Democracy is on the line in the streets of Madison, Wisconsin. Will the popularly elected state legislature and governor (both now Republican for the first time in forever) get to run the state or will the union thugocracy, now crowding the streets, prevail?
The spectacle of Democratic legislators hiding out in the woods to avoid creating a quorum in their legislatures illustrates, more profoundly than anything else ever could, the extent to which we have lost control of our destiny and government to the public employee unions.
The teachers unions, the Service Employees, and AFSME have hijacked state government and are now holding them for ransom.
We are all citizens of Wisconsin now! Our freedom is on the line.
At last some real leaders are emerging within the Republican Party – the newly elected governors! Governors Chris Christie (NJ), Mitch Daniels (Ind), Scott Walker (Wisc) John Kasich (Ohio), Jim Corbett (Pa), Jan Brewer (Ariz), and Butch Otter (Idaho) are showing America how it is done.
The union mobs have taken to the streets in Wisconsin to protest hotly against having to pay 12.6% of their health insurance (the private sector average is 20%) and 5.8% of their pensions (private sector average is 7.5%). They want us to subsidize them so they can get to be richer than we are! Upward redistribution of income!
Governor Scott Walker, the courageous, young Republican just elected in Wisconsin also wants to limit teachers union bargaining to wages and benefits, but to leave work rules in the hands of school administrators. His ideas are vital to good schools but outrageous to the entrenched defenders of bad education in the teachers unions.
The most innovative governor in America – and also a likely GOP contender for president – is Bush’s former OMB director Mitch Daniels. He is pushing forward with an exciting bill for statewide choice in schools, limits on teacher collective bargaining, caps on salary increases, and tenure reform. He has already pioneered using Health Savings Accounts to reduce health insurance costs – voluntarily – for state workers.
In Tennessee, with no noticeable leadership from the Republican governor Bill Haslam, the GOP state legislature is taking matters into its own hands. Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Dolores Gresham and Representative Bill Dunn have taken the lead in pushing legislation to prohibit collective bargaining with teachers unions entirely. They are also planning moves to expand school choice. Their landmark bill has just been reported out of the Senate Committee and, with Republican majorities in both houses, is likely to become law.
In Idaho, a gutsy Education Commissioner (elected) Tom Luna had his car vandalized and his family got death threats for trying to expand the pool of teachers to include all college graduates so as not to be limited to the indoctrinated graduates of education schools.
In Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Arizona, bills to advance school choice and reform schools are advancing.
And then there are the cowards – Governor Rick Scott of Florida who electrified the state with his bold proposal for education vouchers for statewide school choice only to shelve the bill and abandon it when the going got tough. He was aided and abetted by State Senator Stephen Wise (R-Jacksonville) who acted like a RINO by surrendering to the unions and letting the voucher proposal die in his education committee.
But there are enough courageous and true conservatives out there to move the cause forward…rapidly!