Tuesday, August 30, 2011

WI Labor Day War escalates

Sean Duffy didn't march in this parade.

You may recall that the Marathon County Labor Council recently told anti-worker lawmakers -- including household-budget-challenged U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy -- that they couldn't march in the Wausau Labor Day parade.

Marathon County Labor Council President Randy Radtke explained why:
I don't like when politicians try to use us, use our event, for their personal gain. And that's pretty much what they're doing. The Republican politicians in our area don't side with us, but now they want to make it look like they're on our side.
Duffy told Fox News he hopes the Labor Council will reconsider next year:
It's been a little contentious in Wisconsin, but we all just went through a whole recall election and the folks in Wausau, they're sick of partisanship. They want to see people start working together. They want to see all the bickering set aside.
I think in Wisconsin it has become so divisive, we have to start working to bridge that divide and this doesn't go to that end. We almost have to laugh at it. (Italics added.)
Well, that should make some heads explode in Wisconsin. Laugh at the destruction of labor unions? Laugh at 13 percent pay cuts for government workers? Laugh at rising joblessness due to budget cuts?

The mayor of Wausau has told the Labor Council that they risk losing the city's financial support for the parade. Reports the Wausau Daily Herald,
The decision to bar GOP lawmakers might mean parade organizers will lose financial support typically provided by the city of Wausau.
According to a statement issued Monday afternoon by Mayor Jim Tipple's office, the city would require the labor council to reimburse all expenses unless the decision to prohibit a GOP presence is reversed. Tipple said he didn't have an estimate of what an insurance premium, stage setup and takedown, and traffic control by Wausau police officers would cost.

Here's some reaction from the tweetosphere:
@madturtle65: #wiunion Labor....having the GOP at your parade is an opportunity.They say they want to march with you. Let them and dont let them forget.
@all_a_twitt_r: You wouldn't honor Michelle Bachmann at a gay pride parade. Why honor anti-labor legislators at a LABOR Day parade? #wiunion RT@BattiestGrrl
@muttmutt: I would contribute $20 2 keep the GOP out of the parade. Would you? MT @BenFroland: http://t.co/kMfAMQV #wiunion #wirecall
And here's a message to Rep. Duffy from Free Wisconsin in the blogosphere:
Why would you expect to make a presence at a celebration of all you vehemently oppose? Where were you when organized Labor’s parade moved around the Capitol Square in Madison? Where was your voice of support for Labor when Walker refused to negotiate back in February? Where were you when public workers and teachers were being vilified and shamed by your party for being the one and only road block to balancing the State budget?

No. We do not invite you to our parade. You have not earned the respect of the working families of Wisconsin. Your policies and legislation are hurting the families, children, and seniors of this State. You are part of the cause of real pain in peoples lives. Your presence in a parade for the celebration of Labor would be little more than a mockery; a slap in the face to thousands who have struggled and died to create a middle class whose salaries and benefits you work to cut and crush with each wag of your tongue.  
Right on, brother.