obama’s term, is separate from the famed Obama campaign email list, but recipients are nonetheless being asked to engage in partisan political activity.

Read more at White House Dossier

Conservatives need to recognize that we can’t combat that with just a few unpaid volunteers who show up a few weeks before elections and then go home for another four years. We have to be far more organized and find ways to keep conservative activists in the battle full-time.

Remember how Obama played “Campaigner-in-chief” for his entire first term, constantly criss-crossing the country to visit colleges, make flowery speeches, shake hands and fund-raise, all on the taxpayer’s dime?  He NEVER left campaign mode long enough to govern.  He continually attacked, polarized, and promoted his agenda, always treating the other side of the aisle as his political rivals instead of co-equal public servants.

But it wasn’t just Obama who stayed in permanent campaign mode.   Reports are that the 100+ Democrat field offices in Ohio were never shut down after 2008.   They continued to operate all throughout his presidency, preparing for his re-election.  Not only that, but Obama’s campaign arm of community organizers,”Organizing For America,” stayed active all four years. That’s how they were able to round up busloads of protesters to send to Wisconsin at a moment’s notice.  They never sleep.  They never rest between elections.  They’re constantly recruiting, training, agitating, and giving their people something to do.   Campaigning for Leftist candidates, legislation and causes is a full-time, year-round operation that never shuts down.

If you peruse your local Craigslist job listings in the non-profit category, you’ll soon discover that many of them are for organizations who will pay you to “protect democracy,” “make healthcare more affordable,” “promote renewable energy and sustainability,” “fight for civil rights,” and dozens of other left-wing causes.  None of these groups are restricted by campaign finance laws.  All of them serve as front groups for the Democrat party, where money can be funneled and campaigning funded non-stop.  Groups like “Jobs For Good Causes” are dedicated to training and paying activists to stay in the game while conservatives are quietly going back to their everyday lives and waiting until 2016 to stretch their atrophied political muscle.

Even more frighteningly, a lot of these groups get their money from taxpayers. They’re experts at getting grants and public funding, so we end up paying for the rope they use to hang us.    Back in February, the Democrat lawyers successfully shook down several banks into offering a $1 billion settlement, which was promptly channeled to ACORN-like groups, who were preparing to “get out the vote” for Obama, including using massive voter fraud.   Scams like this are where they’re getting a large portion of the cash to pay their “volunteers” to do activist work year-round.

Their goal is to keep growing the leviathan so they have a bigger taxpayer trough to feed from – and pay more activists with. Ours is to eliminate the trough altogether.  

Conservatives will have to find more financially sustainable sources of revenue, like fundraising from individuals and businesses that want to support liberty.  But if we don’t start finding ways to keep year-round activists in action, we’ll always be playing catch-up for every election.

How Conservatives Can Win

Politics Is Temporal, Principles Of Liberty Are Timeless

Obama recruits an army of community organizers to carry his ‘movement forward for years to come’

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Labor Unions are not dead. They are reloading.

T.S. Weidler issues a warning at American Thinker:

Labor unions suffered a setback in Wisconsin last week, but anyone who thinks they’ve been knocked dead is living in a dream world.  There are laws on the books which ensure that the unions will always bounce back.  Scott Walker knocked them down, but they will come back up like a bobo doll, and long after he is out of office, they will continue clutching for more power.  All the laws are on their side.

The only certainties are death and tax [exemption]

Labor unions are categorized as tax-exempt 501(c)5 organizations.  In 2010, these organizations collectively held $32,498,906,714 in assets.  This number comes from the combined assets of all labor unions and farm bureaus.  After all their expenses, lobbying efforts, and voter intimidation efforts, these organized labor gangsters still have more money than the entire GDP of many countries.  None of it is taxed, and 92% of them are in violation of Dept. of Labor audits.

If this 32 billion were taxed at the corporate tax rate, it could pay for the entire Army Reserves budget and have 3.5 billion left over.  For those counting at home, that’s about as much as the U.S. government loses in the time it takes our president to play a round of golf.

In other words, labor unions have more money that Wisconsin has.  They are not afraid of Scott Walker.  They will not wither up and die anytime soon.  They are protected by tax exemption.  If they have a bad year in Wisconsin, they will simply shift the funds around and pick a fight in another state where they can win, or they will lobby the federal government to override the states.  Tax exemption guarantees that they will always have plenty of money for political work, and it is no secret that they own the soul of our president already.

Tax-exempt status was given to unions as a favor by a couple of leftist hacks during the passage of the Revenue Act of 1913, which came on the heels of the 16th Amendment (the income tax).  The act was sponsored by Oscar Underwood, a career Democrat from Alabama, and Furnifold Simmons, a white supremacist Democrat from North Carolina.  Tax exemption ensured that labor unions would have plenty of money on hand for political work, and that they would use it to reward the politicians who allied with them and punish those who didn’t.  As long as this clause remains in the Revenue Act, unions will always have an advantage.

Monopoly power

If there was any hope of limiting the growth and influence of tax-exempt labor unions, it was intentionally undermined in 1914 by the Clayton Anti-Trust Act.  This law tightened restrictions against monopolistic business activities.  However, it specifically went out of its way to include a clause giving labor unions freedom to monopolize against entire industries and spread inexorably into others.  The law is a clearly stated government mandate for unions to monopolize labor markets against businesses, written into a law ostensibly about ending monopolies.  This clause was added specifically to ensure that unions would always have the upper hand against businesses.  Businesses pay the highest tax rate and are restrained from monopolizing.  Unions pay no taxes and are encouraged to monopolize.  The deck has been stacked this way for 100 years.

This is how one of our biggest unions, the AFL-CIO, has managed to accumulate over two billion in total assets and get its hands into the pockets of 57 different sectors of the U.S. economy, including nearly every teacher in the U.S. public school system, the U.S. postal service, and the National Football League without raising a single anti-trust eyebrow.

Militancy

All of their political influence would be irrelevant if the unions operated as charitable organizations.  Charities are tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations.  The only stipulation on this status is that they avoid all political activity.  If the pastor of a church starts telling people whom to vote for, the church loses its tax-exempt status and is taxed at the regular corporate tax rate of 35%.  Labor unions, of course, participate in extremely aggressive political activism without any restraint.  In 2010, during the midterm elections, the AFL-CIO put over $20 million into a budget column openly labeled the ”Militancy/defense Fund.”  Think about this fact for a while.  Do you think an organization with 20 million “militancy” dollars will simply fade away because of Scott Walker?  Do you think an organization like this deserves to be tax-exempt?

What exactly is a militancy fund for?  All sorts of things.  In 1973, in United States v. Enmons, the Supreme Court ruled that labor unions are exempt from prosecution for violence related to collective bargaining goals.  If you are upset that none of the threats against Governor Walker’s life were prosecuted, it is because they were legal.  They have $20 million in their militancy fund, and permission from the Supreme Court to commit violence without prosecution.  Do you think they are afraid of a new rule in Wisconsin?

Not only do they have $20 million marked off for militancy and defense, but they have another $23.8 million in the solidarity fund.  What is that for?  It is for “Political and Issues Mobilization work.”  Not only do they have as much money as a small country, but they also have their own political wing and their own military/defense wing.  The only difference is they don’t believe that their own members should have the right to vote.

If you’re counting, that’s a total of about $44 million spent on militancy and political mobilization, or about 40% of the AFL-CIO’s total annual budget.  They are awash in money they don’t know what to do with, but nobody in Washington is willing to tax them because a century ago a couple of liberal cogs got cozy with the unions and wrote it into law.

Read more at American Thinker

Unions Out to Divide and Conquer Workplaces

Governor Walker’s Victory Spells Doom For Public Sector Unions

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The Tea Party Is Here To Stay

We’re just getting started…you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Katie Pavlich observes at Townhall:

For months we’ve been told the Tea Party is dead. It’s over. The Tea Party has lost its influence. We haven’t “seen big rallies” like we used to.

If you’re wondering where the Tea Party has been for the past few months, last night’s recall election in Wisconsin has your answer. If you’re wondering if the Tea Party is still relevant, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

Conservative Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity played a crucial role in turning out voters for the Walker recall election, put boots on the ground to walk door to door, organized volunteers and provided crucial funding during the race.

[...]  You can bet their efforts didn’t stop with Wisconsin and that they’re marching toward November.

Read more at Townhall

Glenn Harlan Reynolds opines at the Washington Examiner:

[L]ast year, the pundits forgot about the Tea Party movement and started rhapsodizing the Occupy Wall Street movement. The Tea Party was old news — now it was the Occupiers who were going to change American politics.

That ended once journalists and pundits realized that the scruffy, anarchic — and often criminal — Occupy protesters were alienating voters and not accomplishing much. And I wrote here that Occupy Wall Street Gets The Ink, Tea Party Gets The Voters. And that’s pretty much how it’s turned out.

Occupy fizzled — the final blow came when Andrew Breitbart fearlessly waded into a crowd of Occupiers who were trying to take over a conservative blog conference, and shouted “Stop raping people, you freaks!” Since they were freaks, and Occupiers had been raping people in embarrassing numbers, there wasn’t much to say in response.

Meanwhile, the Tea Party went on being unglamorous but effective. Tea Party members got on state and local party committees. Tea Party organizers registered new voters and pushed for insurgent candidates to run. In 2010, Utah Sen. Bob Bennett was knocked out at the party caucus stage.

Some critics thought that was the high-water mark for Tea Party influence, but this year Orrin Hatch, despite being forewarned and calling in all the favors that a multidecade senator has to call in, was forced into a primary, having failed to clinch re-nomination at convention. Tea Party opponent Richard Lugar was knocked out — beaten like a drum, really — in an Indiana Senate primary. And in Texas, establishment Senate candidate David Dewhurst has been forced into a runoff with Tea Party insurgent Ted Cruz.

This has made some people unhappy. Mostly, those people are members of the Republican establishment, who were happy with things they way they were. The rise of a new, empowered voting bloc — back in February of 2010 I called it a new Great Awakening in American politics – threatens to shake things up. These are people who actually believe in the things Republican officeholders claim to support, like small government, fiscal responsibility, and constitutional limits on government programs.

The Tea Party movement has come a long way. But the upending of incumbents in what by all rights should have been safe primaries demonstrates that it hasn’t lost momentum yet. So what’s next?

Well, between now and November, the emphasis will shift from defeating squishy Republicans to defeating Barack Obama — and to making sure that the people Tea Partiers backed in the primaries get elected to office. But that’s pretty obvious. The real question is what Tea Partiers will do after November.

[R]emoving Obama, while helpful, doesn’t really solve the problem. Both parties spend too much, tax too much, and regulate too much. Obama just turned the machinery of government up to 11.

Even with Obama gone, there will be a major role for the Tea Party movement. Republicans will need to have their feet held to the fire. With a budget crisis pretty much inevitable no matter what happens in November, small-government fiscal-responsibility types will still have a lot to do. And the Tea Party takeover of local and state Republican machinery will continue.

Read more at the Washington Examiner

I Am Barack Obama’s Worst Nightmare

Stronger, Faster, Better? Tea Party Grooms A New Breed Of Candidate

Conservatives Must Take Over Senate In 2012

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Victory! Scott Walker Defeats Union Recall Effort In Landslide!

Gov. Scott Walker’s Recall Victory Speech!

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The repercussions of this election will be felt nationwide.

Scott Walker has proven that it is possible to stand up to thuggish union tactics and their unsustainable demands, and get your state back onto a fiscally responsible track.

Republican leadership across the country needs to take note and grow a spine.  The only way to beat the Leftist agenda is to courageously fight for conservative principles, make the argument for fiscal responsibility with no apology, and refuse to cave to disgusting, underhanded tactics.

John Gizzi reports at Human Events:

The cheers were almost deafening at the Expo Center, Gov. Scott Walker’s headquarters, Tuesday night as CNN projected that the Republican governor had won Wisconsin’s nationally-watched recall election.  Although several polls over the past week had shown Walker — a target of unions and Democrats nationwide for his controversial reforms of benefits for some public employees — running  ahead of Democratic opponent Tom Barrett among likely voters, there was collective joy and relief that, by a margin of at least 52 to 48 percent, Walker’s ordeal by fire was finally over.

Walker’s fellow Republican, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, appeared headed for an easy win.  However, results in the four Republican-held state senate seats on the ballot remained uncertain and a Democratic victory in either could end the GOP’s control of the now-evenly divided state senate.

Most GOP activists and state political pundits who spoke to Human Events credited Walker’s political team with energizing party activists throughout the Badger State and turning out his likely backers. In addition, national Republicans led by Republican National Committee Chairman (and Walker’s fellow Wisconsinite) Reince Priebus, weighed in for the embattled governor.  All four Republican presidential candidates voiced solidarity with Walker when they stumped in the state’s presidential primary earlier this year, and GOP Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Nikki Haley of South Carolina stumped for Walker in the special election.

Along with organizational acumen, “Team Walker” was credited with an effective fund-raising drive that brought in more than $30 million to the embattled conservative’s coffers — or, as veteran Wisconsin GOP consultant Scott Becher put it, “more money than any other candidate for anything in the U.S. except Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the first quarter of the year.”

The Walker warchest was more than enough to trump the estimated $20 million that no less than 15 different committees spent to defeat him with the help of national labor unions, leftist bankroller George Soros and former President Bill Clinton, who stumped for Barrett in the closing days of the race.

[...]  “When you emerge on top of what Scott Walker has gone through these past few months, you know you’re on top!” Becher told Human Events. “The Republican Party has a new superstar and they should take advantage of his stardom.”  Becher has long advocated that the Badger State governor be the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention this summer.

But Walker’s triumph may yield other benefits for the GOP in Wisconsin and the conservative movement overall.  Although Barack Obama carried the state’s 10 electoral votes in 2008 and leads Mitt Romney in most statewide polls, Republicans are now expected to make a major effort to put Wisconsin in the Romney column in November.  With the number of reliable campaign volunteers clearly enhanced and motivated by the Walker effort,  the Romney camp’s chances of winning the state are enhanced.

As Steve Walters, senior producer of the Wisconsin Eye public television program, told Human Events: “I can’t believe Romney won’t make Wisconsin a priority after tonight.”

Read more at Human Events

The White House is trying to spin this by saying that the unions sent Walker a “strong message.”    Of what?   That they’re a bunch of spoiled brats and sore losers?

In a typical display of Leftist “civility” and “tolerance,” liberals on Twitter are openly advocating for Walker’s assassination.

Anyone making death threats should be brought up on criminal charges – I don’t care who you are.

Sarah Palin On Wisconsin: “Obama’s Goose Is Cooked”

Mitt: “Governor Walker has shown that citizens and taxpayers can fight back — and prevail — against the runaway government costs imposed by labor bosses”

If Wisconsin Can Do It, So Can Oregon!

Governor Walker’s Victory Spells Doom For Public Sector Unions

Ignore the spin: Wisconsin was a disaster for Democrats and President Obama

On, Wisconsin: Walker Win Will Unleash Badger State’s Economy

What Wisconsinites have gone through

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Unions, Democrats Bus In Non-Residents To Vote Illegally In Wisconsin Recall Election

Chris Plante Show: Unions Busing MI Residents to WI to Vote Dem

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Non-resident Union supporters have been bused in from Michigan and Chicago to register same-day and vote in Wisconsin’s recall election.

Voter fraud is rampant. The Democrats are doing everything they can to steal this election and force Gov. Walker out.

Dan Loesch reports at Breitbart:

A Madison City Clerk has told a Wisconsin radio host that turnout for the area is expected at over 100%, up to 119%. What makes it all the more interesting is that this story comes from a far-left site.

Heavy turnout in Madison, a liberal stronghold, would likely benefit Democrat Tom Barrett.

[...]  Progressives shrug the 119% figure off as evidence that people are registering at the polls to vote. Considering that Wisconsin has oddly relaxed voter ID laws and a judge granted an injunction against measures that would have protected people’s votes, is it any surprise?

I’m sure Eric Holder’s DOJ is on the case.

Read more at Breitbat

Fox Nation reports:

On WMAL’s The Chris Plante Show today a Michigan resident by the name of “Mike” called in to discuss how he had infiltrated a Michigan Union’s organized bus convoy, en-route to vote in the Wisconsin recall election for Democrats.

The caller claimed that Michigan’s “Democrat Unions” had organized a convoy of 4 buses, filled with Michigan Democrats, with the intention of voting for Tom Barrett in the Wisconsin recall election.

Caller “Mike” describes “Greyhound size buses, filled to capacity” with a good amount of “freebies” available, “They treated me to lunch!”

The caller also points out that the organizers did not tell union riders that it is illegal to vote in Wisconsin if you’re from another state.

Read more at Fox Nation

Vote fraud allegations fly in Wisconsin

Chris Plante Show: Dems Shipping in Busloads of Fraudulent Voters into Wisconsin

Democrat Vote Fraud Efforts Focusing on Dane and Milwaukee Counties

Barrett Campaign Lashes Out At Election Integrity Monitors

The Union War on Wisconsin Governor Walker

Wisconsin Teachers Union President Openly Brags About Pushing Walker Recall Propaganda In Schools

Teachers’ unions admit Gov. Walker’s reforms are working In Wisconsin

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Poll Shows Walker Recall Is Lost Cause, DNC Cashes In

Scott Walker has proven to the spineless GOP establishment that a Republican can take on the leftist union bullies and WIN, despite all the intimidation tactics…and the voters will support him for it!

Jonathan S. Tobin writes at Commentary Magazine:

With polls showing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker pulling away from his challenger in the June 5 recall election, the Democratic National Committee may be waving the white flag in a race that state liberals thought they had in the bag a few months ago.Politico reports that both the DNC and President Obama’s re-election campaign have yet to kick in a dime to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s effort to knock off one of the Republicans’ chief heroes of the midterm landslide. Though Barrett faces a huge fundraising disadvantage in what turns out to be rematch of the 2010 gubernatorial election, the national party seems to have decided against wasting any resources on a lost cause. By contrast, the national Republican Party is all in to help Walker turn what was once a toss-up into a GOP romp.

[...]  To be fair to the DNC, the recall wasn’t their idea. It was the brainchild of Wisconsin’s state worker unions and their liberal allies. The unions were still smarting from their defeat in the legislature after Walker fulfilled his 2010 promises to enact a fundamental reform of the state budget. After failing to physically intimidate Republican legislators who were intent on passing changes in the collective bargaining laws that would stop unions from holding the state hostage, Walker’s foes conceived of a recall effort to reverse the verdict of the voters. But now that the voters are faced with the same choice the parties offered them two years ago, it looks like they haven’t changed their minds about Walker.

Unfortunately for President Obama and the DNC, it’s too late to cancel the recall effort. If, as now seems likely, Walker survives the recall, it will do more than just strengthen the rising GOP star. It will be rightly seen as a harbinger of other, even more significant defeats for the Democrats later this year. That’s why the DNC and the president are now bailing out of a Wisconsin fight that may turn out to be a huge mistake for the left.

Read more at Commentary Magazine

Poll puts Walker up nine points in recall fight

Wisconsin Dems furious with DNC for refusing to invest big money in Walker recall

Teachers’ unions admit Gov. Walker’s reforms are working In Wisconsin

The Union War on Wisconsin Governor Walker

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War On Children: Liberals Attack Scott Walker’s Kids

We’ve seen this before with the treatment of Palin’s children, and locally with the children of GOP congressional candidate Art Robinson.

Typical Leftist bullying tactics: aim at the vulnerable families and children of those who dare to stand up to their agenda…alienate, intimidate and make their lives a living hell in order to send a message and discourage anybody else who might consider following in their footsteps. It’s absolutely disgusting.

John Sexton exposes the latest intimidation campaign against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s children at Breitbart:

The left seems to have a really hard time leaving the kids of Republican politicians out of their fits of rage. Yesterday, Governor Scott Walker gave an interview to David Brody of CBN News in which he talked about the anger directed at his teenage sons and also his elderly parents:

I had thousands of people bussed in front of my home in Wauwatosa where I’ve got two high school sons living, and I’ve got parents in [their] 70s. At one point last year, my 16 year old and my mother in her 70s were at a grocery store and got yelled at. I’ve had my kids targeted on Facebook; we’ve had all those sorts of things.

If people want to get together to protest and even yell at the governor, that’s acceptable — but turning that anger on a 16 year old is disgusting. We saw this repeatedly with Gov. Palin a few years ago. Her son Trig and daughters Willow and Bristol were made the butt of jokes both online and on television.

The President’s daughters are off limits for commentary. That’s as it should be. The same should be true for the sons and daughters of Republican politicians. Leftist bullies need to dial back the rage and lay off the kids.

Read more at Breitbart

Protesters targeting Governor Walker’s kids

Liberal University Attacks Former GOP Candidate’s Children

Media Uses Palin’s Own Children as Political Weapons Against Her

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Teachers’ unions admit Gov. Walker’s reforms are working In Wisconsin

Kyle Olson on EAG report showing the ills of collective bargaining and why reforms are working

View onYouTube

Take notes, Oregon and California!

Matt Naugle at American Specator observes:

When debate over public unions flared up in Wisconsin last year, educators claimed Gov. Scott Walker’s austere reforms would require thousands of teachers to be laid off.

They were wrong.

With small changes in pension and healthcare contributions while allowing school districts to buy health insurance plans on the open market, Walker’s reforms have resulted in what could be considered a statewide teacher-retention program. School districts such as Wauwatosa, hometown of Governor Walker and the Weekly Standard‘s Fox News star Stephen Hayes, faced a $6.5 million deficit and planned to lay off dozens of teachers. But Walker’s reforms allowed all those teachers to remain employed.

At other large school districts such as LaCrosse, Racine, Wausau, and Beloit, if there were any layoffs at all, they were limited to two or fewer. And in addition to retaining teachers, the reforms have instituted merit-based pay systems that allow excellent teachers to be rewarded.

However, not all school districts adopted Walker’s reforms so readily. Milwaukee’s school district, which is immediately east of Wauwatosa, rammed through a union contact in December, just in time to avoid being subject to the reforms.

Now it appears the Milwaukee district is reconsidering its hasty action.

After the City of Milwaukee announced last week that Milwaukee Public Schools would have to contribute almost 10 million additional dollars to the city’s pension plan (which covers non-teaching employees, such as engineers and educational assistants), the Milwaukee teachers union made the unusual move to write a joint letter with the non-union school board and administration, requesting an additional 30 days to negotiate compensation and benefits.

This request comes on the heels of a 90-day window between November and February to adjust teacher contracts. As the legislation signed by Walker, known as Act 10 and Act 65, makes it impossible to alter existing agreements without nullifying them, a decision to extend this window will have to be made very soon, as the Wisconsin legislature’s general session completes its work today.

However, no matter how badly reforms are necessary, other union leaders are not happy with the Milwaukee teachers union for essentially admitting that Gov. Walker was right, especially before the recall election.

Read more at American Specator

John Steele Gordon explains at Commentary Magazine:

The reforms did a number of things. They ended the automatic collection of union dues by the state, causing an immediate drop in union income and the laying off of numerous union employees. They required that state employees kick in 5.8 percent of their salaries towards their own pensions and to pick up 12.6 percent of their health insurance premiums, bringing public employees more in line with private employee realities. Most important, it limited collective bargaining to salaries (and even that bargaining is limited by the rate of inflation).

For the first time in decades, school administrations are now actually able to administer their districts without union interference, and the savings have been huge. The MacIver Institute, a Wisconsin think tank, reports that of the 108 school districts that completed contracts with employees, 74 of them, with 319,000 students, have reported savings of no less than $162 million. If this is extrapolated out to all districts, it would amount to savings of nearly $448 million.

The biggest area of savings have been in health insurance. The teachers union insisted that districts use the union’s own health insurance company to provide coverage. No longer forced to use a monopoly provider, districts have either switched providers or used the threat of switching to force the union health insurance company to dramatically lower premiums. Savings have averaged $730,000 in districts that have switched providers or forced competitive bidding.

As a result of these dramatic savings, districts that have been able to benefit immediately from the reforms (some districts are locked into long-term contracts and cannot) have been able to avoid laying off teachers despite a significant drop in state aid and to avoid raising school taxes. Indeed, school tax bills that went out last December had an average increase of only 0.3 percent.

Read more at Commentary Magazine

Don’t expect the mainstream media to report this.  The Democrat party depends enormously on union money, and unions depend largely on money forcibly extorted from taxpayers via collective bargaining (often with the very politicians whose elections they paid for).

Neither the Leftist media nor the unions are interested in true reforms that benefit taxpayers, teachers and students alike.   All they’re interested in is staying in power over the taxpayer gravy train.

The Union War on Wisconsin Governor Walker

America’s Fiscal Civil War

Government Unions vs. Taxpayers

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Unions Fight For Survival: Forced Unionization, Forced Dues, Occupy, And Obama 2012

Across the nation, many states are going bankrupt trying fulfill promises to public workers that are unsustainable, and that politicians KNEW were unsustainable when they made them (they knew that the bill wouldn’t come due until they were personally out of office and left the fallout for us to deal with).   This has become all the more apparent in the past three years as continued recession, massive debt and unsustainable government spending have brought the issue front and center nationwide.   The stark reality is that most governments from the local to federal level are flat out BROKE, and taxpayers can’t afford to meet public union demands any longer.  Something has to give.

Courageous Gov. Walker of Wisconsin was one of the first to try and broker a realistic deal with the unions in his state, but they wouldn’t have it.  They fought tooth and nail because they’re terrified of that other states who are swimming in debt and unsustainable demands will finally get the courage to face reality and tell the unions “no.”  Gov. Christie in New Jersey has faced similar opposition.

In California, the state is deeply in the red, and many workers are legally forced to join and fund the unions that are bankrupting their state.    The California “Paycheck Protection” Initiative is designed to prevent unions from using the government to automatically deduct dues from worker’s paychecks and give workers a choice.

Unions in California are determined to defeat this initiative because they know that it could threaten their confiscatory revenue stream and with it, their iron grip on the state’s budget.  The intimidation tactics have already started:

The California State University Employees Union is encouraging its members to intimidate people who are gathering signatures for a so-called “Paycheck Protection Initiative” that would limit the ability of unions to use automatic payroll deductions to gain political contributions from their members.  [...]

These tactics clearly are designed to scare people away from signing petitions by using bullying techniques that could become confrontational and even violent. They certainly are meant to keep people from exercising their political rights and are tactics that would not be tolerated if they came from organizations on the political right.

A similar idea was tried in Oregon in 2008 but was smashed by union resistance.

The SEIU, AFL-CIO, UAW, and other unions know that they can’t survive without compulsory union dues taken automatically from worker’s paychecks.  They don’t have enough people who are willing to voluntarily support them any longer.   They are overwhelmingly dependent on coercion: both forced unionization and forced union dues.

The politicians they support are dependent on member dues being funneled into political contributions for candidates and causes that workers have little to no say over.   In fact, the future of the Democratic party is largely dependent on union contributions, the loss of which would critically cripple their political machine.  This is a fight for mutual survival.

Obama used the National Labor Relations Board to institute the “card check” system that couldn’t get passed through congress, which eliminates secret ballot elections and allows unions to organize an entire workforce with only a fraction of the workers turning in signed cards, or even being aware that an election was happening.  This allows the unions to begin deducting forced dues before many workers even realize that they’ve even been unionized.

The Cape Cod Times (via Labor Union Report) describes the underhanded tactics that are being used with full approval of the NLRB:

Late last month, union representatives visited night shift workers at group homes under false pretenses, urging employees to sign a survey they were told was for Fellowship, Dziobek said.

He claims that the papers were actually union authorization cards.

The union needs to get at least 30 percent of employees to sign authorization cards for the labor board to authorize a vote on whether to unionize, Dziobek said.

“What I take exception to is the tactics,” he said. A staff person at a group living program in Eastham turned union representatives away at 9 p.m. but they came back at 12:30 a.m. and left only after the staffer threatened to call the police, he said.

Fellowship employees also have complained about being visited three or four times at home by union representatives, Dziobek said. “Staff are pretty upset,” he said. They are asking, “How did they get my personal cell phone number?

How did the union bosses get non-union workers’ phone numbers and home addresses?

Obama’s NLRB changed the rules to require employers to turn over their employees’ personal information to union bosses, so that organizers could hound them into unionizing:

View at Breitbart.tv

In 2008, Obama promised union thugs he would ‘paint the nation purple with SEIU’:


View on YouTube

No wonder they love him.  They’re truly dependent on his reelection to boost their ranks and keep the cash flowing, or they won’t survive.  They’re willing to do almost anything – legal or not - to make sure he wins and that legislation or ballot measures that threaten their gravy train are stopped.

In January, Obama made three illegal appointments to the NLRB, circumventing background checks and the Senate confirmation process in order to hide his radical union agenda.  Their job is to shore up union support for Obama in 2012 by any means necessary – including forced unionization to increase membership and forced dues which can be funneled into contributions for his campaign.

The unions are virulently opposed to the Tea Party, knowing that if we succeed in lowering taxes, shrinking government and implementing fiscal responsibility, there will be fewer cushy benefits and government workers to keep them in power.  Union thugs have been repeatedly caught on camera intimidating and even physically assaulting Tea Partiers.

They are the key organizers and funders behind the Occupy Wall Street protests, knowing that raising taxes on “the rich” is the only thing that will feed their voracious appetite at the taxpayer trough – at least until those individuals and businesses are driven offshore or bankrupted like so many before them.

Last March, an Service Employees International Union (SEIU) official named Stephen Lerner was caught on tape outlining a “secret plan to destroy JP Morgan, crash the stock market, and redistribute  wealth in America.” After the snafu, SEIU claimed that Lerner had been dismissed – but he wasn’t.  Lerner still works there and attends executive board meetings.

Here he is at a SEIU meeting “Getting Ready To Terrify D.C.”:

View on YouTube

At a “Future of the Unions” roundtable in April 2011, AFL-CIO boss Richard Trumka was filmed boasting, “Forget about the law!  We’re looking at new types of organizing…” Then SEIU, the same union thugs who tried to intimidate citizens at townhall meetings during the Obamacare debate, organized street mobs to intimidate bankers, burst into an Ohio restaurant and harrassed workers to confront Republican senators who were eating dinner, and started planning a nationwide, Madison-style, class warfare protest movement.

That movement became Occupy Wall Street, and they are planning an all-out class war offensive in the spring, an organized taxpayer shakedown the likes of which we’ve never seen.

Buckle up.  This is going to be a bumpy ride.

White House Needs Organized Labor War Chests To Win In 2012

Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa To Obama At Taxpayer Funded Rally: “This is your army. Let’s Take These [Tea Party] Son Of Bitches Out”

AFSCME Endorses Obama, Vows To Spend $100 Million On 2012 Election

“Troublemakers Schools” Train Union, Democrat Activists in Wisconsin-type Intimidation Tactics

Intimidation tactics in Wisconsin, Oregon are harbingers of things to come

Government Unions vs. Taxpayers

Shakedown: The Continuing Conspiracy Against the American Taxpayer

It’s Taxpayers Who Are Really Under Assault

End Forced Unionism

Ban government employee unions

National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation

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Wisconsin Election ‘Accountability Board’ to Accept Mickey Mouse, Hitler Signatures on Recall Petitions

They’re called the “Government Accountability Board”, ostensibly because it’s their job to make sure petition signatures are valid.  But at a recent hearing, board members testified that so long as a signature is accompanied by the correct date and a Wisconsin address, it is automatically considered valid – even if the name is “Mickey Mouse” or “Adolf Hitler”.

From the MacIver Institute:

View on YouTube

In order to have such ridiculous signatures questioned, volunteers for Gov. Walker or other independent groups will have to comb through thousands of signatures themselves to catch them and then contest their legitimacy – all before the deadline.

So let me get this straight: Wisconsin taxpayers are paying the salaries of a “Government Accountability Board,” which refuses to hold the petition process accountable for obvious cases of fraud.  It falls instead to volunteer citizens to do their job for them.

And people wonder why record numbers of Americans now distrust and fear Big Government more than any other sector of society?

States across the country are trying to institute strict voter ID laws to prevent such rampant fraud.   But Democrats continue to decry them as “discriminatory”, claiming that requiring a valid ID to vote is akin to “Jim Crow laws”.

Yep, you caught us red-handed, Democrats.  We proudly support discrimination against cartoon characters and dead foreign dictators.  Oh, the horror!

‘Mickey Mouse’ OK for Walker recall

The Union War on Wisconsin Governor Walker

Holder to push against voter-ID laws

Wasserman Schultz: GOP Trying To “Rig” Elections By Requiring A Proper I.D. To Vote

Ex-Dem Congressman: Voter Fraud Is Commonplace, Voter ID Is The Cure

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The Union War on Wisconsin Governor Walker

The unions can’t afford to let Scott Walker and the fiscal conservatives have the last word in Wisconsin.  They lost their first recall effort, but they’re desperately working on round two because they know if this goes unchallenged, their iron grip on taxpayers in other states will soon be at risk, too.

Gary Larson writes at American Thinker:

Unleashing forces of hate, making it personal, unions roll out heavy artillery in their all-out war against their declared enemy, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.  Union devotees will need about 540,200 signatures on petitions in 60 days to trigger a special recall election targeting the besieged rookie governor.

Meanwhile, protesters’ signs hang in the Capitol rotunda, left from February protests, depicting Gov. Walker as a mustachioed Hitler, the devil himself, object of daily exercises of almost ritual union members’ hatred, like an Emmanuel Goldstein in George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984.  Only the ritual hate sessions are not two minutes daily; rather, eight grueling months for unions’ most faithful haters.

Their unilateral battle against budget restraints is one that goes beyond the well-orchestrated boos and catcalls into loathing.  Fanned by public employee unions dead-set on rolling back Wisconsin Act 10, which limits members’ collective bargaining, they take aim at Gov. Walker for pushing for its passage.

Act 10 does not, as media allege, “strip” collective bargaining — it only reduces its grip on future negotiations by setting limits.  In effect, the law requires certain public union members (not police and firefighters) to share in the solution to the state’s budgetary crisis by curbing, but not eliminating, collective bargaining “rights,” as media like to portray them — always, indisputably, “rights.”

Union stalwarts take that well-hewn “we’re right everyone else is wrong” position in opposition to Act 10.  They see it not as a responsible restraint and ultimate job-creator, but a fateful blow to public-employee unions.  Fourteen Democrat senators even fled to nearby Illinois in an attempt to block it in February, to no avail.  (No question at all where their loyalties lie.)

Protesters in the dead of February occupied the Capitol.  Teachers left their classrooms to protest, forcing closing of schools while they took bogus “sick” excuses to get paid, in effect, for their protesting.  (Role model lessons for students in the Entitlement Society in how to cheat.)  Thousands massed at the Capitol, chanting, despoiling public property, posting clever signs, blocking Republican lawmakers from going about their legislative business.  Oh, it was a protest circus, all right — chanting and singing and feeling sooo good about oneself.

Some threatened boycotts of local businesses whose owners did not see things unions’ way, declining to put up posters in their places of business.  Some were asked outright for donations to the unions’ cause — sort of extortion on the fly.  Ironically, some protesters’ placards read simply “SHAME! SHAME!”  One gets the impression that they were quite oblivious of the irony of their high-held signs.

A couple crazies made e-mail death threats.  One lesser threat — a dark joke, maybe — was found on a note tucked under a Republican legislator’s door.  It read: “The only good Republican is a dead Republican.”  Such threats, idle or not, along with physical damage to public property and threats of boycotts and attempted extortion, stayed largely invisible to sympathetic, see-no-evil news media, who insisted that the protest was about “rights.”  Always, please, “rights.”

Speaking of rights: protests blocked Gov. Walker’s speaking at events, even out of state, shouting him down Blackshirt-style, and taunting him, such as at the Wisconsin State Fair.  Dialogue is not in the mix for the union folks.  Free speech for protesters, but for no one else?  And security is tightened for the governor in light of threats to his personal safety.  Such is union-stirred hate brought to a new level.

A mob 1,000 strong marched lately into a quiet residential neighborhood to protest on the curb in front of Gov. Walker’s home in a once-tranquil Milwaukee suburb.  Such manifestation of hate simply crosses the line.  Their protest scared the bejeesus out of neighbors, fearing property damage, and their kids.  (Who are they, Mommy?  What are they doing here?)  Uncouth is “in,” and relieving oneself in the street is okay?

Whether unions attain their dream of recall next spring or not is unknown, depending on signatures on those petitions against the Hated One.  By intimidation, another tactic of the left, or by compulsion (“Sign here or else!”), recall elections might well happen.  Guaranteed, the artful left among us will use every means, fair or foul, to get those signatures.  Neo-Marxist Chicagoan Saul Alinsky in his Rules for Radicals taught his acolytes that very lesson — the fair or foul part — to achieve ends by any means in political wars.

If the unions pull off the costly recall elections, it’s not likely (my bold prediction) that they will oust Gov. Walker.  Not when informed, not inflamed voters — ordinary taxpayers — have their say.  Union thugs will not disturb a fair, private ballot election among an informed, fair-minded public.  A vote to replace this governor with a lackey to do the unions’ bidding at the drop of campaign contributions is a long shot at boxcar odds.  Count us taxpayers lucky for that.

(Note to self for the future: unless, that is, Wisconsin voters have a total breakdown in common sense and a lack of respect for truth and fairness.  It could happen.  After all, remember Al Franken’s narrow win in next-door Minnesota.  No joke: he won; voters slept.)

For a recall election to be “successful,” the public will have to be convinced of something that didn’t happen and wasn’t intended — “union-busting.”  Gov. Walker’s critics insist that it was his “agenda” all along, not bringing fiscal sanity to the state, and jobs, to save the state from enormous debt.  To convince the public of a false charge of “union busting” will take a clever trick of hoodwinking the non-union, inattentive public.  News media will be a pushover, as usual, for spreading the unions’ view, as sure as night follows daylight.

Read more at American Thinker

America’s Fiscal Civil War

Wisconsin Senate votes to end collective bargaining, union protestors storm capital building

Union Protesters Superglue Catholic School’s Doors Shut, Intimidate Staff & Students During Gov. Walker Visit

Wisconsin union protesters disrupt Special Olympics event

Democrats Unveil the Weapon of the Future

Intimidation tactics in Wisconsin, Oregon are harbingers of things to come

 

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Labor Day Parade Organizers Ban Republicans From Participating *UPDATED*


View at WAOW News

Tolerance!

WAOW News reports:

Labor Day parade organizers confirm that no Republicans will be allowed to participate in this year’s Labor Day Parade.

Council president Randy Radtke says they choose not to invite elected officials who have “openly attacked worker’s rights” or did nothing when state public workers lost most of their right to collectively bargain.

The parade is sponsored by the Marathon County Labor Council. A Wausau city spokeswoman said the city does not contribute any money to the parade.

Rep. Sean Duffy’s chief of staff, Brandon Moody, released a statement to Newsline 9:

“Having walked in this parade in past years, Congressman Duffy was hoping that for a moment, we could set our differences aside and simply have some fun in a family-friendly event.”

But the Mayor has hit back, saying that if union organizers are going to exclude Republicans, they’ll have to reimburse the city for all parade expenses:

The mayor of a Wisconsin town said on Tuesday a local labor council would have to reimburse the city up to $2,000 for a Labor Day parade if organizers exclude Republican lawmakers from attending.

The move in Wausau, Wisconsin, came after a county labor official said last week that Republican politicians were not welcome at the event due to their party’s stance against collective bargaining when state lawmakers voted to curtail it earlier this year.

Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple told Reuters on Tuesday that the decision to exclude elected Republicans “flies in the face of public policy.”

“This is not a political rally, it’s a parade, for God’s sake,” Tipple said, noting that taxpayer money is used by the city to pay for staging the event. Tipple’s office is nonpartisan, and he claims no affiliation with either political party.

He said the annual cost of the parade, including insurance, setting up and taking down a stage, and police personnel, runs anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 each year.

The Republican-backed collective bargaining limits made Wisconsin the center of a battle over union power this year.

The fight propelled the state to the forefront of a wider national struggle as Republicans who took control of many statehouses in last year’s midterm elections moved aggressively to shrink government and made reining in public unions a top priority.

Read more at Reuters

UPDATE: Wisconsin Unions Reverse Decision to Bar Republicans from Labor Day Parade.  Funny how all it takes is a threat to deny public funding.

More classy behavior from partisan union thugs.

Wisconsin Senate votes to end collective bargaining, union protestors storm capital building

Union Protesters Superglue Catholic School’s Doors Shut, Intimidate Staff & Students During Gov. Walker Visit

Wisconsin union protesters disrupt Special Olympics event

Unions’ new strategy: Intimidation for dummies

Intimidation tactics in Wisconsin, Oregon are harbingers of things to come

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Union Protesters Superglue Catholic School’s Doors Shut, Intimidate Staff & Students During Gov. Walker Visit


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Afraid of a little free market competition, are we?

The Blaze reports:

The doors of an inner city Milwaukee Catholic school were super glued shut Thursday ahead of a visit by Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

“Some of these folks super glued our front doors at the prep school,” Messmer Prepatory School President Br. Bob Smith told WTMJ Newsradio.

Smith said a woman was walking around in front of the school, urging people to protest Walker’s visit.

According to Smith, one protestor said, “‘Get ready for a riot,’ because they were going to disrupt the visit.”

Smith said the governor’s Friday visit to read to schoolchildren did not have any political overtones and was unrelated to any of the controversy surrounding Walker and union collective bargaining rights.

“People ought to start acting like adults,” Smith said. “You‘ve got little kids who have no clue what you’re talking about, and you make something political when it isn’t, that’s just flat-out wrong.”

In March, doors at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee were super glued shut before a campus rally to protest Walker’s budget.

Ed Morrissey observes at Hot Air:

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker visited Messmer Preparatory Catholic School yesterday, while the school repaired the first vandalism that had occurred at the facility in eleven years of operation.  While Walker read Dr. Seuss to the grade-school children inside, unions protested the visit and the school outside.  Want to guess which group was more well-behaved?  Actually, you don’t have to guess.  TheMacIver Institute shot video of the protest and the visit and then interviewed Messmer’s President, Brother Bob Smith.  We see childishness, petulance, and bullying — and then we see Messmer’s students (via Wisconsin Reporter)

It got ugly on the street outside the facility, which is no surprise, since Messmer is a “choice school” — an alternative to the union-gripped public school system. It’s an alternative that sends 85% of its high-school graduates to college. It’s also no surprise that “choice schools” threaten the union’s power in the state, which gave them extra added incentive to protest Walker’s visit … and to attempt to intimidate Messmer staff while doing so. The video provides a jarring disconnect between the well-behaved students on the inside and Brother Bob’s explanation of teaching positive discipline and self-control to the self-indulgent nastiness taking place on the sidewalk outside.

Read more at Hot Air

Wisconsin progressives attack charter school

Wisconsin union protesters disrupt Special Olympics event

Wisconsin Senate votes to end collective bargaining, union protestors storm capital building

Do Wisconsin’s Public Schools Deserve to Survive?

Teachers unions are the special interest blocking school choice

Support School Choice!

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Big Labor is literally threatening businesses

Brett McMahon writes at the Daily Caller:

“That’s a nice business you got there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it.”

That’s the voice of extortion rackets seeking protection money, whether on behalf of organized crime families or organized labor. One Ohio businessman heard that voice loud and clear recently from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 38.

Here’s what happened: An email from the account of IBEW’s Ron Ols was sent to an Ohio businessman whose union-free workforce is working on a project in Toledo.

“We are aware that you chose a different path in the Toledo area,” read the message, which expresses displeasure at the business’s unwillingness to acquiesce to union demands, “and this has possibly led to some problems for your company.”

The email continues: “To be 100% clear, should you opt for the same business practices in the greater Cleveland area as you chose to use in the Toledo area, your problems will multiply exponentially.”

Only the hopelessly naive or willfully ignorant could read such a statement in ways other than the obvious. It is also hard to ignore that this is the latest evidence that the business model from “On the Waterfront” is alive in the landlocked Rust Belt and beyond.

According to The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, during one the tensest moments of this year’s Wisconsin public-sector labor fight, AFSCME Council 24 told local businesses that they had to put a sign in their windows showing their public support for the union’s position, and that “failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business. And sorry, neutral means ‘no’ to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members.”

Think that’s explicit? A Texas businessman is suing a local branch of the powerful Service Employees International Union for allegedly threatening to “kill” his business for refusing to hand over his employees to union bosses without a secret-ballot vote.

These threats pose several problems for small businesses. The first, of course, is having to live under coercion and potential violence, which has a decidedly negative impact on the ability of entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and hire more workers.

But any small businessperson who reads the newspaper also knows that Big Labor put President Obama into the White House and many top Democrats into positions of power. In turn, organized labor gets to run amok within the Department of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Labor Relations Board and in statehouses and bureaucracies across the nation. This means the full force of the government can come down on you if you dare to speak up.

Business owners frequently talk about the role uncertainty plays in their decisions to hire additional employees and invest more money in capital and equipment. But it’s also true that if employers are certain they will be attacked by Big Labor and their friends in government, there’s no reason to consider hiring or expanding at all.

It’s important for voters to begin making the link between these thuggish tactics and an all-powerful government which strangles economic growth.

Wisconsin Unions Threaten Businesses

Unions’ new strategy: Intimidation for dummies

“Troublemakers Schools” Train Union, Democrat Activists in Wisconsin-type Intimidation Tactics

Intimidation tactics in Wisconsin, Oregon are harbingers of things to come

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