Wisconsin Democrats are pro-union, but they are anti-job
This just in: private sector employers added 15,700 jobs in January, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development announced at noon.
I wrote in Monday’s blogge that positive numbers were critical for Scott Walker’s campaign to beat the recall after six straight months of job losses. I had predicted 18,000 new jobs, based on nothing more than a hunch. January’s 6.9% unemployment rate is the lowest since December of 2008.
Real people in economically depressed Northern Wisconsin are paying the price for the Democratic Party’s fealty to government employee unions. Who has declared war on the middle class? Democrats have.
That is the upshot of this week’s party line vote in the state Senate to defeat the mining reform legislation — with one defection by quasi-Republican Dale Schultz to give the Democrats a 17-16 victory.
For the minority party, recalling Scott Walker is Job Number One. Creating conditions that would produce 700 family-supporting jobs that the Gogebic Taconite iron mine would have brought to Mellen, in Iron County? Not even close.
Legislative Democrats defeated the mining bill in order to sabotage the governor’s job-creation efforts. Those Democrats intend to play working men and women off each other: they’ll happily trade the industrial unions, whose numbers have been declining for decades, in exchange for the more numerous and more prosperous teachers unions and AFSCME affiliates.
For, make no mistake, the blue collar unions wanted the $1.5 billion mine in Mellen.
“We had an historic opportunity to pass mining legislation that would have ensured thousands of new jobs in the state at a time when jobs are scarce and we blew it,” lamented Terry McGowan, business manager of Local 139, Operating Engineers. His was one of five unions to endorse the mining legislation offered by Republicans.
A close second in importance to public sector union support is the well-heeled Environment First, People Last movement.
The professional environmentalists of the Sierra Club, One Thousand and One Friends of the Environment, et al., want to keep The North Woods their happy hunting grounds and exclusive playground.
Wisconsin’s North is a huge place that, even narrowly defined, would encompass the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island combined. The Mellen mine would be but a small birthmark that, when exhausted in 35 years, would be completed reclaimed.
Democrats’ horror stories about the mining reform legislation are simply not credible.
Retaining current law is, in effect, a prohibition of mining. No new iron mine has been opened since its passage in 1974. Existing law allows the professional enviros to tie up proposed mines for years by making unlimited and open-ended appeals to administrative law judges. The Republicans’ reform legislation would have added certainty to the process — either way.
This was all about politics, not science.
The Duluth News Tribune, which covers Minnesota’s Mesabi range iron area, wrote today: “Northern Wisconsin … lost big. Gogebic proposed the same sort of open-pit mining that’s been going on safely and successfully across northern Minnesota for more than 100 years. There suddenly are concerns? The proposal wasn’t for a more-controversial type of mining, though you wouldn’t have known it listening to critics who seemed either confused or eager to spread misinformation. Gogebic proposed a mechanical process. There weren’t even to be chemicals involved.”
Depart I say …
… and let us have done with you, for the little good you have done. Right now, the best thing Senate Republicans could do is to oust Dale Schultz from their caucus. If he’s going to vote with the Democrats then he can caucus with them. One member should not hold a party hostage.
It’s obvious that Senator Schultz has gone native. The poor fellow is the toast of Madison’s liberal intelligentsia and it has gone to his head.
Who else would, unprovoked, praise Democratic candidate for governor Kathleen Falk as "smart and thoughtful”? Who else but a Democrat would call for reinstating the public intervenor, Falk’s old job. Tommy Thompson trash-canned the position 20 years ago and not even Jim Doyle, with both houses in Democratic control, tried to bring it back.
Who needs iron, anyway?
Our Badger State happens to be a major manufacturer of mining equipment. I had predicted that fact may have swayed Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, to break ranks. No compromise among Democrats!
WTMJ-4 News reports that Carpenter changed his vote at the last second on Wednesday to no, thus presenting a solid front among the 16 Democrats. With Republican-lite Dale Schultz, that was enough to doom mining on a 17-16 vote. Follow the link to TV-4’s story on the deal Carpenter demanded in exchange for his vote.
Where was Mayor Barrett when Milwaukee mining manufacturing jobs were at stake?
Hey kids! Catch my act on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Week in Review program tomorrow, Friday March 9, from 8 to 9 a.m., wherein I trade jabs with Fighting Ed Garvey!
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