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June 25, 2013

Governor Scott Walker Continues Reign of Terror

Pondering menacingly while relaxing upon his throne of skulls (thank you Ben Domenech for that mental image), it seems the Governor has decided to maliciously target state workers yet again.


By giving them a raise:

The general wage increase would be the first in four years for most rank-and-file employees and the first in five years for most managers, according to the administration.

The pay raise would cost more than $140 million over two years and apply to most state workers, including employees at University of Wisconsin System campuses. Employees making less than $15 an hour would see an additional increase of up to 25 cents an hour...
The first set of raises would take effect on Sunday and show up on employees' paychecks at the end of July.

Elected officials would get the same pay bumps as typical state employees, but not until after the November 2014 elections.

Act 10 freed up so much cash than in addition to tax cuts/freezes and expanding the voucher program, the Governor has decided to toss a few bucks towards his loudest enemies.

My suspicion is that the Governor is playing for the long game, trying to expand his possible 2016 coalition to include a sizable portion of unionized workers who would otherwise vote Democratic. He snagged 38% of their vote in the heat of the recall battle last June. I suspect more actions like this will make that number grow, much to the frustration of his enemies. Or perhaps he doesn't hold a grudge and felt they were due for a raise, but that seems too turn-the-other-cheek, even for a radiant man like Walker.

While it may seem daft, think about it from the perspective of a state worker who has seen their check "inflate" with their dues no longer automatically deducted. Now they're seeing a raise they have been waiting on for several years, thanks in no small part to a man their union boss insisted was trying to destroy them. It's extremely tempting to dip your toe in the waters on the other side of the partisan divide. Now multiply that one worker scratching their head by a few thousand, and you begin to see the picture.

As for the words of the union activists who predicted the death of the middle class, massive cuts and layoffs, and hinted at red asphalt and sidewalks, looks like we may need to rename the "Dick Morris Rule" of predictions.

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posted by CAC at 06:19 PM

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