Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is frustrated over the political standoff over his legislation to strip away collective bargaining from most public employees.
Walker’s frustration comes, in part, from recent polls showing the Wisconsin citizenry siding with public employees. The most recent poll comes from the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute:
Bargaining rights: […] Exactly half of the respondents (50 percent) say that public employees are willing to compromise on pensions and benefits but limiting bargaining rights does nothing to balance the state’s budget situation and is really just an attempt to get rid of public employee unions. Forty-three percent say the proposed changes are a necessary reform because they will give local governments greater flexibility to control their budgets over several years.
Walker: Slightly more than half (53 percent) of the respondents have a somewhat or strongly unfavorable opinion of Walker while 43 percent have a somewhat or strongly favorable opinion of him. In a November WPRI poll shortly after Walker was elected, a slightly higher percentage (45 percent) had a somewhat or strongly favorable opinion of him while 35 percent had a somewhat or strongly unfavorable opinion of him and 20 percent either didn’t know or had never heard of him.
Almost two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) say he should compromise with Democrats and public employee unions while one-third (33 percent) say he should stand strong no matter how long protests last.
Other bad news for Walker is the relatively pro-worker sentiment expressed by a majority of those polled:
Laying off State workers: Two thirds (66 percent) are somewhat or strongly opposed while 30 percent are somewhat or strongly in favor. […]
Public employee unions: In the most recent poll, almost six out of ten respondents (59 percent) had a somewhat or strongly favorable opinion of public employee unions. Thirty-four percent had a somewhat or strongly unfavorable opinion.
Little wonder that Walker is frustrated. He thought he could cram his extremist anti-worker legislation through the legislative process without anyone really noticing. Instead, his actions have placed him in the ideological spotlight. The recent polls tell us that Wisconsinites don’t like what they see.
Walker held a press conference today, and tried to take his frustration out on Mark Miller (D), the Senate Minority Leader and de facto leader of the self-exiled Senators:
[…] Walker wielded Sunday night’s report from the Wall Street Journal, which reported Miller as saying the Dems would come back — and which Miller and the Dems quickly distanced themselves from — as evidence that Miller had misled people.
On multiple occasions, Walker said that Miller was in effect following the word of labor union leaders — and he imagined that there might have been some sort of secret phone calls.
Later in the conference, Walker said that Miller “appears to be listening more to the labor union bosses in Washington than he does to members of his own caucus.” He again maintained that Miller had told the Wall Street Journal that he would come home, “and then after he got the phone call from labor unions in Washington or whatever it was,” had changed his tune.
Wait…he “imagines” a “secret phone call?” From out of state? Calling the shots?
That’s rich stuff, coming from a guy who actually took a phone call from out-of-state billionaire David Koch! At least, that’s who Walker thought he was talking to on the phone.
Yes…this is classic Wingnut projection: Whatever we actually do, we will accuse the Democrats of doing and hope nobody notices.
Walker also later said: “I’m not sure, I can only speculate. But I have to assume that some of those labor leaders who have invested millions and millions into this state got on the phone with Sen. Miller and told him, you cannot budge.”
See what I mean?