Scott Walker’s Record on Labor Issues

Gov. Scott Walker Vaulted to National Prominence Over His Attacks on the Rights of 175,000 Wisconsin Workers

Gov. Scott Walker vaulted to national prominence over his attacks on the rights of 175,000 Wisconsin workers shortly after taking office in 2011. His divisive attacks on hardworking Wisconsinites continue to polarize the state. In 2015 he continued his agenda of attacking working families and unions when he signed a wrong for Wisconsin right to work law, undermining the strong relationships built between private unions and their employers.

But the politically motivated union-busting attacks are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Walker’s anti-worker stances. As Milwaukee County executive, Walker balanced his budgets on the backs of workers and made consistent efforts to privatize public services.

As governor, Walker’s anti-labor positions range from layoffs and privatization to opposing increasing the minimum wage and an equal pay enforcement laws.

WEDC Previews Coming Corruption from GOP Civil Service Attacks

In a dramatic reversal, and despite past assurances to the contrary, Gov. Scott Walker and his lapdog Republican led state legislature are set to gut the state civil service that helps prevent cronyism and corruption. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross blasted the proposal as opening the door to infecting other state agencies with the rampant cronyism, corruption and incompetence of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), where civil service protections were removed.

[One Wisconsin Now, 09/25/2015]

Scott Walker says he’ll be a stay-at-home governor

Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, wasn't convinced. He said he believed some of the problems with soured financial awards at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. were tied to the fact that its employees had lost job protections when it was created as a quasi-public replacement for the state Department of Commerce. "State employees lost civil service protections when WEDC was created, and it has been plagued with unprecedented cronyism, corruption and incompetence ever since," Ross said. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 09/25/2015]

Scott Walker pledges to battle unions, again

"Scott Walker has always been willing to do or say anything to try to win an election," said Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now. "It’s no surprise he’s now trying to boost his sagging poll numbers by promoting the same kinds of attacks on working people that vaulted him to national prominence while conveniently ignoring how his policies left Wisconsin in shambles." [Capital Times, 09/14/2015]

Walker to Double Down With Attacks on Working People

Sinking in the national polls, the bumbling campaign of onetime frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, is preparing to double down with renewed attacks on working people. Career politician Walker’s desperate bid to remain competitive on the backs of the middle class and working people will be unveiled in a Monday speech in Las Vegas Nevada, hometown of anti-union, Walker mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.

[One Wisconsin Now, 09/11/2015]

One Wisconsin Now Issues Walker Warning for New Hampshire

One Wisconsin Now is warning New Hampshire voters to beware this weekend when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker visits to audition for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination. Behind Walker’s rhetoric of economic recovery and courageous, principled action is a trail of deceit, cronyism, corruption and incompetence that includes a sagging state economy, mismanaged budgets, criminal investigations and payoffs to special interests – topped off with politically expedient flip-flops pandering to the most extreme Tea Party wing of the GOP.

[One Wisconsin Now, 03/15/2015]

Scott Walker signs bill, makes Wisconsin 25th right-to-work state

Mike Browne, deputy director of the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, issued a statement saying Badger Meter was a good location for the bill signing. “How fitting that Gov. Walker chose to sign the bill at the business of a millionaire campaign contributor who threatened to send the jobs of hard-working skilled Wisconsin workers to another country unless the system was tilted further in his favor,” Browne said. [Wisconsin State Journal, 03/09/2015]

WMC 'Business Day' A Big Opportunity for Big Campaign Spenders

 Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) is holding a "business day" at the state Capitol Wednesday as Republicans rush to pass a wrong for Wisconsin right to work law that their legislative leaders and Gov. Scott Walker declared was not on their 2015 agenda mere months ago. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross questioned if the heavy spending of WMC on behalf of the GOP is playing a role in their newfound support for a law that will hurt Wisconsin's middle class.

[One Wisconsin Now, 03/04/2015]

Right to Work Advocates Get Exclusive Access on Walker’s European Vacation

As questions continue over the impetus for Gov. Scott Walker's sudden public support for a "right-to-work" law, an open records request by One Wisconsin Now has uncovered that the only two non-government employees who accompanied Gov. Walker on his ostensible trade mission to London, England were advocates for the wrong for Wisconsin right to work law.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/28/2015]

Walker’s comments on unions, ISIS draw ire from both sides

The liberal group One Wisconsin Now noted on Friday that in 2011, on a prank phone call with a blogger Walker thought was conservative donor David Koch, the governor said “we thought about that” after the blogger suggested planting “troublemakers” in the crowd of protesters gathered at the Capitol. “Gov. Walker’s comments and longstanding, seething contempt for working people who dare to stand up for their rights is unsettling,” said OWN executive director Scot Ross in a statement. “That comparing them to terrorists as a part of his stump speech as he auditions for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is beyond outrageous, it ought to be disqualifying.” [Racine Journal Times, 02/27/2015]

GOP-Controlled Committee Puts Bradley-funded Groups at Front of the Line

Seven groups that received funding from the Bradley Foundation, run by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair, were at the head of the line to have their say at yesterday’s public hearing on a wrong for Wisconsin right to work law. Meanwhile a large numbers of Wisconsin citizens who would be hurt by the law and waited all day to have their say were denied their right to speak when the committee chair abruptly ended the hearing.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/25/2015]

Unions, liberal groups suggest ALEC connection to Wis. right-to-work bill

While union leaders focused their criticisms on ALEC, the liberal group One Wisconsin Now tied the right-to-work push to the conservative Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation. An OWN review of federal tax records found in 2012 and 2013, the Bradley Foundation gave $8 million to support about three dozen groups that supported right-to-work policies, including ALEC. [Capital Times, 02/24/2015]

Research Reveals Walker Campaign Co-Chair as Major RTW Propaganda Financier

Late last week, while traveling out of state, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker dropped his pre-November 2014 election charade of opposition to a right to work law that could cut the average Wisconsin family’s wages by over $5,000 per year. One Wisconsin Now’s research of the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, headed by Gov. Walker’s campaign co-chair, reveals the stage has been set for Walker’s latest assault on Wisconsin’s middle class for his personal political benefit with a well-financed propaganda campaign utilizing a nationwide web of front groups.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/23/2015]

Walker backtracked on right to work legislation, going from saying it was a ‘distraction’ that he would...

Gov. Scott Walker has gone from saying "I'm not supporting" so-called right to work legislation in Wisconsin's 2015 legislative session, to saying he will sign a bill that's being fast-tracked to his desk...On May 11, 2012, Walker told reporters at the state Republican Party convention he had "no interest in pursuing right-to-work legislation in this state." "It’s not going to get to my desk," he said. "I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure it isn’t there because my focal point (is) private sector unions have overwhelmingly come to the table to be my partner in economic development." Walker would later renew that opposition with regard to 2015...On Feb. 20, 2015, Walker -- now a 2016 presidential hopeful riding a wave of momentum -- committed to signing the right to work bill being fast-tracked. [Politifact, 02/23/2015]

Scott Walker’s Latest Anti-Union Plan Is ‘Cowardly,’ Says Former Republican Leader

Mike Browne, a progressive activist with One Wisconsin Now, told ThinkProgress he suspects lawmakers are moving quickly to try to avoid another uproar. “They’re trying to do it as fast as they possibly can so people won’t be able to mobilize,” Browne said. “That’s why you call an extraordinary session. That’s why you announce it on a Friday afternoon. They know that when people find out, they aren’t going to like it.” Browne and his fellow organizers are trying to sound the alarm as quickly as possible and “educate people about what this means not just for unions, but for all workers.” [Think Progress, 02/21/2015]

UPDATE: If Wisconsin Legislature Passes a Right-to-Work Bill, Walker Will Sign It

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross: “Right to work is wrong for Wisconsin workers and families. It’s a complicated scheme that tilts the system even further in favor of corporate CEOs who are concerned only with their profits. It’s sure not the people of Wisconsin who work hard and deserve a fair shot to succeed that are asking for the lower wages and reduced benefits that come with right to work.” [WUWM, 02/20/2015]

Gov. Walker's Profile in Cowardice on Right to Work Law Provides Preview for Nation

With the announcement that a “Wrong for Wisconsin” right to work bill is about to be rammed through the state legislature, the nation is starting to learn what Wisconsin already knows: Gov. Scott Walker will say and do anything to get elected. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that before the November 2014 election Walker said he was not interested in a right to work law that lowers workers' wages by an average of up to $6,000. But, post-election, presidential candidate Walker quickly announced he would sign just such a measure if it reaches his desk.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/20/2015]

‘Right-to-Work’ Backer Cites Bradley Foundation-Funded Junk Science

A Republican state legislator who says he will introduce a controversial, so-called “right-to-work” bill is basing his case in part on statistics produced by a right-wing group that receives significant support from the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the source for statistics being cited by the presumptive bill author, has raked in nearly $500,000 over the last decade from the Bradley Foundation.

[One Wisconsin Now, 12/04/2014]

Conservative group will push to make Wisconsin a right-to-work state

"It's the same playbook from four years ago that tore Wisconsin apart: Gov. Walker says anything to get re-elected and now he and his Republican front groups are ready to launch a frontal assault on Wisconsin's middle class working women and men," said Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now. [Capital Times, 12/01/2014]

Is Scott Walker Already Breaking Another Campaign Promise?

Leading up to the November 4 election, Gov. Scott Walker stated if re-elected he was not interested in pursuing legislation to further restrict the rights of Wisconsin workers. Yet less than one month after he survived a heated re-election bid, a new group with ties to a right-wing, big money cabal that underwrites conservative causes and has supported Gov. Walker, announced it will work to pass legislation to further restrict workplace rights in Wisconsin.

[One Wisconsin Now, 12/01/2014]

Attacks on public workers impacted “overwhelmingly female” sectors

“Walker grabbed national attention in 2011 when he championed a bill that gutted public sector union rights. It’s a move that inspired massive protests and an attempted recall, and one that jumpstarted his national ambitions. Teaching, nursing, and social work are all public sector fields that are overwhelmingly female, and women account for more than half of all public sector union members. Walker’s most famous act as governor was to slash union membership and cut labor protections for thousands of working women in the state” [MSNBC, 10/09/2014]

Workers Rally for Higher Wages, Better Workplace Conditions

Fast food workers across the country, including in Milwaukee, Madison and Wausau, today engaged in direct actions and rallies for higher wages and the right to bargain for better working conditions. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross applauded the workers effort and noted that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s opposition to a higher minimum wage and actions like stripping workers of their rights have left the state lagging the Midwest on jobs and wage growth.

[One Wisconsin Now, 09/04/2014]

Walker called minimum wage hike a “political stunt”

Gov. Scott Walker lashed out Thursday against Democratic proposals to raise the minimum wage, calling them a “political grandstanding stunt” that will kill jobs. Walker was addressing a friendly crowd at a meeting of the Wisconsin Grocers Association, a group that opposes increasing the minimum wage. Democrats both nationally and in Wisconsin and other states are pushing for increasing it. The proposal is going nowhere in Wisconsin, where Republicans who control the Senate and Assembly have it bottled up in committee. But that didn’t stop Walker from speaking out against the idea. “I think it is nothing more than a misguided political stunt,” he said of Democrats’ efforts to raise the wage. Doing that will only lead to the elimination of entry-level jobs and cut pay for other workers, Walker said. “If you want to put a buzz saw on the economic recovery we’ve seen in this state, you just start piling on regulations like increasing the minimum wage,” Walker said. Later, he called it “little more than a political grandstanding stunt” advanced by people who want to claim they’re helping workers when they’re really not.

[Associated Press, 01/23/2014]

On the Capitol: Everybody’s working on the weekend?

“Scott Walker’s legislative confederate, who wants to eliminate the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday and voted to water down child labor laws, now has ending the weekend in his legislative crosshairs,” Ross said. “To do the bidding of their corporate donors, is restoration of indentured servitude coming next from the Walker Republicans?”

[Wisconsin State Journal, 01/04/2014]

Comparing himself to FDR, governor promotes aggressive approach to public sector

Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal One Wisconsin Now, said Walker's “attack on 175,000 workers had nothing to do with budget deficits, but rather his desire to reduce the collective voice of working men and women in Wisconsin.” Ross referred to Walker's comparison to Roosevelt as “atrocious,” saying Roosevelt “invested in people to lift the country out of the Great Depression, while Scott Walker's path has nearly turned the Great Recession into a second Great Depression for Wisconsin.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/28/2013]

Walker’s 2013-15 Budget Included Provisions Hurting Workers, Creating More Tax Breaks

Walker’s 2013-15 Budget included Provisions that:
  • Made it harder for workers to access unemployment compensation benefits by reducing the number of allowable reasons to quit a job from 18 to 9.
  • Expanded the junk mail sales tax exemption created an income tax break for private school tuition (up to $10,000 per pupil), which is estimated to cost the state $30 million per year
  • Created an income tax break for private school tuition (up to $10,000 per pupil), which is estimated to cost the state $30 million per year
[2013 Assembly Bill 40, 01/01/2013]

Money Badger's Paw Prints Uncovered In Attack on Worker Rights in Michigan

Wisconsin's 'Money Badger', Michael Grebe, appears to have his paws in the attack on worker rights in Michigan according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. Grebe, who runs the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, has doled out nearly $2 million to three organizations taking leading roles in promoting the attack on worker rights launched by Michigan Republicans in a lame duck session of their state legislature.

[One Wisconsin Now, 12/06/2012]

Walker’s petition initiative undermines Supreme Court

In response, an activist group known as One Wisconsin Now has started its own petition initiative to match Walker’s fundraising efforts. The organization asks signers to “Stand with the Constitution,” referring to the ruling made by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Juan Colas, who believed Walker’s law violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

[Badger Herald, 09/25/2012]

One Wisconsin Now Calls for End to Walker’s ‘Gravy Train’ for Michael, Best & Friedrich

One Wisconsin Now today called on Gov. Scott Walker to halt the taxpayer-funded gravy train for the politically connected law firm, Michael, Best & Friedrich, and stop using public funds to pay for the continuing legal battle to overturn a court decision declaring Act 10, his controversial law stripping workplace rights from over 175,000 taxpaying state citizens, unconstitutional.

[One Wisconsin Now, 09/17/2012]

Friedman Failures Drive Walker's Wisconsin

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the 100th birthday of the late corporate propagandist Milton Friedman. Many of the failures of Gov. Scott Walker can be traced to the policies espoused by Friedman, most notably massive tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, while attacking public investments and public employees.

[One Wisconsin Now, 07/30/2012]

One Wisconsin Institute Report: 'D is for Dismantle'

A comprehensive analysis entitled “D is for Dismantle,” authored by the non-partisan One Wisconsin Institute shows that despite claims from Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin schools are not failing, instead his budget cuts and disastrous education policies endanger our proud tradition of excellent schools. The report from One Wisconsin Institute, the education and research partner of One Wisconsin Now, includes research that contradicts Gov. Walker's assertions about public schools and students not performing at the highest levels.

[One Wisconsin Now, 12/19/2011]

Rolled back class size reduction program; allows teachers to be evaluated on standardized test scores

On December 17, 2011, Walker signed a bill into law that rolled back a major provision of the popular class size reduction program, Student Achievement Guarantee in Education Program, which established class sizes of 18 or under in grades K-3. This bill allows school districts to opt out of class size reductions in grades 2 and 3. Prior law required participation in K-3 to receive SAGE funding. Additionally, Act 105 allows school districts to use value-added analysis of standardized test scores to evaluate teachers. Though it cannot be the sole reason used to fire, suspend or discipline a teacher, the bill allows school districts to place greater weight on the test scores in evaluating a teacher’s job performance. Prior law prohibited the use of standardized test results to fire, suspend or discipline a teacher. (2011 SB 95, introduced 5/13/2011; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call)

[2011 WI Act 105, 12/07/2011]

Walker says he’s not responsible for recall effort against him

But Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, noted Walker did not talk about cutting collective bargaining during the campaign and said Walker was precisely the one who caused the recall effort. “Gov. Walker is responsible for tearing Wisconsin apart and the division which has led to this unprecedented recall effort against him,” Ross said. “He alone is responsible. “If Gov. Walker had been honest with the people of Wisconsin about what his intentions were, the recall would not be happening. But then again, Gov. Walker would not have been elected.”

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/15/2011]

Walker allowed municipal employers to undermine collective bargaining agreements

Walker signed into a law a bill that allows any municipal employer to enter into a memorandum of understanding to reduce the cost of compensation or fringe benefits, without modifying an existing collective bargaining agreement for purposes of 2011 WI Act 10. The memorandum has to be entered into within 90 days after the effective date of this bill. (2011 AB 319, introduced 10/12/2011; Assembly Roll Call)

[2011 WI Act 65, 11/09/2011]

Walker says he opposes “double dipping” but won’t force top aides to stop taking pensions

In the past five and a half years, at least 6,829 state and local government employees covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System left then returned to work, simultaneously earning a pension and a salary. Those include two of Gov. Scott Walker's cabinet secretaries: Corrections Secretary Gary Hamblin and Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson, both earning six-figure salaries along with their public pensions. Stephen Fitzgerald, superintendent of the Wisconsin State Patrol, whose sons, Scott and Jeff, run the Senate and Assembly, respectively, also is back on the payroll while continuing to collect a state pension. On Friday, Walker said he supports a bill that would end double dipping. But the Republican governor has no plans to ask his appointees to stop taking their pensions, spokesman Cullen Werwie said.

[Wisconsin State Journal, 10/23/2011]

Legal fees soar for Wisconsin taxpayers over bargaining, redistricting | GOP skips bids, pays up to $395 per...

The Capitol battles over union bargaining and political redistricting proposals have paid off for one group: politically connected GOP lawyers. So far this year, two firms with strong Republican connections have racked up more than $700,000 in invoices and payments authorized by Gov. Scott Walker and GOP lawmakers to help represent the state in cases such as legal challenges over Walker's legislation ending most collective bargaining for public employees. More payments on the ongoing cases and another likely case are still to come, as Walker considers a request by the Department of Justice to appoint one of the firms to represent the state in a federal lawsuit over redistricting legislation.

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 08/20/2011]

Stripped Public Workers of Collective Bargaining Rights

Walker signed a bill that stripped all public workers, except police and firefighters, of their collective bargaining rights. The bill no longer allows teachers, nurses, snow plow drivers and other public employees to bargain on their work place conditions, benefits or for pay raises above the cost of inflation. In addition, unions have lost the right to file workplace grievances and most no longer have protections from being fired without just cause. Critics of the bill believe that for all practical purposes, it is a union-busting bill, because it prevents collection of union dues, forces unions to hold annual certification elections to enable the unions to continue year-to-year, and many other measures aimed at hobbling the union. Special Session Assembly Bill 11 passed the Senate on March 9, 2011 by a 18-1 margin with all of the Republicans except Sen. Dale Schultz voting for the bill. The Democrats were out of the state to prevent the bill's passage based on lacking the quorum necessary of 20 members. The Republicans, however, claim that they took out all non-fiscal elements of bill and that they did not require a quorum of 20 for passage. (2011 January Special Session AB 11, introduced 2/15/11; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call)

[2011 WI Act 10, 06/28/2011]

Child Labor Law Weakened Under Walker

Walker signed into law a provision in the budget which lifted provisions barring 16 and 17-year-olds from working more than 26 hours during a school week and more than 50 hours a week during vacations, potentially exposing young workers to exploitation by employers. The Department of Workforce Development, which enforces child labor regulations, is actually prohibited from improving protections through the administrative rules process. (2011 Assembly Bill 40, introduced 3/1/11; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call) [2011 WI Act 32, 06/26/2011]

Walker Created Waiting Period for Unemployment Insurance

Effective January 1, 2012, there will be a one-week waiting period before an unemployed worker can collect benefits. The inclusion of this change in the State Budget was made unilaterally by Republicans in the Legislature. Despite a veto request by all labor and management representatives on the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council, Governor Walker signed this into law. For decades, the Advisory Council has made changes to UI benefits through a balanced, negotiated agreement involving employers and labor. The Department of Workforce Development estimates that workers will lose $41 million to $56 million in benefits due to the waiting period, depending on the unemployment rate. (2011 Assembly Bill 40, introduced 3/1/11; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call) [2011 WI Act 32, 06/26/2011]

Walker power grab replaces civil servants with political hires

Gov. Scott Walker will be able to name political appointees to fill three dozen civil-service jobs that handle open records requests from the public under the budget-repair law he signed last week. Walker's separate 2011-'13 budget proposal would also make a political appointment out of another key civil service job - the top lawyer spot at the agency overseeing state labor law. The law would make existing civil-service positions into 37 new political appointments, including 14 general counsels, 14 communications positions in state agencies and other positions, including legislative liaisons doing lobbying for agencies. That would allow Walker and agency secretaries to hire and fire employees in those positions at will. Under the law, the civil service jobs would be classed as division administrator jobs, a kind of political appointment, and would increase that class of political appointments in the affected agencies by about 50%, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 03/18/2011]

Protests target M&I

But the principal hasn’t been paid back yet. Unions and liberal groups like One Wisconsin Now are also upset that M & I executives gave more money to Scott Walker during last year’s governor’s race, than the officials did to Democrat Tom Barrett.

[Superior Telegram, 03/15/2011]

Greetings From Fitzwalkerstan: Wisconsin GOP Denies Legislative Democrats Voting Rights

“Senator Scott Fitzgerald isn’t content with illegally passing a bill which takes away the rights of 175,000 working Wisconsinites and now has expanded his attacks to disenfranchise the voices of 2.2 million more Wisconsin residents and taxpayers,” declared Scot Ross, the executive director of the One Wisconsin Now advocacy group, who referred to Fitzgerald’s latest move as a “tantrum.” [AFL-CIO, 03/14/2011]

Over Two Weeks Later, Walker Has Not Released Administration-Koch Lobbyist Communication Emails

Over two weeks after One Wisconsin Now filed an open records request for all email and written communications between Koch Industries’ lead Wisconsin lobbyist and the office of Gov. Scott Walker and the Department of Administration, the Walker administration has yet to fulfill the request. One Wisconsin Now said it is considering legal action and notes the unusual speed at which Gov. Walker’s office released staff email communications this week it claimed were proof of the administration’s willingness to negotiate with Senate Democrats in the budget repair bill dispute.

[One Wisconsin Now, 03/10/2011]

Apprenticeship Opportunities Limited Under Walker

The enforcement of Executive Order #108 was suspended by Governor Walker as of March 2011. This Order was signed by Governor Doyle in 2005 to encourage the employment of apprentices on construction projects for the State of Wisconsin. In this way the state would help create opportunities for younger workers to learn the skills needed for employment in the building and construction trades.

[2011 Executive Order #18, Suspending Executive Order #108, 03/09/2011]

One Wisconsin Now on Monday’s Mobilization Activities Outside State Capitol

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross issued the following statements regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to close the State Capitol off to the people of Wisconsin and the continued mobilization against his efforts to use the government to take away the rights of working men and women and dismantle the quality of Wisconsin’s way of life.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/27/2011]

Wisconsin State Budget and Worker Protests

Scot Ross talked about the ongoing legislative battle between the governor of Wisconsin and state Democrats on the budget, and he responded to telephone calls and electronic communications. Part of Governor Scott Walker’s budget includes a proposal that would end almost all collective bargaining rights for most public employees. [C-SPAN, 02/25/2011]

As Governor, his signature achievement – ending collective bargaining for public employees – was...

It took a sneak attack in the early morning hours on Friday for Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly to pass Gov. Scott Walker's controversial budget bill, the one that would eliminate collective bargaining rights for most public-sector unions. Assembly Democrats savaged their counterparts for ramming the bill through at just past 1 a.m., screaming "shame!" and branding them "cowards." But if anyone asks Walker about the GOP's late-night tactic, he'll find himself in a tough spot: he's blatantly flip-flopped on the issue throughout his career. On the campaign trail in 2010, Walker, then a gubernatorial candidate, disavowed late-night votes by Wisconsin lawmakers. At the time, the Assembly was pulling all-nighters in order to finish its two-year legislative session, a common occurrence that's angered government watchdogs who don't approve of state business conducted when most people are asleep. In April 2010, Walker pledged to outlaw any votes in the legislature after 10 p.m. and before 9 a.m. "I have two teenagers and I tell them that nothing good happens after midnight. That’s even more true in politics," he said in a statement. "The people of Wisconsin deserve to know what their elected leaders are voting on."

[Mother Jones, 02/25/2011]

Wisconsin State Budget and Worker Protests

Scot Ross talked about the ongoing legislative battle between the governor of Wisconsin and state Democrats on the budget, and he responded to telephone calls and electronic communications. Part of Governor Scott Walker’s budget includes a proposal that would end almost all collective bargaining rights… [C-SPAN, 02/24/2011]

Rev. Jesse Jackson Marches With Madison — GRITtv special

The fight against Scott Walker’s attack on working people isn’t just in Madison–and it isn’t just about a budget repair bill, say Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now and State Assemblyman Cory Mason. Hundreds of people are protesting and attending town halls in towns across the state, sometimes towns with only a few thousand people living in them. And if you think the fight is messy now, just wait until Walker rolls out his actual budget. [Uptake, 02/22/2011]

What does Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker really want?

One Wisconsin Now, the progressive watchdog group that has provided the closest monitoring of Walker’s budgetary gamesmanship, explains: “Since his inauguration in early January, Walker has approved $140 million in new special-interest [Unions, 02/16/2011]

Governors wise to secure prisons

Scot Ross, head of the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, said: “No Wisconsin governor has deployed the military against public employees as far back as the 1930s, showing just how radical the steps are that Gov. Walker is taking to consolidate his power.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 02/15/2011]

Walker’s budget roils state politics and government

Scot Ross of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now said no governor has used the military against public employees as far back as the 1930’s. He said current events show “just how radical the steps are that Gov. Walker is taking to consolidate his power.” [, 02/14/2011]

Walker's Budget Scheme: Undemocratic, Unbalanced, Potentially Unconstitutional

Gov. Scott Walker’s scheme to allow the government to take away the rights of Wisconsin workers is part of an unbalanced and potentially unconstitutional proposal that would add at least $30 million to the state’s credit card and allow the Governor’s health agency director to slash health care access and raise costs without the approval of the legislature.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/14/2011]

Public Safety Officials Warned Walker Furloughs Could Compromise Public Safety

“Unpaid furloughs ordered to help balance Milwaukee County's 2010 budget could compromise public safety, according to law enforcement and court officials. The impact of furloughs -- or other substitute budget cuts - -could range from slower prosecutions to delayed trials and criminal arrest warrants, the officials said. Restraining orders in domestic violence cases also might be slowed, they said. The furloughs may force him to make ‘triage decisions’ in which charges for lesser crimes are delayed or skipped so prosecutors can focus on serious felony cases, said District Attorney John Chisholm.”

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 01/18/2010]

Walker Reintroduced Proposal to Privatize Airport

“...Walker said privatizing airport operations could enable the county to "actually turn a profit and use the revenue to pay down debt." He also said the money from an airport privatization could be used to help pay for the county's bus system without increasing the property tax. ...He sought but failed to win County Board support for a study on airport privatization for 2009, and he didn't address the issue in his 2010 budget. ...Three county supervisors attending Walker's speech said they remained opposed. Supervisors Johnny Thomas, Christopher Larson and Theo Lipscomb said it would be unwise for the county to entrust one of its prime assets to private firms. They warned that fees for a variety of services at the airport would likely be increased.”

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 01/13/2010]

Union Leader Says Walker Has Scapegoated County Employees For Years

“Richard Abelson, head of the county's largest union, wasn't buying ‘this new soft, gentle and fluffy Scott Walker.’ Walker's layoff remarks mean little and are likely aimed at voters in next year's governor's race, said Abelson, executive director of District Council 48 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Walker is the leading Republican candidate for governor. Walker's latest comments don't square with his actions, Abelson said. ‘He was the one who cried wolf with the layoffs in November and the furloughs and reduced hours in July. He's the one who has been trying to scapegoat county employees for years,’ Abelson said. Walker repeatedly threatened layoffs this year, starting in March; unsuccessfully attempted to impose shortened workweeks; and ordered four furlough days for 2009, then rescinded half of them.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/29/2009]

Walker Pushed Pension Reductions That Excluded Elected Officials From the Cuts

“Nonunion Milwaukee County workers will get reduced pensions, higher health insurance costs and no seniority raises in 2010, under action approved Thursday by the County Board. ...County Executive Scott Walker favors the measure. Supervisors, Walker and other elected officials were excluded from the pension trims...The employee benefits concessions apply to just 717 unrepresented employees, but also are aimed at leveraging similar concessions from the roughly 4,700 county employees who are union members. The combined savings, if applied to all county employees, was estimated at $7.5 million.”

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/18/2009]

Walker Said Layoffs Were the Only Option, But Later Rescinded Them

“Memo to Milwaukee County employees: Never mind. That was the upshot of a Friday session that ended with a new deal to avert the Thanksgiving layoffs of 180 county workers intended to avoid a 2009 budget shortfall. Notices had already been sent to those targeted for layoffs by County Executive Scott Walker. But Walker told county supervisors if they could scrape up $600,000 to $1 million in savings from a budget already purportedly scraped clean, some or all of the layoffs would be rescinded. After a lunch-hour meeting between Walker's top aides, County Board Chairman Lee Holloway and Supervisor Elizabeth Coggs, the layoff suspension was announced...Walker had announced the layoffs Wednesday, saying new figures still showed a $3 million year-end deficit looming. With so little time left before the end of the year, the only option was layoffs, Walker said. Walker backed off the layoffs after supervisors obtained promises of some $523,000 in budget savings from department heads, including a surprising offer of $1 million from Parks Director Sue Black.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/31/2009]

Supervisors Accused Walker of Concealing Deficit-Causing Change in State Medical Care

“Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s plan to temporarily lay off up to 180 employees as a last-ditch move to balance this year's budget prompted finger-pointing and shouting Thursday from county supervisors. ...Supervisors accused Walker of mismanagement and his department heads of hiding what appears to be one of the major causes of the county's 2009 deficit -- a change in the formula used by the state to reimburse the county for low-income patients' care. A shortfall in anticipated sales tax revenue also was blamed. ‘The administration failed, and the county executive failed,’ said Supervisor Michael Mayo Sr. ‘We're supposed to be in this together,’ said Supervisor Elizabeth M. Coggs, who complained that supervisors routinely have been shut out of critical information by Walker's department heads. ‘The only time we are in this together is when the crap hits the fan.’” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/30/2009]

County Employees Expected to ‘Bear a Heavy Burden of Budget Balancing Pain’ under Walker Plan

“Milwaukee County employees would bear a heavy burden of budget-balancing pain in County Executive Scott Walker's proposed 2010 budget, with nearly $41 million in pay and benefits cuts and the elimination of nearly 400 jobs. The proposal includes a 3% across-the-board wage cut for all county workers, a new employee pension contribution of 5% of a worker's salary, a boost in health care contributions and more furloughs...Walker was immediately criticized by supervisors and unions for unrealistic budgeting and the potential for plunging the county into a costly labor dispute. The County Board has a tentative contract with the county's largest union that calls for a two-year pay freeze in exchange for no layoffs and no privatized jobs - a deal that would go out the window under Walker's proposed budget. That raises the likelihood the county could be accused of bad-faith bargaining, warned Supervisor Lynne De Bruin. "We are creating a war with our largest union," she said. Walker has threatened to veto the tentative contract, and on Thursday the board delayed action on it.’”

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 09/24/2009]

Walker Intended to Use Wage Freezes & Shortened Work Weeks to Address County’s Shortfall of $15...

“Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker on Friday added an employee wage freeze to his growing arsenal of tools aimed at avoiding large budget shortfalls. But as with other ideas he's broached -- most notably a 35-hour work week and accompanying pay cuts -- the county executive ran into immediate resistance and accusations he's playing politics with people's lives. Walker said he's not bluffing about the need for the cutbacks or the likely alternative -- layoffs. All county department heads have been asked to draft layoff plans in case the freeze and his other efforts are rebuffed, Walker said...The county is projected to face shortfalls of nearly $15 million this year and $90 million next year. Walker had no estimate of savings linked to a wage freeze.”

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 05/29/2009]

Walker Ordered Weekly Unpaid Furloughs for County Employees

“Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker on Thursday ordered five-hour weekly unpaid furloughs for most county employees through the rest of 2009 as a way of offsetting a projected $15 million deficit this year…Walker's shorter workweek order affects at least half the county workforce, including managers. The cut also could be extended to 60% or more of the nearly 5,000 county employees. …For affected county workers, losing five hours of reduced pay a week would amount to about a 12.5% cut.”

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 05/14/2009]

Walker Cuts to County Staff Resulted in Skyrocketing Overtime

“Milwaukee County's 2008 overtime spending is on pace to match or beat last year's record $15.8 million tab, despite extra recruitment and hiring of mental health and corrections workers, an analysis of county spending records shows. The overtime bill for the first 10 months of this year was $14.4 million. Overtime costs for November and December are expected to drive the bill to more than $16 million. ...Amid the economic downturn, Walker imposed a partial hiring and travel freeze in September to help ward off a year-end deficit. He credited such moves with keeping the county in the black. But critics on the County Board say Walker has courted overtime growth by too thinly staffing county departments.”

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/05/2008]

County Board Overrode Walker’s Veto of Court Staff Funding

“The Milwaukee County Court System once again survived the veto pen of County Executive Scott Walker this budget season, holding onto more than two dozen court staff members. On Nov. 19 the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors voted 16-3 to override a partial veto by Walker, which would have slashed more than $1.3 million in 2009 funding for combined court-related operations... The board restored all 27 court staff positions, which county executive Scott Walker sought to either eliminate or replace with more cost efficient personnel. Nine clerical assistants -$499,826- and eight deputy court clerk judicial assistants -$592,448- were slated for elimination by Walker, who also planned to substitute nine administrative interns in place of nine legal research interns at an estimated savings of $220,000.” [Wisconsin Law Journal, 11/24/2008]

Walker 2009 Budget Proposal Called for Privatizing Services, Laying Off 339 County Workers

“Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s 2009 budget would potentially lay off 339 employees, mostly through privatizing food service, housekeeping, skilled trade and vehicle maintenance workers, supervisors were told Monday. ...County Board Chairman Lee Holloway called Walker's budget ‘the worst budget that I've experienced in 16 years on the board in terms of the cuts and the complications.’”

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/07/2008]

In 2008 Walker Reneged on Promise to Give Back $60,000 of Salary

“Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker said Tuesday he'll scale back the amount of his paycheck he returns to the county, if he's re-elected to another term April 1. Walker will cut the sum he gives back from $60,000 annually to $10,000. ...He joked today that his decision to continue giving back nearly 47% of his salary every year has been unpopular with his wife. He said he felt it was important to still return a portion annually and that he had settled on the $10,000 figure.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 03/19/2008]

After Walker Supported Cutting Shared Revenue, He Blamed Loss of Shared Revenue for Midyear Shortfall

Walker announced the unusual midyear layoffs and workweek changes in a ‘Dear County Employee’ e-mail message after what he described as several rushed meetings with stunned department heads scrambling to patch a $7.8 million deficit in the county’s 2003 budget...Walker’s email to employees blamed the current-year deficit on ‘a number of unanticipated occurrences including significant revenue shortfalls in a number of departments, loss of state revenue and loss of investment earnings.’”

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 08/13/2003]

Labor Opposition to Walker Longstanding; Endorsed Opponent in ‘02 County Executive Race

The Milwaukee County Labor Council voted Wednesday night to endorse Milwaukee Ald. Thomas Nardelli in the Milwaukee County executive's race. The council, affiliated with the AFL-CIO, includes about 150 unions with about 60,000 members living in Milwaukee County. The union met with a series of candidates last week but put off an endorsement until Wednesday, after it met with Nardelli. The Milwaukee County Labor Council, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers both endorsed Walker’s opponent, Alderman Thomas Nardelli for Milwaukee County Executive. The Council had about 150 unions with about 60,000 members in Milwaukee County.

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 03/07/2002]