April 16, 2014

Money rains to unseat union-busting lawmakers

As right-wing extremist lawmakers in Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin continue their drive to push through anti-union legislation, a status-quo remains this week.

But what is moving forward is a public revolt against the union busters.

Almost $1 million in political donations from across the United States have been made to campaigns to unseat the extremists in Wisconsin — $435,000 to MoveOn.org, and $530,000 to “Stop the Republican War on Working Families.”

And in Ohio,where House Minority Leader Armond Budish, a Democrat, launched a fund-raising campaign to unseat the extremists there — “$5 Against SB 5″ (the union-busting measure that passed the Ohio Senate last week) — more than $5,000 was donated in just a few hours after the launch. The Ohio House is preparing to hold hearings on SB 5.

Rather than engage in meaningful dialogue with Wisconsin Senate Democrats over legislation to revoke collective bargaining rights there, The New York Times reports that Senate Republican leader Scott Fitzgerald reverted to name calling, saying trying to negotiate with the Democrats is like “negotiating with Jell-O.”

Fitzgerald also questioned the Democrats’ “grasp of reality.” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is reported to have said a request by Senate Democrats to hold discussions is “ridiculous.”

As a result, reports The New York Times, “little progress toward compromise has emerged” in Wisconsin.

In Indiana, most of the state’s House Democrats remain out of state to block union-busting legislation. “We will stay out as long as it takes,” said Democratic Rep. Terry Goodin, according to the Indianapolis Star. “The principles we are fighting for here are the very principles that our party is founded upon: Working families, public schools and Hoosier children.”

The UTU is coordinating with the AFL-CIO for what is described as “a major rally” of labor leaders, rank and file union members and concerned citizens. More information will be posted at www.utu.org as plans develop.