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Brewers infielder Craig Counsell issues statement in support of Wisconsin union workers

Mar 1, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

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Brewers infielder Craig Counsell, who went to high school in Milwaukee and has lived in Wisconsin while playing five seasons for the Brewers, issued a statement in support of the state’s union workers as they oppose a bill proposed by Governor Scott Walker:

As a Major League Baseball player for the Milwaukee Brewers who works in Wisconsin under a union contract and whose right to bargain collectively is guaranteed under federal law, I support the thousands of public sector employees who are threatened with the loss of that right under recently-proposed state legislation. These employees are real people with real families whose livelihoods, careers and futures are being jeopardized. I urge the government of Wisconsin not to take away this most basic of union and human rights.

Predictably, the very first comment posted in connection to his statement on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website reads: “I wish overpaid athletes would stay out of politics.”

Sigh.

  1. tomemos - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Way to go, Counsell!

  2. sknut - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    That was a very classy statement and very supportive. That was a good job by Counsell.

  3. stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Classy statement. Maybe he can also encourage the whiny malcontents who sprinted across the border to avoid voting to return to Wisconsin instead of acting like two year olds. And later, he can explain to us why collective bargaining for public employees is somehow equivalent to collective bargaining for private sector employees.

    • okobojicat - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      Maybe you can explain how it isn’t?

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        Sure. When a private sector union is bargaining with a corporate entity, the corporate entity is represented by management that has not received political contributions from the union that sits on the other side of the table. They’re not subject to pressure from the union providing contributions of cash and campaign resources to their political opponents. By contrast, while our politicians are ostensibly elected to represent taxpayers, they have a substantial conflict of interest because they just as often represent the unions who sit on the opposite side of the table.

      • dluxxx - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:38 AM

        But this is about “balancing the budget.” Isn’t it? I mean, they could have done that by not extending those tax cuts to corperations and helped plug the gap there, but instead they decided to take it out on the public employees instead. Nope, no conflict of interest in extending tax cuts to your major contributors in elections (Koch and other corperate interests) and then trying to cripple your opponents base.

        Face it, if it were simply about balancing the budget, then they would have compromised by now. The unions have agreed to all terms *but* the collective bargaining thing. In other words, the savings would be there for this budget, without taking away their rights to negotiate at a later time. But Walker is refusing to “play ball,” so the only option is to “take their ball and go home.” There isn’t going to be a “game” anyway. Man I hate those analogies when talking about real world situations. This is no game, this is a power grab, and Walker is trying to union bust. If you can’t be honest with yourself about that, then I guess that’s your problem.

      • randomdigits - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:11 PM

        Let me try.

        In the private sector negotiations between the workers and managment are antagonistic. The workers want a big an increase in pay/benefits as possiable and managment wants to limit the same.

        In the public sector that is not true, often times the “managment” got into office because of the support of the Union they are now bargining with. It is not in the “managment’s” best interest to limit the Union’s gains in those cases since that would cost them that support in later elections.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:59 PM

        dluxx, don’t you think collective bargaining in and of itself imposes costs? Walker’s argument is that local school boards and other authorities are hamstrung with increased costs from having to negotiate benefits with the unions. To quote the Wall Street Journal: “In Wisconsin, for instance, the teachers union doesn’t just bargain for more health dollars. It also bargains to require that local school districts buy health insurance for their teachers through the union-affiliated health-insurance plan, called WEA Trust. That requirement gives the union (not the state) ultimate say over health benefits. It also costs the state at least $68 million more annually than it would if schools could buy the state-employee health plan—money that goes to a union outfit. ”

        By the way, even if Walker wants to bust unions, I’m not sure why he can’t do so. I’m also not sure how busting a public sector union benefits large corporations or the Koch brothers (perhaps indirectly by weakening unions generally, but that is probably going to yield a pretty low return on investment). If the unions and the Democrats want to reverse what Walker is doing, then win the next election and stop doing silly crap like running across the state border. And if you don’t like analogies (not sure why these are so offensive, but whatever), then let me describe the Dems’ actions without them: they’re childish, counterproductive, anti-democratic, and pathetic.

        And if we’re barring analogies, please ask the union protestors to stop comparing Walker to Hitler.

    • docktorellis - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:00 AM

      You clearly don’t get the reality of what’s happening in Wisconsin. The ‘whiny malcontents’ are using a creative avenue to draw national attention to a gross misuse of power. Just as in Texas when the Democrats bolted because of Republican gerrymandering, in Wisconsin, Walker’s proposal is really an attempt to erode the opposition party’s economic base for future elections. In Wisconsin, as in Minnesota, union support makes up a third of the Democratic party’s base. I other words, it is a purely political move disguised as ‘budget support,’ the effects of which hurt the working class of the state. If fleeing the state in order to prevent such drastic measures from passing without national notice is ‘acting like two year olds,’ than i’ll vote to elect a classroom of two-year-olds before I’d put power in the abusive hands of a Scott Walker.

      • trevorb06 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:08 AM

        Well said! I guess I’d rather act like a 2 year old trying to protect the working class than an oppressive bully trying to make things easier for his wealthy buddies.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM

        The reality is that you support the union position, so you’re happy to support a childish maneuver rather than actually participating in democracy. If Walker’s position is so offensive, then the electorate will punish him and his party for it in the next election. I could even condone this stupidity if it was a temporary refusal to vote to try to draw attention to it. But there’s enough attention now on the issue that they can come back and vote and use it in the next election quite easily.

        The reason they won’t return is probably answered by your statement that “union support makes up a third of the Democratic Party’s base.” I’d interpret this to mean that the 14 missing senators are effectively bought and paid for by the unions, which effectively demonstates the conflict of interest politicians have when bargaining with public employee unions.

        Walker won an election and a governing majority in each house of the legislature. I’m not sure how he’s abusing his power in the least. Running out of state is pathetic and the equivalent of taking your ball and going home. And let me note that the actions in Texas haven’t really had a beneficial impact on the Democratic Party’s electoral prospects in that state over the last decade.

      • Lukehart80 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:34 AM

        Steve, I assume you’re just as put off anytime the political will of ANY elected official is impeded, and that you don’t just cherry pick which instances bother you based on the political implications of the specific issue at hand, correct?

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:16 PM

        Yes, Luke, I tend to be offended when people can’t win arguments using logic and persuasion and resort to parlimentary tools. But I can even accept parlimentary tools like the filibuster that are, for whatever reason, a time-honored part of the game. If running across the border to avoid a quorum on fiscal issues was a time-honored part of Wisconsin politics, I would probably be less offended by it.

        I’m sure we all agree that there’s a line somewhere where such tactics go from being legitimate to offensive to our core institutions. If this isn’t offensive to you, it should at the very least concern you.

      • Lukehart80 - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:42 PM

        Steve, I can understand some of your concern over lawmakers deciding to leave the state, but I also feel like there should be some concern over what’s led to that decision too. So often in political matters, people try to paint one side’s actions as completely off-base and defend the other side’s actions as entirely responsible and above the boards. This doesn’t strike me as an instance in which that’s a valid stance.

        To complain that those who left the state were merely sore losers deciding to take their ball and go home is to oversimplify matters. The fact that such action is NOT a time honored tradition of Wisconsin politics should shed some light on just how extreme this issue has gotten.

        Painting it (or most any issue) entirely in black and white does a disservice to the challenge of finding the best solution.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 9:44 PM

        Luke, as I noted, if the goal was to shed light on the issue, then that’s been accomplished. But this does go past shedding light on the issue. The dems in Wisconsin held a rare lameduck session in december to try to pass some legislation before the GOP took over, but the GOP did not run out on them.

        My problem with this method is that we could argue that it’s being reserved for extreme measures, but everyone will have a different definition of what qualifies as extreme, and it will be a sliding scale.

    • wonkypenguin - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM

      Because most private sectors don’t have to exist. As long as it is federally mandated that children go to schools, then it is federally mandated that there be teachers. Sure, wealthier folks can go to private schools where the teachers are paid less but get to work with a very specific group of students. But for the rest of America whose children HAVE to go to a public school whether or not they want to be there, then they need teachers who have security in place to continue to do their jobs safely and with support.

      Until people are federally mandated to use services provided by private businesses such as Wal-Mart (not unioned and check out their policies – good times for lower/middle class workers), IBM, Microsoft, etc., then the comparison falls short for me.

    • pwf207 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:13 AM

      by that logic governments should not do business with any company that makes political donations or that places former employees or managers in government (Goldman Sachs, Citigroup etc.) what your logic argues for is campaign finance reform and the elimination of any possible conflicts of interest. there are boards or commissions that are tasked with ensuring that such conflicts are addressed, you can argue about efficacy but those concerns are addressed at least in principle. you want to curtail the rights of individuals (public employees) because they exercise their legal rights with respect to political contributions? that seems like discriminatory policy to me. the degree to which the public worker vs public managers relationship is adversarial, which is the crux of your argument, is not determined solely by the public workers, if voters decided they didn’t feel comfortable with possible conflicts of interests they could vote to get campaigns publicly funded and then your concern vanishes. if the majority of voters don’t want to do that then it is not the public workers responsibility to shoot themselves in the foot.

      • okobojicat - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:17 AM

        Thanks for that. I was trying to come up with a way to argue that, and I was drawing a blank.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:22 AM

        I’m somewhat lost as to where there are boards or commissions tasked with addressing such conflicts for public employee unions — can you point me to an example of this?

        I don’t have a problem with unions contributing whatever they want to candidates, and the same is true with corporations. It is a First Amendment right. But (and this important) localities and states are not required to buy services from companies like Goldman/Citigroup etc. They may do so, but they’re not required to do so. By contrast, they are required to get services from teachers and other employees.

        I’m not asking public workers to shoot themselves in their collective feet. They can oppose the bill as they have done and campaign against it. The taxpayers voted for Walker and his program. I am asking the elected representatives to return to work and respect the fact that they lost an election and can’t dictate terms anymore. Win the next one, and they can change it then.

  4. trevorb06 - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    -Predictably, the very first comment posted in connection to his statement on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website reads: “I wish overpaid athletes would stay out of politics.”

    Really now?! I wish more wealthy, hard working, well-classed Americans would support the middle class in politics. I’ll trust an ‘over-paid’ athlete* such as Counsell before I trust some greedy CEO who gets millions and millions of dollars in ‘bonuses’ even though the company he is suppose to be running is losing money and laying off employees.

    Good job Craig, you didn’t say too much and you didn’t say too little.

    *Not sure how much he makes, but I doubt he’s rolling in the same dough as players such as Braun and Fielder.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      Aaron wrote this one, homeslice.

      • trevorb06 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:51 AM

        My bad.

        Okay, throw your rocks.

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 1, 2011 at 3:00 PM

        Homeslice? Wow…I haven’t heard that since…a long time ago.

        Dude…it’s time you stop living in the Bravos’ glory days and enter the 21st century.

  5. shaggylocks - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    I praise athletes for having guts when they speak up about issues I agree with, and think they should shut their mouths and focus on baseball when they spout off on issues I disagree with. I imagine this makes me a pretty average sports fan.

    • trevorb06 - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:53 AM

      This is oddly how a lot of sportsfans are. You just had the balls to come clean about it.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 10:57 AM

        True, although I frankly don’t care much about their opinion either way. I doubt anyone’s opinion is going to get swayed on this type of issue based on what an athlete says. If they do get swayed by it, then they’re probably not putting a lot of thought into it.

    • Old Gator - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:15 PM

      I praise people whose values put human rights and the welfare of the working man first, and shit on those who think workers exist only to fatten the wallets of those for whom they work. I don’t care if they’re athletes, pundits, politicians, businessmen, laborers, sportswriters or dog catchers, rich or poor. The fact that they’re athletes certainly in no way impugns their right to speak out, any more than the fact that a blogger is stupid, ignorant and masochistic in his or her ideological constipation impugns his or her right to post imbecilic comments.

  6. cintiphil - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    We don’t want to hear any sports figure on politics. If they want to spout off, then stop playing and run for office. Why don’t these guys understand that most of us just want to escape the day of politics and enjoy the game? For Gods sake, shut up and PLAY BALL! If we want politics, then we can turn on MSNBC or listen to Rush Limbaugh.

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      He’s entitled to his opinion. You saw the title of this post. It was pretty straight forward. You didn’t have to open it up and read it if you didn’t want to mix your politics with baseball.

    • docktorellis - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:40 AM

      I get yr frustration, but I think that Counsell isn’t really “spouting off” here. He issued a simple message of support as a Wisconsinite and fellow union member. It’s not like he’s striking in solidarity or anything.

    • Old Gator - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:19 PM

      As anyone anal enough to write what you just did apparent does whenever that fat fascist blowhard is busy contaminating their airwaves. Since when does putting on a team uniform obviate one’s right to speak out? Frankly, I don’t want to hear blowhard ignoramuses posting selectively delusional attenuations of our democratic rights on sports blogs, either – but you’ll never catch me saying so.

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        fatso a lousy golfer, too. unforgivable after haney lessons, in my opinion

  7. pwf207 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    @stevejelt: steve unless you are a member of the manager class (a small fraction of the general population maybe 10% or 15%) unions are good for you. minimum wage laws are a form of mass unionization and they raise the floor for wages which makes something like 80-90% of Americans better off than they would be otherwise. look at what the player’s unions do in pro sports for the distribution of wealth and extrapolate across society. regardless of what you think of the tactics they employ to attain their ends, the ends that unions pursue benefit the overwhelming majority of people and diminish only those for whom the marginal utility of money is least. are your principles worth more than making 80% of people better off?

    • saints97 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      Are 80% of people really better off when the state cannot afford to do business?

      • pwf207 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        well the state is not considering it’s ability to do business, the Republican governor is attempting to break public sector unions because it helps him politically. further, the budget of the state of Wisconsin is in deficit because of the spending and taxing decisions of the Governor, the public pensions are among the healthiest in the nation according to the nonpartisan Pew Center of the States, the unions are willing to make and have already made many concessions, the Governor simply wants to abolish unions not to balance the budget. issues like union dues or annual votes aren’t budgetary but they are ways of breaking unions.

    • sportsdrenched - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:46 AM

      That’s a slippery slope. You can’t have a “regardless of their tactics” attitude toward things.

      I respect the right to collectivily bargian and understand what unions did for American workers several years ago.

      However, Don’t give me lip service that they’re about Family while singing “My Country Tis A Thee” while standing in front of flag…and then when they don’t get their way they spit on people, damage property, and make like miserable for the other 85% of the people just trying to do their jobs.

      Those tactics are not OK. While it is probably a small minority of members that act like this. I don’t see it being condemed by the membership. They should not be condoned. And that is my biggest problem with Unions.

    • stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:26 PM

      pwf, I’m not a manager, although I’m pretty high in the ranks of employees. But I’d quibble with a few points. First, minimum wage laws essentially distort the market for labor in a way that it actually costs people at the lower end of the economic scale jobs. It’s sort of like endorsing rent control — once you establish a price floor or price ceiling, you make the market more economically inefficient, and people who might otherwise offer jobs that pay less than minimum wage won’t offer them because they can’t make a profit on the additonal goods they might produce.

      Second, while unions have provided historical benefits to employees that continue today, that’s not an argument for their continued existence (“the Delta House has a long tradition of to its members and the community at large”). More importantly, I don’t know if 80-90% of American workers actually derive benefits right now from the existence of unions. If unions were more beneficial to employee rights, we would probably see a very high percentage of employees joining unions. Instead, union membership in the private sector is under 12%. I’m not aware of some massive conspiracy to bust private sector unions, so my guess is that most workers in the private sector don’t see the benefit of being in one anymore (in fact, many of the most heavily unionized industries have gone overseas or out of business in the last half-century).

      By contrast, in the public sector, it’s over 30% of workers who belong to unions. My guess is that more workers in the public sector belong to unions because they see increased benefits as a result. That’s all well and good, except those increased benefits (both salary and benefits) come out of the pockets of taxpayers. And I would bet that some of those increased benefits are in part the result of the conflict of interest issue I mentioned earlier. Public sector unions aren’t really helping the average worker battle or a paycheck in the private sector — to the extent they are, the benefit is a lot more indirect than the higher taxes, higher fees and higher interest rates that are imposed as costs on the average private sector worker by having public employee unions.

      • pwf207 - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:24 PM

        steve, the vast majority of markets in this country are distorted, like that of financial services providers (TARP, zero % interest rates, 3.3 trillion in loans from the Fed that would never have seen the light of day w/o Congressional activism, health care providers and real estate in tax write off subsidies, farm subsidies, government grants and tax breaks for R & D, so i think we can survive another. also the more general point that societies are not formed for the sake of increasing market efficiency but rather to promote the general welfare. now, increased efficiency certainly has a role to play and I am in favor of all Pareto optimizing decisions as long as the appropriate transfer payments are made.

        i am also not wedded to the notion of unions as the sole proprietor of the general welfare, i’m a pragmatist and would accept whatever form increased equality comes in. the plain fact is though, that economics and politics are about the distribution of finite amount of resources a given society can have through production and trade. i am in favor of insuring everyone against the vagaries and circumstances of life by providing all with a minimum amount of those resources/goods that are generally viewed as the basic requirements of life. that means taking from those who have much and giving to those who have less than the minimum. frankly it makes me very sad that this country has millions of unsold homes and also millions of homeless including at least 1.5 million children who can in no way be considered to have done something to deserve that fate.

        i would take away the money a wealthy person was going to use to buy their second vacation home and use it to provide housing for the homeless or food for the hungry and i acknowledge that that is just my opinion but i’m happy that it is and i’ll stack it up against the one that says let the wealthy person keep the money they “earned” any day. i mean who is getting more utility from that money? and i am all about increasing utility

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:34 PM

        pwf, if you want to sell that to the American electorate, good luck. In the meantime, I think the benefits from unions to the average worker are overstated, and I think most of the unions have become far more corrupt than helpful.

  8. hasbeen5 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    I don’t know details of the Wisconsin union and how they work. I do know in Florida the teacher’s union is strong to the point of absurdity. It’s basically impossible to fire a teacher. When I was in high school our principal was caught embezzling money, but they could not fire her. Instead, she moved to an administrative job at the county level. She committed a crime and could not be fired. This is because the collective bargaining and union power has risen beyond what is fair or right. Maybe it’s time to reconsider some of this power.

    • saints97 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:44 AM

      They are probably worse in Wisconsin. The guy above said it best. What you have are people who are bought and paid for by unions negotiating with the unions the terms of their employment. This is not collective bargaining – it is the letting the insane run the asylum.

      I don’t begrudge Craig Counsell for his opinion, though. He’s allowed to take whatever side he wants. Being a union member himself, I am not surprised by his position. Solidarity is important, whether it be a team, a union, a gang, or a fascist movement.

  9. Jonny 5 - Mar 1, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    What will the result be of this opinion being presented to the media?? Ohhh Yeah, nuttin’ honey. It’s worthless and a waste of breath, but it got him in the paper didn’t it?

    The biggest problem this country now faces is bankruptcy. We have allowed our gov’t, the people employed by gov’t, and our tax absorbing dependents who can’t afford to support themselves to become more of a burden than our tax base can handle. Period. Something has got to give. These union issues should be seen as a shot across the bow. In other words, We ain’t seen nothing yet folks.

    • dluxxx - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:08 PM

      Exactly. Once those pesky unions are out of the way, then our corperate taskmasters can finally have their way. American labor as cheap as foreign labor! Whoo!

  10. jimtron11 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    NBC’s liberal politics rear their head, yet again? Is nothing sacred? Can’t you just stick to baseball?

    Since you’ve decided to go there, it’s important to remember that the state of Wisconsin is in a $3 billion budget shortfall. Wisconsin teachers are paid more per student than any other state in the country and yet their students rank near the bottom of the country in graduation rate. The country as a whole is hemorrhaging money and the unions are one of the biggest reason why. How is it fair that every teacher, regardless of whether or not they want to be a part of the union, has to pay $1,000 in union dues every year? Governor Walker’s bill DOESN’T BUST UNIONS, all it does is makes them pay a small portion of their health care and benefits package, around 5% for each. There’s also a misconception that this bill ends the union’s ability to collectively bargain; that’s a falsehood as all the bill does is take away their ability to collectively bargain for health care benefits and retirement packages. It also enables teachers to be able to make the choice of whether or not they would like to be a part of the union, as opposed to being forced into joining the union.

    • The Common Man/www.platoonadvantage.com - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:46 PM

      You are woefully ignorant on several points. First, as you point out, the bill does indeed eliminate collective bargaining for public employees on everything except salary levels, which are then subject to voter approval. So it does essentially strip unions of almost all of their bargaining power. How is this not union busting? Because the union can still exist? To do what, throw a nice box social every quarter? Also, Wisconsin public workers haven’t had a raise that wasn’t an adjustment for inflation in 10 years, and salaries have been frozen for the past several, so it’s not like a pay increase is terribly likely in the near future anyway.

      Second, non-partisan studies have determined that the governor is overstating the budget crisis in Wisconsin significantly, and that the state may actually have a budget surplus this year. Wisconsin is also in a much better state financially than it was even four years ago.

      Third, it’s fair that teachers and workers be required to join a union if they are going to enjoy the benefits for which that union bargains. Just like you don’t get to take a book out of the library without joining the library first.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:07 PM

        Saying a closed union shop is fair isn’t exactly correct. If belonging to the union is such a benefit, then one would think workers would seek out the opportunity to be a part of it if given the chance to decline. Federal workers are not required to join their unions. In addition, by requiring a teacher to join the union to teach, you’re requiring them to pay dues that may or may not be spent in ways they would like them to be spent. Most libraries I’ve joined don’t charge me for the benefit of having a library card. By the way, do you support the automatic dues check-offs? If belonging to a union is so wonderful, won’t all the teachers happily pay their dues, rather than hvaing the employer collect them and forward them to the union?

      • Old Gator - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:24 PM

        Which is not to mention Walker’s batantly pro-oligarch, anti-worker bias, as spelled out in that humiliating crank call he was so busy posturing like the neofascist opportunist that he is. The corrupt, lying bastard walked into a state with a budget surplus, broke its back with a flurry of tax abatements for the rich, then turned around and deliberately tried to break unions by blaming them for the shortfall that his own whoring for big business exacerbated so dramatically. The guy is a fraud on every level, and utterly devoid of intellectual honesty on any level.

  11. The Common Man/www.platoonadvantage.com - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    Thank you, Craig Counsell.

    • Old Gator - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:20 PM

      Amen.

      • spudchukar - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:31 PM

        Gator, I will be landing in Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday evening, if you are up to it might like to buy you a beverage of your choice. You can e-mail me at the same moniker @ gmail.com.

    • Gary - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:11 PM

      Idiot.

  12. spudchukar - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    I love the Conservative Wisconsin argument claiming the last election is a mandate for Govenor Walker’s budget cuts. Don’t recall Congressional Republicans accepting President Obama and his health care campaign promises.

    Always admired Craig Counsell, even more today.

    • stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      And the GOP’s decision to run across the border to Canada to avoid voting on health care reform makes the situations analogous, right? Actually, I’m pretty sure they campaigned against what they viewed as the overreach by the President, and won sweeping victories at the polls in 2010. perhaps the dems who are bought and owned by the unions should try that tactic instead.

      • uberfatty - Mar 1, 2011 at 4:29 PM

        Steve,

        Please direct us to a link where Walker campaigned on taking away almost all of the public union’s collective bargaining rights. One link. What’s that you say? Having some trouble? I wonder why that is…oh right, he didn’t campaign on that at all. Kinda tough to argue that Walker has a mandate for this when the first time it was mentioned was when the bill was introduced.

      • stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:39 PM

        Here you go, fatty:

        http://www.weac.org/TRUE/newsletters/2010%20November%20Final.pdf

        Text:

        BARRETT: Barrett opposes legislation that would take school employees’ voices out of the decision-making over health care by allowing school boards to unilaterally change employee health care coverage plan providers. “I believe in collective bargaining.” WEAC Interview, 5/15/10
        WALKER: Walker supports a bill that would take away the right of unions to negotiate health care benefits. Ryan Murray, Campaign Policy Adviser for Walker, said “The way the proposal would work is we would take the choice out of the collective bargaining process.”
        Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, 8/29/10

        That took me about two minutes to find, and it looks like it’s from a unionnewsletter characterizing Walker’s posiiton as taking away the collective bargaining rights of unions on health care. I’m sure the response will be that this means that he didn’t campaign on taking away other rights, but as I recall, the union isn’t offering to compromise on any of the collective bargaining rights. Perhaps with more research I can find other links, but I’m not sure it would be worth it, since I doubt it will change your mind.

        But if you can, find me a link where the Dem Senators campaigned on running out of state to avoid voting.

    • spudchukar - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:44 PM

      It is analogous and you know it. Campaigning against an issue is not the current stance. It is the victory that validates the mandate, according to the argument. As for overreach, the current health care law is a compromise and falls short not long on the campaign positions of Obama. If you want overreach it is Walker’s inclusion of eliminating collective bargaining, not an issue he ran on. You cannot have it both ways, even if the affluent are so accustomed.

  13. stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:52 PM

    I’m lost as to how the GOP’s continuing to argue a counter-position in Congress is somehow equivalent to Democrats trying to operate a shadow legislative session in another state. And don’t give me the standard line that it’s the affluent who are used to having it both ways — in this case, it’s the unions who no longer have the benefit of their political majorities who are resorting to a shameful tactic to try to avoid the medicine they received at the ballot box.

    If Walker is overreaching, punish him at the ballot box. The voters apparently didn’t like Obama’s health care plan, and I doubt the votes against Dems in Congress last fall were because the electorate thought the plan didn’t live to Obama’s promises. The voters reconsidered after listening to the GOP counterarguments against Obama’s legislation. The Dems should show up and present such counterarguments, and perhaps convince the GOP legislators. If not, then campaign on it and win back the majority. Until then, suck it up and stop acting like buffoons.

  14. spudchukar - Mar 1, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    The original point is that the mandate argument is specious. I never expected the Conservative Bloc to lay down and accept Obama’s health care plan, and they certainly didn’t. The hypocrisy falls not on the current political maneuvers of the Wisconsin Senate Dems, but in the argument that they should acquiesce and accept the budget cuts due to the fact that the Republicans were victorious last November.

    • stevejeltzjehricurl - Mar 1, 2011 at 8:42 PM

      The mandate argument is specious? Okay, that’s fine. But please how the speciousness of the mandate justifies the cut-and-run technique of the Dem Senators.

  15. rapmusicmademedoit - Mar 1, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    I like when rich ball player’s share their point of view.This dude id lucky he is not black, it
    would have the end of his ball playing day’s.

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 1, 2011 at 7:10 PM

      Tell your parents to activate the parental controls on your computer.

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