Sen. Wirch reacts on national TV to state Senate vote

State Sen. Bob Wirch, far right in the front row, on tonight's The Ed Show.

With state Senate Republicans passing a bill curbing collective bargaining rights for public employees in a surprise move tonight, Kenosha County’s state senator was prominent on national airwaves criticizing the move.

State Sen. Robert Wirch, one of the 14 Democratic senators in Illinois for almost three weeks to avoid a quorum for a vote on the bill, spoke briefly on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” bout the action:

This is a day on infamy for Wisconsin. Tommorrow they’re second class citizens after the vote they (the GOP senators) took tonight.”

Wirch’s district includes all of Kenosha County except for Wheatland.




  1. Bob says:

    Perhaps it is a Day of Infamy for Wisconsin, but we don’t need residents of Illinois who by now are probably eligible to vote in Illinois, telling us.

    They all look like they just swallowed frogs.

    Their JOB is here!

    I am now more convinced than ever that the Democrat Senators were being puppets guided by David Axelrod, and not by their own consciences.

    This stunt has not helped a single Union household!

  2. John Capra says:

    Could’nt agree with you more Bob!

    For all those who think these 14 Senators were representing them in Illinois I question your regard for our legislative process. This is not the way we govern our state or nation and not what we should be teaching our kids. I don’t always agree with the decisions our elected officials make, usually when I vote I feel it is an effort to pick the “less of two evils” but I certianly respect the process our founders put in place a century and a half ago. Last night was a victory for the Republicans, but all of these antics have come at a cost to the credibility of those we have elected to govern our nation.

  3. Russ Stokes says:

    I am proud of Sen. Wirch and the rest of the senators that exposed what Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda was: Busting the unions. It was never about jobs, addressing the budget deficit or negotiating in good faith. Walker and his 18 cronies will pay a political price for their devious undertakings. Wiping out 50 years of workers rights in less than twenty minutes is an attack on the working middle class. We need to keep fighting to keep corporate money from influencing our lives through the right wing extremists like Scott Waker. Shame, Shame, Shame!

  4. Patrick says:

    Mr. Wirch needs to just move to Illinois. His cowardly tatics are not needed in Wisconsin.

  5. We Won! says:

    @Russ- “Wiping out 50 years of workers rights”?!?! Collective bargining is killing Wisconsin and many other states financially. I keep hearing the narrative that somehow, as though it were written in stone, collective bargaining is a right for public sector unions. Collective bargaining is a privilege, not a right for public sector unions.

    It is a privilege that has been badly abused for years; U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics show that public sector employees, many of them unionized, make nearly $40 an hour in combined wages and benefits versus roughly $27.50 for those in the private sector.

  6. Chris Skrzynecki says:

    I don’t get it when people say that we are ” Busting” their union. How are we doing that? We are not going into their offices and kicking them out. We are not stopping their ” members” from giving them their dues. We are not stopping the union from representing the workers. All we are doing is not doing their work for them.
    If the union is so good for you, wait and see how many workers continue to send in their dues. Wait and see how hard the union trys to lower the cost of the ” Union” insurance so that they don’t lose that business. If they do, then you will know how much you/we have been over paying. And if they don’t, then it will show that they really don’t care about saving “you” money.
    Remember, that twelve percent that you are now going to pay will be twelve percent of a plan that may be 30% or more less than what we are paying for you now.

  7. Dick Taxpayer says:

    The Wisconsin management team (Dick and Jane Taxpayer) spoke back in November with the election of Scott Walker, that we wanted change. The people are now finally getting what they voted for.

    Don’t be mad at Scott he’s only the messenger to the People of the Great State of Wisconsin.

    Thank you Scott Walker !!!! God bless you and your family

  8. Russ Stokes says:

    A lot of misinformation is being posted here. Your all singing the song that the Republicans want you to sing. Take swipes at unions as though they are the cause of the great recession we are in. During these hard times, the rich have gotten richer and the middle-class has shrunk where soon we will not have a middle class. We will be back in the gilded age of the early 1900’s. The time where a select few had tremendous wealth and the poor were lucky to live beyond 30 years of age. An unregulated Wall Street took us to our knees, they held the government hostage, threatened to throw us in a depression worst than what happened in the early 30’s. The government gave them bailouts, kept them deregulated and now the Wall Street crowd is richer than ever. But we fight among ourselves and say how alwful it is that a teacher, fireman, nurse, policeman might have better benefits than us. 199 more billionaires were created in 2010 – Certainly, something is going well for them. And once you are in the billionaire club you can dump millions into political campaigns and pretty well have who you want in office. Koch brothers were main contributors to Walkers campaign – He is now serving the Koch brothers interests. Isn’t it interesting that the Koch brothers set up an office a couple blocks from the capital a week after Walker was elected. They want our power plants at a “no bid” deal. Pretty sweet deal. Take away the bargaining rights of the few that have them, then no way can a union have any threat to go up against self serving interest groups such as the Koch brothers.

  9. Chris Skrzynecki says:

    There are just as many “Rich” Democrats as there are Republicans. We take our money and start business’s which employ people. You take your money and spend it on electing politicians who will then take all of our money and redistribute it to the masses.
    Why do you believe that the unions will lose their power. They can still advise their members to “Negotiate” for higher “wages” to off set the benefits you will lose. Only now you will have to get all of the voters in each school district to approve it by referendum.

  10. Kenosha County Tax Payer & Town of Salem Fire Firefighter/EMT says:

    GET UR REAR END BACK TO WI, better yet move and say in IL you coward!!! All ur doing is showing kids that its ok to run away from your problems. I CANT WAIT TILL THE RECALL ELECTION

  11. Bob says:

    Russ —

    The key evidence of talking points is the use of the phrase “middle class” as a substitute for the word ‘unions.’

    I come from a union household, and we knew that the ‘middle class’ were the ‘self-employed,’ while the ‘unions’ were the ’employed.’

    For us, the wealthy were ‘business owners’ and ‘investors.’

    Today, the higher-ups’ in the Democrat party have forsaken the ’employed.’ They are the party of the ‘idle rich’ who got rich by ‘hiring’ (really, a protection racket) the ’employed.’ In fact, the ’employed’ are now called the ‘working poor.’

    Now that I am a senior-citizen, I really have come to the conclusion that both the Republicans and the Democrats are nuts — and the only value to this country are people who work hard, take care their family, and are proud of their accomplishments.

    Actually, my idea of a great Wisconsin Senator was Joe Andrea. Senator Wirch is no Joe Andrea!

  12. chris says:

    Walker and rest of them are trying to take peoples’ rights away. The bosses don’t have to give raises or benefits, but the employees should still have the RIGHT to ask. This is just the beginning of taking peoples’ right away. What the hell are our troops fighting for? They’re fighting for my rights and your rights. Who is Walker to start taking those rights away! This is just the tip of the iceberg – I’m sure more will be coming. Budget cuts is another issue – how come none of the senators or the governor are taking any wage cuts? If they were so adamant about cutting the budget – why not start from the top and work their way down? Why not eliminate some of the welfare benefits? Why not make it manadatory for people to PROVE they’re US Citizens before giving food stamps and medical assistance? No, instead, hit the working class guy who’s trying to actually EARN his money rather than have a half dozen kids, sit on his butt and collect from the State.

  13. Chris Skrzynecki says:

    Rights. Everybody talks about Rights. Just what ‘Right’ did the governor take away? Chris, you say that ” The bosses don’t “have” to give raises or benefits, yeah, so? Join the real world. You say that “employees should still have the right to ask. You still do. Only now, to get a raise over the set maximum you have to get the voters, (the bosses) to approve it by referendum. Not seeing where a ‘right’ was taken away here.
    Do you honestly think that ” our troops” are really fighting so that you can have collective bargaining? They don’t even have that.
    As for the senators and the governor himself, they too fall under this bill along with a change to the senators pension. It’s being brought back in line with everyone else. Did you not read where the senators are currently allowed to have a bigger pension? I think this qualifys as ‘Top down’.
    As for your ‘Iceberg’. You bet this is just a start. Welfare, insurance, pensions, you name it, where ever this governor can find ‘wastefull ‘ spending, he will cut it or eliminate it. That’s what we ‘ Bosses’ hired him to do. Every dollar he cuts or eliminates is one less dollar you and me have to pay in taxes.
    Lastly, i’m a working class guy who will welcome no increases in taxes. And if my taxes ever go down, I’ll spend it on things that help the economy. That’s called ‘ Trickle Down.’

  14. John Capra says:

    Chris you are dead on. I am currently serving our nation (on my 28th year) and definately not fighting for collective barganing, for anyone! We do not “bargain” for any of our benefits, cannot strike (or sick out), don’t always agree with what we are told to do (Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.) but we do it, we don’t run down to Mexico (or Illinois) because we don’t agree or to make a point, it’s our job, what we are paid to do, like it or not, we swore an oath to god and our nation that we would do it.

  15. Wisconsin Resident says:

    Just watched the Milwaukee news. Saw Jessie Jackson protesting what the Governorr did. Shows you what the Democrats are all about………Sad…What exactly does Jessie Jackson do for a living??????

  16. Russ Stokes says:

    Wisconsin Resident,

    Rev. Jesse Jackson is a civil rights activist, has been his whole life. He has fought the battle mainly for equality of blacks in the U.S. He is revered by those for taking up this fight – He is vilified by those that still have deep seated racial bias. Reverend Jackson is a strong voice for what he believes is fair treatment for all regardless of skin color. There are plenty of democrats who have not always supported Rev. Jacksons activities, but one thing is for sure, if people are being treatly unfairly he will give his voice.

    Rev. Jackson and other leading black figures such as Rev. Al Sharpton are high profile and make their money by speaking engagements, writing books and making public appearances. Their net worth is estimated to be around 10-20 million dollars each. However, its small in comparison to the Koch brothers who are multi-billionaires who inherited all their wealth from their father and have dumped millions into the GOP so that the taxes they pay are at the lowest they have ever been in U.S. history. Look at the tax rates for people like the Koch brothers during the Eisenhower Administration – right around 90% – As Warren Buffett said, his secretary pays a higher tax rate them himself – One of Amercia’s richest citizens.

    Bank of America had record profits last year and paid ZERO in taxes! The top 400 people in the U.S. have more wealth than 150 million Americans combined. Do American people really think this is fair. The adage that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is truer than ever.

    The idea that trickle down economics is suppose to create jobs doesn’t work. It’s been in place since Reagan instituted it, which back then was called VooDoo economics. If given tax breaks to the rich corporatist is suppose to work, where are all the jobs? Wall Street and corporate America have shipped them all over seas. They continue to make record profits, but America is left without decent paying jobs. So lets attack the state workers and school teachers and make them pay for the shortfall that corporate America has left us with.

    The middle class is fast going away, we are turning the clocks back to the industrialized age with its two tier system – 2% being very wealthy, the rest working 70-80 hours a week and soon will be asking “Mr. Scrooge for another lump of coal”.

    By the way, Fox News is the propaganda machine for the wealthy and its sad to see how many regular hard working people buy into their “fake” news. They are the spoke-persons for the ultra-rich, its in their interest to pump out right wing rhetoric and pit the middle class against one another.

  17. Chris Skrzynecki says:

    Mr. Stokes,
    I cannot speak about Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton as I have not followed their careers as you may have. I also cannot speak about the Koch brothers as i also have not followed their history other than to say that while they have given millions to the GOP they only were able to give Scott Walker the allowed maximum of $43,ooo.
    While I do agree that the current tax code is perverted in such a way that it’s cheaper for the rich to pay accountants to figure out ways to lessen their tax burden, I don’t agree that it’s the rich people who are the problem.
    When Ronald Reagan put through his tax plan he reduced taxes across the board. Sure the rich problaby benefited the most as they have the most money, but all taxes went down. I will argue that because of Reagan this country embarked on the largest peace time expansion in modern history. The old saying that a rising tide lifts all boats would be appropiate here.
    Admitedly, during the 80’s and 90’s there was more going on that contributed to the economy than just lower taxes. There was the computer revolution created by Bill Gates, lower prices for products that came from over seas and commen folks getting into the stock markets that were for many years the playground for only the rich. So Reagan did have help with being credited for his part in a robust economy.
    There is no way short of tarrifs that you can use to restrict companies from going over seas with their manufacturing. I suppose you can argue that taxing more of the profits of companies that send jobs over seas might be a way of either getting some of that money or forcing them to bring the jobs back home but, any kind of munipulation of taxes or tarriffs will just raise prices for those products which will ‘trickle down’ to the masses. Yes, trickle down also works in the downward mode too.
    Ultimatly moving toward a flat tax for everyone including corporations I believe is the answer. Every one of us should pay the same pecentage as his neighbor, rich or poor. Your neighbor pays the same for a gallon of milk as you do. Why shoudn’t he pay the same in taxes. Getting the politicians to go this way though is just as difficult as it is to get the teachers union to lower the cost of their in house health insurance. To many people want a piece of the pie.
    Until we get to that point though we have to deal with what we have before us now and that’s a bill due each month, quarter and year to the state and federal goverments. Our tax money. So as most every company in the country is doing, so shall the goverment, lower their cost.
    When, and it will be when not if, the economy comes back, then public employees will be able to get increases in pay just like their counterparts in the private sector because the private sector is where the money comes from to pay them.
    I know that this history lesson is lost on some, but the question is the same whether we are talking about then or now, How do we pay for what we want in public services. We can continue to have govermental employees do the work or we can privatize services so that each year jobs are let to the lowest bidder. Or a combonation of the two.
    We cannot tax our way out of this mess. We also cannot borrow ourselves out of this mess. So the only thing left for the goverment to do is to do what every other employer in the country is doing, lessen their cost. Our governor, my Governor is offerig up a plan to fix this with out laying people off. So Why are you fighting this?

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