Madison School Board flouts the law in favor of teachers union

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.



Hands off the First Amendment!

Progressives are full on to geld the First Amendment to regulate, restrict, ration, and redistribute free speech. The Wall Street Journal is one of the few news media outlets to raise the alarum, probably because newspapers and broadcast media think they’ll get their carve-out. The news media already practices what Democrats would make illegal for the rest of us who incorporate our resources — coordination (i.e., communication) with candidates and their political campaigns.

Hey liberals, hands off the Bill of Rights! I’ll take Thomas Jefferson and James Madison over Harry Reid and John Nichols. (“A federal court blows up Wisconsin’s campaign-finance rules.”)

More on a great Democrat

Former aide David Adamany recalls that the late Gov. Patrick Lucey imposed levy limits on local government and extended the cabinet form of government “in which state department heads were directly responsible to the governor and served only as long as the governor had confidence in them.” Take THAT, Spencer Black! (Blaska bonus opinion: Education should also be folded into the governor’s cabinet; that would require a constitutional amendment to abolish DPI.)

The New York Times’  ‘war on women’

The good gray lady fired its first female editor after Jill Abramson “discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs,” The New Yorker reports.

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