Friday, January 7, 2011

And So It Begins...

Governor-elect Walker became Governor Walker on Monday and we have begun to get a peek at his agenda in just the first few days of his administration.

His disregard for workers and their issues was never more evident than in his press release issued Wednesday regarding the Department of Commerce.  Walker wants to change the current Department of Commerce to an "authority" and in a very cavalier way has said that state employees currently at the Department of Commerce can certainly re-apply for their jobs, but there are no guarantees.

This is only the opening scene to what may be a meat axe approach to state agencies and the services they provide.  We believe there may be some legal protections for those workers affected at Commerce, and we will do whatever we need to do to protect them and their services. 

Unfortunately however, any and all communication with this administration to date has been through newspapers, radio and TV.  The Governor has not reached out to us, in spite of our efforts to communicate, which creates an unfortunate environment of reaction rather than change.  It was the same way he did business in Milwaukee County.

Monday's inauguration rally really drove home the thousands of lives this administration and the new legislature either already have or will be negatively affecting.  Well over 500 protesters assembled at the Capitol representing wide and diverse interests including trains, stem cells, and public sector services. All were speaking in one voice – we will hold this administration accountable to taxpayers, to citizens, and to working men and women.

On the other side of the mirror, folks attending the inauguration inside were well clad in their minks, sables, and $1000 suits. During the inauguration, the general public was locked out of their Capitol, which was only accessible through invitation or ticket.  A fine example for Scott Walker – governor of the "people".

The union is organizing response teams throughout the state to deal with upcoming issues including our collective bargaining rights. Your staff representatives are the organizers – bringing together state employees, city and county employees, private sector workers, community groups and area residents to be responsive to attacks on public services and Wisconsin's values.  We strongly encourage each local union to participate in these response teams, and help in building our resolve to protect public services in Wisconsin.

Stay tuned as we will also be rolling out a substantial public relations campaign and other activities in response to the Walker Administration and the tea party zealots in the Assembly.

For those who voted for Scott Walker, we would only say this – you bought the ticket, now you are going to have to watch the movie.

Authority: Marty Beil
AFSCME Council 24

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

State Budgets and Public Employees

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 10:06 a.m.

State and local government workers have reason to feel somewhat besieged. Declining revenues in many states have compelled politicians to take a hard look at expenses, and increasingly, the focus has been on salary and benefit packages promised to public employees. Research suggests that compared to the private sector, some state and local workers do earn more, but critics argue targeting public employees' wage and benefit packages and their collective bargaining power is an easy way to side step more basic issues such as the need for economic growth. Join us for a discussion of state budgets and public sector employees.


Lee Saunders
Secretary-Treasurer, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees,

David Leonhardt
columnist, New York Times

Kim Rueben
public finance economist, The Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.

Fred Siegel
senior fellow, Center for State and Local Leadership at the Manhattan Institute

Click here to listen to the radio segment >>>

Republicans Go ‘Nah, Nah, Nah’ and Ban Word ‘Labor’ from Committee | AFL-CIO NOW BLOG

Republicans Go ‘Nah, Nah, Nah’ and Ban Word ‘Labor’ from Committee AFL-CIO NOW BLOG

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Update Regarding "Assistants" within the Walker Cabinet

Walker's staff didn't have an official list of deputy secretary and EA appointments available immediately following this afternoon's cabinet meeting. But WisPolitics has assembled the following list from various sources:

-At Administration, Cindy Archer, as previously reported by WisPolitics, is the deputy with Jodi Jensen, a former legislative aide to Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, serving as the executive assistant.

-At DATCP, Sue Buroker is the executive assistant. She was the agency's acting division administrator for management services.

-At Children and Families, Joan Hansen is the deputy while former state Rep. MaryAnn Lippert is the executive assistant.

-At Commerce, the deputy is Michael Klonsinski, who had been executive director of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership. David Volz, who previously worked as an aide to GOP state Sen. Alberta Darling, will be the executive assistant.

-At Financial Institutions, Ray Allen is the deputy. Allen, who ran against Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz in 2007, had worked in the agency's division of corporate and consumer services.

-At Reg and Licensing, former Veterans Affairs Secretary John Scocos is the deputy secretary, while John Murray, a former aide to GOP state Sen. Dale Schultz, is the executive assistant.

-At Transportation, Mike Berg is the deputy, while Reggie Newson is the EA. Berg was director of the agency's northeast region transportation office, while Newson was operations manager in the southeast region transportation office.

-At Workforce Development, Michael Best & Friedrich attorney Scott Baumbach will serve as deputy secretary.

-DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp had previously announced Matt Moroney will serve as her deputy, while state Rep. Scott Gunderson will be her executive assistant.

-Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler announced yesterday that former Deputy Insurance Commissioner Kimberly Shaul will serve has his deputy, while Jack Jablonski, the former chief of staff for GOP state Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, will serve as EA.

-Walker's office announced late this afternoon that Ted Nickel will serve as his Insurance Commissioner, and Dan Schwartzer will be deputy.

-At Health Services, former Rep. Kitty Rhoades will serve as Deputy Secretary, Brett Davis will serve as Medicaid Director and Kevin Moore will serve as executive assistant for the department.


State Employees Not Rolling Over

Click on the below link to read the short news article and listen to the 60 second reply of Executiv Director Marty Beil to a WPR interview at the State Capitol on Inauguration Day.

Who Makes Up Governor Walker's Cabinet

Gov. Scott Walker last week announced his selections to head the state agencies. Below are the names and background of each appointee:

Dept. of Administration
Rep. Mike Huebsch: Current Republican Assemblyman from La Crosse area; former Speaker of the Assembly.

Dept. of Natural Resources
Cathy Stepp:
Former state Senator from 2002-06; currently Vice President of Magnum Truck and Equipment, and President of Stepp Consulting, LLC.

Dept. of Transportation
Rep. Mark Gottlieb: Current Republican Assemblyman from Port Washington; civil engineer.

Dept. of Revenue
Rick Chandler: Former Dept. of Revenue secretary under Gov. Tommy G. Thompson; currently a lobbyist for a number of business groups, including Wisconsin Realtors Association; recently has been serving on Gov.-elect Walker's Transition Team.

Dept. of Health Services
Dennis G. Smith: Former administrator of federal Center for Medicaid and State Operations at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid under President George W. Bush; currently a Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation and Managing Director at Leavitt Partners in Washington, D.C.

Dept. of Commerce
Paul Jadin:
Former Green Bay mayor and head of Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

Dept. of Children and Families
Eloise Anderson: Former administrator of the Division of Community Services under Gov. Tommy G. Thompson from 1988-92; currently President of Anderson Resources Management Services in California; lecturer at California State University, Sacramento; former Director of the Project for American Family at the Claremont Institute.

Dept. of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP)
Ben Brancel:
Former Assembly Speaker from Portage area; former DATCP secretary under Gov. Tommy G. Thompson; farmer.

Dept. of Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA)
Wyman Winston:
Former WHEDA official; currently Senior Commercial Manager for Atlanta Development Authority.

Dept. of Workforce Development
Manuel "Manny" Perez:
Currently co-owner of JNA Staffing, Inc.,

Dept. of Tourism
Stephanie Klett: Currently host of the "Discover Wisconsin" Television and Radio Series.

Dept. of Regulation and Licensing
Dave Ross:
A lifelong Wisconsin resident who owned his own business for 20 years before being elected Mayor of Superior.

Dept. of Financial Institutions
Peter Bildsten:
Grew up in Baraboo and is a 30-year veteran of the Wisconsin financial services industry, serving as chairman and CEO of First National Bank and Trust Company of Baraboo for six years before leading a successful merger with Wells Fargo Bank in 2002.

Dept. of Corrections
Gary Hamblin:
Professional law enforcement officer for 39 years, serving with the Sawyer County Sheriff's Dept, as the Dane County Sheriff from 1997 to 2006, and as administrator of the Division of Law Enforcement Services with the state Department of Justice under Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.

Raw Video: Walker Takes Oath, Addresses Crowd - Video - WISN Milwaukee

Follow the below link to watch video of Governor Scott Walker's Swearing-In and Inauguration Speech.

The video length is 23:08.

Raw Video: Walker Takes Oath, Addresses Crowd - Video - WISN Milwaukee

Governor Walker Calls for Special Legislative Session

Governor Walker, through Executive Order# 1 called for a Special Legislative session to address the following issues:

1. Creation of an authority, to be known as the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and making appropriations;

2. An income and franchise tax credit for small businesses;

3. Income and franchise tax exemptions for new businesses, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority;

4. Adopting federal law as it relates to health savings accounts for state income and franchise tax purposes and providing a penalty;

5. Requiring a supermajority for passage of tax increase legislation;

6. The authority of a state agency to promulgate rules interpreting the provisions of a statute enforced or administered by the agency and to implement or enforce any standard, requirement, or threshold as a term or condition of a license issued by the state agency; gubernatorial approval of proposed administrative rules; economic impact analyses of proposed
rules and emergency rules; and venue in a declaratory judgment action seeking judicial review of the validity of an administrative rule and in an action in which the sole defendant is the state; exemptions from water quality certification and wetland mitigation requirements for certain nonfederal wetlands that are less than two acres in size; requirements for wind energy systems, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, and granting rule-making authority; and

7. Limiting noneconomic damages awarded in actions against long-term care providers; actions against manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and promoters of certain products; confidentiality of health care services reviews; use as evidence of information regarding health care providers; reporting of quality indicators identifying individual hospitals; homicide or injury by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire; criminal abuse of individuals at risk; criminal abuse and neglect of patients and residents; evidence of lay and expert witnesses; damages for frivolous claims; and punitive damage awards.

Read the entire executive order >>> Walker prepared remarks

Follow the link to read Governor Walker's prepared remarks delivered at his Inauguration. Walker prepared remarks Walker Cabinet salaries Walker Cabinet salaries

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Crowd is Growing

The silent Protest is anything, but silent. Hundreds of Wisconsin Workers are present. Capitol Police are supported by State Troopers.

Our State Capitol is not open to the public, can you believe it? Scott Walker is apparently in control, only the chosen have access.
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