Reagan Roundtable – Should Governor Walker Go Nuclear?

I am not sure if the Reagan Roundtable is still going on but oh well, one more entry can’t hurt. Here is how he handled a public sector union.

Well then.

Similarly, the teacher “sickout” here in Wisconsin, or as it should be called, wildcat strike, is illegal. Teachers unions, by state of Wisconsin law, are not allowed to strike. So can Walker go all Reagan on them? Should he? The Madison Metropolitan School District has already gone to court to try to secure an injunction to get the teachers back to work and failed. But thats Madison for you. I have not heard if they will be appealing that yet and cannot find why the court said no. I imagine they are still calling it a sick out rather than a strike or work stoppage. I would be interested to hear your comments on the nuclear option.

25 thoughts on “Reagan Roundtable – Should Governor Walker Go Nuclear?”

  1. Gov. Walker should fire the teachers for their illegal strike. He should also have a plan in place for when the liberal judges in Wisconsin overturn that decision.

  2. Hmmm, I kinda doubt that the governor has the legal authority to hire and fire teachers. Not sure about how Wisconsin law is set up but in most places the state government establishes criteria for hiring and firing while the actual authority to do so is invested the local school district.

    Reagan could choose the nuclear option because he was the executive of the level of government that the flight controllers worked for. Walker isn’t.

  3. I will take the liberty of repeating myself:

    If Walker has any stones he has easy and good comebacks.

    1. Issue a proclamation declaring that any senators who are not back in their chambers by 9:00 a.m. Tuesday morning (Monday is a holiday) will be deemed to have abandoned their offices, which will thereupon be deemed to be vacated.

    2. If they don’t show up, issue writs of election for their vacant seats.

    3. Fire their staffs, move their stuff out of the capitol, change the keys to their offices, and void their parking passes.

    4. Pull his proposed legislation and replace it with a bill that bans unionization for public employees, voids any collective bargaining agreements with public employee unions, and terminates the employment of any public employee who goes on strike, for cause and with a loss of benefits and seniority.

    5. Smoke a big cigar.

  4. From what I have seen, Shannon Love is right. The firing will have to be by the school districts. There are other routes available to the governor; assuming that events are not overtaken by violence [I firmly expect the Obama/DNC goons will physically assault the pro-Walker demonstration today. Everybody bring videocams to document!]. This is a cross post from something else I did. If this is not allowed, feel free to delete:

    The quorum requirement that covers this bill is from Article VIII, Section 8 [Finance] of the Wisconsin State Constitution. Short form, for all bills having to do with money, the quorum is set at 3/5 of the Chamber. Fair enough. But …budget bills are the only bills that require a 3/5 quorum. All other business is governed by Article IV Section 7, which specifies a quorum for each House of the Legislature to be 50%+1.

    Hold the Budget Repair Bill in abeyance until they have an Article VIII quorum. In parallel, start passing a simple one page bill that a) ends all collective bargaining for all government employees in Wisconsin, b) decertifies all public employee unions, and c) creates a joint House-Senate STUDY commission to determine how pay and benefits will be set for state employees. With no Democrats in the Senate, committee hearings should be somewhat quicker than usual. If they stay out of the Capitol, the bill can be passed handily. If any one of them shows up; they get grabbed, cuffed, and stuffed in their chair in chambers [perhaps not literally, but it is a wonderful thought], and the Budget Repair Bill is brought up for a vote.

    Indeed, there are a number of bills that are not budgetary in nature that can be started and run through the Senate if they do not show up; bills that Patriots will love and which will make Democrat heads explode. How about proof of citizenship and residence to register to vote? State issued picture ID to cast a ballot? Requiring all candidates for Federal office to file notarized copies of original documents in advance to prove that they meet Constitutional requirements of the office to get on the ballot? How about closing party primaries, if they allow crossover voting now? How about the proposed Federal Constitutional Amendment that would allow 2/3 of the states to void any Federal statute or regulation? This could be fun, and it could be never-ending.

    They either come back to the Capitol, or get their a***s handed to them.

    Subotai Bahadur

  5. I would suggest video taping as many demonstrators as possible and identifying teachers who have called in sick. The contracts of these teachers should be voided by their action, which I believe is illegal. I also agree with advertising for teachers. While they are at it, some new standards for secondary school teachers, especially for math and science. Ed school classes may be useful for primary level teachers but they are a waste of time for secondary level.

    The idea of non-budget legislation is excellent. This is particular sounds inviting:

    4. Pull his proposed legislation and replace it with a bill that bans unionization for public employees, voids any collective bargaining agreements with public employee unions, and terminates the employment of any public employee who goes on strike, for cause and with a loss of benefits and seniority.

    This is a time for a stand. They should be careful not to appear too vindictive, such as punishing Senate members who fled. Passing legislation while they are gone is fair. That is how we got the UN support for the Korean War. The Soviets were boycotting the UN at the time the war began. They couldn’t veto unless they were there.

  6. From everything I have read, you are correct Subotai Bahadur. They aren’t taking advantage of it yet but I see no reason why they shouldn’t. How about conceal carry while we are at it?

    The state senators think they are smart with their parliamentary maneuver (it is being generous calling it that), why not throw it back in their face?

    Walker could also place a courtesy call to the the senate minority leader and tell him that they have 24 hours to get back in session, or the non budgetary bills start to get rammed through.

    Nothing will happen until Tuesday as the state house and senate are out until then. And the numbers of protesters are about to drop dramatically after today, as we have a very big snow and ice storm approaching.

    Everything I have seen and read is indicating that Walker and the legislators are going all the way with this thing and it is very encouraging.

  7. The story is changing every hour. I keep updating my blog every 30 minutes. Now, there are people in white coats handing out excuse slips for teachers who called in sick. They are all using the same name, a GP assistant professor at the U. This is highly illegal and violates licensing laws and simple criminal law. Other people using his identity are committing fraud and he is violating laws that require a good faith exam before prescribing and certifying them as sick is both fraud and treating without a good faith exam. It shouldn’t be hard for Walker to get the Medical Board looking into this.

    I wish I could be there but we are having a nice snow in California. Grandkids love it.

  8. MK – there is video out now of the people handing out the sick slips. I don’t know if these are legit doctors, legit sick slips, or just a bunch of local actors. If they are MD’s they are in for a world of hurt next week.

  9. Yeah, I saw them. They think they will get away with it but it is fraud and Walker appoints the Medical Board. I hope somebody is going around and videoing the docs and getting copies of sick slips.

  10. Dan from Madison

    Walker could also place a courtesy call to the the senate minority leader and tell him that they have 24 hours to get back in session, or the non budgetary bills start to get rammed through.

    You are a nicer person than I am. I figure at this point that the concept of a Democrat deserving of courtesy is an ontological contradiction of terms; especially in Wisconsin. Your mileage may vary. I’d let him find out when his minions call him and tell him that the hearings have been scheduled … in about 10 minutes.

    While we are pondering items for an Article IV quorum; I’ll see your concealed carry and raise you our Colorado “Shall Issue” concealed carry plus our “Make My Day” law! Details on request.

    Subotai Bahadur

  11. the most important lesson to take away from this episode is that you might as well go “all in” against the unions from the get-go, as they will always react with the same vehemence.

  12. CJM is absolutely right.

    They will come back at you with everything they have no matter what your opening move is.

    So your opening move should always be maximalist, going for as much as you can conceivably get.

    There is zero percentage in ever doing anything less.

  13. Dan from Madison – I am in NE WI. I will be in Madison on Wed for an event at which Governor Walker is scheduled to address. I am almost certain he will get a sustained standing ovation. I have civil war in my family as I have two daughters and a son-in-law who are public school teachers. I tried to lovingly counsel them at the start of this to be careful because their union was going to lead them to slaughter. I said the second they tell you to “take it to the streets”, run the other way because it will be over. I explained my unscientific theory of politics today. My 40, 40, 20 – 40% right mind made up, 40% left mind made up and 20% you have to win to win (actually it is probably 45, 45, 10; but I thought the point was more important). The 20% watch actions more than they listen to words and the “going to the streets/out of school” is not going to sit well with those 20% who went to work and especially those who had to scramble to make arrangements for their kids (with the exception of Madison, of course who live in another realm of reality, sorry Dan). Based on the limited sample of our 39 employees I was right (even the Obama fans had trouble swallowing this one). So Dad’s next word of advise to them was and always has been – show up for work, no matter what and always tell the truth. They showed up for work! Their union is telling them they are winning … oh the sheep going to slaughter.

  14. Subotai Bahadur: You have a good point about the other legislation. This is a redistricting year. So if the Dem Senators are going to be away, it would be a good time to take up redistricting.

  15. To our conservative friends in Illinois, I sincerely apologize to you for driving 14 more Democrats to your state. Apparently, Minnesota and Iowa were all full up. And by the way, you are welcome to keep them, at least mine, please.

  16. Local school boards are often the creatures of the teachers. It’s not unusual to see retired teachers, teachers’ spouses, and members of friendly unions as either the majority or at least the largest bloc on the school committee. I suspect they will get away with this. In a just world, anyone bringing in a note from one of these doctors mass-producing excuses would be fired on the spot for theft, since they would forfeit a day’s pay without an excuse for absence.

  17. The unions, and of course The One, and all of their associated collectivist lackeys are going ‘all in’ on this because they recognize very clearly the stakes.
    So, too should we.
    This is among the very very few times I’ve regretted moving from N Illinois to AZ last year: because I’d be taking a ‘sick day’ to go to Madison yesterday, and again Monday to participate in the conservative counterdemonstrations. The biased queries and coverage from CNN and CBS sicken me, but do not surprise me in the least.
    My greatest fear is that Gov Walker and his staff will have a ‘McCain Moment’ (“My friends, I believe we can reach across the aisle and find a comfortable middle ground…”). I don’t see Walker as a squish however, and I believe he also recognizes that his career—or, more precisely, how the electorate in WI and elsewhere perceive him—depends upon his actions this week and this month. He can be another Chris Christie; he can be a RINO. Praying for another Christie.

    Many excellent suggestions above: including very short fair warning to the Democrats that the work of the Legislature is about to resume on Tuesday. As a Texan acquaintance of mine once said, “We can do it for you, with you or TO you—your choice.” And, so it is.

  18. I assume the teachers are employed by local school districts, not the Executive Branch of the State. So, Walker does not have the power to fire them. He might direct his Education Depty. to investigate the school closings that are union-driven, and if law permits, look at whether such districts have foregone any of their State assistance as by reducing instructional days.

    Beyond that, just to go through with the rest of the program, which is that the State will appropriate what it can afford, which Walker is on record as saying implies 5500-6000 State layoffs and severe budget pinches at the local recipients of (reduced) State aid. Then let them sort it out–layoffs, tax increases at the local level, try to re-open contracts for givebacks… whatever.

    If the Dems continue to deny a Senate quorum, some recall elections, plus there will be NO appropriation for the new FY and everyone shuts down.

    Escalation is politically risky, legally questionable, and appears to me to be unnecessary.

    Subsidiarity and natural consequences. No need to “send massages” or “make a point,” just do what you have to do and let the others sort it out. The teachers and complicit school boards are the ones who want someone else’s (State) money, if the someone else just refuses to give it to them, the problem is addressed from the State’s point of view. Ditto for the State employees, if the issue is really budget, just appropriate what you can and lay off to make up the gap. Yes, that implies some reduced services but after the last week no one will be fooled about who is responsible.

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