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March 20, 2012

National/Politics

Groups to highlight Obamacare
MAGGIE HABERMAN | Politico, 3/19/12 8:07 AM EDT

With the second anniversary of the Obamacare law coming this week, a number of groups supporting it are holding events as a lead-up to the Supreme Court arguments over the issue. According to Protect Your Care, an outside group backing the law, events will be held in 32 states by groups like AFSCME, Alliance for Retired Americans, Center for American Progress, Families USA, Planned Parenthood and SEIU, with a different aspect of the law focused on each day.

Report: Women Pay More for Health Insurance
By Meghan McCarthy, National Journal,: March 19, 2012 | 9:40 a.m. 
Women getting insurance on the individual market are paying $1 billion more than men, according to a report from the National Women’s Law Center released Monday. In the 37 states that have not banned insurance companies for charging more based on gender, women can expect to pay significantly more than men. … More than 30 groups, including the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, FamiliesUSA, and and Service Employees International Union are part of the National Women’s Law Center campaign. 

Battlefield Rust Belt / Obama gears up for his re-election campaign in the industrial Midwest.
BY ERIC JOHNSON, In These Times MARCH 20, 2012

President Barack Obama won the industrial Midwest in 2008 with a message of hope and change, but he faces a much different political and economic re-election landscape.  … In states like Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana – where Republican lawmakers have successfully pushed anti-labor legislation since early 2011 – unions and fiscal hawks have flocked to the streets and capitol buildings with teeth bared and fists clenched. “This election is about the heart and soul of America,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) says.… Obama’s campaign won last time with huge voter drives in Columbus, Dayton and Cleveland. It has offices in those cities and one in Chillicothe, in the state’s southern region. The campaign will open a few dozen more offices in the next couple of months as it builds an 88-county presence, a campaign official said. It’ll need a big army. Many volunteers were spurred into action early when conservatives and labor unions battled last year over a Republican state bill limiting collective-bargaining powers of public-sector unions. A GOP legislative majority passed it, but voters overturned the bill through a referendum in November.

SECOND OF TWO-PART HEARING TO FOCUS ON INNOVATIVE APPROACHES TO FINANCING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE
House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, March 19, 2012

The Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee on Wednesday will hold the second of a two-part hearing to review innovative approaches for financing community water infrastructure projects. The first part was held on Tuesday, February 28. … Local governments continue to be concerned about the impacts unfunded federal mandates have on their ability to meet compliance obligations, especially given municipalities’ dwindling revenues due to the economic downturn. … WHEN: 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, March 21, 2012 … WITNESSES: … • Mr. Rich Abelson, Director of AFSCME, Council 48, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, testifying on behalf of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees

Walberg to study proposed pay boost for home health workers
11:52 PM, Mar. 19, 2012 |   Ledyard King and Maureen Groppe, Enquirer

The home health-care industry is warning that an Obama administration proposal mandating minimum wage and overtime pay for thousands of its workers will drive up costs and ultimately harm home-bound patients. Workers’ advocates counter that a fairer pay scale would mean less turnover and better care. The issue is critical to one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries and one with a high profit margin.

States' Tax Revenue Growth Softened in 4th Quarter
Tuesday, March 20, 2012, By Jennifer DePaul, Bond Buyer

State tax revenue growth weakened in the fourth quarter of 2011 due to weak economic conditions as well as the expiration of temporary tax increases and the stimulus provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Rockefeller Institute said in a report Monday. The preliminary data show all 50 states’ collections from major tax sources increased by 2.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the same quarter of 2010 — the lowest growth rate since mid-2010.

Editorial: The States Get a Poor Report Card
New York Times, March 19, 2012

State governments have long been accused of backroom dealing, cozy relationships with moneyed lobbyists, and disconnection from ordinary citizens. A new study suggests those accusations barely scratch the surface. The study, issued Monday by a consortium led by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan watchdog group, found that most states shy away from public scrutiny, fail to enact or enforce ethics laws, and allow corporations and the wealthy a dominant voice in elections and policy decisions. The study gave virtually every state a mediocre to poor grade on a wide range of government conduct, including ethics enforcement, transparency, auditing and campaign finance reform. No state got an A; five received B’s, and the rest grades of C, D or F.

AFL-CIO proposes several interconnected ways to fix the economy
Daily Kos Labor, MON MAR 19, 2012 AT 03:40 PM PDT

….. The AFL-CIO, which was an unhyphenated duo when the Lynds wrote their assessment eight decades ago, has some ideas, not all of them new and some of them needing tweaks, but all of them steering us on the right course for fixing an economy that has gone so sour for Muncie and our other Middletowns: … So what's on the AFL-CIO's list? … • Deal with wage stagnation and economic inequality. Reform labor laws to allow all workers to form unions and bargain collectively. Make full employment the highest priority of U.S. economic policy. Increase and index the minimum wage. Shrink the trade deficit. Eliminate incentives for off-shoring jobs. … • "Shrink our bloated financial sector and make it serve the real economy once again." Reregulate Wall Street. Eliminate tax advantages for leveraged buyouts.

Editorial - You Scratch My Back. ...
New York Times, March 19, 2012

With their eye on campaign cash, President Obama and lawmakers from both parties have decided they can all get more from corporate constituents if they cooperate to enact legislation that big donors want. The legislation is the JOBS Act, or Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups Act, which passed the House with White House support this month and will be voted on this week in the Senate.  … Its proponents — stock exchanges, venture capital groups, biotech start-ups, investment banks — say that the easier it is for companies to raise money, the more they will grow and hire workers. Its opponents — the current and former chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the association of state securities regulators, AARP, the Consumer Federation of America, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. labor federation and unions, several big pension funds and many prominent securities experts — have presented ample evidence to show that deregulation raises the cost of capital by harming investors and impairing markets, making it harder for legitimate companies to thrive.

Unions Oppose ‘Jobs’ Bill; Wall Street Eschews ‘Invest’ Act
Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2012, 6:39 PM ET

Welcome to Washington, where unions don’t like “jobs” and Wall Street doesn’t want to “invest.” The name of Congress’s latest piece of election-year engineering could confuse almost anyone. While almost no one is against creating new jobs, a growing chorus of unions, regulators and investors are making a last-ditch effort to convince the Senate to reconsider the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or Jobs Act, which the chamber is expected to take up on Tuesday. The bill sailed through the House earlier this month, with support from President Barack Obama.

GOP: Let states handle road funds
By: Adam Snider and Burgess Everett, Politico, March 19, 2012 10:40 PM EDT

Congress may be on the road to re-upping the transportation bill, but there’s still a cadre of lawmakers who say it’s not too late to get the federal government out of the road-building and gas tax business. … Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) got a vote last week on his amendment to the Senate-passed bill that would send many transportation policy and funding decisions back to the states. The amendment was the first time in years senators got a serious chance to weigh in on the issue, and 30 senators (all Republicans) supported the long-shot attempt. A second devolution offering from Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) failed but also got 30 votes.

Health Care Costs Didn’t Double
FactCheck.org, Corrected on March 19, 2012

Several readers asked us about Republican comments and news reports saying that a new Congressional Budget Office report had found that the federal health care law would cost double the original estimate. But that’s not what CBO’s report said. Instead, the report shows that the gross yearly costs of the new health care law are likely to be 8.6 percent higher than originally estimated. …. Conservatives quickly jumped on the new CBO report, falsely claiming it said the cost estimates were now double what the CBO originally estimated

Dems hail health law's benefits for seniors
By Julian Pecquet  - The Hill,  03/19/12 04:58 PM ET

Democrats and their allies on Monday began a week-long celebration of the healthcare reform law's second anniversary with a coordinated push to defend its benefits for seniors — one day before House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveils his newest Medicare overhaul proposal. … Simultaneously, the seniors' lobby AARP launched what it's calling its largest-ever outreach effort with ads and town-hall meetings in 50 states aimed at defending Medicare and Social Security.

Health care debate ramps up ahead of Supreme Court arguments
By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, March 20, 2012

From a Zumba fitness class in Las Vegas to Tea Party rallies on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, health care is about to take the political stage it left two years ago. Proponents and critics of the law signed by President Obama in 2010 will hold rallies and other events, run TV ads, flood the mail and post videos online in an effort to influence a deeply divided public on the eve of the law's two-year anniversary and ahead of three days of Supreme Court arguments. Since 2010, the landmark health care law has taken a back seat to the economy, taxes, spending and now gas prices in terms of public attention. The next two weeks, however, could be crucial in determining its future.

Insurers at Risk in Challenge to Health Care Law’s Medicaid Plan
By Amanda J. Crawford on March 20, 2012, Bloomberg

A Supreme Court decision striking down the U.S. health-care law’s expansion of Medicaid might expose environmental and educational laws to legal challenges while hurting stocks that surged anticipating more than $600 billion in new spending over the next decade. In the case against President Barack Obama’s health-system overhaul, to be heard by justices March 26-28, 26 states argue the plan to cover 17 million uninsured Americans by expanding the care program for the poor is unconstitutional -- even though the federal government would pick up most of the tab.

Durbin, Dem colleagues at odds over House bill to ease corporate regulations
By Alexander Bolton, The Hill,  03/20/12 05:00 AM ET

Sen. Dick Durbin is fighting his top Democratic colleagues, Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Charles Schumer, who want to move a bill easing regulation of Wall Street. Despite mounting election pressures, Durbin (D-Ill.) is digging in his heels against giving new companies a five-year exemption from accounting and corporate governance rules. … “The JOBS Act was rushed through the House without any attention to its potentially devastating impact on investors, market transparency, and the integrity of our capital markets,” groups wrote in a March 19 letter opposing the House-passed bill Labor unions including the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, as well as groups such as Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform, signed the letter.

State/Local

AL: Unlikely allies come together to support jobs
By ANDY BROWNFIELD, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS March 19, 2012, 2:28PM

Business groups and a former labor leader came together on Monday to announce the formation of a nonprofit group aimed at helping create and preserve middle-class jobs in Alabama. JobKeeper Alliance is the idea of Stewart Burkhalter, who recently retired after 17 years as the president of the Alabama AFL-CIO.

CA: San Jose Police Officer's union sues city
By Tracy Seipel, mercurynews.com,   03/20/2012 06:28:03 AM PDT

Attorneys for the San Jose Police Officers' Association on Monday elaborated on two lawsuits they filed against the city of San Jose, including one that seeks to force the city back to the bargaining table and another that alleges the city violated the union's contract by trying to change retirement benefits through an election rather than arbitration.

CA: Labor contract that reflects spirit of Menlo Park's pension reform measure headed to vote
By Bonnie Eslinger, Daily News,   03/20/2012

Members of Menlo Park's largest employees group will vote March 26 to ratify or reject a contract that accepts reduced pension benefits for new city workers -- which residents demanded when they overwhelming approved Measure L two years ago.… A lawsuit filed in September 2011 by SEIU and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees contends the measure should be thrown out because it violates state laws that say city councils decide how to compensate city employees, not residents. San Mateo County Superior Court Judge George Miram, who heard arguments for and against Measure L's legal validity on March 1, is expected to issue a ruling within 90 days.

CO: Denver employees advise balancing budget with TABOR fix, de-Brucing, trash fees
By JEREMY MEYER The Denver Post, March 19, 2012, 3:27 pm MT

About 150 Denver city employees today crowded into the Parr Widener Community Room on the third floor of the City and County Building to provide feedback for how the city can balance an out-of-whack budget. ….  Twenty-nine percent said they supported asking voters to eliminate TABOR credits, 24 percent favored asking voters to allow the city to “de-Bruce” property taxes and 21 percent want to charge residents for trash pickup.

CT: Personnel Committee to take up DPW arbitration award tonight
By ROBERT KOCH Hour,  03/20/2012

Members of the Common Council's Personnel Committee are scheduled to meet behind closed doors tonight to discuss the recent arbitration award which would give the city the right to outsource its garbage collection services. … A state arbitration panel recently accepted the city's last-best offer in 37 or 42 issues which the city and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 2405, which represents Department of Public Works employees, failed to agree upon in search of a new collective-bargaining agreement. The previous contract expired June 30, 2009.

FL: Jackson Health System is laying off workers, but will that help fix its problems?
JOHN DORSCHNER, MIAMIHERALD.COM, March 20, 2012

When Jackson Health System cuts 1,117 positions by May 1 and hires up to 355 part-timers to fill in the gaps, Chief Executive Carlos Migoya says that’ll be a major step toward fixing the financially struggling public hospitals. …. Altogether, 400 nurses stand to lose jobs, according to documents Jackson filed with the state. Fourteen SEIU physicians will lose their jobs. The other major Jackson union, the American Federation of State County and Municipal employees, is losing considerably less. Its hardest hit category is practical nurses, cut by 30 jobs.

FL: Drug testing: Florida aims to be first to test public workers
By Patrik Jonsson, Christian Science Monitor, March 19, 2012

Florida, which already tests welfare recipients for drug and alcohol abuse, is poised to extend drug testing to state public employees – a first-in-the-nation move that lawmakers from other states may copy, even as labor unions, civil libertarians, and small-government advocates rail against it. Under the law, which cleared the Legislature March 9, agency heads are allowed (but not required) to randomly test up to 10 percent of their workforce for illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and alcohol, every three months. Elected officials are exempt.

GA: Tea Party Stands With Organized Labor On Georgia Anti-Picketing Law
Huffington Post, Updated: 03/19/2012 4:49 pm

Subscribers to an Atlanta Tea Party email list received an alert Monday morning urging them to take a stand against SB 469, a controversial Georgia bill that would criminalize certain forms of mass picketing. … Julianne Thompson, Georgia state director for Tea Party Patriots, told The Huffington Post that she and her fellow organizers don't see SB 469 as a political issue so much as a free-speech issue. Thompson spoke out against the bill at the state capitol Monday.

IA: Branstad wants to restore unemployment office money
By Mike Wiser,  Journal  Monday, March 19, 2012 7:58 pm

Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday he wants to work with the Iowa Legislature to restore Workforce Development money that was effectively eliminated through a Supreme Court decision last week.… Beall is one of the Democratic lawmakers who joined American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 61 President Danny Homan in filing a lawsuit when Branstad vetoed the funding. On Monday, Chief Justice Mark Cady filed an order saying Homan's side had until Friday to respond to Branstad's stay motion, and Cady gave Branstad until March 26 to respond to that response.

IL: Study: Closing prison in Dwight would have $53.7 million impact on area economy
By Kurt Erickson | lee.net | Monday, March 19, 2012 3:49 pm

.. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, which represents workers at the targeted facilties, said the prison closings, combined with other facilities Quinn wants to close, would have a statewide impact of more than 2,300 job losses and more than $250 million.

IN: Council continues health insurance discussion
11:20 PM, Mar. 19, 2012 |  Palladium Item

The Richmond Common Council Monday night once again took up the discussion of city health insurance coverage and this time asked for more communication from and for possible representation on the city's insurance committee. …. City officials have said that changes in health insurance coverage are needed, things like a spousal carve out and the practice where retirees can stay on the city's health plan and pay no premiums for that coverage, up to age 65. Both of those benefits have been supported by city unions. Presidents of city police and fire unions and the local American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) attended Monday's meeting and talked to council members at the end of the meeting, but declined public comment.

IN: Daniels signs bans on local government conflicts of interest, nepotism
Dan Carden nwi.com, | Monday, March 19, 2012 6:00 pm

Starting next year local government employees will no longer be permitted to serve as elected officials of the governments they work for. … Under the new law, a person holding a local government job and elected office with that government Jan. 1, 2013, can keep both positions until their elected term expires. Any other local government employee who wins elected office is considered to have automatically quit their job when they take office.

MD: Pension bill opposed by unions stalls in Baltimore Co. Council
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun, 10:04 p.m. EDT, March 19, 2012

A bill from Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz that could have reduced some workers' pensions stalled in the County Council Monday after pressure from unions that complained the bill undermined labor rights. The 4-3 vote to table the legislation came after union members and state labor leaders rallied outside the county courthouse, saying the bill sidestepped contract negotiations for members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The bill would have stopped AFSCME members from using overtime in their pension calculations, which they have done for more than 30 years.

MI: Dire finances leave Detroit stalled
Andrea Billups-The Washington Times Monday, March 19, 2012

…..Although the automotive sector and some other parts of the city’s business picture have bounced back in recent years, Detroit city government finances are still on an unsustainable course, and the city does not have a viable fiscal plan to avoid running out of money in May.

MI: Gov. Snyder to unions: Back off petition drive against right-to-work
March 19, 2012 |  Detroit Free Press

Gov. Rick Snyder, who has tried repeatedly to discourage conservatives in his party from pursuing right-to-work legislation, now wants unions to back off pushing a ballot proposal that would make such a law unconstitutional. Snyder said last week that he opposes both ideas for the same reason -- they are too divisive. The governor, now on a trade mission to Europe, said he has made preliminary overtures to union leaders, asking them to "reconsider and to have a dialogue" about a petition drive aimed at enshrining collective bargaining in the Michigan Constitution.

MI: Proposed collective bargaining amendments approved for petitions
11:11 AM, March 19, 2012 |   Detroit Free Press

A trio of proposed state constitutional amendments – including a pair of union-backed measures to strengthen collective bargaining rights -- earned the nominal approval of a state elections panel this morning, clearing the way for the circulation of petitions. A fourth proposed amendment unveiled only last week, to compel more financial disclosure of corporate political activity, was withdrawn from consideration at the request of its sponsor, 2010 Democratic candidate for Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Approved was the proposal dubbed Protect Our Jobs, which was developed in response to legislative initiatives in the last year to curtail public employee unions and the perceived threat of passage of a right-to-work law. And another union-backed measure to give home health care workers collective bargaining rights. The third proposal would install passages from the Declaration of Independence in the state Constitution.

MI: Court hearing may determine immediate future of Flint emergency manager
By Steve Carmody Michigan Radio, March 20, 2012

A court hearing this afternoon may decide if Flint’s emergency manager can once again run the city. Michael Brown has been in limbo since last Thursday.  That’s when a judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing him from acting as Flint’s emergency manager. … State officials hope today’s court hearing will lead to the reinstatement of Brown’s emergency manager powers.

MI: Genesee County Register of Deeds Rose Bogardus dumps chief deputy
Monday, March 19, 2012, 3:44 PM,  By Ron Fonger | mlive.com

County Register of Deeds Rose Bogardus has sent her chief deputy packing, saying she didn't enforce her policies, including rules involving employees making personal calls at work. … The register said a letter of understanding between the county and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees allows for Jones to move into another position in county government.

MN: AFL-CIO registers PAC to fight "right-to-work" amendment
5:00 PM on March 19, 2012 by Catharine, MN Public Radio

Minnesota's unions have formed We Are Minnesota, a fund meant to raise money to oppose a proposed constitutional amendment that would make union membership and the payment of union dues voluntary for all workers. A Senate panel approved the "right-to-work" bill last week.

MN: Workers vote on union at University of Minnesota
JENNA ROSS , Star Tribune: March 19, 2012 - 9:19 PM

Graduate students who teach classes and conduct research at the University of Minnesota are voting this week on whether to form a union, closing a heated campaign that has dominated the campus newspaper and dotted graduate assistants' inboxes with back-and-forth debates over issues of pay, dues and representation. It is the state's largest public union election in recent years and comes at a time when legislators are debating a so-called "right-to-work" amendment. .. At the U, where the union has been backed by the United Auto Workers, dues would amount to 1.15 percent of a member's gross salary, while a nonmember would pay a "fair share" rate up to 85 percent of that.

Neb. bill would increase state contract scrutiny
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS March 19, 2012, 6:28PM ET text size: TT

Nebraska state agencies that want to award contracts worth more than $15 million to private providers would have to submit their proposals to stricter state scrutiny under a measure that won first-round legislative approval Monday.

NY: Union suspends $$ for pension-cutting pols
By ERIK KRISS, NY Post, LMarch 20, 2012

ALBANY — New York’s biggest state employee union suspended all political contributions and endorsements yesterday to punish legislators for supporting a cost-saving pension overhaul. Danny Donohue, president of the powerful Civil Service Employees Association, accused majority Senate Republicans and Assembly Democrats of “trading the future retirement security of working New Yorkers for legislative redistricting lines.”

NY: Budget debate subdued this time / Hot button topics slowed 2011's talks; big groups waiting this year to lobby
By Jimmy Vielkind, Times Union,  10:33 p.m., Monday, March 19, 2012

…. Indeed, one source pegged CSNY's more recent statewide television buy at $2.5 million. Many of the budget ads didn't begin in earnest until March — perhaps non-coincidentally, after the covered period — when labor groups like the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and its state-level affiliate, the Civil Service Employees Association, took to the air. … CSEA had also launched ads, but its spokesman Stephen Madarasz would not disclose the details; he said the union has not reported the spending in its filings because of billing delays. "We don't even have all of that accounted yet," he said.

OH: Council meets to get update on union negotiations
Mar. 20, 2012 | Chillicothe Gazette

… During the negotiations with the FOP, the city missed two crucial deadlines and was forced to accept a fact-finders report as the settled contract between the city and the FOP. As a result, FOP members received a slightly sweeter deal on pension pick-up and wage increases than the city's AFSCME members. FOP members also received a better deal on health care costs, but AFSCME will share those reduced costs because in the AFSCME contract there is a clause that allows the union's members to receive reduced health care expenses if other unions secure a better deal with the city.

OH: Lake on verge of making big cuts
Fox Toledo, Tuesday, 20 Mar 2012, 6:22 AM EDT

MILBURY, Ohio - The Lake Board of Education promised drastic cuts in the wake of two levy failures last year. It’s poised to deliver on that pledge on Wednesday. The board will hold its regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m. in the middle school cafeteria. … The resolution also states that Superintendent Jim Witt and Treasurer Jeff Carpenter have met and consulted with administrative employees, the Lake Education Association, and OAPSE Local 335 in the development of these proposed cost-cutting measures.

OH: Court workers' pay freeze thawing / Municipal judges will ask council to increase salary ranges
Mar. 19, 2012 |   News Journal

MANSFIELD -- The pay freezes that went into effect for municipal workers when the City of Mansfield slid into fiscal emergency may have thawed -- for court employees, at least. … AFSCME President Mark Abrams said city workers who have gone without raises for the past several years see a disparity. "It's a difficult situation. It has been five or six years since AFSCME has got a pay raise, maybe more. We're still in fiscal emergency. It's just sad to see that we have 50 some people still out on the street unemployed, and the courts and the clerk of courts have decided to give a pay raise. It would be different if it was across the board," Abrams said. "I don't get, why now?"

SC: Proposal would hand SC school bus systems to districts
By GINA SMITH - thestate.com, Monday, Mar. 19, 2012 07:54 AM

S.C. school systems are fearful they are about to be handed a bill for tens of millions of dollars by the S.C. Legislature. That bill, they fear, could start coming due this week as S.C. House members begin work on a proposal to require the state’s school districts to operate their own school bus systems or contract those operations out to private companies. Currently, South Carolina is the only state in the nation that owns and operates its own school bus fleet. …. A three-year study, released last summer by the state Department of Education, found it cost the state more in time and money to privatize a school bus shop than it had to run a state-owned shop.

WI: Walker on recall: This is 'Waterloo'
By: Mackenzie Weinger, Politico March 20, 2012 07:15 AM EDT

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says his upcoming recall election is a “Waterloo” moment for national unions that will “invest everything possible to try and take me out to send a message.”  Walker told Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren on Monday night in Milwaukee he believes the vast majority of money that will pour into the June recall will come from out of state. And the unions, the Republican governor said, will be leading the charge against him in the new few months. “The national unions, for them, this is all about the money,” Walker said.

WI: Iraq vets back public workers, public workers back vets
Cap Times editorial | ( Monday, March 19, 2012

Last year, on the anniversary of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, the national Iraq Veterans Against the War movement organized a historic march in Madison. An estimated 10,000 veterans rallied in solidarity with the movement that challenged Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-labor agenda. “We’re public employees too,” explained Aaron Hughes, an IVAW organizer who worked with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union to get the march together. “Many veterans go into the public sector because there’s a veterans’ preference, so we depend on these public sector unions to protect our rights as veterans.”

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