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2011 Wisconsin protests

2011 Wisconsin protests

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The 2011 Wisconsin protests were a series of demonstrations in the state of Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 beginning in February involving at its zenith as many as 100,000 protestors opposing the Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill
Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill
The Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill was legislation proposed by Republican Governor Scott Walker and passed by the Wisconsin Legislature to address a projected $3.6 billion budget deficit.-Legislation summary:...

. Subsequently, anti-tax activists and other conservatives, including tea party advocates
Tea Party movement
The Tea Party movement is an American populist political movement that is generally recognized as conservative and libertarian, and has sponsored protests and supported political candidates since 2009...

, launched small pockets of counter protests. The protests centered around the Wisconsin State Capitol
Wisconsin State Capitol
The Wisconsin State Capitol, in Madison, Wisconsin, houses both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature along with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor. Completed during 1917, the building is the fifth to serve as the Wisconsin capitol since the first territorial legislature...

 in Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

, with satellite protests also occurring at other municipalities throughout the state. Demonstrations took place at various college campuses, including the University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

 and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. After the collective bargaining
Collective bargaining
Collective bargaining is a process of negotiations between employers and the representatives of a unit of employees aimed at reaching agreements that regulate working conditions...

 bill was signed into law, Judge Maryann Sumi struck it down, ruling that it was passed in violation of the Open Meetings Law. The Wisconsin Supreme Court
Wisconsin Supreme Court
The Wisconsin Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the state of Wisconsin. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over original actions, appeals from lower courts, and regulation or administration of the practice of law in Wisconsin.-Location:...

 overturned Sumi's ruling on June 14. By June 16, the number of protesters numbered about 1,000. In July 2011, workers from two local chapters of the AFL-CIO
AFL-CIO
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, commonly AFL–CIO, is a national trade union center, the largest federation of unions in the United States, made up of 56 national and international unions, together representing more than 11 million workers...

 filed a lawsuit against the law, alleging it violates the US Constitution's equal protection clause
Equal Protection Clause
The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws"...

 by limiting collective bargaining only for public workers. Another lawsuit was filed by opponents of the Budget Repair Bill, raising claims that public workers could lose their jobs to Wisconsin prisoners by officials who will now have greater leeway to assign those jobs previously reserved for unionized
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

 employees. In about 30 states, public unions have the right to collectively bargain. Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 and Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 prohibit formal collective bargaining with public employees and many other states are considering making changes in regards to collective bargaining.

Background


Wisconsin was the first state in the United States to provide collective bargaining rights to public employees in 1959. In American labor unions, most members had previously worked in the private sector. This has now shifted whereby the majority of union members work in the public sector, particularly for states and cities. In 1960, 31.9% of the private work force belonged to a union, compared to 10.8% of public workers. By 2010, 36.2% of public workers were in unions compared to 6.9% in the private sector. This increase in public-employee unionism coincided with the granting of collective bargaining rights to public employees. The growth in state and local government jobs was double the rate of population growth, according to the Wall Street Journal. Public employees, which includes most teachers, police officers, city and state officials, depend on tax revenues to fund their pay and benefits. Total union membership for all employees, both public and private, has decreased substantially over the years, with total union membership in 2010 at 11.4%.

An NBC News
NBC News
NBC News is the news division of American television network NBC. It first started broadcasting in February 21, 1940. NBC Nightly News has aired from Studio 3B, located on floors 3 of the NBC Studios is the headquarters of the GE Building forms the centerpiece of 30th Rockefeller Center it is...

 article by John Bailey listed as one of five factors responsible for the budget shortfall a series of tax cuts beginning in 2003 by the Wisconsin Legislature
Wisconsin Legislature
The Wisconsin Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The Legislature is a bicameral body composed of the upper house Wisconsin Senate and the lower Wisconsin Assembly...

, claiming they would cause an "$800 million-per-year reduction in tax revenues" in 2013. In January 2011, the state legislature passed a series of bills providing additional tax cuts and deductions for businesses at “a two-year cost of $67 million”. In early February, the Walker administration projected a budget shortfall in 2013 (Wisconsin functions on two-year budgets) of $3.6 billion and found that a budget repair bill to resolve a $137 million shortfall for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, was needed as well. The protests and demonstrations began following Walker's introduction of the Budget Repair Bill on February 11, 2011.

When Jim Doyle
Jim Doyle
James Edward "Jim" Doyle is a Wisconsin politician and member of the Democratic Party. He was the 44th Governor of Wisconsin, serving from January 6, 2003 to January 3, 2011. He defeated incumbent Governor Scott McCallum by a margin of 45 percent to 41 percent; the Libertarian Party candidate Ed...

 (D-Wisconsin) was governor (2003–2010), the budget deficits that the state faced were filled three times by taking money from the transportation fund, in amounts totaling $1.257 billion. Subsequently, 53 counties throughout the state passed referendums to prevent government officials from taking money from the transportation fund for use in other projects.

Both Governor Walker and his opponent in the 2010 Governor's race, Tom Barrett
Tom Barrett (politician)
Thomas Mark "Tom" Barrett is the Democratic Mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, serving since 2004. He ran for Governor of Wisconsin in November 2010, losing by a margin of 52 percent to 47 percent to Republican Scott Walker. Previously, Barrett served in the United States House of Representatives...

, stated that they would not close the budget deficit by taking money from the transportation fund. As a candidate for governor, Walker proposed that state employees pay more toward their pensions saying it would save the state about $180 million a year.

The Walker-backed bill proposed taking away the ability of public sector unions to bargain collectively over pensions and health care and limiting pay raises of public employees to the rate of inflation, as well as ending automatic union dues collection by the state and requiring public unions to recertify annually. The bargaining changes exempted the unions of public safety officers, including police, firefighters, and state troopers. Walker stated without the cuts, thousands of state workers would have to be laid off.

The Wisconsin state pension plan requires a 6.8% employer contribution and 6.2% from the employee. However, according to collective-bargaining agreements in place since 1996, the districts pay the employees' share as well, for a total of 13%. One district also contributes an additional 4.2% of teacher salaries to cover a second pension and teachers contribute nothing. Under some current collective-bargaining agreements, the school district pays the entire premium for medical and vision benefits, and over half the cost of dental coverage. This is partly because some districts purchase insurance through the teachers union. The district's contributions for health insurance of active employees total 38.8% of wages. For private-sector workers nationwide, as of 2011, the average is 10.7%. This is especially the case for teachers in many states, because the eligibility rules of their pension plans often induce them to retire in their 50s, and Medicare does not kick in until age 65. According to David Cay Johnston
David Cay Johnston
David Cay Johnston is an investigative journalist and author, a specialist in economics and tax issues, and winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting....

, Wisconsin state employers currently pay 5% of employee wages into their pension under the principle of "deferred compensation
Deferred compensation
Deferred compensation is an arrangement in which a portion of an employee's income is paid out at a date after which that income is actually earned. Examples of deferred compensation include pensions, retirement plans, and stock options...

".

Other proposals within the budget repair bill have also generated controversy. One proposal seeks to diminish legislative oversight of the implementation of, and eligibility requirements for, state Medicaid
Medicaid
Medicaid is the United States health program for certain people and families with low incomes and resources. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and is managed by the states. People served by Medicaid are U.S. citizens or legal permanent...

 programs. A clause that would allow the state to sell up to 37 heating and cooling plants across the state without requiring competitive bids also generated controversy. After certain journalists expressed concerns that this provision could be part of a larger plan to sell state assets at bargain prices to business interests controlled by Charles G. Koch
Charles G. Koch
Charles de Ganahl Koch is co-owner, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Koch Industries Inc., the second-largest privately held company by revenue in the United States according to a 2010 Forbes survey...

 and David H. Koch
David H. Koch
David Hamilton Koch is an American businessman, philanthropist, political activist, and chemical engineer. He is a co-owner and an executive vice president of Koch Industries, a conglomerate that is the second-largest privately held company in the U.S...

, billionaire brothers who supported Walker's bid for governor, Koch Industries
Koch Industries
Koch Industries, Inc. , is an American private energy conglomerate based in Wichita, Kansas, with subsidiaries involved in manufacturing, trading and investments. Koch also owns Invista, Georgia-Pacific, Flint Hills Resources, Koch Pipeline, Koch Fertilizer, Koch Minerals and Matador Cattle Company...

 issued a statement denying any interest in purchasing any state owned power plants in Wisconsin. Also generating controversy was a proposal, backed by University of Wisconsin Chancellor Carolyn Martin
Carolyn Martin
Carolyn Arthur “Biddy” Martin is an American intellectual, author, and former Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She assumed office on September 1, 2008, succeeding John D. Wiley. She was the ninth graduate of UW–Madison to serve as its chancellor, and the first alumna to hold that...

 and promoted as the "New Badger Partnership", to separate the flagship University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

 campus from the rest of the University of Wisconsin System
University of Wisconsin System
The University of Wisconsin System is a university system of public universities in the state of Wisconsin. It is one of the largest public higher education systems in the country, enrolling more than 182,000 students each year and employing more than 32,000 faculty and staff statewide...

. Two days after the protests began in Wisconsin, protests occurred in Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is the capital of and the largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. The broader metropolitan area encompasses several counties and is the third largest in Ohio behind those of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus is the third largest city in the American Midwest, and the fifteenth largest city...

 over similar legislation.

Assembly Republicans began procedures to move the bill to a vote on February 22 while Democrats submitted dozens of amendments and conducted speeches. At 1:00 a.m. on February 25, following sixty hours of debate, the final amendments had been defeated and the Republican leadership of the Wisconsin State Assembly cut off debate as well as the public hearing and moved quickly to pass the budget repair bill in a sudden vote. The vote was 51 in favor and 17 opposed, with 28 representatives not voting. The final vote took place without warning, and the time allowed for voting was so short (lasting only 5–15 s) that fewer than half of the Democratic representatives were able to vote; many reportedly pushed the voting button as hard as possible but it did not register. Four Republican representatives voted against the bill.

February



On Monday, February 14, teaching and project assistants from the University of Wisconsin–Madison distributed "We ♥ UW: Don't Break My ♥" Valentine cards to the governor, as a means of protesting the bill's negative impacts on working conditions at the university.

On February 15, tens of thousands of protesters demonstrated in and around the Capitol building in Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

 regarding the proposed legislation's limitations on collective bargaining
Collective bargaining
Collective bargaining is a process of negotiations between employers and the representatives of a unit of employees aimed at reaching agreements that regulate working conditions...

 for and against Walker's bill. "Kill the Bill" remained one of the main slogans of the protesters. That same day, union members, students and private-sector citizens took part in public hearings with the senators and representatives from both parties, which lasted 17 hours; some defenders of the bill expressed their position, but the majority of the participants opposed the bill.

By February 16, the number of protesters in front of the Wisconsin State Capitol
Wisconsin State Capitol
The Wisconsin State Capitol, in Madison, Wisconsin, houses both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature along with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor. Completed during 1917, the building is the fifth to serve as the Wisconsin capitol since the first territorial legislature...

 was estimated at 30,000.

On February 17, about 25,000 people continued the protest. Citing concerns that Republicans were attempting to pass the legislation without scheduling adequate time for public review and debate, Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller led the 14 senate democrats in fleeing the state to prevent the quorum necessary for a vote on the Budget Repair Bill. At the same time, protestors occupied the Senate chambers. On the same day, the protests spread to Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is the capital of and the largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. The broader metropolitan area encompasses several counties and is the third largest in Ohio behind those of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus is the third largest city in the American Midwest, and the fifteenth largest city...

, where about 3,800 protesters demonstrated against a similar bill to "eliminate collective bargaining" being considered by the Ohio legislature. According to Mike Lux
Mike Lux
Mike Lux is the co-founder and President of , a political consulting firm founded in 1999, focused on strategic political consulting for non-profits, labor unions, PACs and progressive donors....

, some of the protesters in the two states carried Egyptian flags, indicating their Egyptian revolution
2011 Egyptian revolution
The 2011 Egyptian revolution took place following a popular uprising that began on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 and is still continuing as of November 2011. The uprising was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil...

 inspiration. Ed Schultz
Ed Schultz
Edward Andrew "Ed" Schultz Is an American television and radio host and a liberal political commentator . He is the host of The Ed Show, a daily news talk program on MSNBC, and The Ed Schultz Show, a talk radio show, nationally syndicated by Dial Global, promising "straight talk."-Early...

 of MSNBC
MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

's The Ed Show
The Ed Show
The Ed Show is an hour-long weeknight news commentary program on MSNBC. The program is hosted by Ed Schultz, who hosts the nationally syndicated radio program, The Ed Schultz Show. It debuted on MSNBC on April 6, 2009, at 6 P.M. ET. It moved to 10 P.M. ET, filling the time slot previously...

appeared live outside the Wisconsin State Capitol
Wisconsin State Capitol
The Wisconsin State Capitol, in Madison, Wisconsin, houses both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature along with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor. Completed during 1917, the building is the fifth to serve as the Wisconsin capitol since the first territorial legislature...

 on February 17 and 18.

On February 18, the AFL-CIO president, Richard Trumka
Richard Trumka
Richard Louis Trumka is an organized labor leader in the United States. He was elected President of the AFL-CIO on September 16, 2009, at the labor federation's convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, from 1995 to 2009, and prior to that was...

, and other state labor leaders addressed the protest crowd on the Capitol lawn. Trumka asserted that Governor Walker's plan was part of a larger national Republican strategy. The number of protesters in Madison grew to over 70,000 on February 19, including some who supported Walker's plan.

By February 20, protestors had undertaken a physical occupation of the Capitol building, establishing a fully functioning community within the public spaces of the Wisconsin State Capitol
Wisconsin State Capitol
The Wisconsin State Capitol, in Madison, Wisconsin, houses both chambers of the Wisconsin legislature along with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor. Completed during 1917, the building is the fifth to serve as the Wisconsin capitol since the first territorial legislature...

, including an information center, a sleeping area, food stations with food for protestors supplied by local businesses. Additionally, protestors covered the walls of the Capitol with thousands of homemade signs. On February 20, a union organizer participating in the protests said that the protests would continue "as long as it takes". Other union leaders called for teachers to return to work. During this timeframe several members of the teaching and project assistant union of UW-Madison (TAA-Madison) designed and implemented "Defend Wisconsin", a web site that would serve to help coordinate rallies, publish video footage by protesters, and relay general information about the bill and protests.

On February 23, 2011, Buffalo Beast editor Ian Murphy placed a prank telephone call to Walker claiming to be billionaire David Koch
David H. Koch
David Hamilton Koch is an American businessman, philanthropist, political activist, and chemical engineer. He is a co-owner and an executive vice president of Koch Industries, a conglomerate that is the second-largest privately held company in the U.S...

, one of Walker's largest corporate supporters
Political activities of the Koch family
The political activities of the Koch family are the political activities of the family of Fred C. Koch, a co-founder of Koch Industries, an oil, gas, and chemical conglomerate which is the second largest privately held company in the United States with annual revenues of $110 billion...

, who is often accused of trying to drive civil service unions out of government. During the 20-minute call, Walker discussed a method of getting the absent Senators to return, and that he spoke daily with like-minded Ohio Governor John Kasich
John Kasich
John Richard Kasich is the 69th and current Governor of Ohio. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing from 1983 to 2001...

. Walker's office later confirmed that the recording of the call was genuine, and stated, "The phone call shows that the Governor says the same thing in private as he does in public and the lengths that others will go to disrupt the civil debate Wisconsin is having." Two local public officials, including Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz
Dave Cieslewicz
David J. Cieslewicz ; born February 17, 1959) is an American politician who served as mayor of Madison, Wisconsin from 2003 to 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party.-Personal life and early career:...

, expressed concern that Walker's comments could be considered ethics violations. The Society of Professional Journalists
Society of Professional Journalists
The Society of Professional Journalists , formerly known as Sigma Delta Chi, is one of the oldest organizations representing journalists in the United States. It was established in April 1909 at DePauw University, and its charter was designed by William Meharry Glenn. The ten founding members of...

 condemned the Buffalo Beast, calling its actions "underhanded and unethical".

In the aftermath of the call, Senate Democrats refused requests from Governor Walker to return to Wisconsin and negotiate a compromise. Some characterized their wariness as a consequence of the fake call. On February 25, following rumors that the Capitol building would be closed and the protesters moved out, the head of the state's largest police union issued a statement urging Governor Walker to keep the Capitol open. Jim Palmer, the executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, went on to state that his organization stood with the protesters, despite the fact that law enforcement officers were exempt from the budget repair bill's collective bargaining changes. Palmer then called on off-duty officers to sleep in the Capitol that evening. Later that day, the Department of Administration announced that the Capitol building would remain open.

On February 26, between 70,000 and 100,000 protested the proposed budget in Madison. They were joined by thousands at state capitals around the nation. Out of state union supporters continued to join the protests to show their support, with hundreds of protesters being bused by New York Teamsters.

Appearing on Meet the Press
Meet the Press
Meet the Press is a weekly American television news/interview program produced by NBC. It is the longest-running television series in American broadcasting history, despite bearing little resemblance to the original format of the program seen in its television debut on November 6, 1947. It has been...

on February 27, Governor Walker said he did not believe the unions were sincere in offering the pension and health care concessions because local unions had recently pushed through contracts with school boards and city councils that did not include contributions to the pensions and health care, and that in one case, the contract actually included a pay increase. On March 8, private emails released showed Walker had, in fact, tried to negotiate with the Democratic legislators for weeks, even conceding some collective bargaining rights. However, unable to reach a compromise with Democratic legislators, Walker removed some fiscal measures from the bill, claiming that allowed passage by simple senate majority.

On February 27, it was reported by the media that Republican State Senator Dale Schultz
Dale Schultz
Dale W. Schultz is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 17th District since a special election in 1991. He was previously a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1982 through 1991.-Background:...

 would not vote for the bill. However, Schultz refused to let his own intentions be known regarding the bill; he had previously attempted a compromise budget plan, which was rejected by Governor Walker.

On February 28, Democratic Representative Gordon Hintz
Gordon Hintz
Gordon N. Hintz is a Democratic Party member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing the 54th Assembly District since his election in 2006....

 formally apologized for threatening remarks made to Republican Representative Michelle Litjens on the Assembly floor following the vote. Also on February 28, the largest public union filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the state labor relations board, claiming that Walker had a duty to negotiate, but had refused.

March


On March 3, police found 41 rounds of 22-caliber rifle ammunition outside the Wisconsin state Capitol. Ammunition was also found inside a city and county government building in downtown Madison. That same day security at the Capitol had became so restrictive that a team of firefighters responding to an emergency call were denied access to the building. On the same night, Rep. Nick Milroy
Nick Milroy
Nick Milroy is a Democratic Party member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing the 73rd Assembly District since his election in 2008.-Biography:...

 (Democrat) was tackled by law enforcement officers while attempting to enter the Capitol to retrieve clothes. Milroy said in a statement that "no harm was done", but criticized the "armed-palace environment created by Gov. Walker". Also that same day, after occupation of the Capitol for more than two weeks, the final group of pro-union protesters left the building peacefully after a judge ordered their removal. The judge ruled that activists could not stay in the building overnight, but he ordered authorities to end the lockdown on the building and restore normal access by March 6.

On March 4, Governor Walker threatened to send layoff notices to 1,500 state employees if his budget repair bill was not passed. According to Walker, this move was needed to save the state $30 million. However, in the fake call, Walker had discussed using the threat of layoffs as a political weapon to put pressure on the Senate Democrats, saying "We might ratchet that up a little bit, you know."

On March 5, filmmaker Michael Moore
Michael Moore
Michael Francis Moore is an American filmmaker, author, social critic and activist. He is the director and producer of Fahrenheit 9/11, which is the highest-grossing documentary of all time. His films Bowling for Columbine and Sicko also place in the top ten highest-grossing documentaries...

 spoke to a crowd of "tens of thousands" of protesters drawing cheers from the crowd as he repeatedly said, "America is not broke", and adding, "The country is awash in wealth and cash. It's just that it's not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich."

On March 9, Wisconsin Republicans passed legislation to limit state workers' collective bargaining rights, and a special conference committee of state lawmakers approved the bill a short time later. The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money, however by removing parts of the bill related to money, they had discovered a way to bypass the chamber's missing Democrats. On March 9, the bill passed the State Senate 18-1, repealing state workers' collective bargaining over pensions and health care, limiting pay raises of public employees to the rate of inflation, ending automatic union dues collection by the state, and requiring public unions to recertify annually. Wisconsin Senator Dale Schultz
Dale Schultz
Dale W. Schultz is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 17th District since a special election in 1991. He was previously a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1982 through 1991.-Background:...

 was the only Republican to vote "no". On March 10, the Wisconsin State Assembly followed the Senate's move and passed the law with a vote of 53–42.

Shortly afterwards, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the locked entrance to the Capitol, chanting "Break down the door!" and "General strike!" The crowds grew to thousands, surging into the capitol. Police did not attempt to remove them. Department of Administration spokesman Tim Donovan said although protesters were being encouraged to leave, no one would be forcibly removed. Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said he had instructed Madison Police Chief Noble Wray not to allow his officers to participate in removing demonstrators from the building.

Katherine R. Windels of Cross Plains, Wisconsin
Cross Plains, Wisconsin
Cross Plains is a village in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 3,084 at the 2000 census. The village is located partially within the Town of Cross Plains. It is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 sent death threat e-mails to Republican lawmakers the same day the legislation passed, and was arrested and charged with two felony
Felony
A felony is a serious crime in the common law countries. The term originates from English common law where felonies were originally crimes which involved the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods; other crimes were called misdemeanors...

 and two misdemeanor
Misdemeanor
A misdemeanor is a "lesser" criminal act in many common law legal systems. Misdemeanors are generally punished much less severely than felonies, but theoretically more so than administrative infractions and regulatory offences...

 counts by the Dane County district attorney.

Governor Walker's response


In the opinion section of The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

on March 10, 2011, Governor Walker expressed his reasons for "fighting in Wisconsin". He started his message discussing a teacher from Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools is the largest school district in Wisconsin. As of 2007, it had an enrollment of 87,360 students, and as of 2006 employed 6,100 full-time and substitute teachers in 223 schools. The Milwaukee Public Schools system is the 33rd largest in the United States by enrollment...

, Megan Sampson, who was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year, but received a layoff notice a week later. He stated that the collective-bargaining contract requires staffing decisions to be made based on seniority and got a layoff notice because the union leadership would not accept reasonable changes to their contract. Instead, according to Walker, they hid behind a collective-bargaining agreement that costs the taxpayers $101,091 per year for each teacher, protects a 0% contribution for health-insurance premiums, and forces schools to hire and fire based on seniority and union rules. The budget-repair bill, per Walker, would reform the union-controlled hiring and firing process by allowing school districts to assign staff based on merit and performance. He stated that most states in the country are facing major budget deficits. Many are cutting billions of dollars of aid to schools and local governments, and that these cuts lead to massive layoffs or increases in property taxes—or both. His proposal gave state and local governments the tools to balance the budget through reasonable benefit contributions. In total, Walker said the budget-repair bill saves local governments almost $1.5 billion, outweighing the reductions in state aid in the budget. He went on to say that the unions say they are ready to accept concessions, yet their actions speak louder than words. During the three weeks from the time the opinion piece ran, local unions across the state pursued contracts without new pension or health-insurance contributions. Walker cited Governor Mitch Daniels
Mitch Daniels
Mitchell Elias "Mitch" Daniels, Jr. is the 49th and current Governor of the U.S. state of Indiana. A Republican, he began his first four-year term as governor on January 10, 2005, and was elected to his second term by an 18-point margin on November 4, 2008. Previously, he was the Director of the...

 as an example for his own budget repair when they repealed collective bargaining in Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

 in 2005, and claims it helped government become more efficient and responsive. He said the average pay for Indiana state employees has actually increased, and high-performing employees are rewarded with pay increases or bonuses when they do something exceptional and that passing the budget-repair bill will help put similar reforms into place in Wisconsin.

Passage of budget repair bill


On Thursday, March 10, the Wisconsin Assembly passed the collective bargaining bill with a vote of 53–42. Protesters and Assembly Democrats shouted "shame!" as the Republicans quickly filed out of the building. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca
Peter Barca
Peter Barca is a Democratic politician from the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the current Representative for the 64th District in the Wisconsin State Assembly. He is a lifelong resident of the Kenosha area....

 filed a complaint the following morning with the Dane County district attorney charging that the Joint Conference Committee that convened at 6 p.m. Wednesday and passed an amended version of Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill is in violation of the open meetings law. The complaint states that Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald
Jeff Fitzgerald (Wisconsin politician)
Jeff Fitzgerald is an American politician. He is a Republican Party member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing the 39th Assembly District since 2000. He is the Speaker of the Assembly in the 100th Wisconsin Legislature....

 and his brother, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald
Scott L. Fitzgerald
Scott L. Fitzgerald is an American politician. He is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 13th District since 1994.-Early life, education and career:...

 and others "knowingly attended the meeting in violation of the Open Meetings law" and are subject to penalties identified in state statute. The complaint asks that the actions taken at the meeting be declared void. Democrats have promised to sue to overturn the law. The 18 Republican state senators who voted for the law received death threats.

Post-passage reactions


On March 11, Governor Walker signed the bill and put out a statement rescinding layoff notices for 1,500 public workers. He said the bill's passage "helped us save 1,500 middle-class jobs by moving forward this week with the budget repair. The state will now be able to realize $30 million in savings to balance the budget and allow 1,500 state employees to keep their jobs." In response, Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk
Kathleen Falk
Kathleen Falk is an American politician who was the County Executive of Dane County, Wisconsin, serving from 1997 until 2011. In 2006, she was the Democratic Party nominee for the office of Attorney General of Wisconsin. She was an Assistant Attorney General and Public Intervenor in the Wisconsin...

 filed a lawsuit against the state regarding the bill, stating that it was unconstitutionally passed because the budget repair bill contained fiscal provisions. Judge Amy Smith recused herself from hearing the case, which was instead heard by Judge Maryann Sumi. A second lawsuit was filed against the state on similar grounds on March 16 by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne.

On March 12, the fourteen Democratic senators who had left the state returned and were met by crowds of between 85,000 to 185,000, the largest crowds yet of the four weeks of protests. Teachers, police, firefighters, nurses, and students were joined by farmers who paraded their farm vehicles around Capitol Square. One of the returning senators, Spencer Coggs
Spencer Coggs
G. Spencer Coggs is a Democratic Party of Wisconsin member of the Wisconsin State Senate, representing the 6th district since 2003.-Early life, education and career:...

, said that "[w]e are back to unite and fight with our supporters. We gave them hope. They gave us inspiration." In contrast, senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald
Scott L. Fitzgerald
Scott L. Fitzgerald is an American politician. He is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 13th District since 1994.-Early life, education and career:...

 said that the returning senators were "the most shameful 14 people in the state of Wisconsin [...] an absolute insult to the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites who are struggling to find a job, much less one they can run away from and go down to Illinois."

On March 18, Dane County judge Maryann Sumi issued a stay on the collective bargaining bill in response to the lawsuit by Dane County DA Ismael Ozanne. Ozanne had argued that the legislative committee violated the state's open meetings law, and that the budget repair bill was illegally passed because it still contained budgetary provisions (and hence required a quorum.) Sumi stated that the lawsuit was "likely to succeed on the merits". The judge's action did not prevent the legislature from meeting again and approving the bill a second time.

On March 25, an additional lawsuit was filed against the state alleging that the budget repair bill still contained budget provisions, and hence was unlawfully passed by the state as it would have required a quorum. Also on March 25, after meeting with Senate Republicans, the Legislative Reference Bureau bypassed the Secretary of State's office and officially published the collective bargaining law. There had been a court-issued restraining order restricting its publication, but the order was issued against the Secretary of State's office instead of the Bureau. According to the director of the Bureau, the publication is a purely ministerial act that forwards the bill to the Secretary of State; the bill needs to be published by the Secretary of State to become law. Despite this, Republicans say that the bill is officially law and they plan to enforce it. On March 29, Judge Maryann Sumi ruled the bill had not become law, and public officials who attempted to enforce it risked legal sanctions. On April 14, Judge Sumi threw out the lawsuit against the collective bargaining law sought by Dane County Acting Executive Kathleen Falk and Dane County Board Chairman Scott McDonnell. Judge Sumi ruled that an "arm of the state can not sue the state".

April


On April 9, demonstrators marched from the Capitol to the offices of the state business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. The action was sparked in part by attention given to Charles and David Koch, billionaire brothers who support Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Walker and have spent millions of dollars on conservative causes.

On April 13, the Hudson, Wisconsin
Hudson, Wisconsin
Hudson is a city in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 18,937, making it the principal and largest city of the Minneapolis - St. Paul metropolitan area . The Hudson area however had a population of 39,713...

 Board of Education announced punishments ranging from one-day unpaid suspensions up to 15 days for teachers who called in sick on February 18, forcing their schools to close, at the height of the protests over the budget repair bill.

On April 16, Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin
Sarah Louise Palin is an American politician, commentator and author. As the Republican Party nominee for Vice President in the 2008 presidential election, she was the first Alaskan on the national ticket of a major party and first Republican woman nominated for the vice-presidency.She was...

 attended a Tea Party
Tea Party movement
The Tea Party movement is an American populist political movement that is generally recognized as conservative and libertarian, and has sponsored protests and supported political candidates since 2009...

 rally in Madison. Speaking to the crowd, Palin stated, "Your governor did the right thing and you won! Your beautiful state won! And people still have their jobs!" Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart
Andrew Breitbart
Andrew Breitbart is an American publisher, commentator for the Washington Times, author, an occasional guest commentator on various news programs who has served as an editor for the Drudge Report website...

 also spoke at the event and told labor supporters engaged in counter-protests, "Go to hell! You're trying to divide America!" Police estimated that about 6,500 people attended the event including Tea Party supporters and those demonstrating against the Walker administration policies.

On April 20, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported costs associated with the protests. The Department of Natural Resources reported costs for personnel topped $350,000, and the parking tab for police to park their vehicles approached $100,000.

On April 26, UW-Madison students and campus community members engaged in a sit-in at Bascom Hall to protest the idea of splitting UW-Madison from the rest of the UW System chanting the words "our house".

On April 28, it was reported that some of the doctors at the University of Wisconsin who gave out sick notes to union supporters skipping work to protest would face punishment ranging from written reprimands to docked pay and loss of leadership positions. The Medical Examining Board and state Department of Licensing and Regulation investigated the doctors. The medical school reviewed 22 doctors said to have been involved in giving medical excuses to protesters at the Capitol. At least a dozen doctors received disciplinary action in late April or early May. Some of the doctors appealed, and most cases were resolved by early July. The Wisconsin Medical Society criticized the doctors' actions, saying they threatened the public's trust in the medical profession. The state Department of Safety and Professional Services reviewed 11 doctors said to have written sick notes and launched formal investigations into eight of them. 84 teachers were found to have submitted fraudulent sick notes that appeared to come from doctors at the protests. The Madison School District denied a Wisconsin State Journal
Wisconsin State Journal
The Wisconsin State Journal is a daily newspaper published in Madison, Wisconsin by Lee Enterprises. The newspaper, the second largest in Wisconsin, is primarily distributed in a 19 county region in south-central Wisconsin...

 request to view the notes — with the teachers' names removed — under the state's open records law. The newspaper sued to have the notes released with a lawsuit now pending.

May


On May 11, a few protesters chanted, "Stand up, fight back" in the Senate gallery, causing the Senate to recess while protesters were removed. Similar events occurred throughout the week, and ended with protesters crashing a news conference held by Senate Republicans following the passage of a voter ID bill. The tactics irritated both Democrats and Republicans. Capitol police arrested several protesters, but it did not deter a core group from returning.

On May 12, 100 pages of public records were released that detailed the emotions and threats that occurred during the protests. The vast majority were determined to present "no criminal nexus or viable threat," but a few remained open as cases with the Division of Criminal Investigation. Of the 78 actions made public, about 30 were directed at Democrats, a few less at Walker and other Republicans, and the balance consisted of vague or implied threats against no specific target, or concerns over demonstrators.

On May 14, the Wisconsin Department of Administration estimated cleanup and overtime costs for the protests will reach about $8 million, which includes $270,000 for interior and exterior Capitol building repairs. The same day, between 10,000 to 15,000 protesters participated in a rally protesting the collective bargaining bill, education cuts, BadgerCare
BadgerCare
BadgerCare is a health-care cost-reimbursement program created by former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson. It went into effect July 1, 1999, and was created to provide health-care coverage to Wisconsinites whose employers didn't provide it and who made too much money to be covered by...

 cuts and immigrant rights. Christian Pacheco, a graduating high school senior, revealed at the protest that he was an illegal immigrant student. "My dream is to work hard and go to a UW school just like my peers," said Pacheco. "If I am force to pay out of state tuition, out of my pocket, as Walker's budget proposes this dream will be crushed." The crowd chanted in support of Pacheco of shedding light into his experiences as an illegal immigrant.

June


On June 2 in Madison, a blood drive
Blood donation
A blood donation occurs when a person voluntarily has blood drawn and used for transfusions or made into medications by a process called fractionation....

 sponsored by the Red Cross had to be re-scheduled due to loud singing by protesters of Governor Walker. The singers apologized and said they would sing outside the Capitol during the re-scheduled event and that they would volunteer blood to help make up for any lost donations.

On June 8 in Madison, pro-union protesters dressed as zombies and caused some concerns during an event where the governor honored the accomplishments of members of the Special Olympics
Special Olympics
Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 3.1 million athletes in 175 countries....

. The organizers of the ceremony said the demonstration had not disrupted their event. The protest occurred the same day Capitol Police removed a dozen protesters dressed as zombies from the office of Representative Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and arrested them. Senator Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter
Timothy W. "Tim" Carpenter is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 3rd District since 2003. He earlier served in the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing the 20th District from 1985 through 2003.-Early life, education and career:...

 (D-Milwaukee) issued a statement praising most demonstrators for being engaged in government but chiding a few for crossing the line in recent weeks.

Protesters began living in tents around the capitol in a complex they deemed "Walkerville" around the time the 2012 fiscal year budget was being debated. The budget, which would turn a $3.6 billion deficit into a $300 million surplus in 5 years, drew harsh criticism from union members and protesters as it cut approximately $800 million in education, and allowed the private school choice program to be expanded to Racine
Racine, Wisconsin
Racine is a city in and the county seat of Racine County, Wisconsin, United States. According to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city had a population of 82,196...

.

Around 3 a.m. on June 16, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed the 2012 fiscal year budget with a party line vote of 60-38. During the Senate debate, an onlooker was removed after screaming "Fascist" repeatedly at Republican Senator Glenn Grothman
Glenn Grothman
Glenn Grothman is the Republican Assistant Majority Leader of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 20th District in southeastern Wisconsin since 2005. The district includes the city of West Bend, other parts of Washington County, and parts of Fond du Lac, Dodge, Sheboygan, and Ozaukee counties...

 while he was speaking. The Senate subsequently approved the 2012 fiscal year budget later that day, with a party line vote of 19-14. Shortly after the vote, an onlooker repeatedly screamed "I want my Democracy back!" and others screamed repeatedly "Kill the bill!". The screaming onlookers were removed shortly, except for the ones who chained themselves to the railing who were later arrested.

Decline in protests


After losing the state supreme court race against David Prosser, then losing the decision at the state supreme court on the collective bargaining law, and losing the vote on Walker's budget in the state legislature, the protests declined. Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive
The Progressive
The Progressive is an American monthly magazine of politics, culture and progressivism with a pronounced liberal perspective on some issues. Known for its pacifism, it has strongly opposed military interventions, such as the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The magazine also devotes much coverage...

magazine said "People see that Walker won everything big that he asked for, and despite all the great activism, we don't have anything to show for it. The mass protests that I expected this week at the capitol in Madison did not materialize." By June 14, the number of protesters at the Capital was approximately 5,000 and by June 16 the number was down to about 1,000.

Law enforcement actions


When first announcing the budget repair bill on February 11, Walker said that the National Guard and other state agencies were prepared for any fallout including a walk-out by state prison guards. Although unable to cross state lines, Wisconsin State Patrol
Wisconsin State Patrol
The Wisconsin State Patrol is the state police force for the state of Wisconsin. It serves a population of 5.6 million mainly through traffic safety and enforcement on the state highways.-History:...

 officers were sent to find the fleeing lawmakers. The City of Madison Police Spokesman Joel DeSpain issued a press-release on March 5, noting for the third weekend in a row that demonstrations had been peaceful. He said that there has been no arrests and no citations during the start of the weekend (March 4 and 5) where tens of thousands of protesters were present.

In April, Katherine R. Windels, aged 26, from Cross Plains, Wisconsin
Cross Plains, Wisconsin
Cross Plains is a village in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 3,084 at the 2000 census. The village is located partially within the Town of Cross Plains. It is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 was charged with two felonies for allegedly sending death-threat emails to Republican state Senators.

FBI agents from Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

 to California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 to Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 were involved regarding 100 pages of public records
Public records
Public records are documents or pieces of information that are not considered confidential. For example, in California, when a couple fills out a marriage license application, they have the option of checking the box as to whether the marriage is "confidential" or "Public"...

 that were released, which detailed the emotions and threats that occurred during the protests. One man tweeted
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 that he prayed an anvil
Anvil
An anvil is a basic tool, a block with a hard surface on which another object is struck. The inertia of the anvil allows the energy of the striking tool to be transferred to the work piece. In most cases the anvil is used as a forging tool...

 would fall from the sky onto Walker. A suspect in Maine was arrested after sending letters to that state's Republican U.S. senators suggesting Walker should be killed and that all Republican governors resign. A Burbank, California
Burbank, California
Burbank is a city in Los Angeles County in Southern California, United States, north of downtown Los Angeles. The estimated population in 2010 was 103,340....

 resident who sent a long email offering a $50,000 bounty
Bounty (reward)
A bounty is a payment or reward often offered by a group as an incentive for the accomplishment of a task by someone usually not associated with the group. Bounties are most commonly issued for the capture or retrieval of a person or object. They are typically in the form of money...

 for Walker was interviewed by federal agents who determined he was mentally challenged and not a true threat. Police in Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

 tracked down a man who posted to a Wisconsin man's Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 page that he expected the shooting to start soon and that he would be ready to inflict nonlethal shots so others could hear screams. He told officers he got "carried away", hadn't intend to harm anyone and has never been to Wisconsin. A Stevens Point
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Stevens Point is the county seat of Portage County, Wisconsin, United States. Located in the central part of the state, it is the largest city in the county, with a population of 24,551 at the 2000 census...

 man called the State Police after he heard his accountant, whose wife is a teacher, remark that if Walker didn't stop attacking teachers unions he'd be assassinated. An agent interviewed the accountant and determined there was no threat.

On June 8, a dozen silent demonstrators wearing zombie makeup and protest T-shirts were arrested after lying down on the floor of a legislator's Capitol offices and refusing to leave. Police carried out the demonstrators “one by one” after the group spent about half an hour in the offices of Representative Robin Vos (R-Rochester).

On June 16, two protesters were arrested after locking themselves onto the Senate gallery railing with bike locks. Later in the day six other people in the Capitol had been arrested on allegations of disorderly conduct.

On August 25, 13 protesters were arrested after they refused to leave the capitol after the designated 7 p.m. closing time. The protest came on the first day that higher pension and health contributions kick in for state employees.

State supreme court election



The state supreme court race between 12-year incumbent David Prosser, Jr.
David Prosser, Jr.
David T. Prosser Jr. is a member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. A former Republican speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly, Prosser was appointed to the court by Governor Tommy Thompson in 1998, and was elected to his first 10-year term without opposition in 2001...

 and challenger Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg
JoAnne Kloppenburg
JoAnne Kloppenburg is an Assistant Attorney General of the State of Wisconsin, serving since 1989 under Republican and Democratic Governors. She ran for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in April 2011 against incumbent Justice David Prosser....

 was widely seen as a referendum on Governor Walker's proposed budget reforms in Wisconsin, with labor organizations and tea party groups explicitly making the connection while Governor Walker himself stating it was not. On Tuesday, April 5, one seat in the Wisconsin Supreme Court was up for election. The court currently has a conservative majority of 4-2-1 with Prosser identifying as a conservative and the seventh justice considered a swing vote. Both candidates stated their unhappiness with the increasingly partisan nature of the race. Following a recount, Wisconsin Government Accountability Board confirmed Prosser won the election.

Outside of Madison


Though the protest efforts are focused in Madison, there have been smaller protests throughout the rest of the state as well, with pro-union supporters as well as Walker supporters.

Union contract extension protests


In various localities throughout the state, communities are determining whether to extend or not to extend union contracts before Governor Walker's budget repair bill takes effect. For example, in Wauwatosa
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Wauwatosa is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States, and was incorporated on May 27, 1897. As of the 2006 census estimate, the city's population was 44,798. Wauwatosa is located immediately west of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is a part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area...

, the common council voted not to ratify tentative agreements with the public works, dispatcher, clerical and fire unions after a crowd of about 100 people turned out, most urging city officials to wait until the governor's proposed state budget-repair bill became law. However, the council reconvened for a second time within a month to reconsider extending the contracts with both supporters and opponents lined up to speak at the special meeting held to reopen the discussion of the labor contracts, with the council voting 8-7 to extend the contracts. The mayor subsequently veto
Veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

ed the measure and criticized the council's decision to take the approach they did to policy making.

In Menomonee Falls
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Menomonee Falls is a village in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States, and is part of the Greater Milwaukee area. The population was 35,626 at the 2010 census, making it the most populous village in Wisconsin. It is the fourth largest community in Waukesha County...

, a majority of residents in attendance opposed a contract by a margin of nearly 5-to-1 against the ratification of new contracts, urging the board to wait, however it was passed after four hours of debate with members of the community shouting "shame" because the board approved the union contract extension. The Menomonee Falls School District and the teachers reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract settlement. The board room was packed, and 50 to 75 more were gathered in the library watching the meeting on a live feed. Residents pleaded for the board to table the vote on the contract until more information could be gathered regarding the new contract. Residents said they wanted time to review the contract, discuss and debate it. The board signed a privacy provision with the teachers union in October before negotiations began. It restricted the board from releasing the actual 80-page contract document to the public before both the board and the teachers union approved it. The agreement also guaranteed a “yes” vote from two board members who are on the negotiating team. Even if the vote were delayed a week as requested, board members explained that they still would not be able to release the full contract document for the public to view. The board was unable to tell residents how much the co-pay for teachers would be with their new insurance provider. "We have to rely on our other board members”, one board member said. “But in fairness to everyone, I will probably read it, but I will not read anything I don't already know.” One local resident said of the actions by the school board, “What we have here is a major trust problem, and nobody trusts you right now.” If the courts rule that bill was law when Walker signed it, the law becomes retro-active to that date and this contract becomes void. If the law isn't enacted until after the vote, this contract will be good for the duration of the agreement.

Some unions were hoping to beat the deadline for the state's new collective bargaining law and get a new deal done. For example, the Brown Deer
Brown Deer, Wisconsin
Brown Deer is a village in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. It is a suburb of Milwaukee. The population was 11,999 at the 2010 census...

 School Board called for an emergency meeting the night before the budget repair law became effective to see if it could reach a last minute deal with the teachers union. Dozens of Brown Deer taxpayers worried the board was going to rush through a teachers' contract before the law became effective. When asked if the teachers union was trying to rush a deal to beat the deadline, Lisa Albers with the Brown Deer Education Association said: "I think rushing sounds a little bit harsh. The whole thing was we would work together and come to a common agreement." However, the board adjourned saying it needed more time. "We intend to make sure that we look at the governor's repair bill, said board president Gary Williams, "whatever we proposed will be consistent with the governor's repair bill."

Boycotts


Boycott
Boycott
A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons...

s were implemented by opponents of Governor Walker's reforms by boycotting businesses that had executives that had made political contributions to Governor Walker. Boycotters said they wanted the companies to take a position on Walker's bill. Despite being part of the boycott, some of the businesses did not taken a position on the bill. M&I Bank, one of the boycotted businesses, issued a statement that its employees contributed to both candidates in the last election. One labor union consortium consisting of the state's largest police and fire unions, along with some local teachers unions, urged their members to engage in what it characterized as "voluntary consumer activism" if M&I would not support collective bargaining. Shortly thereafter, "Miracle on the Hudson" pilot Jeffrey Skiles withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars from his M&I accounts. Also following the consortium's effort, David Galloway
David A. Galloway
David A. Galloway is chairman of the board of Bank of Montreal, which is also known as BMO Financial Group.Born in Toronto, Ontario, he attended the University of Toronto Schools before receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1966 from the University of Toronto. He received an M.B.A. from Harvard...

, the chairman of BMO Financial, which was in the process of purchasing M&I bank, stated the he supported "employees' rights to collectively bargain" after facing repeated questions on the subject at a March 22 shareholders' meeting in Vancouver.

There was an effort by the Wisconsin State Employees Union to circulate letters to businesses in southeast Wisconsin urging them to support workers’ rights by putting up a sign in their windows. If businesses failed to comply, the letter advised, “Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business. And sorry, neutral means 'no' to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members." One local business owner said "I was just disappointed; I didn't like the tone of the letter, To me, it bordered on strong-arm tactics." Another business owner put up a sign that read "We Support Union Grove
Union Grove, Wisconsin
Union Grove is a village in Racine County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 4,322 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Union Grove is located at ....

 Not Bully Tactics".

During the protest period


A USA Today
USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...

/Gallup Poll
The Gallup Organization
The Gallup Organization, is primarily a research-based performance-management consulting company. Some of Gallup's key practice areas are - Employee Engagement, Customer Engagement and Well-Being. Gallup has over 40 offices in 27 countries. World headquarters are in Washington, D.C. Operational...

 found that 61% of Americans would oppose a law similar to the Wisconsin bill in their state while 33% were for it. A similar New York Times/CBS Poll
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 found that 60% of Americans opposed restricting collective bargaining
Collective bargaining
Collective bargaining is a process of negotiations between employers and the representatives of a unit of employees aimed at reaching agreements that regulate working conditions...

 while 33% were for it. The poll also found that 56% of Americans opposed reducing pay of public employees compared to 37%. The details of the poll also stated that 26% of those surveyed, thought pay and benefits for public employees were too high, 25% thought too low, and 36% thought about right. Mark Tapscott of the Washington Examiner
Washington Examiner
The Washington Examiner is a free daily newspaper published in Springfield, Virginia, and distributed in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It is owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz....

criticized the poll, accusing it of over-sampling union and public employee households.

A nationwide Rasmussen
Rasmussen Reports
Rasmussen Reports is an American media company that publishes and distributes information based on public opinion polling. Founded by pollster Scott Rasmussen in 2003, the company updates daily indexes including the President's job approval rating, and provides public opinion data, analysis, and...

 poll reported on February 24, 2011, found that a majority (67%) of likely voters disapproved of the tactics of the 14 Democratic Senators, with only 25% approving. Another Rasmussen poll showed that 47% of likely voters supported Walker, while only 37% supported the pro-union protesters. However, a Rasmussen poll of Wisconsin voters conducted on March 2, 2011 reported that 39% support weakening collective bargaining rights while 52% oppose the idea. A majority said they supported the Democrats (52%) or the unions (56%) in the current dispute, while 41–44% supported Walker's position. Asked whether state workers should be given a 10% pay cut, 44% said yes, while 38% oppose a pay cut. Polling analyst Nate Silver
Nate Silver
Nathaniel Read "Nate" Silver is an American statistician, psephologist, and writer. Silver first gained public recognition for developing PECOTA, a system for forecasting the performance and career development of Major League Baseball players, which he sold to and then managed for Baseball...

 criticized methodology of the Rasmussen polls in his New York Times blog, claiming that it had biased questions, giving a misleadingly negative impression of the protesters.

In an analysis of several concurrent public opinion polls, pollster Scott Rasmussen identified the source of seeming contradictions in the results. The results depended on the way the questions are worded. If the collective bargaining issue was worded in the context of balancing the state budget, Governor Walker does better. If the question is worded more narrowly, mentioning only the collective bargaining dispute, the unions fare better. A Pulse Opinion Research poll conducted of likely Wisconsin voters found that 56% support collective bargaining rights for public employees with 32% opposed. In the same poll, approval and disapproval for the bill was split at 50%–50% while 49% supported the protesters and 48% opposed them.

A Public Policy Polling
Public Policy Polling
Public Policy Polling is an American Democratic Party-affiliated polling firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. PPP was founded in 2001 by businessman and Democratic pollster Dean Debnam, the firm's current president and chief executive officer...

 poll of Wisconsin voters found that given a chance to vote in a rematch between Walker and 2010 Democratic nominee Tom Barrett
Tom Barrett (politician)
Thomas Mark "Tom" Barrett is the Democratic Mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, serving since 2004. He ran for Governor of Wisconsin in November 2010, losing by a margin of 52 percent to 47 percent to Republican Scott Walker. Previously, Barrett served in the United States House of Representatives...

, Walker would have lost 45%–52%. (In the actual election, Walker won 52–46%.) The poll's analysis characterized the shift as the result of changing opinions due to the budget protests. Public Policy Polling (PPP) is a Democratic Party-affiliated polling firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh is the capital and the second largest city in the state of North Carolina as well as the seat of Wake County. Raleigh is known as the "City of Oaks" for its many oak trees. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city's 2010 population was 403,892, over an area of , making Raleigh...

.

A SUSA poll in the districts of Republican senators Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper found that double-digit margins in both districts would vote to recall the Senators.

A Gallup
The Gallup Organization
The Gallup Organization, is primarily a research-based performance-management consulting company. Some of Gallup's key practice areas are - Employee Engagement, Customer Engagement and Well-Being. Gallup has over 40 offices in 27 countries. World headquarters are in Washington, D.C. Operational...

 poll released on March 9 showed that Americans were more likely to support limiting the collective bargaining powers of state employee unions to balance a state's budget (49%) than disapprove of such a measure (45%), while 6% had no opinion. 66% of Republicans approved of such a measure as did 51% of independents. Only 31% of Democrats approved.

A Gallup
The Gallup Organization
The Gallup Organization, is primarily a research-based performance-management consulting company. Some of Gallup's key practice areas are - Employee Engagement, Customer Engagement and Well-Being. Gallup has over 40 offices in 27 countries. World headquarters are in Washington, D.C. Operational...

 poll released on March 11 showed that nationwide, Americans were more likely to give unions a negative word or phrase when describing them (38%) than a positive word or phrase (34%). 17% were neutral and 12% didn't know. Republicans were much more likely to say a negative term (58%) than Democrats (19%). Democrats were much more likely to say a positive term (49%) than Republicans (18%).

On March 15, PPP
Public Policy Polling
Public Policy Polling is an American Democratic Party-affiliated polling firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. PPP was founded in 2001 by businessman and Democratic pollster Dean Debnam, the firm's current president and chief executive officer...

 conducted a poll for Daily Kos
Daily Kos
Daily Kos is an American political blog that publishes news and opinions from a progressive point of view. It functions as a discussion forum and group blog for a variety of netroots activists, whose efforts are primarily directed toward influencing and strengthening the Democratic Party...

 in the districts of all eight Republican senators being recalled. The poll found that three trailed generic Democratic candidates, three had small leads, and two were safe:
  • Senator Glenn Grothman
    Glenn Grothman
    Glenn Grothman is the Republican Assistant Majority Leader of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 20th District in southeastern Wisconsin since 2005. The district includes the city of West Bend, other parts of Washington County, and parts of Fond du Lac, Dodge, Sheboygan, and Ozaukee counties...

     leads 60%-32%.
  • Senator Mary Lazich
    Mary Lazich
    Mary Lazich is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 28th District since a special election in April 1998. She was previously a member of the Wisconsin Assembly from 1993 through 1998....

     leads 56%-34%
  • Senator Alberta Darling
    Alberta Darling
    Alberta Darling is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 8th District since 1993. She previously served in the Wisconsin Assembly, representing the 10th district from 1990 through 1993...

     leads 52%-44%
  • Senator Sheila Harsdorf
    Sheila Harsdorf
    Sheila Harsdorf is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 10th District since 2001. She previously served in the Wisconsin Assembly, representing District 30 from 1989 to 1999.-Early life, education and career:...

     leads 48%-44%
  • Senator Robert Cowles
    Robert Cowles
    Robert L. Cowles is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 2nd District since 1987. In August 2011, Cowles faced a recall election, but easily defeated the Democratic challenger, Nancy Nusbaum, sixty percent to forty percent.-Early life and education:Cowles was born in Green...

     leads 45%-43%
  • Senator Luther Olsen trails 47%-49%
  • Senator Randy Hopper
    Randy Hopper
    Randal B. "Randy" Hopper is a former Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 18th District from 2009 until losing his seat to Jessica King in a 2011 recall election. The 18th District includes the cities of Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, and Waupun....

     trails 44%-49%
  • Senator Dan Kapanke
    Dan Kapanke
    Daniel E. Kapanke is a former Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 32nd District from 2004 until losing his seat to Jennifer Shilling in the 2011 recall elections.-Early life, education and career:...

     trails 41%-55%


A nationwide Gallup
The Gallup Organization
The Gallup Organization, is primarily a research-based performance-management consulting company. Some of Gallup's key practice areas are - Employee Engagement, Customer Engagement and Well-Being. Gallup has over 40 offices in 27 countries. World headquarters are in Washington, D.C. Operational...

 poll (margin of error ±4%) released on April 1 showed the following;
  • When asked if they supported the labor unions or the governors in state disputes; 48% said they supported the unions, 39% said the governors, 4% said neither, and 9% had no opinion.
  • Women supported the governors much less than men. 45% of men said they supported the governors, while 46% said they supported the unions. This compares to only 33% of women who said they supported the governors and 50% who said they supported the unions.
  • All areas of the US (East, Midwest, South, West) were more likely to support unions than the governors. The largest gap being in the East with 35% supporting the governors and 52% supporting the unions, and the smallest gap being in the West with 41% supporting the governors and 44% the unions.
  • 18- to 34-year-olds were much more likely to support unions than those over 34 years of age. Only 27% of 18- to 34-year-olds supported the governors, while 61% supported the unions. Americans ages 35 to 54 slightly supported the unions more than governors, with 40% supporting the governors and 43% the unions. Americans 55 and older were tied when asked, with 45% supporting the governors and 45% the unions.
  • Republicans were much more likely to support the governors when asked with 65% supporting the governors and 25% the unions. Independents slightly supported unions more, with 40% supporting the governors and 45% the unions. Democrats were overwhelmingly in support of the unions. 70% of Democrats supported the unions, while only 19% supported the governors.
  • Those who said they were following the situation not too closely or not at all supported the unions over governors, with a 14–point (45% to 31%) margin. Those who said they were following the situation somewhat closely supported the unions over governors by a 52–41 margin. Those who said that they were following the situation very closely were only slightly more likely to support the unions over the governors, with a 49-48 margin.

Wisconsin Public Radio
Wisconsin Public Radio
Wisconsin Public Radio is a network of 32 radio stations in the state of Wisconsin. WPR's network is divided into two distinct analog services, the Ideas Network and the NPR News and Classical Network, as well as the "HD2 Classical Service," a digital-only, full-time classical music service.-Ideas...

 released several polls April 22 related to the Wisconsin protests:
  • 57% said they believed the proposed legislation was more about decreasing the power of public sector unions, 31% said it was about decreasing the budget deficit, with 12% saying they weren't sure.
  • 61% said public employees should have the right to collectively bargain for wages, while 35% were opposed.
  • 54% said public employees should have the right to collectively bargain for health and retirement benefits, while 42% were opposed.
  • 70% said they had a favorable opinion of public school teachers in Wisconsin and 24% with an unfavorable view.
  • 59% said they disapproved of Democratic efforts compared to 33% who approved.
  • 49% said they disapproved of Republican efforts compared to 39% who approved.
  • 46% said they had a favorable impression of state Democratic lawmakers, while 48% had an unfavorable opinion.
  • 45% said they had a favorable impression of state Republican lawmakers, while 46% had an unfavorable opinion.
  • 53% said the Republicans up for recall should be kept in office compared to 35% in favor of recalling them.
  • 57% said the Democrats up for recall should be kept in office compared to 33% in favor of recalling them.

After the protest period


A nationwide Gallup poll released on August 31 revealed the following:
  • 52% of Americans approved of labor unions, unchanged from 2010.
  • 78% of Democrats approved of labor unions, up from 71% in 2010.
  • 52% of Independents approved of labor unions, up from 49% in 2010.
  • 26% of Republicans approved of labor unions, down from 34% in 2010.

A nationwide Gallup poll released on September 1 revealed the following:
  • 55% of Americans believed that labor unions will become weaker in America as time goes by, an all time high. This compared to 22% who said their power would stay the same, and 20% who said they would get stronger.
  • The majority of Republicans and Independents believed labor unions would further weaken by a 58% and 57% percentage margin respectively. A plurality of Democrats believed the same, at 46%.
  • 42% of Americans want labor unions to have less influence, tied for the all time high set in 2009. 30% wanted more influence and 25% wanted the same amount of influence.
  • The majority of Republicans wanted labor unions to have less influence, at 69%.
  • A plurality of Independents wanted labor unions to have less influence, at 40%.
  • A plurality of Democrats wanted labor unions to have more influence, at 45%.
  • The majority of Americans believed labor unions mostly helped members of unions by a 68 to 28 margin.
  • The majority of Americans believed labor unions mostly helped the companies where workers are unionized by a 48-44 margin.
  • The majority of Americans believed labor unions mostly helped state and local governments by a 47-45 margin.
  • The majority of Americans believed labor unions mostly hurt the US economy in general by a 49-45 margin.
  • The majority of Americans believed labor unions mostly hurt workers who are not members of unions by a 56-34 margin.

The conservative think tank Manhattan Institute for Policy Research released a poll on September 20. They interviewed 400 registered Wisconsin voters between August 29 and September 5. The margin of error was +/- 4.9% points.
  • 49% approved of Governor Walker's
    Scott Walker (politician)
    Scott Kevin Walker is an American Republican politician who began serving as the 45th Governor of Wisconsin on January 3, 2011, after defeating Democratic candidate Tom Barrett, 52 percent to 47 percent in the November 2010 general election...

     job performance, while 50% disapproved.
  • 44% favored recalling the Governor, while 50% did not.
  • 53% said they favored restricting collective bargaining rights for public sector employees, while 45% opposed.
  • 52% opposed the collective bargaining law passed in Wisconsin, while 45% supported the new law.
  • 43% said they favored repealing the law completely, 34% wanted to keep the law as is, and 18% wanted the law to be amended in some way.
  • 43% believed the new law was helping Wisconsin's financial problems, while 41% believed it was not.
  • 55% believed the new law helped eliminate Wisconsin's $3 billion dollar budget deficit, while 41% believed it did not.

On October 26, Public Policy Polling
Public Policy Polling
Public Policy Polling is an American Democratic Party-affiliated polling firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. PPP was founded in 2001 by businessman and Democratic pollster Dean Debnam, the firm's current president and chief executive officer...

 released a poll focusing on Scott Walker's possible recall. It revealed the following;
  • 51% of Wisconsinites disapproved of Governor Walker, while 47% approved.
  • 48% supported recalling the Governor, while 49% opposed.
  • In a hypothetical recall election, Scott Walker would beat Peter Barca
    Peter Barca
    Peter Barca is a Democratic politician from the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the current Representative for the 64th District in the Wisconsin State Assembly. He is a lifelong resident of the Kenosha area....

    , Tom Barrett
    Tom Barrett (politician)
    Thomas Mark "Tom" Barrett is the Democratic Mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, serving since 2004. He ran for Governor of Wisconsin in November 2010, losing by a margin of 52 percent to 47 percent to Republican Scott Walker. Previously, Barrett served in the United States House of Representatives...

    , Jon Erpenbach
    Jon Erpenbach
    Jon B. Erpenbach is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 27th district since 1999.-Early life, education and career:...

    , Kathleen Falk
    Kathleen Falk
    Kathleen Falk is an American politician who was the County Executive of Dane County, Wisconsin, serving from 1997 until 2011. In 2006, she was the Democratic Party nominee for the office of Attorney General of Wisconsin. She was an Assistant Attorney General and Public Intervenor in the Wisconsin...

    , Steve Kagen
    Steve Kagen
    Steven Leslie Kagen, M.D. is a physician and was the U.S. Representative for , serving from 2007 to 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party...

    , Ron Kind
    Ron Kind
    Ronald James "Ron" Kind is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1997. He is a member of the Democratic Party. His district is located in the western portion of the state and is anchored by La Crosse and Eau Claire and Platteville....

    , and David Obey by various margins.
  • In a hypothetical recall election, Scott Walker would lose to Russ Feingold
    Russ Feingold
    Russell Dana "Russ" Feingold is an American politician from the U.S. state of Wisconsin. He served as a Democratic party member of the U.S. Senate from 1993 to 2011. From 1983 to 1993, Feingold was a Wisconsin State Senator representing the 27th District.He is a recipient of the John F...

     by a 46-49 margin. (Russ Feingold has stated previously he probably won't run)

Effects


On February 17, the Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison Metropolitan School District
Madison Metropolitan School District is a public school district headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. It serves the cities of Madison and Fitchburg, the villages of Shorewood Hills and Maple Bluff, and the towns of Blooming Grove, Burke, and Madison. It includes four regular high schools, one...

 canceled classes until February 23 because of expected staff and student absences. Numerous other districts across the state also closed due to the protests including Milwaukee, La Crosse, Wausau, and others. Two days after the protests began, protests spread to Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is the capital of and the largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. The broader metropolitan area encompasses several counties and is the third largest in Ohio behind those of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus is the third largest city in the American Midwest, and the fifteenth largest city...

 over similar legislation. Similar protests also occurred at the Nevada State Capitol
Nevada State Capitol
The Nevada State Capitol is the capitol building of the U.S. state of Nevada. It is located in the state capital of Carson City at 101 North Carson Street. The building was constructed in the Neoclassical Italianate style between 1869 and 1871. It is listed in the National Register of Historic...

 in Carson City
Carson City, Nevada
The Consolidated Municipality of Carson City is the capital of the state of Nevada. The words Consolidated Municipality refer to a series of changes in 1969 which abolished Ormsby County and merged all the settlements contained within its borders into Carson City. Since that time Carson City has...

 on February 21, 2011, and at the Utah State Capitol
Utah State Capitol
The Utah State Capitol is the house of government for the U.S. state of Utah. The building houses the chambers of the Utah State Legislature, the offices of the Governor of Utah and Lieutenant Governor of Utah, along with other supporting offices for the Government of Utah...

 in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Utah. The name of the city is often shortened to Salt Lake or SLC. With a population of 186,440 as of the 2010 Census, the city lies in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a total population of 1,124,197...

 on February 26, 2011.

The Wisconsin Legislature stated they would continue passing non-budget items with no Democratic opposition in the Senate starting on February 22. On Thursday, March 3, Wisconsin Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch claimed that the weeks of demonstrations resulted in $6.5 million in damages and other costs to the Capital. The next day he admitted that he had no basis for the higher figure and that the actual cleanup costs could be as low as $347,500. State architect Jeffrey Plale
Jeffrey Plale
Jeffrey T. 'Jeff' Plale is a Democratic politician and former member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 7th District from 2003 until 2011...

, a former Democratic state senator who was appointed to his post by Walker, stated that he had not observed any damages from demonstrations.

On March 21, Professor William Cronon of the University of Wisconsin wrote an op-ed opposing the bill. In response, the Wisconsin Republican Party filed a state open records request to gain access to Cronon's personals emails to discover the sources and discussions that went into the article. The Republican Party's request has been heavily criticized for creating a chilling effect In response, The Republican Party released a statement accusing Professor Cronon of intimidation.

Legislative walkout


In another form of protest, and as a tactic to prevent passage of the bill, all 14 Democratic members of the Wisconsin State Senate
Wisconsin State Senate
The Wisconsin Senate, the powers of which are modeled after those of the U.S. Senate, is the upper house of the Wisconsin State Legislature, smaller than the Wisconsin State Assembly...

 left the state of Wisconsin and traveled to Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 in order to delay a vote on the bill. With only 19 Republican members, the Senate would not have the 20 Senators required for a quorum in order to vote on the bill, since it is a fiscal bill. On February 20, all 14 Senate Democrats announced they were staying in Illinois indefinitely. However, the provision that the protests center around—the stripping of collective bargaining rights—could still be passed as a separate bill even in the absence of the Senate Democrats, because it had no fiscal impact on the state.

In a possible lure to get the 14 Democratic Senators to return, the Wisconsin legislature reported they would try to pass a bill that would require citizens to have some form of voter identification to vote. Democrats strongly opposed the bill, but because there were no Democratic senators to defend their position, the bill was expected to pass the Senate easily. On February 24, the Republicans in the Senate moved the voter ID provision past the amendable stage but were unable to take a final vote on it because it spends money for free ID's to comply with federal constitutional requirements. As a fiscal provision, the voter ID bill would require the same quorum currently denied over the main budget bill. The State Senate Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald, proposed that Democratic staffers should lose access to the copy machines if their representatives were absent without leave for two days or more, forcing staffers to pay for printing themselves. Senators would no longer receive their wages via direct deposit if they were AWOL for two days or more and would have to collect them in person. (Senator Jon Erpenbach
Jon Erpenbach
Jon B. Erpenbach is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 27th district since 1999.-Early life, education and career:...

 was able to circumvent this by granting his staffers power of attorney
Power of attorney
A power of attorney or letter of attorney is a written authorization to represent or act on another's behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter...

.) On March 2, Senate Republicans voted to fine members who are AWOL for two days or more $100 per day of absence. On March 3, the Wisconsin Senate Republicans ordered the arrest of the Wisconsin 14 for being "in contempt and disorderly behavior", authorizing the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms to seek help from law enforcement officers and to use force to return the senators to the Capitol
Call of the house
A call of the house is a motion which can be adopted by a deliberative assembly that has the authority to compel the attendance of its members in the absence of a quorum...

. Jim Palmer, the head of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, described the action as a violation of the Wisconsin state constitution.

Walker also tried other methods to get the Wisconsin 14 to return to the state, saying that if the bill was not passed by February 25, 1,500 state workers would be laid off. That deadline passed without incident. On February 27, he announced a new deadline of March 1. On March 4, Walker issued layoff warning notices to some state employees, and rescinded those notices upon passage of the budget repair bill. In an attempt to compromise with the Democrats who left the state, Walker proposed allowing public workers to bargain over their salaries with no limit.

On March 9, the senate removed fiscal applications from the bill, allowing it to be passed without a quorum. On March 12, the "14" returned to Wisconsin, to loud acclaim from protesters and condemnation from the Senate Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald.

On March 15, the Republican State Senate President, Scott Fitzgerald, announced that despite returning, none of the Senate Democrats will be allowed to cast official votes on the union legislation.

Contract extensions


During the numerous delays related to enactment of the budget repair law, several communities were pursuing to extend union contracts although there have been cases of communities electing to wait for the budget repair bill to take effect. In some cases residents staged protests at open meetings in opposition to extending union contracts. Regarding school districts deciding whether or not to extend union contracts, whether they decided to wait for the law to take effect or not, most districts elected to include the same basic concessions on health care and pensions.

The Milwaukee Teachers Education Association said "no deal" to a proposal that would have them make concessions similar to those called for under the budget repair law. The union said that it has already made all the concessions that it will make. The proposed Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS)
Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools is the largest school district in Wisconsin. As of 2007, it had an enrollment of 87,360 students, and as of 2006 employed 6,100 full-time and substitute teachers in 223 schools. The Milwaukee Public Schools system is the 33rd largest in the United States by enrollment...

budget would cut 989 full-time positions through attrition and layoffs. On June 29, the same day the budget repair law became effective, MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton announced that 519 layoff notices would be issued for next school year, including 354 teachers. Most members pay about $1,000 per year in dues.

Teachers in the Hartland-Lakeside School District agreed to switch health insurance providers to save the district $690,000, but the executive committee of a union that represents the teachers blocked the change.

In Milwaukee County, when it was known that the budget repair law was to take effect on June 29, the county board approved a union contract on June 23 for nurses, which would preserve their say on working conditions as well as union grievance procedures. Meanwhile, negotiations were under way on a new contract for the county's largest union in an effort to beat the state law, although it appeared likely they had run out of time to do so. The Appleton
Appleton, Wisconsin
Appleton is a city in Outagamie, Calumet, and Winnebago Counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. It is situated on the Fox River, 30 miles southwest of Green Bay and 100 miles north of Milwaukee. Appleton is the county seat of Outagamie County. The population was 78,086 at the 2010 census...

 teachers union made a similar last minute contract extension before the deadline.

Recruitment for the union took place for school districts that elected to wait before extending union contracts. Union membership was steady in districts that signed or extended contract agreements with unions before the budget repair legislation passed because dues are taken out automatically.

Special assembly elections


On May 3, special elections were held for 3 vacant seats in the Wisconsin State Assembly
Wisconsin State Assembly
The Wisconsin State Assembly is the lower house of the Wisconsin Legislature. Together with the smaller Wisconsin Senate, the two constitute the legislative branch of the U.S. state of Wisconsin....

. The 3 seats were formally held by Republicans that were appointed to higher positions by Governor Walker.
  • District 60- Former Representative Mark Gottlieb's seat until he was appointed to Secretary of Transportation. The district covers parts of Ozaukee and Washington County. Republican Duey Stroebel ran against Democrat Rick Aaron.
  • District 83- Former Representative Scott Gunderson
    Scott Gunderson
    Scott L. Gunderson is a Wisconsin farmer, state legislator, and former small business owner.- Background :Born in Burlington, Wisconsin, Gunderson graduated from Waterford Union High School in 1974...

    's seat until he was appointed to a top post at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The district includes parts of Racine County, Walworth County
    Walworth County, Wisconsin
    Walworth County is a county located in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of 2010, the population was 102,228. Its county seat is Elkhorn.-Geography:According to the U.S...

    , and Waukesha County
    Waukesha County, Wisconsin
    Waukesha County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of 2008, the population was 380,629. Its county seat is Waukesha.-History:The part of Wisconsin that Waukesha County now occupies was a part of Michigan when Milwaukee County was organized in September 1834. On July 4, 1836, the...

    . Republican Dave Craig, an aide to US representative Paul Ryan
    Paul Ryan
    Paul Ryan may refer to:* Paul Ryan , member of the U.S. House of Representatives* Paul Ryan , music agent for The Agency, former Cradle of Filth guitarist* Paul Ryan , comics artist...

    , ran against Democrat James Brownlow, a retired librarian.
  • District 94- Former Representative Mike Huebsch's seat until he was appointed to Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration. The district covers parts of rural La Crosse County and parts of Monroe County
    Monroe County, Wisconsin
    Monroe County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of 2000, the population was 40,899. Its county seat is Sparta.-Geography:According to the U.S...

    . Republican John Lautz, a self-employed building contractor, ran against Democrat Steve Doyle, who is a La Crosse County Board chairman.


Results
  • District 60- Republican Duey Stroebel won with 76% of the vote.
  • District 83- Republican Dave Craig won with 74% of the vote.
  • District 94- Democrat Steve Doyle won with 54% of the vote.

  • New Assembly Membership: 59 Republicans, 38 Democrats, 1 Independent, 1 Vacant

Recall elections


There were efforts to recall eight Democrats and eight Republicans related to the budget repair bill. The Democrats were targeted for leaving the state for three weeks to prevent the budget repair bill vote from taking place while the Republicans were targeted for voting to seriously limit public employee collective bargaining. Scholars could cite only three times in American history when more than one state legislator has been recalled at roughly the same time over the same issue.

Six Republicans and three Democrats faced recall elections in August 2011. Efforts to recall Glenn Grothman
Glenn Grothman
Glenn Grothman is the Republican Assistant Majority Leader of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 20th District in southeastern Wisconsin since 2005. The district includes the city of West Bend, other parts of Washington County, and parts of Fond du Lac, Dodge, Sheboygan, and Ozaukee counties...

 (R-20th District), Mary Lazich
Mary Lazich
Mary Lazich is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 28th District since a special election in April 1998. She was previously a member of the Wisconsin Assembly from 1993 through 1998....

 (R-28th District), Lena Taylor
Lena Taylor
Lena C. Taylor is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 4th District since 2005. She previously served in the Wisconsin Assembly, representing the 18th District from 2003 through 2005....

 (D-4th District
Wisconsin Senate, District 4
The 4th District of the Wisconsin Senate is located in Southern Wisconsin, and is composed of parts of Milwaukee County.-Current elected officials:...

), Spencer Coggs
Spencer Coggs
G. Spencer Coggs is a Democratic Party of Wisconsin member of the Wisconsin State Senate, representing the 6th district since 2003.-Early life, education and career:...

 (D-6th District
Wisconsin Senate, District 6
The 6th District of the Wisconsin Senate is located in Southern Wisconsin, and is composed of parts of Milwaukee County.-Current elected officials:...

), Fred Risser
Fred Risser
Fred Risser is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 26th District since 1962. His district includes most of the west side and central neighborhoods of Madison, including the campus of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.- Early life, education and career :Risser was born...

 (D-Madison
Madison, Wisconsin
Madison is the capital of the U.S. state of Wisconsin and the county seat of Dane County. It is also home to the University of Wisconsin–Madison....

), Julie Lassa
Julie Lassa
Julie M. Lassa is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin State Senate, representing the 24th District since a special election in April 2003...

 (D-Stevens Point
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Stevens Point is the county seat of Portage County, Wisconsin, United States. Located in the central part of the state, it is the largest city in the county, with a population of 24,551 at the 2000 census...

) and Mark Miller (D-Monona
Monona, Wisconsin
Monona is a city in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 8,046 as of 2007. It is completely surrounded by Madison and is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Monona is located at ....

) were unsuccessful.

The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board voted in favor of all recall elections, but scheduled the Democratic recall elections one week after (August 16, 2011) the Republican recall elections.

On August 9, the Republicans won enough seats to keep control of the Wisconsin Senate, despite losing Randy Hopper
Randy Hopper
Randal B. "Randy" Hopper is a former Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 18th District from 2009 until losing his seat to Jessica King in a 2011 recall election. The 18th District includes the cities of Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, and Waupun....

's and Dan Kapanke
Dan Kapanke
Daniel E. Kapanke is a former Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 32nd District from 2004 until losing his seat to Jennifer Shilling in the 2011 recall elections.-Early life, education and career:...

's seats, bringing the largest group of simultaneous recall election
Recall election
A recall election is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before his or her term has ended...

s in United States history to a close. The results were regarded as a disappointment for Democrats and labor unions.

Election results


Republican senators
District Senator Hometown Recall filed Primary, general elections Primary candidates Winner of primary Winner of general
2
Wisconsin Senate, District 2
The 2nd District of the Wisconsin Senate is located in Eastern Wisconsin, and is currently composed of parts of Shawano, Outagamie, and Brown Counties. The district does not contain, but is adjacent to the Green Bay metro area.-Current elected officials:...

 
Robert Cowles
Robert Cowles
Robert L. Cowles is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 2nd District since 1987. In August 2011, Cowles faced a recall election, but easily defeated the Democratic challenger, Nancy Nusbaum, sixty percent to forty percent.-Early life and education:Cowles was born in Green...

 
Green Bay
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay is a city in and the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, located at the head of Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River. It has an elevation of above sea level and is located north of Milwaukee. As of the 2010 United States Census,...

 
April 28 July 12, August 9 Nancy Nusbaum (D-De Pere
De Pere, Wisconsin
De Pere is a city located in Brown County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 20,559 at the 2000 census. De Pere is a suburb of Green Bay and is part of the Green Bay Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Registered historic places:...

), Otto Junkermann
Otto Junkermann
Otto Junkermann is an American businessman from Green Bay, Wisconsin, and a former Republican member of the Wisconsin Assembly from the Sixth District ....

 (Green Bay)
Nancy Nusbaum with 65% Robert Cowles with 57%
8
Wisconsin Senate, District 8
The 8th District of the Wisconsin Senate is located in Southern Wisconsin, and is composed of parts of Milwaukee County, Ozaukee County, and Washington County.-Current elected officials:...

 
Alberta Darling
Alberta Darling
Alberta Darling is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 8th District since 1993. She previously served in the Wisconsin Assembly, representing the 10th district from 1990 through 1993...

 
River Hills
River Hills, Wisconsin
River Hills is a village in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. As of the 2000 census, the village population was 1,631.-Geography:River Hills is located at ....

 
April 21 July 12, August 9 Rep. Sandy Pasch
Sandy Pasch
Sandy Pasch is an American nurse from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin who has been a Democratic Party member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing the 22nd Assembly District, since her election in 2008.- Background :...

 (D-Whitefish Bay
Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
Whitefish Bay is a village in Milwaukee County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 13,508 as of the 2005 census.-Geography:Whitefish Bay is located at ....

), Gladys Huber (Mequon
Mequon, Wisconsin
Mequon is a city in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, United States. It had a population of 21,823 at the 2000 census, and an estimated population of 23,739 in July 2009...

)
Sandy Pasch with 65% Alberta Darling with 54%
10
Wisconsin Senate, District 10
The 10th District of the Wisconsin Senate is located in Western Wisconsin, and is composed of parts of Burnett, Polk, St. Croix, Pierce and Dunn Counties.-Current elected officials:...

 
Sheila Harsdorf
Sheila Harsdorf
Sheila Harsdorf is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 10th District since 2001. She previously served in the Wisconsin Assembly, representing District 30 from 1989 to 1999.-Early life, education and career:...

 
River Falls
River Falls, Wisconsin
River Falls is a city in Pierce and St. Croix counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 15,000 at the 2010 census, making it the second largest city in the Twin Cities Wisconsin suburbs, which is the eighth largest metropolitan area in the state...

 
April 19 July 12, August 9 Shelly Moore (D-River Falls), Isaac Weix (Menomonie
Menomonie, Wisconsin
Two other spellings of the name appear elsewhere, see Menomonee and Menominee. For the town, see Menomonie .Menomonie is a city in and the county seat of Dunn County in the western part of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The city's population was 16,264 as of the 2010 census...

)
Shelly Moore with 55% Sheila Harsdorf with 58%
14  Luther Olsen  Ripon
Ripon, Wisconsin
Ripon is a city in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 6,828. The City of Ripon's official website claims the city's current population to be 7,701. The city is surrounded by the Town of Ripon....

 
April 18 July 12, August 9 Rep. Fred Clark
Fred Clark (forester)
Fred Clark is a Democratic Wisconsin State Representative representing the 42nd Assembly District, which includes Baraboo, Portage, and Wisconsin Dells, in the Wisconsin State Assembly....

 (D-Baraboo
Baraboo, Wisconsin
Baraboo is the largest city in, and the county seat of Sauk County, Wisconsin, USA. It is situated on the Baraboo River. Its 2010 population was 12,048 according to the US Census Bureau...

), Rol Church (Wautoma
Wautoma, Wisconsin
Wautoma is a city in Waushara County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,998 at the 2000 census. Wautoma is the county seat for Waushara County....

)
Fred Clark with 67% Luther Olsen with 52%
18  Randy Hopper
Randy Hopper
Randal B. "Randy" Hopper is a former Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 18th District from 2009 until losing his seat to Jessica King in a 2011 recall election. The 18th District includes the cities of Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, and Waupun....

 
Fond du Lac
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Fond du Lac is a city in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, United States. The name is French for bottom of the lake, for it is located at the bottom of Lake Winnebago. The population was 42,203 at the 2000 census...

 
April 7 July 12, August 9 Jessica King (D-Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
As of the census of 2000, there were 62,916 people, 24,082 households, and 13,654 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,662.2 people per square mile . There were 25,420 housing units at an average density of 1,075.6 per square mile...

), John Buckstaff (Oshkosh)
Jessica King with 69% Jessica King with 51%
32  Dan Kapanke
Dan Kapanke
Daniel E. Kapanke is a former Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 32nd District from 2004 until losing his seat to Jennifer Shilling in the 2011 recall elections.-Early life, education and career:...

 
La Crosse
La Crosse, Wisconsin
La Crosse is a city in and the county seat of La Crosse County, Wisconsin, United States. The city lies alongside the Mississippi River.The 2011 Census Bureau estimates the city had a population of 52,485...

 
April 1 July 12, August 9 Rep. Jennifer Shilling
Jennifer Shilling
Jennifer Shilling is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin State Senate first elected to represent the 32nd district in 2011 . She has also worked as a legislative aide and served as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly.-Background:Shilling was born Jennifer Ehlenfeldt on July 4, 1969 in Oshkosh...

 (D-La Crosse), James D. Smith (La Crosse)
Jennifer Shilling with 70% Jennifer Shilling with 55%


  1. Canvassing after the election revealed Nancy Nusbaum was credited with zero votes from Kaukauna
    Kaukauna, Wisconsin
    Kaukauna is a city in Outagamie County, Wisconsin, United States, on the Fox River, approximately 100 miles north of Milwaukee, with a population of 12,983. It is a part of the Appleton, Wisconsin Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisconsin Combined...

     due to human error. This decreased Cowles lead from 60% to 57%, but did not change the outcome of the election.

Democratic senators
District Senator Hometown Recall filed Primary, general elections Primary candidates Winner of primary Winner of general
12
Wisconsin Senate, District 12
The 12th District of the Wisconsin Senate is located in north-eastern Wisconsin, and is composed of parts of Vilas, Oneida, Florence, Lincoln, Marinette, Langlade, Menominee, Oconto, Shawano and Forest Counties.-Current elected officials:...

 
Jim Holperin
Jim Holperin
Jim Holperin is a Democratic Party member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 12th District in northern Wisconsin since 2008. Previously, he was Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism from 2003 to 2007 and a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, serving the 34th District from 1982...

 
Conover
Conover, Wisconsin
Conover is a town in Vilas County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,137 at the 2000 census. The unincorporated community of Conover is located in the town.- History :...

 
April 21 July 19, August 16 Kim Simac of Eagle River
Eagle River, Wisconsin
Eagle River is a city in Vilas County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,443 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Vilas County. The city is known for being a popular "Northwoods" vacation town...

, Robert Lussow of Tomahawk
Tomahawk, Wisconsin
Tomahawk is a city in Lincoln County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 3,346 at the 2010 census. The city is located to the northeast of the Town of Tomahawk and is not contiguous with it.-History:...

 
Kim Simac with 59% Jim Holperin with 55%
22  Robert Wirch
Robert Wirch
Robert W. Wirch is a Democratic Party member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 22nd district since 1997. He previously served in the Wisconsin Assembly from 1993 through 1997.-Early life, education and career:...

 
Pleasant Prairie
Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
Pleasant Prairie is a village in Kenosha County, Wisconsin located between Milwaukee and Chicago. The population was 16,136 at the 2000 census. The neighborhoods of Carol Beach, Dexter's Corner, Ranney, and Tobin are located within the village.-Geography:...

 
April 21 July 19, August 16 Fred Ekornaas of Bristol
Bristol, Wisconsin
Bristol is the name of two locations in the U.S. state of Wisconsin:*Bristol, Wisconsin, a village in Kenosha County*Bristol, Dane County, Wisconsin, a town in Dane County...

, Jonathan Steitz of Pleasant Prairie
Jonathan Steitz with 64% Robert Wirch with 57%
30  Dave Hansen
Dave Hansen
Dave Hansen is a Democratic Party member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 30th District since 2001.-Early life and education:...

 
Green Bay
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay is a city in and the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, located at the head of Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River. It has an elevation of above sea level and is located north of Milwaukee. As of the 2010 United States Census,...

 
April 21 July 19 David VanderLeest of Green Bay N/A Dave Hansen with 67%


  1. On June 27, John Nygren
    John Nygren
    John Nygren is an American insurance and financial services agent, former restauranteur, and Republican politician from Marinette, Wisconsin, who has served as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly's 89th Assembly District since 2007.- Background :Nygren is a fourth generation resident of...

     was taken off the ballot in the Dave Hansen
    Dave Hansen
    Dave Hansen is a Democratic Party member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 30th District since 2001.-Early life and education:...

     recall election because he did not collect 400 valid signatures. The recall election between VanderLeest and Hansen occurred on July 19. Hansen easily won re-election.


Governor Walker recall


Mike Tate, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, announced the signature collection to recall Governor Walker would begin on November 15. Supporters of the recall must collect 540,206 valid signatures in 60 days. United Wisconsin announced it would not use over 200,000 names submitted online to recall Governor Walker, but would proceed with its attempt to collect 700,000 signatures 60 days after November 15 to recall the Governor.

On November 3, it was announced that supporters of a Rebecca Kleefisch
Rebecca Kleefisch
Rebecca Kleefisch is a former television news anchor, turned American politician, and is currently serving as the 44th Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin...

 (The Lieutenant Governor) recall would have to collect a completely additional 540,206 signatures that would be separate from the Walker petitions.

On November 4, David Brandt, a citizen of Waukesha County who had donated to Walker in the past, announced he had filed with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board to form a recall Walker committee. It was suggested by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin that Brandt had filed to actually help Walker. A quirk in Wisconsin state law says that any person facing recall can earn unlimited funds from contributors. As a result of Brandt's actions, Walker can raise unlimited donations for 11 days before the Democratic Party of Wisconsin officially files recall papers.

On November 4, a death threat
Death threat
A death threat is a threat of death, often made anonymously, by one person or a group of people to kill another person or groups of people. These threats are usually designed to intimidate victims in order to manipulate their behavior, thus a death threat is a form of coercion...

 was directed against Governor Walker on a facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 page named "Recall Walker Kick Off Rally" which is sponsored by the group We are Wisconsin. Regan Cowan, who made the threat, is a convicted felon. The capital police investigated the matter. Charges were not issued against Ms. Cowan because according to district attorney Ismael Ozanne, the post did not appear meant to reach the governor.

On November 15, the recall petitions against Scott Walker
Scott Walker
Scott Walker may refer to:*Scott Walker , Governor of Wisconsin, and former county executive of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin*Scott Walker , boxer...

 and Rebecca Kleefisch
Rebecca Kleefisch
Rebecca Kleefisch is a former television news anchor, turned American politician, and is currently serving as the 44th Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin...

 began to circulate. Supporters of the recall have to collect 540,206 valid signatures by January 14.

On November 17, United Wisconsin announced via its Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

 page that over 50,000 signatures had been collected to recall the Governor.

On November 19, between 25,000 and 30,000 gathered at the State Capitol in support of a petition drive to recall Walker. Former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold
Russ Feingold
Russell Dana "Russ" Feingold is an American politician from the U.S. state of Wisconsin. He served as a Democratic party member of the U.S. Senate from 1993 to 2011. From 1983 to 1993, Feingold was a Wisconsin State Senator representing the 27th District.He is a recipient of the John F...

 attended and signed a recall petition against the Governor. At the rally, Russ Feingold stated that he will definitely not run if the recall is successful. Recent polling has shown he is the only Democrat to beat Walker in a possible recall election.

It was reported that 105,000 signatures had been gathered by November 19.

On November 28, it was reported that 300,000 signatures had been collected.

More Senate recalls


Tate said "It would be irresponsible of the party to not jump on that opportunity." when asked if they would attempt to recall Wisconsin Senate Republicans that are available for recall next year. Signatures for recall could be collected at the same time that Governor Walker's recall signatures are being collected. Democrats are targeting Pam Galloway
Pam Galloway
Dr. Pam Galloway is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 29th District since 2011.Galloway graduated with a BA from the University of Chicago in 1976, and earned her MD from the University of Virginia in 1980. Pam is a member of a number of medical committees, and was the...

 of Wausau
Wausau, Wisconsin
Wausau is a city in and the county seat of Marathon County, Wisconsin, United States. The Wisconsin River divides the city. The city is adjacent to the town of Wausau.According to the 2000 census, Wausau had a population of 38,426 people...

, Terry Moulton
Terry Moulton
Terry Moulton is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 23rd district since 2011. He was previously a member of the Wisconsin Assembly, representing the 68th district from 2005 to 2009....

 of Chippewa Falls
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Chippewa Falls is a city located on the Chippewa River in Chippewa County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 13,661 at the 2010 census. Incorporated as a city in 1869, it is the county seat of Chippewa County....

, Van H. Wanggaard
Van H. Wanggaard
Van Wanggaard is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 21st district since 2011.Born in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Wanggaard graduated from Gateway Technical College with a certificate in Police Science Instruction. He ran for the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2006, but lost...

 of Racine
Racine, Wisconsin
Racine is a city in and the county seat of Racine County, Wisconsin, United States. According to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city had a population of 82,196...

, and possibly others including Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott L. Fitzgerald
Scott L. Fitzgerald
Scott L. Fitzgerald is an American politician. He is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 13th District since 1994.-Early life, education and career:...

 of Juneau. Republicans are targeting Kathleen Vinehout
Kathleen Vinehout
Kathleen Vinehout, Ph.D, M.P.H. is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 31st district since 2007.- Early life, education and career :...

 of Alma
Alma, Wisconsin
Alma is a city in and the county seat of Buffalo County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 942 at the 2000 census. The city is surrounded by the Town of Alma. The motto for the city of Alma is: "Step into Living History."-Geography:...

, Julie Lassa
Julie Lassa
Julie M. Lassa is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin State Senate, representing the 24th District since a special election in April 2003...

 of Stevens Point
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Stevens Point is the county seat of Portage County, Wisconsin, United States. Located in the central part of the state, it is the largest city in the county, with a population of 24,551 at the 2000 census...

, and possibly Senate Minority Leader Mark F. Miller of Monona
Monona, Wisconsin
Monona is a city in Dane County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 8,046 as of 2007. It is completely surrounded by Madison and is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Monona is located at ....

. Both Miller and Lassa weren't recalled earlier in 2011 because not enough petitions were gathered against them.

A battle is brewing between Senate Republicans and Democrats whether the redistricting maps passed during the summer would apply to the new possible recall elections. The new redistricting maps make Galloway's, Moulton's, and Wanggaard's district much more Republican, and in the case of Wanggaard completely lopsided Republican. The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board is investigating the matter. Any Democrats or Republicans who win recall elections would have to face another election in November 2014 with the new, much more Republican, redistricting maps in place.

On October 27, Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate opened the possibility that they might change the redistricting law so that the redistricting maps passed in the summer would go into effect immediately and that any recall election would be in the new districts, which are much more Republican for the Senators targeted. Any changes to the redistricting law would have to be passed before November 4, the first day recall petitions can begin to circulate. On October 31, Dale Schultz
Dale Schultz
Dale W. Schultz is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 17th District since a special election in 1991. He was previously a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1982 through 1991.-Background:...

 announced he would not go along with the legislation, putting the Republican redistricting changes in doubt of passing. On November 2, the vote on the bill was delayed indefinitely as the state Senate does not meet again until January.

Dale Schultz
Dale Schultz
Dale W. Schultz is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 17th District since a special election in 1991. He was previously a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1982 through 1991.-Background:...

, the only Republican to vote against the collective bargaining legislation may also be subject to a recall.

On November 15, recall petitions began to circulate to recall Pam Galloway
Pam Galloway
Dr. Pam Galloway is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 29th District since 2011.Galloway graduated with a BA from the University of Chicago in 1976, and earned her MD from the University of Virginia in 1980. Pam is a member of a number of medical committees, and was the...

 of Wausau
Wausau, Wisconsin
Wausau is a city in and the county seat of Marathon County, Wisconsin, United States. The Wisconsin River divides the city. The city is adjacent to the town of Wausau.According to the 2000 census, Wausau had a population of 38,426 people...

, Terry Moulton
Terry Moulton
Terry Moulton is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 23rd district since 2011. He was previously a member of the Wisconsin Assembly, representing the 68th district from 2005 to 2009....

 of Chippewa Falls
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Chippewa Falls is a city located on the Chippewa River in Chippewa County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 13,661 at the 2010 census. Incorporated as a city in 1869, it is the county seat of Chippewa County....

, Van H. Wanggaard
Van H. Wanggaard
Van Wanggaard is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 21st district since 2011.Born in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Wanggaard graduated from Gateway Technical College with a certificate in Police Science Instruction. He ran for the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2006, but lost...

 of Racine
Racine, Wisconsin
Racine is a city in and the county seat of Racine County, Wisconsin, United States. According to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city had a population of 82,196...

, and Scott L. Fitzgerald
Scott L. Fitzgerald
Scott L. Fitzgerald is an American politician. He is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 13th District since 1994.-Early life, education and career:...

 of Juneau. Recall supporters have until January 14 to gather the required number of valid signatures for recall, 25% of the votes in the last election. These totals fluctuate between 14,958 needed to recall Moulton and 16,742 needed to recall Fitzgerald.

On November 21, a group of Republicans asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court
Wisconsin Supreme Court
The Wisconsin Supreme Court is the highest appellate court in the state of Wisconsin. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction over original actions, appeals from lower courts, and regulation or administration of the practice of law in Wisconsin.-Location:...

 to weigh in on the issue of whether the Senate recalls should happen in new or old districts. A group of Democrats asked the same, except they directed their attention to a federal court.

District savings


There is evidence of how the budget repair bill is working since it became effective on June 29, 2011. For example, in Kaukauna
Kaukauna, Wisconsin
Kaukauna is a city in Outagamie County, Wisconsin, United States, on the Fox River, approximately 100 miles north of Milwaukee, with a population of 12,983. It is a part of the Appleton, Wisconsin Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Appleton-Oshkosh-Neenah, Wisconsin Combined...

, school officials put in place new policies they estimate will turn a $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million surplus. In April 2011, the union had offered healthcare and pension concessions as well as a wage freeze, which it projected would save $1.8 million, but the offer was rejected by the school board. "The monetary part of it is not the entire issue," said board President Todd Arnoldussen. "It was in the collective bargaining agreement that we could only negotiate with them," said Arnoldussen referring to the past, when Kaukauna's agreement with the teachers union required the school district to purchase health insurance coverage from WEA Trust - a company created by the Wisconsin teachers union. This year, the trust told Kaukauna that it would face a significant increase in premiums. With the collective bargaining agreement gone, the school district is free to shop around for coverage. Kaukauna can reduce the size of its classes - from 31 students to 26 students in high school and from 26 students to 23 students in elementary school. In addition, there will be more teacher time for one-on-one sessions with troubled students. Those changes would not have been possible without the changes in collective bargaining. The money saved will be used to hire a few more teachers and institute merit pay.

The city of Milwaukee projects it will save at least $25 million a year and possibly as much as $36 million in 2012 from health care benefit changes due to not having to negotiate with unions. This is offset by about $14 million in cuts in state aid. This contrasts with Mayor Tom Barrett's initial comments in March, after the Walker administration and the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released figures on the extent of the aid cuts in the state budget.

Racine County estimates it will save over $1.5 million in employee pension contributions that resulted from recent state collective bargaining changes. In addition, county employees will be more limited on how much comp time they can accrue, will need to pay more for name-brand prescription drugs and will not be able to receive overtime unless they work more than 40 hours. Racine County Executive Jim Ladwig, who proposed the changes, estimated the changes will save the county several hundred thousand dollars per year.

Other examples of district savings include Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
As of the census of 2000, there were 62,916 people, 24,082 households, and 13,654 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,662.2 people per square mile . There were 25,420 housing units at an average density of 1,075.6 per square mile...

 school board, which will save over $3.7 million over the next three years due to switching health insurance providers away from WEA Trust, Menomonee Falls
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Menomonee Falls is a village in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States, and is part of the Greater Milwaukee area. The population was 35,626 at the 2010 census, making it the most populous village in Wisconsin. It is the fourth largest community in Waukesha County...

 school board will save $2.4 million by changing health providers, Hudson
Hudson, Wisconsin
Hudson is a city in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 18,937, making it the principal and largest city of the Minneapolis - St. Paul metropolitan area . The Hudson area however had a population of 39,713...

 school district will save over $1 million by changing health providers, Ashland
Ashland, Wisconsin
Ashland is a city in Ashland and Bayfield counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The city is a port on Lake Superior, near the head of Chequamegon Bay. The population was 8,695 at the 2010 census....

 school district will save $378,000 by changing health providers, and Wauwatosa
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
Wauwatosa is a city in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States, and was incorporated on May 27, 1897. As of the 2006 census estimate, the city's population was 44,798. Wauwatosa is located immediately west of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is a part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area...

 school board which would have faced a choice of laying off more than 100 teachers and other employees, yet were able to prevent that outcome by implementing pay freezes and employees accepting higher pension payments and higher deductible health care plans as well as the property tax levy projected to decrease.

Tax levy reductions


Tax levy figures for the 2011-12 school year show the total tax levy is down more than $47 million for K-12 schools. This amounts to a 1% decrease on the school tax portion of the average property tax bill. Since 1996, it is only the second time the total school tax levy has dropped. Over the last five years the tax levy, on average, increased by $181 million each year. In total, 269 school districts have a property tax levy lower or the same as last year and 200 school districts not only lowered their levy, but cut their mill rate.

Reductions in state aid


The budget repair law reduced state aid to K-12 school districts by about $900 million over the next two years. 410 of Wisconsin's 424 districts will get about 10 percent less aid than the previous year. The biggest losses in dollar amounts will occur in the Milwaukee
Milwaukee Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools is the largest school district in Wisconsin. As of 2007, it had an enrollment of 87,360 students, and as of 2006 employed 6,100 full-time and substitute teachers in 223 schools. The Milwaukee Public Schools system is the 33rd largest in the United States by enrollment...

, Racine
Racine Unified School District
Racine Unified School District is a school district that serves a area in eastern Racine County, Wisconsin. It has 35 schools and a student population of approximately 21,000, serving six nearby towns and cities...

 and Green Bay
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay is a city in and the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, located at the head of Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River. It has an elevation of above sea level and is located north of Milwaukee. As of the 2010 United States Census,...

 districts; Milwaukee will lose $54.6 million, Racine $13.1 million and Green Bay $8.8 million. State aid to schools is computed by a complex formula based on property values, student enrollment and other factors. Property-poor districts get more aid than property-rich districts because they have lower property taxes.

A provision in the budget repair law restricts the options of what districts can collect in property taxes and other revenue by requiring a referendum to prevent them from trying to replace their losses in state aid without first going to the citizens of the district. In Milwaukee, district officials announced they have eliminated 514 vacant positions and laid off almost 520 employees, including 354 teachers, mostly from elementary schools, which will result in larger class sizes. The Milwaukee School Board asked its teachers union for a side agreement requiring teachers to contribute 5.8% of their pay toward pensions, as the teachers union contract extends through 2013.

The pension contribution would have saved about $20 million and 200 jobs, however the union rejected the concession. The Racine district has saved about $18 million from a wage freeze and larger employee contributions to pensions and health care, but the loss of state aid still required the elimination of 125 positions (although a larger than usual number of retirements and resignations and soon-to-be eliminated positions that are already vacant means the district will actual need to lay off only 60 employees) and the closing of all but one swimming pool for the summer. The Green Bay district also froze wages and required greater employee contributions to pensions and health care, but the district has stopped filling vacancies and may have to combine elementary grades into single classrooms.

Nearly 70% of state school districts will be eligible for special adjustment aid, largely because of the decrease in the state's share of support. The special adjustment aid is intended to provide school districts with 90% of the state general aid from the previous year.

Union dues changes


Since teachers' unions are no longer able to automatically deduct dues from teachers' paychecks because of the new budget repair law, unions are using a variety of methods including using a combination of meetings, emails, phone calls and home visits to get teachers signed up for dues collection. Some school districts are primarily signing members up for electronic funds transfers so they can deduct money monthly. The latest IRS
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service is the revenue service of the United States federal government. The agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue...

 filing available shows that WEAC collected about $23.5 million in membership dues in fiscal year 2009 from its approximately 98,000 members. Most of the membership dues go to pay salaries and benefits. The organization employed 151 people and paid them $14,382,812, which is an average compensation total of $95,250 per employee. This figure includes not only professional staff but also lost wages paid to union bargaining team members, officers, and delegates to conventions.

Union layoffs


The Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), announced they would lay off about 40% of its workforce. The layoffs and budget cuts are based on a projected loss of revenue as a result of the budget repair legislation.

Union decertifications


The UW-Madison teaching assistant union, which was at the forefront of the protests against the new budget repair law, voted to decertify their union in August, 2011. Union leaders for state and local government workers said they also are leaning toward not recertifying. The Wisconsin Education Association Council, the state's largest teachers union, is the only state union to date that has indicated it plans to seek official union status with the state.

On August 29, the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) announced it would allow local union affiliates to possibly drop certification and that the agency would accept whatever the local unions chose.

On September 21, the 23,000-member Wisconsin State Employees Union announced it would not re-certify. The 17,500-member American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin also announced it would mostly not re-certify, with only a small branch, the Professional Employees in Research, Statistics and Analysis, representing only 58 employees, announcing a re-certification vote among its members.
Only 4 small unions are expected to re-certify on the deadline for re-certification, 4:30 p.m. on September 22. They represent building trades workers, prosecutors, attorneys, and state research employees. Any union that has not filed re-certification by this time will lose official certification within the state.
Some school and local government employees have outstanding contracts and won't have to vote to recertify until these current contracts run out. Unions for teachers and other school district employees without contracts have until Sept. 30 to file for a recertification election. Municipal employees without contracts have until Jan. 30.
Besides the state unions, 13 other local government and school district unions so far have also filed with the state seeking a recertification election.

Tensions since the protest period


Union officials in central Wisconsin voted to ban Republican politicians from the Labor Day
Labor Day
Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.-History:...

 parade held in Wausau, Wisconsin
Wausau, Wisconsin
Wausau is a city in and the county seat of Marathon County, Wisconsin, United States. The Wisconsin River divides the city. The city is adjacent to the town of Wausau.According to the 2000 census, Wausau had a population of 38,426 people...

. In a statement from the union council website, council president Randy Radtke said that politicians are welcome at the festivities only if they have demonstrated support for workers' rights. Mayor Jim Ripple of Wausau responded that the city would not help with the cost of the parade unless a decision to ban Republican politicians was reversed. The union later reversed its decision to exclude Republican politicians.

In September 2011, Republican State Senator and Joint Finance Committee Chair Alberta Darling
Alberta Darling
Alberta Darling is a Republican member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 8th District since 1993. She previously served in the Wisconsin Assembly, representing the 10th district from 1990 through 1993...

 said Democratic State Senator Lena Taylor
Lena Taylor
Lena C. Taylor is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin Senate, representing the 4th District since 2005. She previously served in the Wisconsin Assembly, representing the 18th District from 2003 through 2005....

 should be removed from the Joint Finance Committee. A heated exchange transpired between the two senators during the committee meeting. Darling attempted to twice interject while Taylor was speaking. The committee went informal twice after the senators argued back and forth. It started when Senator Taylor was speaking about the need to pay for the officers who helped control protesters in February and March. Senator Darling walked out of the meeting for a moment. When she returned, the two continued the heated exchange. Senator Darling responded to the incident by saying, "She doesn't feel like she has to respect the voice and the opinions of the chair. She can call people liars. This level of disrespect for the process, disrespect for rules of law and disrespect for the process of doing legislations for the people of Wisconsin is a concern."

Political

  • U.S. President Barack Obama
    Barack Obama
    Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

    , said that Walker's proposal "seems more like an assault on unions".
  • Wisconsin U.S. Senator Herb Kohl
    Herb Kohl
    Herbert H. "Herb" Kohl is the senior U.S. Senator from Wisconsin and a member of the Democratic Party. He is also a philanthropist and the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks National Basketball Association team...

     opposes limiting state workers' bargaining rights, but said they should contribute more to their benefits and pension policies. He supported the Democratic State Senators who left the state.
  • Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron Johnson said the budget repair bill "is not about individual workers...but about rebalancing the equation so that the taxpayers' interests are being protected." He said that the "amount of thuggery, the threats of execution" have not been sufficiently covered by the media.
  • Former Republican U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich
    Newt Gingrich
    Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich is a U.S. Republican Party politician who served as the House Minority Whip from 1989 to 1995 and as the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999....

     called the debate a "profound struggle between the right of the people to govern themselves and the power of entrenched, selfish interests to stop reforms and defy the will of the people."
  • Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner
    John Boehner
    John Andrew Boehner is the 61st and current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party, he is the U.S. Representative from , serving since 1991...

     compared the Wisconsin protests to the 2010-2011 Greek protests, and accused Obama's administration of helping coordinate union groups to rally in larger numbers in Madison.
  • The protests have been compared to the 2011 Egyptian revolution
    2011 Egyptian revolution
    The 2011 Egyptian revolution took place following a popular uprising that began on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 and is still continuing as of November 2011. The uprising was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil...

     by both Democratic Representatives such as John Lewis, and Republican Representatives, such as Paul Ryan
    Paul Ryan
    Paul Ryan may refer to:* Paul Ryan , member of the U.S. House of Representatives* Paul Ryan , music agent for The Agency, former Cradle of Filth guitarist* Paul Ryan , comics artist...

    . Mike Lux
    Mike Lux
    Mike Lux is the co-founder and President of , a political consulting firm founded in 1999, focused on strategic political consulting for non-profits, labor unions, PACs and progressive donors....

    , a political consultant, stated that "the pictures we are seeing and the story playing out in Wisconsin is like Egypt in some really important ways. The new mass militancy of union members, students, and other allies of the maligned teachers, social workers, cops, firefighters, and other public employees being attacked and threatened by the governor is not a manufactured thing, it is a mass movement spreading like wildfire, building in momentum day by day."
  • Arne Carlson
    Arne Carlson
    Arne Helge Carlson, Sr. is an American politician and the 37th Governor of the state of Minnesota.-Early years, education and family:...

    , a former Republican governor of neighboring Minnesota
    Minnesota
    Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

    , criticized Walker for a bill provision allowing for the no-bid sale of state-owned energy facilities, and for his actions regarding the fake call.

Religious figures

  • Milwaukee Catholic Archbishop Jerome Listecki sent a statement to the Joint Finance Committee imploring respect for the legitimate rights of workers and specifically referenced Pope Benedict XVI's
    Pope Benedict XVI
    Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

     encyclical Caritas in veritate
    Caritas in Veritate
    Caritas in Veritate is the third encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI and his first social encyclical. It was signed on June 29, 2009, and was published on July 7, 2009...

    and Pope John Paul II's
    Pope John Paul II
    Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

     encyclical Laborem Exercens
    Laborem Exercens
    Laborem Exercens was an encyclical written by Pope John Paul II in 1981, on human work. It is part of a larger body of doctrine known as Catholic social teaching, which traces its origin to another encyclical, Rerum Novarum, issued by Pope Leo XIII in 1891.-External links:*...

    . The archbishop, however, went on to add that not every claim made by workers or their representatives is valid and that every union is called to work for the common good
    Common good
    The common good is a term that can refer to several different concepts. In the popular meaning, the common good describes a specific "good" that is shared and beneficial for all members of a given community...

    , to make sacrifices when required, and to adjust to new economic realities.
  • United Methodist Church
    United Methodist Church
    The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

     Bishop of Wisconsin Linda Lee has voiced her concern by referencing the 2008 Book of Discipline
    Book of Discipline (United Methodist)
    The Book of Discipline constitutes the law and doctrine of the United Methodist Church. It follows similar works for its predecessor denominations....

    , which supports the right of all public and private employees and employers to organize for collective bargaining. She requested that the governor reconsider his initiative in this matter.
  • Rabbi
    Rabbi
    In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

     Jonathan Biatch of Madison's Temple Beth El spoke out against Governor Walker's bill and was one of eight rabbis of Madison's liberal Jewish movements to sign a letter supporting the Jewish mandate to protect workers, as well as the poor and needy, deep value for education, for supporting women's rights, and for creating sustainable communities, and their belief that these issues should be debated openly and fairly under public scrutiny.

Unions

  • Solidarity was the watchword throughout the 2011 protests, beginning very soon after Governor Walker proposed his collective bargaining changes on February 11. Public and private unions alike, including the largest police and fire unions whose members were exempt under the Governor's bill, met on February 14 to declare their opposition to the Governor's "union-busting measures."
  • An ad created by advisers to the national AFL-CIO
    AFL-CIO
    The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, commonly AFL–CIO, is a national trade union center, the largest federation of unions in the United States, made up of 56 national and international unions, together representing more than 11 million workers...

    , SEIU and AFSCME unions and paid for by the Wisconsin AFL-CIO was launched. The ad featured "Racine firefighter Mike DeGarmo proclaiming solidarity between firefighters (who, like police officers, are exempt from Walker's proposal) and other public employees.... A spokesman for the national AFL-CIO, Eddie Vale, says [the ad]'s supported by a 'significant statewide buy'".
  • Stu Betts, the former president of the West DePere Educational Association (WDPEA) teachers union, sent a letter to the union membership indicating that he resigned under pressure from the WDPEA executive committee. He claims that the Wisconsin Education Association Council
    Wisconsin Education Association Council
    The Wisconsin Education Association Council is an education union representing the public policy, labor and professional interests of its members. It is affiliated with the National Education Association. Its headquarters are located in Madison, Wisconsin.-History:WEAC began as a statewide...

    (WEAC) is about making sure union dues are mandatory, not about teachers' rights. He did not endorse the demonstrations at the capital but did state he wrote letters to the governor expressing concerns regarding the proposed legislation.
  • Harold Schaitberger, the president of the International Association of Firefighters, said that they will quit donating to federal candidates this year because members of Congress
    United States Congress
    The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

     are not doing enough to support organized labor. He says there is a more urgent need to spend money defending anti-union measures sweeping GOP-controlled statehouses across the country and that members of Congress should be doing more to speak out against efforts in states to take away collective bargaining rights and weaken union clout. The union is among the most influential and biggest-spending lobbying groups on Capitol Hill. Piotr Duda, president of the Polish trade union Solidarity, released a statement on behalf of the 700,000-strong union in support of the Wisconsin protesters. The Spanish union confederation CNT
    Confederación Nacional del Trabajo
    The Confederación Nacional del Trabajo is a Spanish confederation of anarcho-syndicalist labor unions affiliated with the International Workers Association . When working with the latter group it is also known as CNT-AIT...

     released a statement supporting the "workers who have taken a stand against aggressions to their rights as laborers and especially to their right to organize."

Academia

  • Linguist and social activist Noam Chomsky
    Noam Chomsky
    Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, and activist. He is an Institute Professor and Professor in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy at MIT, where he has worked for over 50 years. Chomsky has been described as the "father of modern linguistics" and...

     (a self-described libertarian socialist
    Libertarian socialism
    Libertarian socialism is a group of political philosophies that promote a non-hierarchical, non-bureaucratic, stateless society without private property in the means of production...

    ) said that the Wisconsin protests and the 2011 Egyptian revolution
    2011 Egyptian revolution
    The 2011 Egyptian revolution took place following a popular uprising that began on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 and is still continuing as of November 2011. The uprising was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil...

     "are closely intertwined", and that both consist of "struggles for labor rights
    Labor rights
    Labor rights or workers' rights are a group of legal rights and claimed human rights having to do with labor relations between workers and their employers, usually obtained under labor and employment law. In general, these rights' debates have to do with negotiating workers' pay, benefits, and safe...

     and democracy
    Democracy
    Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

    ".

Think tanks

  • The Heritage Foundation
    The Heritage Foundation
    The Heritage Foundation is a conservative American think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong...

    's policy analyst James Sherk wrote in support of Governor Walker's budget plan, "Gov. Walker's plan reasserts voter control over government policy. Voters' elected representatives should decide how the government spends their taxes. More states should heed the AFL-CIO
    AFL-CIO
    The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, commonly AFL–CIO, is a national trade union center, the largest federation of unions in the United States, made up of 56 national and international unions, together representing more than 11 million workers...

     Executive Council's 1959 advice: 'in terms of accepted collective bargaining procedures, government workers have no right beyond the authority to petition Congress — a right available to every citizen.'"
  • Wisconsin Policy Research Institute
    Wisconsin Policy Research Institute
    Wisconsin Policy Research Institute is a non-profit conservative think tank advocating free market economics in the state of Wisconsin. The organization is based in Hartland, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee....

     released a study that shows that state public employees on average receive hundreds of dollars more per month in retirement than higher-paid employees in the private sector. According to the report, an employee covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System who earns $48,000 a year would retire with an estimated monthly benefit of $1,712 from the system. In contrast, a private sector employee who earned $70,000 a year would get an estimated $1,301 a month in retirement, which is $411 less per month than the lower-paid public sector retiree.
  • Americans for Prosperity
    Americans for Prosperity
    Americans for Prosperity is a Washington, D.C.–based political advocacy group. According to their literature, they promote economic policy that supports business, and restrains regulation by government...

     president Tim Phillips
    Tim Phillips (political strategist)
    Tim Phillips , born July 13, 1964, is the current president of Americans for Prosperity.- Personal life :Phillips grew up in Spartanburg, SC. After briefly attending Liberty University in the fall, 1983, he went to Washington DC as part of a school sponsored internship with the Department of...

     went to Madison to "voice praise for cutting state spending by slashing union benefits and bargaining rights [and to address] a large group of counterprotesters." Phillips also said: "We are going to bring fiscal sanity back to this great nation. ... This is a watershed moment in Wisconsin.... For the last two decades, government unions have used their power to drive pensions and benefits and salaries well beyond anything that can be sustained. We are just trying to change that." The group planned an ad campaign in support of Gov. Walker's initiatives.
  • Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is a nonprofit 501 organization that describes itself as "dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials – regardless of party affiliation – who sacrifice the common good to...

     claimed Gov. Walker violated Wisconsin law by unlawfully sending state troopers in search of a missing legislator, as well as possibly conspiring with the State Patrol superintendent (the father of Scott Fitzgerald, the Republican Senate Majority Leader, who was appointed by Walker) in order to do so.


Their sentiments have been echoed by other nonpartisan watchdog groups, both local (such as Wisconsin Common Cause) and national (such as the Public Campaign Action Fund), who have requested that state authorities review Walker's conduct in the fake call to determine whether he had violated ethics/campaign laws.

Entertainment media

  • On February 21, a major draw for the protesters was Tom Morello
    Tom Morello
    Thomas Baptiste "Tom" Morello is a Grammy Award-winning American guitarist best known for his tenure with the bands Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, his acoustic solo act The Nightwatchman, and his newest group, Street Sweeper Social Club...

    , guitarist of rock group Rage Against the Machine
    Rage Against the Machine
    Rage Against the Machine is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1991, the group's line-up consists of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist and backing vocalist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello and drummer Brad Wilk...

    , who said his mother was a union public school teacher in Illinois. Morello also said "[f]riends and unions in Brazil
    Brazil
    Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

     and in Korea
    Korea
    Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

     — the whole world is watching"; and that he had "even heard from a principal organizer of the protests in Cairo about what's happening in Madison."
  • Peter Yarrow
    Peter Yarrow
    Peter Yarrow is an American singer who found fame with the 1960s folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Yarrow co-wrote one of the group's most famous songs, "Puff, the Magic Dragon"...

    , from Peter, Paul and Mary
    Peter, Paul and Mary
    Peter, Paul and Mary were an American folk-singing trio whose nearly 50-year career began with their rise to become a paradigm for 1960s folk music. The trio was composed of Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey and Mary Travers...

    , attended and said he was honored to be a part of the protests.
  • Filmmaker Michael Moore
    Michael Moore
    Michael Francis Moore is an American filmmaker, author, social critic and activist. He is the director and producer of Fahrenheit 9/11, which is the highest-grossing documentary of all time. His films Bowling for Columbine and Sicko also place in the top ten highest-grossing documentaries...

     was in attendance on March 5, where he addressed the protesters from the Capitol, criticizing the Wisconsin Legislature and leadership. He said: "Right now the Earth is shaking and the ground is shifting under the feet of those who are in charge. America is not broke.... Wisconsin is not broke. The only thing that's broke is the moral compass of the rulers."
  • John Darnielle
    John Darnielle
    John Darnielle is an American musician, best known as the primary member of the American band The Mountain Goats, for which he is the writer, composer, guitarist, and vocalist.-Places Darnielle has lived:...

     ("The Mountain Goats
    The Mountain Goats
    The Mountain Goats is an American indie rock band formed in Claremont, CA by singer-songwriter John Darnielle. For many years, the sole member of the Mountain Goats was Darnielle himself, despite the plural moniker....

    ") showed his support by posting pro-union tweets and publishing a video cover of Joe Hill
    Joe Hill
    Joe Hill, born Joel Emmanuel Hägglund in Gävle , and also known as Joseph Hillström was a Swedish-American labor activist, songwriter, and member of the Industrial Workers of the World...

    's "There is Power in the Union".
  • On February 26, actor Bradley Whitford
    Bradley Whitford
    Bradley Whitford is an American film and television actor. He is best known for his roles as Deputy White House Chief of Staff Josh Lyman on the NBC television drama The West Wing, as Danny Tripp on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, as Dan Stark in the Fox police buddy-comedy The Good Guys, as...

    , a native of Madison, spoke to the protesters in Madison in support of the unions, declaring, "He [Walker] needs to know this will not stand."
  • On March 12, actors Susan Sarandon
    Susan Sarandon
    Susan Sarandon is an American actress. She has worked in films and television since 1969, and won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1995 film Dead Man Walking. She had also been nominated for the award for four films before that and has received other recognition for her...

     and Tony Shalhoub
    Tony Shalhoub
    Anthony Marcus "Tony" Shalhoub is an American actor of Lebanese descent. His television work includes the roles of Antonio Scarpacci on Wings and sleuth Adrian Monk on the TV series Monk. He has won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for his work in Monk...

     spoke to the protesters in Madison, and pledged their support of the unions.

Other


New York Times conservative columnist David Brooks
David Brooks (journalist)
David Brooks is a Canadian-born political and cultural commentator who considers himself a moderate and writes for the New York Times...

 wrote that "[i]t's the Democratic minority that is thwarting the majority will by fleeing to Illinois". Brooks opined that private sector unions push against the interests of shareholders and management
Management
Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively...

 while "public sector unions push against the interests of taxpayers". He also wrote that private sector union members "know that their employers could go out of business, so they have an incentive to mitigate their demands; public sector union members work for state monopolies and have no such interest."

Related news


Indiana Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Cox was fired after suggesting that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker use live ammunition against pro-union protesters involved in the 2011 Wisconsin protests. Later, a Deputy Prosecutor in Johnson County, Indiana
Johnson County, Indiana
As of the census of 2000, there were 115,209 people, 42,434 households, and 31,613 families residing in the county. The population density was 360 people per square mile . There were 45,095 housing units at an average density of 141 per square mile...

, Carlos Lam, suggested that Governor Walker should mount a "false flag
False flag
False flag operations are covert operations designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is flying the flag of a country other than one's own...

" operation that would make it appear as if the union was committing violence. After initially claiming that his email account was hacked, Lam admitted to making the suggestion and resigned. Cullen Werwie, press secretary for Governor Walker, stated that Walker's office was unaware of Lam's email.

CBS News reported that Werwie commented, "Certainly we do not support the actions suggested in (the) email. Governor Walker has said time and again that the protesters have every right to have their voice heard, and for the most part the protests have been peaceful. We are hopeful that the tradition will continue."

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a free market think tank headquartered in Midland, Michigan. It is the USA’s largest state-based free market think tank...

, a conservative research group in Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, issued a public records request to the labor studies departments at three public universities in the state, seeking any e-mails involving the Wisconsin labor protests. The request asked the three universities' labor studies faculty members for any e-mails mentioning “Scott Walker”, “Madison”, “Wisconsin” or “Rachel Maddow
Rachel Maddow
Rachel Anne Maddow is an American television host and political commentator. Maddow hosts a nightly television show, The Rachel Maddow Show, on MSNBC. Her syndicated talk radio program, The Rachel Maddow Show, aired on Air America Radio...

”. Greg Scholtz, the director of academic freedom for the American Association of University Professors
American Association of University Professors
The American Association of University Professors is an organization of professors and other academics in the United States. AAUP membership is about 47,000, with over 500 local campus chapters and 39 state organizations...

, said: “We think all this will have a chilling effect on academic freedom. We've never seen Freedom of Information Act requests used like this before.”

See also


  • Occupy Wall Street
    Occupy Wall Street
    Occupy Wall Street is an ongoing series of demonstrations initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters which began September 17, 2011 in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City's Wall Street financial district...

  • 2010–2011 Greek protests
    2010–2011 Greek protests
    The 2010–2011 Greek protests are an ongoing series of demonstrations and general strikes taking place across Greece. The protests, which began on 5 May 2010, were sparked by plans to cut public spending and raise taxes as austerity measures in exchange for a bail-out, aimed at solving the...

  • 2011 anti-cuts protest in London
    2011 anti-cuts protest in London
    The 2011 anti-cuts protest in London, also known as the March for the Alternative, was a demonstration held in central London on 26 March 2011...

  • 2011 Rome demonstration
    2011 Rome demonstration
    On 15 October 2011 about 200,000 people gathered in Rome, Italy to protest against economic inequality and the influence of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund on government. The protests began in solidarity with the Spanish protests...

  • Ohio Senate Bill 5 Voter Referendum, Issue 2 (2011)
    Ohio Senate Bill 5 Voter Referendum, Issue 2 (2011)
    The Ohio Collective Bargaining Limit Repeal appeared on the November 8, 2011 general election ballot in the state of Ohio as a veto referendum. Senate Bill 5 was repealed by Ohio voters after a campaign that pitted firefighters, police officers and teachers against the Republican establishment...


External links