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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wisconsin Law Enforcement Union: "Tragic Mistake to Endorse Walker"

One of the remarkable parts of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's stalled union-busting bill is its selectivity. The bill does not attempt to break all public unions in the state, but rather focuses on those that failed to support him. As Ezra Klein observes, "...note that not all public-employee unions are covered by Walker's proposal: the more conservative public-safety unions -- notably police and firefighters, many of whom endorsed Walker -- are exempt".

The chaos caused by Walker's bill is clearly evidenced in this posting on the WLEA (Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association) website.  The posting was apparently made four days ago, on Feb. 16, but I saw no mention of it until today.  The statement includes WLEA's analysis of the bill as well as a strongly worded statement from WLEA's president, Tracy Fuller.  It should be read in full, but here is an extended piece of it:  

I don’t believe that the Troopers Association could have possibly predicted, or comprehended the events that are unfolding in front of us at this time. I can agree that it was a tragic mistake for the Trooper’s Association to endorse the Governor, I can’t do anything about it, and they are reaping the benefits of their actions. I do believe they thought any benefits gained would be for all of the members of WLEA, after all, the PCO’s, Field Agents, Capitol Police, and U.W. Police are all in the same union.

Who could have possibly thought that the Governor could pluck one local’s members from a union and identify it as being worthy of bargaining for a contract? Some of the comments and attitudes that have been made and displayed would have you believe that the Governor consulted with the board of the Trooper’s Association about what his plans were in all of this.
Everyone is in the same boat, just like the slaves. Perceived benefits are not benefits they are just perceptions. Slave owners loved the contention between the field slaves and the house slaves because they never had to worry about the two groups consorting with each other. House slaves would kill field slaves for talking about escaping the plantation.

Are we like the slaves, in that we can’t really see that we are all the same in Governor’s eyes, and he only sees us as things that fulfill his purpose of turning the state employees into workers on the big plantation, with no rules other than those conjured up by the overseers as the event occurs?

Do we really see one as being better than the other because of what we think the perception of the Governor is regarding any of us? This is a ridiculous mindset we are in the process of developing as we enter into this holocaustic era. Many of us are committing career suicide at the prospect of losing what we all have worked for; in the end we will have helped the Governor get rid of Currently Employed Unionized State Workers, which is his ultimate goal. Acting the way we are helps destroy our Union, which is his ultimate goal. Acting the way we are right now helps him kill us all, without doing much of anything other than talk about it. Everyone is threatened.

It's just a remarkable statement from a union that had been counted (until now) as a supporter of Walker's.  Not an expert here, but I think when your political support starts referring to you as "the plantation owner", you might just have a bit of a problem.

Probably a good thing Walker alerted the Wisconsin Guard to be ready to step in, in case things went sour.  By the time this is over, they may be the only friends he has left.


The remarkable statement by WLEA’s Executive Board President Tracy Fuller excerpted and linked above may have been a little too remarkable--it's been removed from their website. I have not been able to retrieve any cached versions showing his original text. If any, more tech-savvy folks can locate a cached version of his extended original statement, please let me know in comments, or tweet @Casual_Obs.

Update 2

Over at FDL, ubetchaiam notes that Fuller has since spoken with Raw Story and has substantially softened his stance and claims he was speaking only for himself–not the union he leads. Perhaps there's been some pressure applied.  Even with this walk-back, the meaning of his original statement seems pretty clear regarding Gov. Walker.

Update 3

over at FDL, sailcat has found what appears to be Fuller's entire original statement.

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