We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.


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John Eyster
Monday, February 14, 2011


Gov. Walker’s WI state budget repair bill goes far beyond REPAIR! TOOOOOO FAR, in my opinion. What is your perspective? WHY did Walker not deal with what is REALLY NEEDED? WHY is Walker trying to push this so fast that WE THE PEOPLE are NOT able to consider and evaluate it? While Walker likes to use the term, “MANDATE,” I do NOT see the gubernatorial election as resulting in a “mandate” to omit ongoing communications with WE THE PEOPLE. DO YOU?

I DESPERATELY HOPE that our legislators will be SMART enough to carefully study and evaluate Walker’s bill. While we do NEED “REPAIR,” we do NOT need “WAR”! Our legislators have been labeled by various commentators as SHEEP or LEMMINGS following a leader on the basis of their voting in the Special Session. Forewarned is forearmed!

I myself would agree with the provisions for state employees to pay 5.8% toward their PENSIONS (now varies with 0.2% average for state employees - Janesville District teachers pay nothing (0.0%) and to pay 12% toward their HEALTH-CARE BENEFITS (now approximately 6% and, CORRECTION with apology: Janesville teachers pay about $43/mo about 3% of family premium). These provisions are FAIR and in line with PRIVATE SECTOR realities.

At the same time, I am UNable to comprehend WHY Walker chose to ATTACK the long-standing very healthy PUBLIC POLICY in WI for UNION RIGHTS with NEGOTIATIONS. Walker is declaring “WAR”! I earnestly support the NEED FOR and BENEFITS of (for ALL WI citizens) union negotiations for WI state employees and local school district employees. Where’s the beef?!

I agree with O. Ricardo Pimentel's OpEd column, "Let's define 'ask' and 'modest'" in Saturday's (2/12) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

His conclusion is incisive, "Which tells me that, in the Walker world, there are apparently 'good' unions and 'bad' unions.

"Maybe our first-line defenders might find these proposals so offensive because those who enforce the law might have some inkling about equity. They might realize that collective bargaining truncated in such a way as to make it that in name only, is worth objecting to.

"With this proposal, Walker is telling us upfront and forthrightly what he thinks of collective bargaining, unions and union members.

"And the only surprise is that some say they are surprised by this."


Did Walker think about the PRIVATE sector unions? Is Walker this anti-labor?

IF SO, I am convinced he will face a RECALL petition as soon as that is legal. NOTE: Walker is NOT subject to recall until 1-year after his Inauguration on January 3, 2011… so; January 4, 2012 will be the date on which Walker is first subject to RECALL. If you want more information, check the OFFICIAL

Recall Petition form for Wisconsin. Be sure to read carefully and follow (dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s”) to the letter of the law knowing that the petition will be challenged by Walker every inch of the way. Forewarned is forearmed!

General Recall information is posted by our WI Government Accountability Board, check this link: “Recall Elections.”

While I do NOT agree with the whole editorial, “Walker picks a fight – and it’s the right fight," in yesterday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, I do think there is a helpful review of the whole Walker bill.

I do agree, as stated before, with the provisions for state employees paying MORE on pensions and health-care benefits. I do NOT understand the FIGHT with basic union negotiating RIGHTS in WI!

For anyone and everyone working on or in WI State Government, The Wheeler Report is “The Bible” for information. (I miss hearing Dick Weaver, Dean of the Capitol Press Corps and very, very long-time journalist who has focused on WI State Government regularly on WCLO radio. VERY serious LOSS for listeners to WCLO radio. We always learned a great deal with STAN MILAM talking with DICK WEAVER on “The Stan Milam Show.” Thanks and SALUTE to STAN MILAM! Why does Conry NOT bring listeners that level of QUALITY state and local information?! Tell me!)

I recommend that for a very complete and accurate summary of Walker’s budget repair bill, you can use this link “Gov. Walker’s budget adjustment bill items include” which was posted last Thursday, 2/10.

And now there are numerous additional posts which identify reactions to Walker’s bill. You can always use “The Wheeler Report” to get updated information about WI State Government. It is free access. Try it and YOU will like it.

I started reading it every single morning after a state government work day during my 8 years as Legislative Liaison for the School District of Janesville. That is one of the good habits of those years which I continue NOW.

NOW is the critical time for WE THE PEOPLE – voters and taxpayers of WI – to INFORM ourselves as to what the Governor has proposed and then communicate with OUR legislators as to OUR evaluations with the TRUST that they will be our TRUSTEES and vote on our behalf as to what they evaluate to be the BEST PUBLIC POLICY for WE THE PEOPLE of WISCONSIN. I do think they – our legislators – NEED to SLOW this speeding train at the CAPITOL down to a SAFE SPEED and give WE THE PEOPLE and themselves time needed to do the HOMEWORK necessary to develop healthy public policy. SLOW DOWN NOW!

IF you do NOT know who your legislators (Assembly Rep and/or Senator) are, you can readily find out by using our WI State Legislature’s “Who Are My Legislators?” Valuable resource. And then, FOLLOW-UP by communiating with your legislator NOW.

What is YOUR own evaluation of the Governor’s budget repair bill?

Best wishes to YOU ALL – each and every one – for a meaningful and enjoyable VALENTINE’S DAY!

Here we go…

Mr. E.

Last updated: 10:49 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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