5 thoughts on “Wisconsin Supremes

  1. Woke to news this morning that the Dem leadership in the NJ legislature have made a secret deal with Christie to essentially do what Scott Walker did through more open raw power.

    WNYC reporter said it looked like Sweeney, also a union guy (ironworkers), had decided that the public has bought the Repub propaganda that civil servants are the enemy so he’s better off kicking them under the bus for the coming elections.

    Hell’s bells. NJ Dems have folded like cheap lawn chairs?

    Developing….

  2. Just listened to brief segment about the agreement between ALL the top legislative leaders and Chris Christie. A point was made that Christie wanted to hit public employees (that’s all public employees in the state) with paying 30% of their cost of their health insurance premiums. Up from 1.5% of their salary/wages. Apparently, the brave Dems got a sliding scale of percentage of health insurance premiums, with 30% being paid by people making above, and this is not firm, $80K.

    There are limitations on what public employees can bargain for — the reporter on as a guest was not good at summarizing points, so not sure what is in and what is out.

    I think pension payments go up quite a bit, but not sure.

    I need to find some print summaries. Any readers know more?

  3. I saw the NJEA ad about Sweeney agreeing with Christie and that benefiting a close supporter and big donor of Sweeney’s. I was confused, as I hadn’t heard anything about any agreements at that point. Also, I was surprised because I knew Sweeney was a Democrat.

    Wednesday the New Jersey Education Association – the largest in the state, representing nearly 200,000 teachers – released a television advertisement trying to discredit the legislation as politically tainted by highlighting the relationship between Sweeney and South Jersey power broker George Norcross.

    “If the legislation is approved by the committee, it will be proof positive that the interests of the party bosses are more important to this Legislature than the interests of the state’s taxpayers,” the president of the teachers’ union, Barbara Keshishian, said Wednesday at a Trenton news conference.

    The union, opposed to changing health benefits through legislation rather than negotiation, focused on a short provision in the 120-page bill that would bar public workers from using out-of-state hospitals unless there “is no in-state health care provider reasonably available to treat the particular condition.”

    Norcross is the head of a health insurance brokerage with strong business ties in the state and chairman of the Cooper Health System and Cooper University Hospital in Camden.

    The union claims the provision was tucked into the bill to help raise profits at Cooper and other state hospitals, without regard to public workers who would prohibited from using highly regarded hospitals in New York City and Philadelphia.

    Sweeney has already removed a provision that would have blocked local governments from entering the state health plan after an article published in The New York Times questioned how the measure would financially benefit Norcross, Sweeney’s longtime political patron.

    But the overall agreement has much more in it.

    A teacher calling in to WNYC’s program said there would be an immediate cut in takehome pay for public employees, due to higher payments toward health insurance and pensions, but the big kicker is that there will no cost of living adjustments for pensions. That is a huge impact on retirement security and quality of life.

  4. The Star Ledger has video of the NJEA ad against Sweeney. Very few details of the agreement.

    From the article:

    Thousands of union workers are expected to rally at the Statehouse on Thursday in an effort to block what they see as a crucial blow to collective bargaining rights in the state.

    NJEA Executive Director Vince Giordano said Democrats are making a “very, very dangerous mistake” by backing the bill.

    “It is party who has seem to lost its way in terms of middle-class values, working people values, ” he said. “That is the base of the Democratic Party and when they take issues of this nature and try to out-Christie Christie on it, I think they are losing their base.” (My emphasis)

    Ya think???

    The Dem Party is rotting away as we watch….

  5. Comment from WNYC’s segment on cutting public employee’s benefits:

    Rusty-Dab
    A proposal: Let state gov’ts unilaterally adjust all the contracts they have with corporations and private businesses to lower the payments they must make. And, when businesses complain that the states are violating contract agreements, we say to them “Don’t you get it? Everyone has to sacrifice.”
    Jun. 16 2011 10:29 AM

    Like that’ll happen….

    Remember, when the the powerful talk about “shared sacrifice,” they mean you sacrifice and they share in the savings.

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