February 20, 2015

LIE BACK AND THINK OF WISCONSIN:

Scott Walker Gets the 'Right-to-Work' Union Fight He Didn't Ask For (MARK PETERS, 2/20/15, WSJ)

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made a name for himself by battling public-sector unions. But he has shown less interest in curbing organized labor when it comes to the private sector. [...]

The GOP-controlled legislature is calling for what's known as an extraordinary session next week, helping leaders move the bill more easily through the Senate and Assembly. The Senate is expected to take up the legislation next week, followed by the assembly the first week in March.

"My experience as leader is when you have the votes, you go to the floor -- you don't wait around," said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, a Republican.

Four years ago in Wisconsin, the battle over a law ending most collective-bargaining rights for public employees led to mass protests at the capitol and made Mr. Walker a darling of conservatives. That legislative victory propelled him onto the national stage, making him an early leader in a crowded field for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. (Mr. Walker hasn't decided whether he will run, but is hiring staff and raising money.)

The showdown over the public-sector law in 2011 eventually led to the recall of Mr. Walker, who won that election the following year. He then went on to capture a second term in November.

After winning re-election, Mr. Walker described "right-to-work" legislation as a distraction, saying the 2011 law dealt with problems in the public sector and he preferred to focus on issues such as taxes and education. Still, Mr. Walker on Friday said he would sign the legislation if it passes.

Posted by at February 20, 2015 5:54 PM
  

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