The consensus amongst several of SF’s readers is that James Palmer, the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Officers Association (WPPA), is a man whose tactics have disgraced that organization’s rank-and-file members.
Palmer, and other so-called law enforcement professionals, drew the ire of some for sending a letter to Mr. Tom Ellis, the President of the Marshall and Ilsely (M&I) Corporation.
“As you also know,” Palmer writes in the letter to Ellis, “Scott Walker did not campaign on this issue [limiting collective bargaining for public employees] when he ran for office. If he had, we are confident that you would not be listed among his largest contributors.”
Then comes the quid pro quo shake down.
“The undersigned groups would like your company to publicly oppose Governor Walker’s efforts to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin. While we appreciate that you may need some time to consider this request, we ask for your response by March 17. In the event that you do not respond to this request by that date, we will assume that you stand with Governor Walker and against the teachers, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, and other dedicated public employees who serve our communities.
“In the event that you cannot support this effort to save collective bargaining, please be advised that the undersigned will publicly and formally boycott the goods and services provided by your company. However, if you join us, we will do everything in our power to publicly celebrate your partnership in the fight to preserve the right of public employees to be heard at the bargaining table.”
Palmer’s letter caused a collective gasp from many law enforcement veterans.
In fact, Glenn Frankovis, a retired Milwaukee Police Department captain, mentioned that several of his law enforcement contacts view Palmer’s threats as extortion.
For the record, James Palmer is not and has never been a law enforcement officer. Those familiar with the inner-workings of the WPPA describe Palmer as a dyed-in-the-wool Madison liberal and an ally of former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle.
On February 5, 2009, Doyle appointed Palmer to the Higher Educational Aids Board. Palmer also provided political cover by standing at Doyle’s side when the then governor announced an early release program for felons from Wisconsin prisons. Since Milwaukee bore the brunt of the burden, Police Chief Ed Flynn and Mayor Tom Barrett took issue with the state’s catch-and-release initiative.
Now Palmer’s letter to the M&I executive has law enforcement veterans questioning his ethics and his regard for the WPPA’s overall membership.
One current officer provided this behind-the-scenes view. During a February 19, 2011, rally in Madison, the WPPA established a reception area at the Concourse Hotel on Dayton Street so that officers on break from capitol security could stop-in for food and water. While at the reception area, Palmer was beaming after meeting the Rev. Jesse Jackson. “He [Palmer],” according to the officer, “was clearly star-struck.”
Another law enforcement veteran took issue with the content of Palmer’s letter to Ellis.
“Palmer et al were untruthful in their letter to Mr. Ellis. Police officers and fire fighters received an exception in the budget repair bill [from Gov. Walker]. Palmer appears more intent on turning the dues collected from WPPA members into a funding mechanism for the Democrat Party than in doing what is in the best interest of his members.”
Others noted the tactics used by Palmer and his fellow co-signers.
“State and local union leaders blew it,” wrote another. “E-mails released by Walker show that he was willing to remove the cap on wages to get the missing 14 Democrat state senators back to the capitol to vote. Increases in wages would have off-set some of the required contributions to pensions and health care — a win for those in the state pension system, since retirement benefits are determined by averaging the highest three years of earnings. Over time, continued wage hikes might increase pension payments several thousand dollars a year. Instead, Mr. Palmer and the 14 Democrat senators listened to their masters from Organizing America. This ploy resulted in the union workers being used as pawns while walking away from the table empty handed.”
“Palmer and the leaders of the local firefighter and police union in Madison,” another notes, “belong to a group of ingrates more interested in hocking the wares of the Democrats than protecting their members.”
And two weeks ago, John Balcerzak, the former president of the Milwaukee Police Association—the collective bargaining unit representing rank-and-file Milwaukee police officers and detectives—e-mailed WTMJ radio to distance sworn law enforcement officers from the WPPA executive director. “Jim Palmer is not a police officer,” Balcerzak noted. “He is a lawyer.”
As SF noted in an earlier post, during heated political discourse, labor unrest, or civil strife, law enforcement officers become the uniformed arbitrators of fairness.
One section of The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics reads, “I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions,” which is why some law enforcement veterans find a Youtube video of one Madison officer’s rants particularly troubling.
Police Sergeant Dave McClurg pays homage to the protestors by identifying himself as an officer with the Madison Police Department. Most law enforcement agencies have rules prohibiting their members from using their position to advance causes and/or political positions. But McClurg, who portrays himself as a former Republican, conveniently fails to mention that he is the Vice President of the Madison Professional Police Officers Association—a group that openly opposes Walker’s budget repair bill.
Certainly, the political rift amongst law enforcement officers concerning the governor’s budget repair bill runs deep. But politics aside, those who use questionable and unethical tactics should heed the words of our nation’s 16th president.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
WPPA Executive Director James Palmer and those who co-signed the letter to Tom Ellis have failed Honest Abe’s test miserably .
Steve Spingola is an author and former Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective
WPPA members, talk to the reps from your local and demand that Jim Palmer be removed. Does this knucklehead really believe that if Walker exempted teachers in his bill that they would line-up and support police unions? I laugh when I see private sector unions backing public employees. Have the union workers at Kohler and Harley watched as teachers and other government union workers snap up cheaper Chinese made plumbing fixtures and Japanese motorcycles? Teachers could give hoot about the pay cuts you are taking. Get real. I say ‘hello’ to my kid’s teacher at Walmart all the time.
Sgt. McClurg a former Republican? Check his papers.
As for the thuggish actions of James Palmer, Exec Dir of WPPA, I’m glad you are calling him out on it, Steve. I doubt he published this letter to the membership prior to going public with it. His actions exemplify how some labor unions abuse their captive membership. If the WPPA had to collect its own dues and hold annual referendums on its own certification with its membership, Palmer would be less of a radical…assuming he would keep his job at all.
Abuses like this not only cast doubt on the credibility of individual members, it also damages the union’s standing in the eyes of the public. Today’s political climate has little patience for this garbage. Unfortunately, the public backlash will overshadow police and fire’s real need for some collective bargaining protections.
Someone with Palmer’s history is automatically suspect of questionable motives in my opinion. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is trying to goad Walker and the Republican Legislature into action against police and fire. The professional welfare and reputation of his members appears to be taking a backseat to some other agenda of his own.
KDK, kind of hard to beleive the budget repair bill is an attack on the Constitution, especially since there is absolutely no mention of collective bargaining in either the federal or state constitutions. Had you been a student of history, you would find that the founding fathers would view collective bargaining as some sort of mob action. They didn’t believe in big government and anything collective, as in communes, etc., would have likely been viewed as un-American. I laugh when I hear the bloated president of the AFL-CIO say public workers are paid 25 percent less that their private sector counterparts. Really? Then why don’t these public sector workers quite their jobs and seek employment in the private sector? Of course, he fails to mention the lavish health care benefits and larger than life pensions. Where would a public school teacher obtain employment in the private sector? A private school, probably. Teachers at private school make 35 percent less than private school teachers.
@Kim Donald Koepke, I take serious offense to the use of the term “rape” by you and Lena Taylor. It’s an affront to anyone who has actually been assaulted. It is HARDLY a metaphor to be used in this case. You see, usually, a rape perpetrator gives his victim no warning and attacks someone who has no ability to defend herself.
In this case, the unions KNEW this was coming whether Walker said it overtly or not. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t have tried to rush through their sweetheart contracts before he took office. They even warned their constituents that this might be coming in a memo before the election. And the unions are FAR from defenseless.
If anything, it is the Wisconsin taxpayer who has been assaulted and abused repeatedly by the public labor unions for 50 some years. If you want to use the “rape” metaphor, then the real truth of the matter is that the victim took a self-defense course and is finally standing up for herself!
As for James Palmer, is it possible JB VanHollen can take up charges against him? Frankly, his letter just makes me want to run over to M&I and open an account.
My company, Northwestern Mutual, is also part of this fruitless boycott. I doubt anyone here is overly concerned since public employees aren’t a huge demographic for us. Come to think of it, I doubt M&I is all that concerned either, since most public employees and other labor union members probably bank at credit unions. Just speculating on that last point.
I have some differences of opinion with Donald Stone’s comment. Sadly, his speculation is correct about the failure of the Madison Prof. Police Officers Assoc. (MPPOA) to run the M&I letter past its members. MPPOA President Dan Frei (the person signing the letter) didn’t give his members the courtesy to read the letter. I’ll tell you this, many are not happy about it.
Jim Palmer is a police impersonator and a fraud! This guy is a liberal plant who is selling out his members at every turn. WPPA members should get rid of this guy immediately. Any person who purports to ‘serve’ the membership while representing more than one occupation is committing a disservice to the membership. A police union should represent only law enforcement and only law enforcement interests. The honorable Governor Walker has displayed his respect for Police & Firefighters by offering us protections that the dishonorable Mayor Barrett has been attempting to take from us. We do not have a right to ‘job actions’ that the other unions have. We need to have a means to address our concerns in a manner that does not disrupt the public safety, and Governor Walker understands this. And in return for his hospitality, the Governor is dumped on by the likes of Palmer. His members should be ashamed that they allow this fool to mislead them!
@Mad…my comment was more than speculation…I am a police officer myself; not in Madtown but I have law enforcement friends there. The ones I’ve spoken to said they were blindsided by this.
When someone who represents large numbers of cops threatens to treat a member of the public differently because they don’t like their politics, that is a deeply disturbing turn of events. In what other ways will these protectors of society treat them differently? The next time an M&I Bank is robbed, will the employees wonder if the police will help them?
It is bad enough that we had 14 Democrats in the State Senate give us a great big shove in the direction of anarchy…we don’t need the keepers of the peace taking sides. You can’t have differing sides continually trying to one-up the other like we’ve been seeing. Ultimately, that would mean nothing stands between us and lawlessness.
This letter to M&I is like something a business owner would get from the mob. Palmer reminds me of the goons in the book “FIST,” that go to a trucking company’s owner’s home and threaten his family. Shameful methods of operation.
According to a at Dane101 a Madison area blog network WPPA Executive Director Jim Palmer has asked Governor Scott Walker to keep the building open and allow the protesters to remain. . The law enforcement officers from across the state that have been working at the Capitol and have been very impressed with how peaceful everyone has been Palmer stated.
Jim Palmer is a embarrassment to the men and women he was hired (not elected) to repesent. Instead of attempting to extort business that doesn’t agree with his liberal ideas he should be working to support law enforcement throughout the entire State of Wisconsin. This is the same person that stood with Doyle when he released violent criminals from our prisons to return to our communities prior to their full sentences being completed. These criminals were sentenced by a judge but released by a polictian. This is the same person that stood by Doyle when he (behind closed doors) put policy into his budget to stop pay for officers fired for rule violations only in the City of Milwaukee. The only department to have its members fired and no pay pending an outside review of the Chief’s discipline . Where was Palmer outrage when this was going on? Where were the call for boycotts of businesses that supported Doyle when this any more were going on? Palmer wanted at one time the to lobby for the members of the Milwaukee Police Assoc. He was put in his place at that time by the leadership and MPA board, and needs to be again.
The idea of receiving police assistance and protection in Madison only if you were pro-union was, to say the least, unsettling. Hearing your comments it would seem that this is another case of union leaders not listening to their members.
For those of us who used to donate to the Professional Police Officers Association do you have recommendations where we can donate now? Specifically, I’d like to send donations to benefit Milw. PD and the State Patrol.
This is despicable. I am so ashamed of the people in a state and city that I once loved. My cousin is a cop in a county north of Madison and he has had to go sit at the capital and watch these idiots for weeks. He is much stonger than I, I couldn’t sit and watch these idiot college students and unprofessional teachers without spitting on them.
When the protesters start acting like adults, maybe they will get a little more sympathy from the general public. Until then, I’m glad I don’t call WI home anymore.
And – yes, I am a Public Union member in my state by force.
This is enough for me to cancel my trip to Wisconsin and all subsequent trips. I do not have any confidence now that the law will be equally enforced for me. Since the police union is a large number of armed people, now politically targetting anyone who voted for or supported the current legitimate governor, then they are by definition bearing arms against the People of the United States. They are in rebellion and if we had national leadership, the Marines should be sent in and any survivors tried for treason, conspiracy to treason, sedition, and bearing arms against the US. Plus, the RICO act covers this quite well.
Wisconsin is, to me, a hostile area and I will from now on refuse to serve anyone from that state in any fashion.
When someone who represents large numbers of cops threatens to treat a member of the public differently because they don’t like their politics, that is a deeply disturbing turn of events
There’s more. In the end, law-enforcement personnel rely on good citizens to assist them in a variety of ways. In a SHTF scenario, cops should be able to rely on good citizens for armed backup.
But, ya know, some good citizens happen to think that Walker’s plan, while painful, was absolutely necessary for the financial health of the State. Implying that those who support Walker’s plan will not be protected causes people to think twice about things.
Thank you, Steve. I’ll share this information with my friends as well.
It has been disturbing to see the additional death threats made against the republican senators and against citizens who support Walker. I keep waiting for someone to actually “do” something about it. Right now each threat, each letter of extortion, each incident of harassment, every moment of intimidation is perpetuating another. There have been no consequences for any of these people who persist in this manner and that is a dangerous precedent.
Wow, such anger at people doing nothing illegal but simply expressing their rights. Jim Palmer represents the majority of police in Wisconsin. He said nor wrote anything indicating he was a police officer. He did nothing without the permission of the board of directors at the WPPA. I care less if you think I am some Democrat pretend Republican, I know how I voted. Come up to Madison and I can show you my O’Reilly and Limbaugh coffee mugs. If you guys can’t see the corruption and dishonesty in the Walker administration and the way this was played , I really question your integrity. Either that or your so self centered and wrapped up in your dogma that you can’t see. We went down to Chicago last weekend to celebrate St. Patty’s day at the Emerald Society and went to their FOP after. Nearly everyone we talked to got it. It’s really pretty simple fellows, Walker and his Republican friends are coming for not only the teachers their coming for you too. But hey go listen to your talk radio and talk and write your crap I have no doubt soon enough you will figure it out.
This ‘judge’, and I use the term loosely, is an embarassment to the judicial system. Sumi is clearly partisan and lacks judicial ethics. Sumi issues a legal declaration she knows is not ethical and will not stand a legal litmus test. It seems that the corruption of Chicago politics that is alive and well in our nations capital, has also infected our state capital.
Dave McClurg…there was an election. Walker won. The GOP took control of the legilisature. The legislature proposed legislation. Your Democrat Party friends fled the state. The GOP obtained legal opinons from the non-partisan fiscal bureau of the legislature that said the collective bargainning mesaure was not fiscal in nature. Mayor Tom Barrett (D-Milwaukee), speaking at the County Inn and Suites in Waukesha, told a crowd Senate rules would permit a vote on the bill. The bill passed the leglisature. The governor then signed the bill. Isn’t this the way laws are made? Sure, you may not like the result. I didn’t the Obama care legislation rammed through without a single Republican vote by using a rule to break a filibuster meant for only fiscal matters. The Republicans didn’t flee to Canada to prevent a vote. They acted like adults, made an election issue out of the mess, and won the election. I’m sure your friends in Chicago probably have no problems stuffing the ballot boxes with the votes of dead people who voted in alphabetical order (like they did in the 1960 Presidential election). Wisconsin isn’t Illinois quite yet. You see, elections here still actually mean something.
I just sent the following email to Jim Palmer and his organization regarding their intimidation of local businesses who supported Gov. Walker:
Dear Director Palmer,
This morning I read about the actions of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association against private businesses in Wisconsin:
“Director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association Jim Palmer signed a letter giving businesses who donated to Gov. Walker’s campaign one week to publicly denounce Walker or face a union-organized boycott. Sendik’s Food Market has refused to capitulate. Consequently, their doors were super-glued shut at one of their Milwaukee locations.”
I live in the Commonwealth of Virginia, so you might be wondering why I would even bother to express a particular interest in the activities of your organization. The APPA claims to represent police officers; you have current and former police officers on your staff. One of my greatest fears for this great Republic is witnessing the day when those who have sworn to uphold the Constitution turn on law-abiding citizens for their own political gain. When this happens, trust in our public servants is betrayed and we can no longer be guaranteed any of our freedoms, not the least of which is the freedom of protection from those in authority.
Unfortunately, this is what we are now seeing in Wisconsin. What is happening in your state is not “democracy” or the rule of law; it is mob rule and tyranny, encouraged by organizations such as the WPPA and its leaders who put loyalty to the unions over their sworn duty. It is brute power and an assault on the liberties of all American citizens, not just the people of Wisconsin.
The American people are watching what is going on in Wisconsin, because we remember when a foreign King, not really that long ago, used the very same tactics to intimidate and threaten citizens. The King lost. And we will not be bullied, threatened, or silenced any more than we were 200 years ago.
Jeanne, excellent comment. This law enforcement code of ethics thing mentioned in the article, why is it that some cops like Mr. McClurg openly admit their bias on video and use their title to give them creditbility?
Just FYI, all police supervisor unions lose all their collective bargaining rights once any contract they have in place expires. C’mon guys, most are veteran police officers. Nothing is black and white. Gov. Walker cut my salary by 5,00o a year, with no negotiation. Meanwhile, Jim Palmer is an idiot and deserves to lose his job. He will certainly lose our association. In my opinion WPPA never provided decent representation before. God I can’t believe I’m the liberal voice on anything, Steve forgive me.
Most people who read the letter that was sent to M&I and Kwik Trip view it as extortion. It in no uncertain terms implies that those businesses may not receive the same sort of protection as other businesses who didn’t contribute to Walker. The last time I checked, Mr. McClurg, that was illegal in our state. Of course, you’re the officer, presumably you should know the difference between right and wrong.
I’ve also spoken with some officers down in Chicago. One wrote this after I sent them the letter and told them about your little video:
“If this was going on here in Chicago, I can guarantee you that someone would be suspended pending an investigation. We are never allowed to speak on camera, give interviews or our opinions after identifying ourselves as police officers because it gives the impression of intimidation and using your office for just that purpose.
These letters are just amazing and even though our FOP expresses concerns over specific issues that directly affect the police department and our union, I have never seen anything like this!”
The only people who don’t view that letter as extortion are the ones that continue to send out similar letters to other businesses who’s EMPLOYEES made contributions to Walker’s campaign. These businesses donate millions upon millions of dollars to local charities and are part of your own pension investments!
You may not feel like it now, wrapped up in the blue liberal goo of Madison, but your actions will have consequences. People in Madison may be tolerant of this type of behavior, but the rest of Wisconsin is not. You swore an oath to the citizens and you failed to uphold it.
Mark, having read the bill, I do not see how supervisors working in law enforcement agenices already exempt loose anything. For the sake of argument, let’s say I misread the bill or failed to read correctly between the lines: your municipality will likely compensate you with the same package as the rank-and-file. Why? Many supervisors might take demotions, which would decimate the supervisor ranks.
Seems to me from this link that not all Wisconsin cops agree with Jim Palmer and his WPPA: http://www.wkbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=14266423 And Dave McClurg’s comment that the Chicago FOP “gets it” is indicative of just how isolated he is in his sphere of what he believes to be “reality”. Jim Palmer’s “extortion” letter to businesses IS the Chicago way and what most cops in Wisconsin, and those who wrote comments here, oppose.
The Chicago way is the Obama way. The Obama way is the Palmer way. Preech civility, promote anarachy…Saul Alinksy’s Rules for Radicals. The state police union is now in bed with some of the most radical, anti-police elements in America. Will the featured speaker at the next state union convention be Bill Ayers?
Talk to the Milwaukee police officers dispatched to Madison to keep the peace during the protests. They are fed-up with the liberal, touchy-feely law enforcement leaders and do not want to return. Specifically, the names of Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs, Madison Police Chief Noble Wray, and UW Police Chief Susan Riseling are mentioned in conjunction with the words “inept” and “pro-protests.” No report of this in the JS or the liberal State Journal.
In my opinion, Dave McClurg is a stain on law enforcement. Many good cops will suffer because of his foolish statements. His video is reminiscent of those made by POW’s. He thanks his benevolent captors in the Socialist/Democratic Peoples Republic of Madison for their humane treatment while making statements against his own people. I’m sure he has a poster of Jane Fonda on his bedroom wall.
Again wow, you guys need to open your eyes. Aren’t you at least a little uncomfortable with your Governor’s conversation with the fake Koch brother? Touchy feely liberals? I hunt, fish, I lift, have done marital arts, am on our SWAT, have my gun collection, and like a good fight the same as many of you. Many of us in Madison have followed the same Conservative politics you have. But when Walker started talking crap about the public employee we started listening. Any of you that have participated in collective bargaining know it’s give and take and we rarely take. You also know that even with a promise of still allowing bargaining you can’t sit across the table ask for something taken away from every unit of Government but yours. The Governor’s tactics was a typical divide and conquer approach. He will claim he is looking out for the police and fire but what he did was force your local Mayor to play the bad guy. I and other Madison officers have been at or around the Capital daily from the beginning of this. Back when this started Fox News was on the majority of break rooms at the pd. But not so much any more. I’m sure you have all listened to the news after being on a situation and had a hard time recognizing it. That was FOX for all of us. I don’t know what you think of teachers but they don’t create a great deal of fear of violence from me. There were the nuts but they were few and far. I’ve said it in other forums and I’ll say it here, those of us who have been there since day one would gladly sit down with any of you and a beer and discuss this. We are not the enemy we may see the enemy differently but a couple months ago I saw the same as you.
Ok, LOL I did not read the comment above my latest. A stain on law enforcement, hardly. I broke no laws. Please explain to me how others will suffer? I on the other hand can easily tell you who will suffer by standing mute while others are attacked. I was angry at the way this whole thing was playing out but please enough of the rhetoric. In your opinion does the Governor work for only those who elected him for those who paid for his campaign or all of Wisconsin? We can argue whether a boycott is the best means but so far Walker has done nothing but give to the corporations and proposed take aways from the working class. Please guy chill out a little you’re are starting to sound silly. Oh, and I’ve never really been fond of Jane Fonda. But thanks to my captures who allowed me to use the computer again.
I have a hard time sympathizing when my property taxes are up 40 percent in just eight years. This even though we live in a supposedly conservative county. Sixty-one percent of our property taxes goes to schools. The teacher’s union’s yes men on the school board are raping taxpayers. You talk about the give and take. How much taking have you done with health insurance? My family plan is $550 a month. We pay the first $3,000 out of pocket plus 20 percent of the bill up to $50,000 a year. My brother is a corrections officer and pays less than $80 a month for health insurance with only a $100 out of pocket. No co-pays. And all we hear from public employee unions is give us more, give us more. Many families in our area have suffered 10 to 20 percent drops in family incomes over the past three years. Some people have lost their homes. Then we watch teachers complaining because they don’t want to pay $208 a month for health care. We watch the state police union whine even though they are not affected by Walker’s bill. So how do we solve the problem: keep taxing, borrowing and spending? We should pay significantly more taxes even though our incomes have dropped so that public employees can continue getting raises each year and pay virtually nothing for health care? Not to mention the pensions that can come out to $700,000 to $1.4 million over the lifetime of many state retirees. The taxpayer with a 401k would have to save nearly $600,000 over the course of their working lives to match this taxpayer funded perk. So, Mr. McClurg, what is your solution to the problem? What is your alternative to Gov. Walker’s plan. We’re listening. Sometime tells me it starts with a large tax increase, even though Doyle raised taxes $2 billion two years ago and we are still $3.6 billion in the red.
McClurg, I admit I was was being sarcastic with my last post. But tell me…how can you have been a ‘die hard conservative’ one minute, and a far-left liberal the next? The actions of one individual (right or wrong) can cause you to hate all and flip to the opposition? I submit that this is the will of a weak minded individual. Your video post has already caused negative reaction toward hard working, respectable officers everywhere. Just read the posts here, and on the liberal JS Online. People feel that your statements and the propaganda spewed by Palmer will cause good officers to violate their code of ethics and selectively enforce the law. It does not matter what Palmer’s intent is, the public perception is what fuels their actions. Law Enforcement personnel should be completely neutral when performing their duties in regard to political position. You have made your position known to the public while identifying yourself and your agency. This violates the rules of every department that I am aware of. You do not speak for me or any other officer in this state!
To be truthful, I’m more concerned with a Madison DA who received 2 recommendations for his position and was appointed by Doyle to be the DA of Madison over a candidate that had 77 recommendations and more experience. I am also concerned that that DA made some nice contributions to democratic candidates, including Governor Doyle, which gives the impression his position was bought rather than earned.
I’m concerned that a Mayor of Madison sent emails to the Secretary of State to have him delay publishing of a bill so that he and other like-minded liberals could push through union contracts that included wage increases and no contributions to health and pensions. That this same Mayor feels it is within his power, as a representative of a small population of Wisconsinites, to force his political agenda over the rights of the people of Wisconsin who elected the Governor and other representatives in November.
I’m concerned that the Sheriff of Madison finds it acceptable to fail to dispatch officers to the Capital because he feels it’s not his duty and that as a result up to 180 state troopers along with hundreds of other police officers from around the state had to be pulled from their jurisdictions to provide safety for the representatives at the Capital and do this Sheriff’s job. Who was making up for their absence in their jurisdictions while they were doing this? It might have been peaceful at the Capital, but can you say that for a North side of Milwaukee that might have had to go with fewer officers or on the freeway system where there were half the reports made that were made the same time last year by the State Patrol?
I’m concerned that a judge who is supposed to be non-partisan hastily ruled in a 2-hour session on Friday that the state’s open meetings law was possibly violated and placed a TRO on the bill to be published. Despite the fact that it is a special session and that NO notice is required by law and that the open meetings law applies only to regular sessions. That she conveniently ruled that the teachers of Madison were not violating the law that prohibits strikes when the schools of Madison had to close for three days because they were striking and that somehow, the case the DA brought against the state for the open meetings alleged violation miraculously moved to her court.
I’m concerned that the labor unions and those protesting find it heinous that the bill removes some of the collective bargaining powers from some public employees and that this is a huge travesty of “rights” when they continue to trample on the CONSTITUTIONAL rights of the voters in Wisconsin. That these same unions have spent billions of dollars promoting their democratic candidates with money from forced union dues that came from taxpayers who had no say where the money went. That these same unions impede the legislative process and continue to cost the taxpayers of Wisconsin more money by delaying the much needed legislation and organizing protests at the Capital.
I’m concerned that a group of senators can hijack the legislative system in Wisconsin because they want to delay the bill and make sure everyone “reads and understands” what’s in the bill and they they showed complete disregard and disrespect for the offices they hold and to their constituents, 88% of whom are not in unions.
I’m concerned that intimidation at recall petition signings, letters of extortion, harassment of businesses who’s employees donated to Governor Walker’s campaign, and death threats are acceptable if you’re a liberal in Wisconsin. That the labor unions have made this an issue about bargaining privileges while disregarding the long-term unsustainable pensions and benefits contracts that they’ve put in place via collective bargaining. They made no effort in 8 years with Doyle as Governor to act responsibly and make concessions to make it sustainable, they even had as late as December of last year and did nothing. Even while they were claiming that members would take the 5/12 concessions they continued to push through contracts that did not have those concessions.
It’s painfully obvious for people outside of Madison that the political machines there are wrapped in corruption and union backing, that they are so self-absorbed with their own agendas and self-righteousness that they fail to see the very criminal acts before their eyes and try to pretend that a prank call is proof of corruption in the Governor’s office.
The question put before all of us is who would we rather have running our government: People elected by the voters into office or labor unions?
Now I’m weak minded?? Okay I won’t have a beer with you. I’ll admit I have been on the union board in Madison for quite awhile. I have seen how it works and think it works pretty well in Madison. Now for my conversion. First, Walker starts alleging that we are the haves. I don’t know about any of you but I’m still struggling at times with three kids, one in college. I don’t feel like the one of the haves I work off duty to pay the bills. Then he declares he is going to take away collective bargaining on all but police and fire. I may have a weak mind but my sense of fairness dictates that something here is not right. Next he tries to rush through a bill in a week that undoes 50 years of Labor law. Ok, now I’m mad at him but I still have a belief that some in the state Republican party will see right from wrong. Nope, instead they try to sneak something through that breaks some pretty significant rules. That combined with hearing how this will impact families and working people in Wisconsin about did it. I have a pretty advanced belief in right and wrong and I just can’t see much right in what our Governor is doing. I know it will rile up a few more of you but how about taxing the real haves, like maybe those that have 95% of the wealth in this country. Shelby how do you justify the tax breaks to the wealthy? At the very least put restrictions on the money we give them that requires them to create more jobs. The public employee didn’t do this and attacking them is doing nothing to solve it. The sad thing about all this is those with the greatest wealth have done a masterful job pitting us against each other while they laugh. Anyway have a good day.
Like I suspected, Mr. McClurg’s first response is a tax increase. Tax, tax, tax, tax, tax. If you were a REAL conservative, you would understand the first rule of economics. If you want more of something, subsidize it. If you want less of something, tax it. What you are proposing, Mr. McClurg, is taxing those who are productive and to subsidize the lavish benefits of public sector employees. Talk to ANYONE in the real world and the overwhelming consenus is that the private sector is three to four times more productive than the public sector. Why? Because of competiton. Just look at what politicans of your ilk have done to the state of California. Do you know that had they not raised taxes so high in Sacramento to chase the top two percent of wage earners to Washington State (no state income tax) and Nevada (no state income tax) that California would actually have a budget surplus right now? Instead, the left there did what you propose. What is really sad, though, is Wisconsin’s per capita deficit is actually higher than California’s. You have spent too much time drinking the union kool-aid in the land of well-fed government workers for too long. Venture out into the real world of the private sector, where we compete with Chinese and Mexican companies and pay not only for our health care but also for yours. Oh, by the way, I spent some time online and found some of the details of your union contract. Your members receive TRIPLE TIME on over half a dozen holidays and DOUBLE TIME on half a dozen more. And you’re whining about not making ends meet? Talk about feeding at the public trough.
Shelby, you miss my point giving money to anyone wealthy or poor is not the smartest. If you require they invest it in jobs in Wisconsin great, he didn’t. I guess I can’t see, maybe it’s my weak mind, how the taxing the wealthy more or getting rid of loop holes that allow corporations to pay no tax is a bad thing. Next bring others into the fray. I believe it’s the Republican Governor of Montana that upon taking office sat down with union heads and explained what he needed to balance the budget. They then worked together and currently are one of the few states that have a surplus. Would any CEO of a company do what Walker has done? Alienate everyone that works for then? The greatest leaders I have seen are those who ask questions first and then encourage others to work together towards a common goal. Don’t try and pigeon hole me. The unions are not without fault in this and can be used to get us out of this. However what Walker did was not right and could lead one to believe that his reasons have more to do with destroying his opposition rather than with fixing a budget.
A lot of excellent points being made here. Notice McClurg isn’t really defending the extortion letter. How can he? It’s ugly. As for what he IS saying (the moronic Koch brothers meme comes to mind)…as I said before, check his papers.
Hey, Michael Moore McClurg, I don’t believe the government should direct anyone to spend THEIR money in any manner, especially since the government didn’t earn the money. Why do government workers believe that our money that we earn is somehow theirs and we should be grateful that they are letting us keep what WE have earned? You know, before this debate, I was of the opinion that police officers and firefighters deserved all these great benefits. After all, when I go to bed at night, they’re the one’s putting their butts on the line while I rest peacefully. But after seeing how ungrateful the Wisconsin state police union is for their exemption and your whine on YouTube that, “We work hard,” I’m having second thoughts. It is nice to hear that Milwaukee officers are greatful for their benefits, especially since they work in the most dangerous conditions in this state. By the way, I work hard too, and I bet a lot harder that you do. So why aren’t you paying for my health care and giving me a pension?
I’ve tried to be reasonably respectful but I really think you show how morally bankrupt you are by continually insulting me. I come into your forum to defend myself and Palmer and what happens I’m Michael Moore, weak minded, ect,ect. Come on people have you forgotten how to discuss things without insulting? Look in the mirror at yourself, would your momma be proud of the way you talk?
If you’re religious would your God approve? As I said earlier I have a fairly strong sense of right and of wrong and their isn’t anything right about this forum except the politics. 10-42 from this page. Flame on and convince yourselves how righteous you all are, I tried, which is more than any of you can say.
McClurg, buddy. When you talk like Michael Moore concerning the seizure of individuals’ wealth; speak as if the hard-earned money of others belongs to politicans and your union; and believe a majority of the legislature passing a bill is somehow corrupt, people will respond. About 70 percent of the people in this state would disagree with what you have posted. I know that is hard to believe when you reside in Dane County — miles and miles away from the reality that is the rest of Wisconsin. Funny thing how Jim Doyle raised taxes by $2 billion wihout ANY debate in the last bi-annual budget. Did his party stop to ask what affects this massive tax increase would have on working families? Not at all, since there was NO debate allowed in the Democrat controlled legislature. And why is the state police union leading this boycott when your members are not even touched by the budget repair bill? Why isn’t WEAC or AFSME leading the boycott? The teacher’s union isn’t stupid. WEAC will continue running their commericals about how teachers supposedly care about the kids while they watch the WPPA makes asses of themselves and tarnish police officers’ reputations. Your union is being used like a tool to advance Jim Palmer’s idelogical agenda and the WPPA board is either too stupid or too inept to realize it.
I sit on the WPPA board of directors. I was one of two (2) NO votes when the issue of boycotting was put to a vote. Several directors (for reasons I cannot fathom) elected to not vote. Overwhelmingly and quite disappointingly the vote was to send the letter. I firmly believe that a Police Association should NOT engage in this type of “Corleone” antics to further their cause. I believe that a simple “thank you” letter should have been sent to the Governor for exempting us from the Bill. The protesting, sleep overs and the boycotting not only drew negative attention to LE, it may be the harbinger for public safety INCLUSION. I had thoughts of resigning from the Board in protest, however my remaining on that board brings some conservative input and common sense to a board that is not acting, (in my opinion) in the best interest of our brothers and sisters on the street.
Hang in there Brian in spite of the obvious stress you have to face by remaining a member of this Board. YOU’RE doing the right thing for the right reasons. It’s important for the rest of us to remember that the membership of any union does not always agree with the decisions made by the union Board, and it is equally important for those members in disagreement with those Board decisions to speak out publicly when those decisions result in an adverse impact on the profession. To say nothing when you disagree is the same as giving tacit approval thereby lumping you in with them in the court of public opinion.
Brain, the Wisconsin officers represented by the WPPA need you on that board. A couple of us had discussion about the state union the other day. Some believe Palmer is auditioning for bigger things within the Democrat Party and using 11,000 hardworking cops as his spring board. Palmer stood by Doyle as prisoners were released early and now he is going to have the WPPA endorse Kloppenburg. Two strikes against Palmer on issues linked to officer safety right there. The man has got to go. Why the WPPA is letting him use their organization like a tool is puzzling to many.
I personally congratulate Dave McClurg and Jim Palmer and the Fire Fighters for taking a stand against the greed and corruption of Scott Walker and Scott Fitzgerald. While you call it extortion, it is plain and simply a choice. The business that is supposed to serve you is not, you have every right as a consumer to take your business elsewhere. Just because we are not all drinking the same ‘tea,’ does not mean we have to subscribe to your ideals. As always, the information Lori provided was only one sided and embellished so as to paint an unfavorable picture, much like FOX News does. She forgot to add, that only did Sumi hear the case on Friday, but she also heard it on that Monday, and clarified her ruling twice that week and heard the remainder on Friday. She had to clarify her ruling because Scott Walker, Fitzgerald, the Attorney General and the Secretary of DOA was saying it wasn’t really a real ruling. Our elected officials refused to obey the judges ruling. Who by the way was appointed by a 4 term Republican Governor. There are so many fallacies contained in Lori’s writings that it would take hours to correct, not that any of you would listen. Everything that you whine about the Democrats have done or their supporters, are all things the Republicans have done, including one of the greatest Republicans of all times – Abraham Lincoln. He crawled out of a window to escape having to vote on a bill.
@Sean, citizens do have a right to take their business elsewhere. It is not the role of Police Association to openly call for the boycot of these businesses. There is no positive benefit for the union or its members, period. Is this where you chant “fox lies, fox lies” like that Lefty Levenhagen the school teacher??
For clarification, the WPPA did not (thankfully) endorse Kloppenberg. The decision by the Madison Police Association is extremely short sighted and focused solely on the budget repair bill. As it has been pointed out above, putting Kloppenberg on the bench significantly and negatively impacts public safety. It is disappointing that these coppers can’t see beyond 2011!
I also agree that Palmer is looking for a political position on the Democratic side of the isle. I for one, hope he does not attempt that at our expense!
Sean, saying that “it would take hours to correct, not that any of you would listen” really indicates you you can’t find substantial arguments to contest what I wrote. Also, you should note that my post above was written two weeks ago and was prior to Judge Sumi’s return from her vacation. The case was filed by DA Ozanne on Wednesday, March 16th, Sumi pushed arguments for it to Friday, the 18th, issued a TRO two hours into it and then left on vacation.
I actually don’t watch FOX news, and choose to read and research information before I give my opinion. Perhaps you should do that too. To help get you started, here are some articles that support what I wrote above:
You should spend the hours refuting this information, Sean. I’d be interested to see what factual support for yours you can come up with and hope that you would actually learn something in the process.
By the way, Lincoln was a Whig party member in 1839 when he jumped out the window in an attempt to avoid a quorum, not a Republican. It is also said that he was “embarrassed” by that event in his early political life.
Lori, there are substantial arguments to counter your false claims. You claim the DA bought his post, if he did at least he was qualified to do it. What about Deschane who is 27 years old, no college degree, and 2 OWI’s and was appointed to an $81000 a year state job by Governor Walker? He was appointed because Daddy Deschane donated $30,000 to his campaign. The moral deficits of Scott Walker and Scott Fitzgerald is disgusting and this is what you are defending.
What about the Hero of the Hudson? He made a very public display of pulling his money out of M&I Bank as well? Why? Moral deficits of Walker and his cronies.
The Dane County board agreed to extend the contracts through 2012, they passed it. It was voted upon democratically something Walker and Fitzgerald tried to abridge. In each case you cite of the contracts passing, the county boards all agreed to the contracts. There was nothing hidden, no secrets at all.
Lori, you have yet to explain how standing up for the right to collectively bargain tramples constitutional rights? I don’t see it. It is pure rhetoric espoused by the right.
How does putting Kloppenburg on the Supreme court jeopardize public safety? That is like saying electing a democrat will get your guns taken away. How many democrats have actually come up and said hand over your gun?
I see Craigslist was running an ad looking for people to push the agenda of the right. Lori is this you?
Sean, if you believe Kloppenburg will not give criminal defendants the benefit of the doubt, you’ve been smoking too many blunts with the leaders of the police union in Madison. Progressive Dane is an anti-police group, and Kloppenburg endorsed one of their field directors for Assembly. He was a Green Party member. I guess the Madison Democrat he was running against from Dane County was too conservative for Kloppenburg. Sure, your DA in Dane County is in the tank — bought and paid for by the union mob bosses. Judge Sumi’s son works for the SEIU as well. Why not just stuff the ballot boxes like Jesse Jackson’s pal, Daniel Ortega. At least your side could steal the 2010 elections will a lot less effort.
Collective bargaining is done behind closed doors without the public. I would offer that if everyone is so amicable at these meetings, and everyone is acting in good faith, that they should allow them to be open to the public. I doubt we’d see 16.5% pay raises over three years like the Hudson district “bargained” for their teachers, or $700,000 a year insurance coverage for Viagra, or getting rid of young, enthusiastic teachers with lay offs to gain higher wages and benefits for the more senior members of the unions. Taxpayers and the media are only privy to what’s in the contracts after they’ve been agreed to, not during the process- nothing is “open” about them. I could almost forgive the over-reaching of the unions to commandeer over 80% of a school district’s budget in wages and benefits including the outrageous portions that allow for abuse, if it’s sustainable, I have no issue with what people make.
However, when a minority of people disrupt the Government, and more specifically, when their union leaders, some who are not even in Wisconsin, disrupt the Government for their own political agendas, they are violating the rights of every American who votes. I didn’t vote for Jim Palmer to be Governor, I didn’t vote for any of the labor union leader’s to be in my legislature or senate. There is no reason Trumka should be at the White House three times a week, there is no reason why AFSCME’s officials in Washington D. C. should be sending talking points to the Democrats hiding in Illinois. There is no reason why they should be funding recalls or paying people to canvass neighborhoods to push one supreme court candidate over another. There is no reason why any of these people should have more control over our future’s in this state than the people who elect our representatives.
Barry, again your information is incorrect on all accounts. Manski the Green Party member you refer to lost his bid to the 77th district. At no time was he ever endorsed by Kloppenburg.
Ismael Ozanne was picked by Doyle between terms. He is up for re-election in 2012. Both Ozanne and Kiefer donated similar amounts to Doyle and both were qualified to do the job. There were no endorsements or contributions for Ozanne from any union.
Sumi was appointed to her judgeship by Tommy Thompson who was a staunch Republican and handpicked by George Bush to serve a top coveted post. Whether her son is a nurse or not has nothing to do with who appointed her
Man get your facts straight, oh that is not the purpose of this blog.