Wirch on Walker after “Koch” call: We don’t trust him

Sen. Bob Wirch

State Sen. Robert Wirch, the Democrat who represents most of Kenosha County in the State Senate, was quoted extensively in a Huffington Post story on Scott Walker’s phone call with a reporter posing as a well-known ultra-conservative businessman.

Wirch says the phony call was useful in a couple of ways. One, the Democratic senators now know some of the governor’s more sneaky plans for getting Democrats back to the state. The 14 Democrats are in Illinois to avoid a quorum being called to vote on Walker’s budget repair bill that would reduce collective bargaining rights for public employees statewide.

Asked if the 14 Democratic senators are now less likely to trust Walker, Wirch replied, “Yes. In a word, yes.”

Read it all here.

19 Comments

  1. Bob says:

    Scott Walker may not be the brightest bulb in the room, but the people of Wisconsin, when they adopted the Constitution, wrote this language about the Legislative Branch in Article IV — Section 7 —

    SECTION 7. [Organization of legislature; quorum; compulsory attendance.] Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members; and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.

    Notice the words “compulsory attendance!”

    What do we tell our school-age kids, who are being told they can’t read at grade level, when our Wisconsin Senators apparent can’t read, either!

    Notice also, that the Constitution provides for a quorum of a majority of each house, not a super-majority hat they are trying to block — which is only by rule. In other words, the Senate could change this rule, and the Courts will stay out of the matter, saying that its the Senate’s business alone..

    So, Senator Wirch — get back to work! The people of Wisconsin have already decided that your actions right now is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! And, they said so generations ago!

    You spin is not working!

  2. Kimberly says:

    I support you Senator Wirch! Thank you for representing my voice and allowing millions of Americans to see what a twisted Governor we have! Stay strong!

  3. Kathie says:

    Senator Wirch is working for his constituency much more than Scott Walker is. If you will listen to the call, you will hear that Walker is beholden to the wealthy Koch brothers, who actually started the Tea Party. By leaving, the Democratic Senators have slowed the pace of the bill, allowing the citiizens and the elected officials to actually read what buried within the bill. Why would we sell power plants with no bids, other than to a main campaign contributor? The jobs are already posted for those power plants. Do we want to cut senior programs and Badgercare? There is no reason that this needed to be rushed through like Walker was trying to do. As he says in the call, it’s his moment to “shine, his time to make history.” He is on an ego trip and only wants to better himself, he does not care about the people of Wisconsin.
    Thank you Senator Wirch!

  4. Patrick says:

    Mr. Wirch needs to be recalled and replaced.

  5. Grant says:

    Goodbye Senator Wirch, don’t let the door of the hotel room (that you’re hiding at) hit you on the way out! You will be recalled!

  6. Natalie says:

    I speak with Senator Wirch on a regular basis at the Rec Plex where he always seems to be at 10:00 in the morning most days of the week for the past 2 years prior to fleeing. Many of us there can’t wait till he gets back so we can give him a piece of our mind face to face.

    I’m waiting for the opportunity to sign the petition to have him recalled. As for Walker being trustworthy. Are any politicians? NO!

  7. Northwestern Mike says:

    This is why collective bargaining changes are needed.
    Paris passed a three-year referendum that raised 2008 property taxes 31.8% in 2009, another 9.8% in 2010, and another 6.4% in 2011. For 2010, taxpayers REDUCED taxes at the Annual Meeting, but the school board over road the taxpayers at their next meeting and DID NOT RAISE taxes for 2010. In teacher contract negotiations the major teacher concession was to freeze each cell of the salary schedule for two years while the Step increases of 4.1 to 6.8% and Lane increases of 2.0 to 7.7% were LEFT INTACT. The teacher at the top of the salary schedule that makes $81K did not get a raise. The board’s proposal to change insurance carriers to reduce costs to the district was DENIED. The teachers did agree to MINOR co-pays. No concessions were made on Post Employment Benefits. Overall, NO concessions were made to resolve Paris’ dire financial situation. In 2009 the $385K property tax increase paid for $322K of Post Employment Benefits. Property taxes already increased with NO teacher concessions.

  8. Northwestern Mike says:

    Democrats don’t get their way so they run away. They will only come back under terms they like. Elections have consequences, democrats lost. The democratic process allows the senators to submit amendments to the bill that will be discussed and voted on. Democrats are running from the democratic process. You did not see republicans run away from the vote for Obamacare. Suck it up, act like a man, and do your job. It’s called dereliction of duty.

  9. Sarah says:

    Totally being ignored is the fact that, come tomorrow, if no action is taken on this bill because 14 senators fled the state and refused to work, people will start to loose their jobs, schools and other state organizations will loose funding.

    Once again, bargaining concerns and “brotherhood” is trumping the the jobs of real people.

    The minority voice of the union is drowning out the fact that there are other concerns that need to be discussed. All the talk of standing for Wisconsin families (as if every family is a union member, or the flip side, if you’re not union, you don’t work) is false. They stand only for themselves.

    Senator Wirch, I wish I could fire you myself.

  10. Sarah says:

    If you support the passage of this bill, email or call all of the Senators who chose to stay and work and tell them to support the bill. The missing 14 are trying to flip them.

    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/w3asp/contact/legislatorslist.aspx?house=senate

  11. Ed says:

    The people of Wisconsin have spoken in Nov 2010 and voted for fiscal responsibility. DO YOUR JOB!! Don’t think that these tactics will soon be forgotten! Many Public employees are going to lose there job because of your antics. Are you ? We can only pray.

  12. Anthony says:

    Senator Wirch ACT UR AGE, COME BACK AND DO UR JOB!!! Ur acting like an 11 year old girl. What kind of example are U showing kids “when things get hard run away” DO UR JOB, GET UR REAR END BACK HERE!!!

  13. Anne says:

    In response to Sarah~people are not losing their jobs because the senators are out of town. School districts are laying off people because the state aid to schools is going to be $500 less PER STUDENT. Whether or not the senators come back there are going to be layoffs. This is coming out in Walker’s budget bill and is not part of the emergency repair bill. There is also a rumor that Walker, in his regular budget, is going to refuse the millions of Title One dollars that go to schools with low economic families. School districts cannot take those kinds of hits. Also in his regular budget is a 30-40% reduction in federal transit aid. You will probably be seeing fewer city busses around the state of Wisconsin. Again more layoffs having nothing to do with the Senators who are standing up for more than public workers. The students in schools with have far less resources available to them and I am not just referring to adults who work in the schools. States which do not have collective bargaing are very low when it comes to ACT scores. Right now Wisconsin is near the top. Walker is feeding the public misinformation about certain arguments he is making. The Trust which SOME districts use is not forced on districts by the unions. The Trust makes a contract with the districts not the unions. If the Trust does not have competitive rates districts will go elsewhere. Less than half of the districts use the Trust. In my district the renewal rates were single digit numbers. Some of our groups were with United Health Care and their renewal rates were more than 25%!! They chose to come back to the Trust to save taxpayers, yes public workers are taxpayers, too, money. The state of Wisconsin will NOT save $68 million dollars by leaving the Trust.

  14. Northwestern Mike says:

    February 27, 2011
    Public Unions & the Socialist Utopia
    By Robert Tracinski
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/02/27/public_unions__the_socialist_utopia_109046.html

    “they are declaring that they would rather have no legislature than allow voting on any bill that would break the power of the unions.

    National Review’s Jim Geraghty describes these legislative walk-outs as “small-scale, temporary secessions.”

    The Democrats are fleeing from a lot more than their jobs as state legislators. They are fleeing from the cold, hard reality of the financial and moral unsustainability of their ideal.”

  15. Sarah says:

    Anne

    There will be layoffs due to debt not be restructured. This is due to the bill not being debated and voted on.

  16. Anne says:

    Sarah, no matter what there will be layoffs was my point. You are pinning it all on the democratic senators being out of state. The schools are laying off people because of the impending budget that will be disclosed tomorrow. Like I previously stated, $500 per student is a big chunk of change. Walker is cutting funding to schools and the transit system which will cause layoffs. He is cutting funding regardless if this bill passes. Do you really think Walker is not going to cut funding if his repair bill passes?! Repulican Senator Fitzgerald went on television to warn us that “the other shoe is going to drop when the budget comes out.”

  17. Northwestern Mike says:

    Anne
    “Again more layoffs having nothing to do with the Senators who are standing up for more than public workers.” Yes it does! It’s cause and effect. The state is broke. State aid will decrease to school districts because the governor is making cuts to balance the $3.6 billion budget deficit. School districts could save money if they offered HSA type health plans and had teachers making co pays for pensions, health insurance and Post Employment Benefits. Unions now say they will allow these changes, but how many of them and how about in the future. Boards need these changes and have been rebuffed in the past and will be in the future without collective bargaining changes. The Senators’ flight from responsibility prevents the voting on the bill that would allow changes to collective bargaining; therefore the only alternative is layoffs.

  18. Northwestern Mike says:

    Anne
    “The Trust which SOME districts use is not forced on districts by the unions. The Trust makes a contract with the districts not the unions.” WRONG!! I know first hand that Paris School District proposed an alternative to WEAC Trust insurance and the teachers refused to take it. With this refusal the union forced WEAC Trust on the district and then the district makes a contract with the district because they are the ones paying the bill.

  19. Anne says:

    So Mike, if only 35% of public school employees are covered by the WEA Trust how are ALL of the districts counterbalancing Walker’s cuts by leaving the Trust when he is cutting funding to every?! When UHC came back with renewal rates at more than 25% we bid out to all the insurance companies. Less than 5 even responded, with the Trust being the lowest with single digit capped rates for the next 3 years. Even our administrators are in the Trust because of the cost savings to our district. Universal health care was unpopular among many, but right now the motto seems to be “if I don’t have it, then you shouldn’t have it either.”

    http://www.weatrust.com/wea/weamain.nsf/WebViewR2/862573630060F0B1862578400006D7CD

    The quote “again more layoffs having nothing to do with senators who are standing up for public workers” was referring to the transit employees. Walker is refusing FEDERAL transit money because it is tied to collective bargaining. He may also be cutting state transit aid, but on that issue I have not heard. If he is then you can say he is trying to balance the budget, but refusing federal money is a different story which can cause layoffs. Maybe those dang rich bus drivers should start paying their own way and quit leeching off the system! And how about those educational assistants who make less that $20,000 a year? What were we thinking letting them get away with robbing us blind?! I know it is a good possibility that I could lose my house being a single parent and already living paycheck to paycheck. Meanwhile one of our Republican Representatives lives in a sprawling $400,000+ house in my county…

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