When asked by a Sunday talk show host about he absence of 14 Wisconsin Democrat state senators, Governor Scott Walker replied,"If you want to participate in democracy, you have to show up in the arena."
Wisconsin has the strongest civil service protections of any state. Collective bargaining began in Wisconsin for public employee unions since 1959.
I guess it's only fair that Speaker of the House Boehner weighed in on the situation, since President Obama did last week:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) issued a statement backing Walker's proposal, saying governors like Walker "are daring to speak the truth about the dire fiscal challenges Americans face at all levels of government, and daring to commit themselves to solutions that will liberate our economy and help put our citizens on a path to prosperity."
As former Supreme Court Justice Brandeis said, the states are the "laboratories of democracy".
This battle for Wisconsin's budget woes will continue on into states like Indiana and Ohio. Both have Republican governors looking to make some tough choices. Both are states Barack Obama needs to win re-election in 2012.
The union rent-a-mobs are being quite blunt about their marching orders from the bosses in Washington, D.C. : Jeff Rae, 30, who works for the Transport Workers Union in Washington, said he arrived in Madison to gather intelligence on the controversy. His union sees Wisconsin as the first in a series of battles nationwide, he said.
"This is Ground Zero," Rae said. "Ohio's next."
Like Wisconsin, Ohio is looking to cuts in spending to balance its budget. In Ohio, however, the odds are seen favoring organized labor more than in Wisconsin, Rae said.
We're watching. Will the people of Wisconsin allow unions and President Obama run the state or do they allow the state politicians led by the Governor do what they were elected to do?