CommunityFDL Main Blog

Late Night: Give More Power to the Elected Officials

King Chess Piece

King piece in chess. Taken by Enoch Lau on 25 December 2003.

Yeah, that’ll fix it. Quoth Wisconsin’s slightly less creepy Scott, State Sen. Fitzgerald, when faced with a roomful of angry union folks asking why on earth they have suddenly become Public Enemy Number One:

Lucy Walter, a Fort Atkinson Middle School teacher, reiterated Fitzgerald’s earlier comment about the squeaky wheel getting the grease.

“I felt like when we went to Madison we were squeaking really loudly,” she said.

Walter pointed out that many teachers unions, AFSCME and other unions have agreed to the concessions on insurance and retirement.

“That is part of our salary,” Walter said. ” When the squeaky wheel said ‘please don’t take away our union rights,’ why did you do that?”

Fitzgerald very pointedly noted that collective bargaining is “not some type of human right.” He further stated that it was implemented by the state Legislature in 1971.

“Since 1971, it is has been tipped away from the elected officials toward the contract and the unions,” the senator said. “Certainly, what we think we should be able to do is simply claw back on that and give more power to the elected officials.”

This illustrates something about the Wisconsin debate I find endlessly interesting: Just how not ready for prime time any of these people are. First Walker gets punked by some dude pretending to be a Koch-hole, then they run the assembly debates like they’re first-timers at student council, then they all say some stuff during the Supreme Court election that makes you wonder if student council couldn’t teach them a thing or two, and now this.

Give more power to the elected officials. Yes. Of course, honey. In the history of the world that has never worked out badly. Also, aren’t you supposed to be a Republican? Give more power to the elected officials?

Speaking of not ready for prime time, this made me laugh out loud:

In addition to several statements on the budget-repair bill or the budget itself, among the primary complaints was the senator’s apparent lack of response to attempted contacts during at least the past two months.

A telephone number listed on Fitzgerald’s website as a district number apparently was a disconnected fax number.

“We typically get about 10 to 15 contacts per day and we are able to respond to those through e-mail, and obviously, we send out regular letters to people in response to their concerns,” the senator said.

So awesome.


Previous post

An official retread entry! Mitt jumps into the 2012 GOP Clown Car

Next post

Meep, meep.

Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel

Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Holden, Jude and Scout. She is the author of the books Chicago's Historic Irish Pubs (2011, Arcadia Publishing, with Mike Danahey) and It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal, about a great liberal journalism institution (2007, Heritage Books). She also edited the anthology “Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War” (2005, William, James & Co.) Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.