Letter to Tom Barrett
Consider this a slap upside your head as I scream at you, "What the hell happened to the recall election?"
Remember the start of this whole thing? Hundreds of thousands of people storm the state capitol. Jesse Jackson shows up. Pete Seeger sings a song. Or was it Arlo Guthrie? Picket signs jousted with parkas for space.
People handed out donuts, pizzas, soda and beer, corned beef sandwiches, chips and guacamole and salsa and hot dogs and brats. It was a giant issue driven, passionate tailgate. MSNBC did the Mr. Ed Show (or is it just the Ed Show?) from Madison.
Remember that Tom? I'm sure you do. I seem to remember that you even went up there for some of it.
Well, if you remember, how come you aren't talking about it now, now that the election is near.
What's happened, Tom, is that you've allowed the governor and his cohorts to hijack the election and make it about what they want it to be about.
Back when those demonstrations riveted the nation, nobody was talking about jobs. They were talking about rights and cutbacks and dangerous changes that threatened the fabric of our lives. Nobody said anything about jobs.
And now you find yourself in a "They say and I say and who says and count these numbers or no, count those numbers" debate about how many jobs Wisconsin has gained or lost.
At best, that argument comes down to a tie in two weeks. And ties go to the incumbent, in this case, Scott Walker.
The way for you to win this election, and I hope it's not too late, is to tap into that tsunami of passion that roiled our state months ago. People were angry then, and they roared to street corners and shopping centers in huge numbers to sign one of those petitions.
The anger now appears to be gone, replaced by a yawn and a powerful yen for a nap while people rest their TV remote fingers.
You don't seem to understand how we feel. There are things in this state more important than taxes and the deregulation of the ability to make money.
We think it's OK to pay for education. Maybe even more than we have been. Certainly not less. Despite the nutty claims from Republicans, just take a look at how much money the Milwaukee Public Schools have lost. The poorest school districts in Wisconsin have been hit the hardest by Walker's state aid cuts. Just the reverse of what it ought to be.
We think paying money that cleans parks and helps poor sick people and old people and mentally disabled people are good expenditures. We think providing financing to people trying to start a business is a good idea.
And we think public employees ought to pay some of the cost of their health care and retirement benefits. And we think they should have the right to collectively bargain.
Tom, please think about what got all of this started. The anger and passion, the tears and the pledges, the speeches and the songs and the picket signs.
Carry on that fight, Tom. Be our battle leader. We'll follow you anywhere, as long as it's in the right direction.
Here's the laughable part of the whole recall, including this guy's challenge: "The way for you to win this election, and I hope it's not too late, is to tap into that tsunami of passion that roiled our state months ago. Notice no mention of thinking, just passion. The union bosses riled up the sheep and had them whining bah, baaaa, to the disgrace of all of Wisconsin. First, to the unions for being so selfish, and second, the non-government tax payer who didn't seem smart enough to realize that the govt' unions were ripping them off. Govt workers don't PAY A DIME of their own money. You, taxpayers, pay their salaries, taxes, for their groceries, clothing, vacations, health care, and pensions. They have become leeches, sad to say, and criminally selfish. Where's that "fairness" their leader is always yelling about?!. Here's a great example of union mentality. Recall that teachers in Milwaukee wouldn't pay a little more for their health care and pensions to SAVE FELLOW TEACHERS FROM BEING LAID OFF, including Barratt's wife. How's that for a "brotherhood of..." It's a scandal, and Wisconsin will forever be remembered for two things. Placing the noose around government necks by starting collective bargaining for unions in the first place, and the adoption of anarchy as a method of governance.
This is the story of Kris Barrett. Kriss Barrett is a teacher and a damn good one. Under collective bargaining rules Kris does not have seniority and due to budget deficits and lower tax collection projections Kris may lose her job. Governor Walker offers the city of Milwaukee teachers a solution. We can keep you all and all you have to due is pay a modest contribution to your pension and health care. Well, as we all know Kris's brothers and sisters threw her under the school bus. Just west of Milwaukee in Wauwatosa, the school district accepted Walker's solution so they could keep their best teachers. They also added a teacher name Kris Barrett. Kriss Barrett happens to be the wife of Tom Barrett the city of Milwaukee Mayor.
Dave, Tom Barrett is not running on the issue of collective bargaining because he knows that it's not a winning issue and he also understands that his job as governor will be much easier if Act 10 is in place. I've yet to hear Barrett udder a word about how he would have closed the budget deficit. So he has to try and use different issues. He'll point to the Labor Statistics and say it's about jobs. If that's the issue, shouldn't he be recalled as Mayor. His jobs record is putrid. He'll talk about the "war on women". He'll keep his fingers crossed that John Chisolm will find something to charge Walker with. No matter that his wife was using her MPS e-mail for political purposes. The only positive that I see in Barrett winning this race and that maybe we'll actually get somebody who really wants to be the Mayor of Milwaukee instead of a guy who is just trying to see how many government pensions he can collect in retirement because there's no way he'd make it in the private sector.
"When he has took benefits from the working class. If that's not working off the backs of the working class to save money than what is. Some how know one has been able to say this out loud." Did you just say "when he has took benefits" and "some how know one?" Umm...we must be hurting if English classes aren't being offered anymore. Do you mean "taken" and "no" one?
Hey anyone notice that begel looks like Mel Gibson in his new picture? And that's quite an impressive resume to boot! Now to the issue of his latest column, he's right one as he is with most of his observations. The truth is Barrett is part of the Bill O'Donnell school of politics, the late county executive who felt if you road the bus line long enough you'd meet everyone in the county and get elected. Barrett's about that old Irish beer politics.Hey der let's roll out a keg at da Jackson Park soap box races and pass out some match books with our name on dem. Dat ill lock up da election eh! The other reason Tom will loose is because Walker should win, he's made his case and if you would pay attention and take off those lefty blinders and try to approach this with a tad of objectivity you'd vote for Walker. Or you can go have a beer at the vacant lot on Locust where that group is taking back something from the 1% as soon as they find them, hint it's beyond a ten mile radius of your camp site. Great column you're mostly right
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