Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Pin It
Feed Feed

May 16, 201411:09 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Madison School Board flouts the law in favor of teachers union

(page 1 of 2)

Good on Ed Hughes for questioning whether Madison’s public schools should give their unionized teachers — overwhelmingly white — the first crack at any vacancy. Doing so, he avers, hampers efforts to recruit minority teachers. Newcomers would be the first to go if layoffs are needed. Eliminating that unearned perk would be one small but concrete way to improve minority student performance. (More here.)

Which points up the folly of a collective bargaining agreement with public employees in the first place. In fact, such a provision is outlawed by Wisconsin Act 10, which limits negotiations to cost-of-living salary adjustments only. Yet the Madison School Board — teachers-union endorsed Mary Burke included — seems hell-bent on skirting Wisconsin Act 10 to reward a union that walked out on its students in an illegal strike three years ago. Talk about “white privilege”!

The same day (Thursday) the school board initiated negotiations with Madison Teachers Inc., the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) threatened to sue. (Full text here.) MTI, it noted, is not covered by the Judge Juan Colas decision; his Dane County court is the only one to rule against Act 10. That law “has been upheld by every [other] court. … The timing of the request by MTI is obviously intended to evade the upcoming decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court,” wrote attorney Rick Esenberg, WILL major domo.

WILL has already sued Milwaukee Area Technical College and the Kenosha School District over this very issue.

Shouldn’t Dane County District Attorney Ishmael Ozanne be conducting pre-dawn, flash-bang raids on the homes of the seven school board members? Seize those computers!

Phony? Baloney!

Next time you hear someone reference “phony issue ads,” ask what’s phony about them.

The Federalist Papers were anonymous and unregulated issue advocacy, Esenberg observes for RightWisconsin. Referring to this week’s U.S. appeals court smackdown of Wisconsin’s strictures on free political speech, Esenberg writes:

Barland and other cases rule that distinctions drawn between express and issue advocacy are driven by a recognition that the First Amendment simply cannot countenance the rationing of speech about the issues of the day. To think otherwise, would lead to the regulation of books, newspapers, websites and community organizing if what these speakers wished to say about issues might be thought to influence an election. 

Creating an exception based on coordination with a candidate is fraught with difficulties. Does one lose one’s free speech rights because of a conversation with a candidate or her agent?

It comes to this: What is coordination? Answer: free speech (i.e., to prohibit coordination is to dictate to whom one may speak, what they may say, and when). I now make a point to query newspaper editors whether their editorial involved any coordination with a candidate.


Old to new | New to old
May 16, 2014 12:48 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


what makes esenberg an expert?

May 16, 2014 03:26 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

I'll bite. What makes Esenberg an expert?

May 16, 2014 04:16 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


May 19, 2014 09:36 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

And what makes Colas an expert? Again , NOTHING. He is an attorney elected by popular vote to do the popular thing. In Dane County, that popular thing would be to line the teacher's pockets with cash taken from residents of other counties.

Add your comment:
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Pin It
Feed Feed
Edit Module

About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

Recent Posts



Atom Feed Subscribe to the Blaska's Bring It! Feed »

Edit Module