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Using the Budget Crisis for Political Gain

Just in case there is any doubt about what is really going on in Wisconsin, here’s a quote from Republican Scott Fitzgerald, who is the majority leader of the Wisconsin Senate:

If we win this battle, and the money is not there under the auspices of the unions, certainly what you’re going to find is President Obama is going to have a much more difficult time getting elected and winning the state of Wisconsin.

With corporations now able to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns, just about the only powerful organizations able to counter this tsunami of corporate money are unions. Corporations historically give twice as much money to Republicans, while unions give more money to Democrats. Is it any surprise that the Republicans are declaring all-out war on unions?

UPDATE: Speaking of Wisconsin, see this. Protestors go to the house of one of the State Senators who voted to strip collective bargaining rights from public employees, and get told by his soon-to-be-ex wife that he doesn’t live there any more — he’s living with his 25 year old mistress who happens to be a right-wing lobbyist. But the trip wasn’t all in vain, his former maid signs the recall petition against him.



  1. Iron Knee wrote:

    Actually, the all-out war isn’t just against unions, it is against all Democrats. In Texas, they just passed a law requiring photo id in order to vote, except they have exemptions for the elderly and concealed weapons holders (two groups that overwhelmingly vote Republican in Texas — in the last election McCain beat Obama by 34 points among the elderly).

    Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 9:06 am | Permalink
  2. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Ok IK I get the Unions vs Corps. and although I don’t know the exact numbers it seems logical. I agree and perhaps we should outlaw both.
    However, on the Texas issue I’ll offer the following points. The exemptions in the proposed legislation is for persons born on or before 1931, which would mean 80 yr olds and up. Personally, my mother gave up driving when she was 81 because she didn’t want to endanger others and along with that she gave up her license (her only picture ID). Seriously, how many 80+ yr olds still vote in Texas? I don’t know, but I’d have to guess not all that many maybe 100k tops. The other issue about concealed weapons I don’t really care because that group had to show ID and get a background check I’m guessing to carry. But, I could easily take the other side and say everyone under 80 shows an ID period. The other benefit for having to show a government ID is to keep non-citizens from voting and in particular illegal aliens. That group definately favors Democrats. I think we can all agree we do not want non US citizens voting in our elections, nor do we want foreign money influencing our elections.

    Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink
  3. Dave TN wrote:

    Pat, the poor don’t always have a driver’s license and typically can’t afford to buy a government ID. This is a poll tax plain and simple, which is illegal. Unless the state government is going to provide free IDs which many states including Texas are having budgetary issues and are not willing to make this step. The alternatives are few and far between, either pay for the IDs or deal with the very minimal abuse of the system we currently have and leave well enough alone.

    Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink
  4. Iron Knee wrote:

    You can’t vote unless your name is on the voter roles, which serves to eliminate (mostly) voter fraud. The purpose of this law is not to reduce voter fraud, however, it is to put up roadblocks to voters, pure and simple. If they felt the need to put in an exemption for the elderly, why wouldn’t they put in exemptions for other groups that don’t tend to have driver’s licenses?

    But I agree with you. I’d love to eliminate both union and corporate money from elections.

    Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink
  5. Mad Hatter wrote:

    My fear is that the American people will not be able to throw off the cloak of misinformation and propaganda held firmly in place by Fox News and other media and regain control of our government through elections. I mean look at some of the otherwise rational commenters in this blog….they insist on using the “fair and balanced” info that is being hand fed to them by Corporate controlled Fox and other news media.

    No….it’s either going to have to be taken to the streets or we need to stop worrying and learn to love Fascism (or whatever ism is appropriate to use for a relatively few rich and powerful controlling our governments). I’m getting so old I’m seriously considering the latter.

    Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 6:22 am | Permalink
  6. ebdoug wrote:

    What is the law on absentee voting in Texas? That’s what the older people do here: vote absentee. Because of the smoking issue, I started voting absentee when I turned 60. I plan to vote until I lose my marbles and can’t remember to mark the ballet.

    Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 6:24 am | Permalink
  7. PatriotSGT wrote:

    For those aguing that the cost would prohibit them below is the link from TXDPS that show Texas St. ID is $16 forthose under 60. So its not the cost. In 2011 if you can’t pay $16 (2.5 hrs at min wage)for a gov’t ID thats good for 6 years, which you probably need for other things as well then I don’t know (even illegals pay 1000’s to just get accross the border).

    If it really is designed to put up road blocks, is there any proof, or is it a guess? Has any legislator goofed up and said “we’re doing this to suppress democrat voters? Which would also suppress republican and independant voters in the same financial situation.

    Your argument just hasn’t convinced me, yet. 🙂

    Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 9:18 am | Permalink
  8. Bert wrote:

    PSgt, is that serious? I take it you’ve never been poor. I grew up in a poor father-less family. We had to choose between food and paying rent. There is no way we’d pay even $1 for the privilege of voting.

    Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink
  9. Patricia wrote:

    PSGT: I grew up in Texas and was there when the poll-tax ended. There was no ambiguity about what the poll-tax was intended to do which was eliminate black votes. It’s not a difficult step to go from “No Blacks” to “No Liberals.”

    I would not be surprised to find that this new drive really is “The leopard doesn’t change his spots” ploy.

    Judging from my own experience in the state, I think that IK’s suggestions lean toward the correct interpretation of the requirement’s intentions.

    Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink
  10. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Bert – you bring up a very good point. I know for every “poor” person that receives public assistance or not, but has a cell phone, buys a carton of cigerettes, alcohol and lottery tickets every week there is actually a homeless person or very indigent family who really is poor. SO I guess based upon that I’d have to change my opinion. If Texas wants voters to have an ID to vote then they should provide those State ID’s free of charge to those that cannot afford them (below the poverty level).
    Patricia – I’m not saying that what Texas legislators did isn’t exactly what IK and you think, I just want to know, not think or guess. If it is an attempt to keep legitimate voters from the polls, then it needs to be exposed.
    I see the opposite in my state (one of the bluest in the land). There is actually literature passed out by a hispanic organization (that receives federal funding) on how an illegal can register and vote, along with how to avoid the police, what to tell them if you are caught, etc. I know this because I’ve seen it in the evidence collected from them when they are arrested.
    I guess it goes both ways depending on whether your state is blue or red. And incidently I voted for the 2 Senators who got the pork funds for the organization, because they were still better then any other candidate.

    Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink