Thursday, March 10, 2011

Nation & World | Wis. defeat could help launch counterattack on GOP | Seattle Times Newspaper


Democrats are pressing to recall Republican opponents of organized labor and turn the debate into a focal point of next year's campaign.

Democrats said their counterattack efforts were already beginning to bear fruit in the form of donations: The party's Wisconsin chapter said it raised $300,000 overnight and has collected $800,000 from 32,000 donors in just five days.

Party chairman Mike Tate said Senate Democrats have raised $750,000 over the past month alone.

Democrats said their counterattack efforts were already beginning to bear fruit in the form of donations: The party's Wisconsin chapter said it raised $300,000 overnight and has collected $800,000 from 32,000 donors in just five days.

Party chairman Mike Tate said Senate Democrats have raised $750,000 over the past month alone.

Nation & World | Wis. defeat could help launch counterattack on GOP | Seattle Times Newspaper

Dave Zirin: Gov. Scott Walker Puts Out Fire With Gasoline

He's proud because Gov. Scott Walker is an ignorant man, in the truest, most literal sense of the word.

expects people to applaud his desire to sell the state's power supply using private, no-bid contracts? How else to describe someone who wants to defund planned parenthood, eliminate protections for same-sex couples, and then has the gall to preach "family values"?

It was the fact that Walker said on February 11th, before the protests even began, that the National Guard would be mobilized if anyone raised a fuss over his plans to destroy the unions. It was the fact that Walker never gave the impression that such a move was coming during the election cycle. And it was the fact that voter turnout, especially among the young, was so low, he had a massive crisis of legitimacy from day one. People felt like they had moved from "government by the people for the people" to "government by this Walker guy, for the Koch brothers."

unions are meeting around the state and the question of a General Strike is real. The South Central Federation of Labor, the labor council for the greater Madison area, passed a resolution endorsing a general strike if the public sector unions call such action.

other avenues that should also be pursued: Occupy the capital. Recall Scott Walker. Show up at every town hall meeting one of the cowardly 18 state senators dare show their face

Click on the following for all of this Huffington Post article:  Dave Zirin: Gov. Scott Walker Puts Out Fire With Gasoline

Fair and balanced palm trees: Bias or boo-boo? - JSOnline

Take a look at 1:45-2:06 for the protest in tropics.


according to this live report about the Madison protests that aired on the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" this past Monday, Wisconsinites live in the land of sun and palm trees.

The reporter Mike Tobin is in fact doing his stand up in the state capitol rotunda.

But the "news" footage that aired while he speaks shows violent protests taking place somewhere considerably more tropical than Madison.

Check out the clip below posted on YouTube. The palm trees appear at about at the 1:43 mark.

Dumb mistake? Fair and balanced? You be the judge.

Click on the following to find the above TV Clip:  Fair and balanced palm trees: Bias or boo-boo? - JSOnline

Join the Madison protest March 12 - Quad Cities Online

Press release submitted by Quad City Federation of Labor.

Join us in Madison, Wis., Saturday, March 12, for largest protest yet.

Meet at the Laborer's 309 Hall, 2835 W. 7th Ave., Rock Island. Buses load at 9:30 a.m., to leave at 10 a.m. Rally in Madison is at 3 p.m. Leave Madison at 5 p.m., returning to Rock Island, by 8 p.m.

There are still a handful of seats available. For reservations, call (309) 738-3196 or

Union members, farmers, and the people of Wisconsin are convening yet again on their state's capitol for what organizers are billing the largest protest to-date in Madison.

There are signs that public pressure is working, and the Governor is now willing to negotiate the budget repair bill.

But let's be clear, this has never been about the budget, and rather than repair anything, it would unleash all kinds of damage to the working people of Wisconsin. Under Governor Walker's original proposals, it would:

-Abolish collective bargaining for all public employees except police and firefighters.

-Increase health care costs on public workers by up to 400%

-Reduce Medicaid eligibility from 200% of poverty rate to 133% - resulting in 65,000 men, women and children losing health care

-Permit the Governor to sell of the public utilities, with absolutely no oversight or even a bidding process.

-Let health insurance companies no longer cover any preventative birth control for women, while still permitting coverage of viagra (this is not a joke)

If you haven't been to Madison, now is your chance. Come with us this Saturday and witness one of the most amazing democratic movements since the Civil Rights Movement.


Join the Madison protest March 12 - Quad Cities Online

Wisconsin Assembly Set to Approve Limits on Union Bargaining -

thousands of demonstrators converged on the Capitol, the police cut off access to the building on Thursday, creating a taut atmosphere in which Republican State Assembly members were seeking to maintain order long enough to vote on a bill that sharply curtails bargaining rights for government workers

By preventing people from entering the capitol building Thursday morning, the police also denied entry to legislators, including at least two Democratic Assembly members — David Cullen and Elizabeth Coggs.

Later, Mr. Cullen and Ms. Coggs could be seen climbing into the building through a first-floor window.

Click on the following for more details:  Wisconsin Assembly Set to Approve Limits on Union Bargaining -

Send an email to Governor Scott Walker’s Supporters

A convenient way to contact the following major contributors to Scott Walker and his Democratic challenger.  Click on the website address shown at the bottom and you will see the screen which is shown below. Click on the appropriate items and you can receive additional information regarding the political contribution and be given an opportunity to voice your concerns by email.


Click on the following:

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Wisconsin Assembly Set to Approve Limits on Union Bargaining -


14 Democrats — many of whom watched a live stream of the vote on the Web from their undisclosed locations in Illinois — said they did not intend to return to Wisconsin on Thursday; some said that they suspected the Republicans might yet have additional voting maneuvers planned, and that they needed to assess all that had occurred….

recently as Sunday evening, a possible deal seemed in sight. In private e-mail exchanges with the Democrats, Mr. Walker’s representatives appeared willing to agree to some limited changes.

But by Wednesday afternoon, after talks had clearly broken apart, Republican senators met privately for hours, and eventually called a conference committee meeting of the leaders in the Senate and Assembly for 6 p.m.

Click on the following to read all of the story:  Wisconsin Assembly Set to Approve Limits on Union Bargaining -

Wisconsin AFL-CIO helps plan statewide protests


n in Activities Statewide

S T A T E W I D E   E V E N T S - EMERGENCY RALLY - STATE CAPITOL - 4:30 pm, Thursday - 3/10/2011
Please spread the word!
Please be at the Capitol at 4:30 pm Thursday afternoon. If you or members can't make it to Madison, we will have protests taking place at 9am statewide posted below. If there isn't anything near you, we encourage people to go to their local county courthouse.

SD               Location                          Street Address                   City

2      Green Bay Chamber of Commerce 300 N. Broadway Green Bay WI 
        Milwaukee Milwaukee County Courthouse Clas Park Milwaukee WI
10   River Falls City Hall 222 Lewis Street River Falls WI
13   Dodge County Administration Building 127 E. Oak Street Juneau WI
14   Birthplace of the Republican Party 303 Blackburn Street Ripon WI
17   Richland County Courthouse 181 W. Seminary Road Richland Center WI
17   Platteville City Hall 75 N Bonson Platteville WI
18   Oshkosh Opera House Square Corner of Algoma Ave and Main St Oshkosh WI
18   Veterans Park Main St. and Western Ave Fond du Lac WI
19   Senator Ellis' District Office 429 S. Commercial St. Neenah WI
21   Monument Square 500 South Main Street Racine WI
23   Eau Claire City Hall 203 S. Farwell Street Eau Claire WI
32   La Crosse County Courthouse 400 4th St N La Crosse WI 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

3/12/2011 – 12:00 – 2:00 pm 
Farmer Labor Tractorcade

Saturday 3/12/2011 - 3pm
AFL-CIO Rally at the Capitol


Buses available for the Saturday, March 12 Rally.  Click here for listing.

Canvassing/Phone Banks
In addition to events listed below, please contact Senate District leads to sign up to canvass and make phone calls.

Can’t make it to Madison or want to rally closer to home as well? There are rallies happening across the state. Come stand with workers and community members in your district.
Click here to find a local rally near you.
P.S. Have you thanked the Fab 14 yet? Use this Face Book link to write a thank you note to the Wisconsin Fab 14 who are standing up for the people. They are true American heroes.

MILWAUKEE Area (Jennissee Volpintesta 262-364-6751 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 262-364-6751 end_of_the_skype_highlighting) and Peter Drummond (414-333-1606 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 414-333-1606 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)

Thursday 3/10/2011
o 6pm Town Hall Forum with Rep. Sandy Pasch, Location TBD
o  Thank you WI 14 visibility 4-6pm, Water Street & Wisconsin Avenue, (Downtown) Milwaukee 
Friday, March 11th – Sunday, March 13th –
o  P.O.W.E.R. Walk from Milwaukee to Madison. People Organizing Wisconsin for Education and Worker’s Rights (P.O.W.E.R.) are Wisconsinites who support public education and collective bargaining rights for all workers. Inspired by the ideals of “Fighting Bob” La Follette, we are walking from Milwaukee to Madison to support the Wisconsin Idea. Start at Riverside High School, 615 East Locust Street, Milwaukee Friday @ 6 AM. For more details or to commit to walking, contact POWER at
Friday, March 11th – 6:30am
o  MICAH, Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope" Rally at Saint Matthews CME Church" located at 2944 North 9th Street Milwaukee. This rally is the kick off for the weekend bus convoy to Madison where we will assemble the largest number of supporters possible
Tuesday, 3/15/2011 -- 7:00 PM
o  Budget Town Hall, Shorewood High School - 1701 East Capitol Drive, Shorewood

2nd and 30th Senate District (Julie Heun - 920-904-2005 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 920-904-2005 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)
Thursday 3/10/2011 -- 6:30 PM
Budget Town Hall, First United Methodist Church
Friday 3/11/2011 7:00-10:00 PM
We LOVE our Teachers and support staff and all public employees PARTY!, Draft Haus, 901 Egg Harbor Road, Sturgeon Bay - $5 per person
Sunday 3/13/2011 12-4:00 PM
Support Workers Tailgate, 1061 W. Mason Street (Green Bay?), suggest donation $5 for brats, burgers and refreshments
Sunday - 3/13/2011 @ 5:30pm
Lincoln Reagan Dinner of the Brown County Republicans, Rock Garden Conference Center, 1951 Bond St., Green Bay Contact: Gary Lonzo at (920) 366-1107 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (920) 366-1107 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

10th Senate District (Jim Mangan 715-505-2835 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 715-505-2835 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Ongoing event in Menomonie: 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. every day Monday through Friday, a peaceful march at the Veteran’s Memorial Park on Crescent Street in Menomonie. Signs available. Participants are welcome to come for whatever time they are available.

12th Senate District (Scott Wright - 920-450-2121 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 920-450-2121 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)
Thursday March 10 - 4 pm – 6 pm
Rhinelander Solidarity rally: Burger King & Pizza Hut Corners

13th Senate District (Greg Neil 608-556-9521 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 608-556-9521 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)
Friday 3/11/2011 - 5:00 - 6:00 PM
Watertown All Union Rally, Watertown Public Library, 100 Water Street (Corner of Main and Water)

14th Senate District (Scott Wright 920-450-2121 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 920-450-2121 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)
Friday 3/11/11 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Rally Bowman Park, 919 Bowman Rd (turn N @ Broadway from Hwys 13-16-23) Wisconsin Dells

15th Senate District (Justin Geiger 414-745-4177 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 414-745-4177 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)

17th Senate District (Mayrose Wegman )

18th Senate District (Skyler Johnston, 573-355-0578 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 573-355-0578 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)
Thursday 3/10/11 TBD
Fond du Lac Budget Town Hall Meeting

19th Senate District (Greg Hinds 920-540-2309 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 920-540-2309 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)
Thursday 3/10/11 7:00 PM
Town Hall Meeting, Madison Middle School, 2020 S. Carpenter

21st Senate District (Justin Geiger 414-745-4177 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 414-745-4177 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)
Thursday 3/10/2011 -- 7:00p.m.
Budget Town Hall, Case High School Auditorium, 7345 Washington Ave, Racine

22nd Senate District (Justin Geiger 414-745-4177 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 414-745-4177 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)

23rd and 31st Senate District (Andy Thompson (715) 456-4113 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (715) 456-4113 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)
Thursday 3/10/2011 - 7:00 p.m.
Budget Town Hall Meeting, South Middle School Auditorium,
Ongoing event in Eau Claire: The UW-Eau Claire faculty union (AFT local #6481) is planning a protest every work day at 5:14 p.m. at the Downtown City Parking Lot at the corner of Farwell & Gray to thank our 14 Wisconsin Senators who were forced to leave the state.

24th Senate District (Scott Wright 920-450-2121 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 920-450-2121 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)

25th Senate District
Tuesday 3/15/2001 7:00 PM
Rally, Monroe City Hall, 1110 18th Ave, Monroe

32nd Senate District (Tabbitha Norris 502-939-8459 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 502-939-8459 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)
Thursday, 3/10/2011 7:30 -9:30 PM
Black River Beach Neighborhood Center, 1433 Rose Street La Crosse

Click on the following for updated information:

Scott Walker: Why I'm Fighting in Wisconsin -


Why I'm Fighting in Wisconsin


In 2010, Megan Sampson was named an Outstanding First Year Teacher in Wisconsin. A week later, she got a layoff notice from the Milwaukee Public Schools. Why would one of the best new teachers in the state be one of the first let go? Because her collective-bargaining contract requires staffing decisions to be made based on seniority.

Ms. Sampson got a layoff notice because the union leadership would not accept reasonable changes to their contract. Instead, 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.

My state's budget-repair bill, which passed the Assembly on Feb. 25 and awaits a vote in the Senate, reforms this union-controlled hiring and firing process by allowing school districts to assign staff based on merit and performance. That keeps great teachers like Ms. Sampson in the classroom.

In Wisconsin, we have a better approach to tackling our $3.6 billion deficit. We are reforming the way government works, as well as balancing our budget. Our reform plan gives state and local governments the tools to balance the budget through reasonable benefit contributions. In total, our budget-repair bill saves local governments almost $1.5 billion, outweighing the reductions in state aid in our budget.

While it might be a bold political move, the changes are modest. We ask government workers to make a 5.8% contribution to their pensions and a 12.6% contribution to their health-insurance premium, both of which are well below what other workers pay for benefits. Our plan calls for Wisconsin state workers to contribute half of what federal employees pay for their health-insurance premiums. (It's also worth noting that most federal workers don't have collective bargaining for wages and benefits.)

For example, my brother works as a banquet manager at a hotel and occasionally works as a bartender. My sister-in-law works at a department store. They have two beautiful kids. They are a typical middle-class Wisconsin family. At the start of this debate, David reminded me that he pays nearly $800 per month for his family's health-insurance premium and a modest 401(k) contribution. He said most workers in Wisconsin would love a deal like the one we are proposing.

The unions say they are ready to accept concessions, yet their actions speak louder than words. Over the past three weeks, local unions across the state have pursued contracts without new pension or health-insurance contributions. Their rhetoric does not match their record on this issue.

Local governments can't pass budgets on a hope and a prayer. Beyond balancing budgets, our reforms give schools—as well as state and local governments—the tools to reward productive workers and improve their operations. Most crucially, our reforms confront the barriers of collective bargaining that currently block innovation and reform.

When Gov. Mitch Daniels repealed collective bargaining in Indiana six years ago, it helped government become more efficient and responsive. 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.

Passing our budget-repair bill will help put similar reforms into place in Wisconsin. This will be good for the Badger State's hard-working taxpayers. It will also be good for state and local government employees who overwhelmingly want to do their jobs well.

In Wisconsin, we can avoid the massive teacher layoffs that schools are facing across America. Our budget-repair bill is a commitment to the future so our children won't face even more dire consequences than we face today, and teachers like Ms. Sampson are rewarded—not laid off.

Taking on the status quo is no easy task. Each day, there are protesters in and around our state Capitol. They have every right to be heard. But their voices cannot drown out the voices of the countless taxpayers who want us to balance our budgets and, more importantly, to make government work for each of them.

Mr. Walker, a Republican, is the governor of Wisconsin.

Scott Walker: Why I'm Fighting in Wisconsin -

How can the rest of the nation help Wisconsin government workers

We are all aware of the currently plight of government workers under Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin.  Perhaps there is something which can be done in our local communities no matter where in the U.S. you live.


1.   Find out who gave financial support for the election of Governor Walker.  This is more than just the Koch Brothers.

2.  Send a message to the individual Walker supporter that government workers (school teachers, university professors, city/county workers) have the right to collective bargain.



Todd and Karen Wanek support for Governor Walker is shown below  [These numbers were obtained from:].  Your local Ashley Furniture Home Store is independently owned and operated to sell exclusive Ashley Furniture products.

Scott Walker
Wanek, Todd
W26921 Mesa Lane, Arcadia, WI 54612-9022
Ashley Furniture Industries

Scott Walker
Wanek, Karen
W26921 Mesa Lane, Arcadia, WI 54612-9022
Ashley Furniture

Here is a short history of the company and its current organization from Wikipedia:

Ashley Furniture HomeStore

Ashley Furniture HomeStore is a chain of independently owned and operated furniture stores licensed to sell Ashley Furniture products exclusively, including mattresses and accessories. As of January 2010, there are over 400 Ashley Furniture HomeStore retail furniture stores operating worldwide. Ashley Furniture HomeStore is the largest retail brand of home furniture and accessories.


Carlyle Weinberger founded Ashley Furniture in Chicago in 1945 as a sales operation. Specializing in wooden occasional furniture, Ashley marketed goods made by local companies. Later the company opened a branch in Goshen, Indiana. In 1970, Ashley invested in the Wisconsin-based Arcadia Furniture, founded by Ronald G. Wanek, who had begun his career in a furniture factory owned by Eugene Vogel. When Wanek moved to Arcadia to open his own factory he took with him Eugene Vogel's son, Chuck. The two began doing production work for Ashley Furniture. Even though Arcadia started out as a small production plant for Ashley's lines in 1976, Wanek and group of investors bought out Weinberger, taking control of Ashley Furniture. At first the two companies maintained their separate identities, with Arcadia focusing on production and Ashley on sales.

By 1982, the merged company's annual sales reached $12 million and it had moved its corporate headquarters from Chicago to Arcadia. By the mid-1980s, Ashley offered a line of roughly 350 different furniture products, and had turned its design and manufacturing away from "heirloom pieces" toward products aimed at middle-income buyers. The company's growing network included wholesalers such as Levitz Furniture and mass-retailers such as Sears, Kmart, and Montgomery Ward, in addition to smaller retailers. Sales had climbed to more than $44 million by 1985.

In 1994 Ashley acquired upholstery manufacturer Sklar-Pepplar, and by the late 1990s the company was operating assembly and distribution plants in Seattle, Washington; Pomona, California; New Brunswick, New Jersey; and Orlando, Florida. Gambling that motion furniture was a strong growth area, Ashley acquired Gentry Furniture, of Ripley, Mississippi in 1999. That same year the company also branched out into retailing, licensing Ashley Furniture HomeStores to independent dealers. The chain grew in its first year to approximately 40 stores.[2]

By 2000, Ashley Furniture Industries employed more people in Arcadia than the town's population. The plant in Arcadia had grown from 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2) in 1970 to 1,500,000 square feet (139,000 m2). Today the company maintains plants across the United States and operates several factories in Pacific Rim countries.[3] Ron Wanek is currently Chairman of the Board and Todd Waneck is currently President and CEO. [4] The company has received offers to take the company public, but its owners prefer to keep it under local control.

[edit] Millennium Line

In 1986, when Wanek and his designers determined that a new style of furniture would better serve the market, Ashley introduced its “Millennium” line, which had a polyurethane finish that gave the wood furniture a luster. The company produced very shiny black furniture in its occasional and bedroom lines, and began adding other colors, such as emerald green. The Millennium line remains an integral part of Ashley’s business

Protesters spend night at Wis. Capitol after union vote -


Most protesters left by midnight — many were expected back Thursday for a rally preceding the Assembly vote — but dozens of others spent the night in the Capitol corridors, some sleeping on the marble floor with no padding. State officials said no attempts would be made to force them to leave.

Protesters spend night at Wis. Capitol after union vote -