Friday, April 28, 2006

The sleep of the damned

After a marathon legislative session last night in which the Wisconsin State Assembly narrowly passed a much watered down version of TABOR, our assembly representatives are surely sleeping the sleep of the damned. I'm sure that when a lot of citizens of Wisconsin awoke this morning to hear the news that the assembly had spent another vampire session in the dark of night passing bad legislation, a lot of folks yelled out, "Damn those legislators!" all over the state. I personally yelled so loud that I scared one of my cats.

It will be the State Senate's turn next week. Oshkosh's State Senator, Carol Roessler is still on the fence on TABOR. C'mon Carol, make up your mind. In the words of George W Bush, "You're either with us or against us". If you want to help Carol make up her mind, call her at 888-736-8720.

This Labor Chick's opinion is that if legislators such as Frank Lasee, who believes that TABOR is necessary because state legislators can't control themselves personally to not spend taxpayer's money, (therefore we need to have controls permanently put in place in the state constitution to in essence, let us do their job for them) should let us help them along in their quest to not spend our money and let us kick them out of office in the voting booth. Why is it that those folks don't want to do the job we hired them to do? Is it perhaps because they would rather be up to other mischief, such as attempting to write discrimination into the state constitution, forcing women into unwanted pregnancies by attempting to curtail their access to birth control, and letting people carry weapons into places of worship and libraries? What the hell is wrong with these people? Are these really the folks who represent the prevailing opinions of the residents of the state of Wisconsin? If it is, maybe I better find a new state to live in, because that's just scary.

Rant over, for only the moment.......


Friday, April 21, 2006

To TABOR or not to TABOR, that is the question...and other rants

It's kind of fun watching the Republicans in the Wisconsin State Legislature fight over who has the better TABOR/TPA proposal these days. The really unfortunate part is that if they're not careful, someone is going to get hurt, most likely public employees, the whipping boy of the State Legislature. We are encouraged that two of them, state Sens. Sheila Harsdorf and Ron Brown have sort of come to their senses and said, whoa, maybe we shouldn't put this bad legislation into the state constitution. That being said, it's still bad legislation no matter what way it's put into effect--but at least it's easier to get rid of if it's not in the state constitution.

Our opinion is that TABOR/TPA in the form of a constitutional amendment is a cop-out by the elected officials in the State Legislature. They were put there to do a job and part of that job is to reconcile the state budget every couple of years. If they don't wanna do it any more, they can be replaced by new people who want to.

If you out there in blog-land want to help fight this, call your state Senator and Assembly person ASAP and register your opinion on TABOR/TPA. It's going to be coming up for a vote in the next week or so. Oshkosh's state Sen. Carol Roessler has been an apparent fence-sitter for a couple of years on TABOR. Either that or she just doesn't want to share her opinion with her constituents. It's time to push her off that fence so that at least we know which way she's going to vote. I think she owes us that much. I mean, how long does it take to read this stuff and understand what a mistake it would be to lead us down the potholed road Colorado is now on?

One more rant--if the legislators of Wisconsin are so concerned about how much tax money is being spent every year, why don't they vote to stop the per diems they can claim just for going to work every day? I don't get the chance at $44 or $88 extra dollars every day just for showing up at work. It wouldn't be much money that would be restored to the state budget if they gave them up, but sometimes it's the symbolism that's important. That and rewrite the legislation restoring tax fairness to the state of Wisconsin so that the tax burden is not increasingly put upon individual/family taxpayers. Corporations should pay their fair share and not be able to get around it with all the loopholes in the tax laws that are out there.

You can find your state legislator's email/phone numbers here:


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"Godfather" of the 2nd Assembly District

The Labor Chicks took some of their personal vacation time to attend the previously mentioned TABOR forum at UW Fox Valley on April 11. One of the featured speakers was the "godfather" of TABOR in Wisconsin, 2nd Assembly District Representative Frank Lasee. It was apparent to this Labor Chick that the "godfather" seems intent on putting out a hit on employees who work for state, counties and municipalities all across Wisconsin. Mr. Lasee is a real piece of work and I believe he showed everyone in the room how much he would like to lord the power the voters of the 2nd Assembly district have granted him by putting him into office over all of the rest of the good people of the state. I have to give him this much, he surely knows how to offend a wide range of people all at once just by opening his mouth. I tried pointing out to him after the forum, before he could get away, that the people who will be hurt by this ill-conceived legislation, are ordinary working people who genuinely care about their jobs and the people they serve. Can't blame a girl for trying, but I believe what I said to him won't matter much in the long run. His mind is made up and there's no getting any new ideas in there.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006 more thing on Library Workers

"I really didn't realize the librarians were, you know, such a dangerous group. ... You think they're just sitting at the desk, all quiet and everything. They're like plotting the revolution, man. I wouldn't mess with them." Michael Moore

National Library Workers Day

Today, April 4th, is National Library Workers Day - a day to celebrate the fact that "Libraries Work Because We Do".

I can remember over a decade ago, a small group of library support staff (those without their Masters degree) from around the country were discussing the fact that there was a day for Nurse's and "Administrative Professionals" other professions, but, nothing for Library Workers. This group of "Support Staff" activists along with the now out of print "Library Mosaics" magazine did something about it and held the first Library Workers Day. Today, the American Library Association recognizes the Tuesday of National Library Week as Library Workers Day and celebrates all of those who work in libraries and make information available to all, no matter how rich or poor you are.

Just another example of how a small group of people can make a change!

What does this have to do with Unions you might ask. Well, AFSCME International is the first union to have a committee for Library Workers and as a result of that Committee's work, is one of the major sponsors of Library Workers Day. Here are a couple of links to the AFSCME website and the ALA website about Library Workers Day.

In the meantime, go to your library and thank your favorite worker there and help Celebrate National Library Week!

UW Oshkosh Polk Library will be holding it's 2nd Used Book Sale on Wednesday April 5 in conjunction with National Library Week. Stop by and see what kind of interesting items are available for sale, as low as 50 cents a piece! For more information, go to


Monday, April 03, 2006


TABOR Fight Enters Final Month
Source: John Keckhaver, Wisconsin Council on Children & Families

While the legislative session is winding down for the year, the new version of TABOR, dubbed the Taxpayer Protection Amendment, will likely still be voted on, either in a limited floor period in late April or early May, or in an extraordinary session. With legislators wanting to get home for the upcoming campaign season we believe the limited floor period is when the Taxpayer Protection Amendment will be brought to the floor of both houses for a vote.
That means we're entering the final month or so in this fight against one of the worst policy ideas to hit the state in a long time. A lot of people believe that a defeat this session could spell the end of TABOR in Wisconsin. They may well be right.

A number of legislators are holding information sessions or listening sessions in their districts over the next month. They need to hear about the ill-effects such a draconian constitutional amendment would have on Wisconsin, on critical social services that impact children and families around the state, on job-creation and workforce development efforts, and on our education and health care systems.

We will send out notices whenever we learn of new hearings or listening sessions in your area that you can attend and that you can spread the word about. Here is a couple we just learned of:

Upcoming Forum in Fox Valley on Newest TABOR Proposal
When: Tuesday, 11 April 2006 @ 12:10 pmWhere: UW-Fox Valley Student Union, 1478 Midway Road, Menasha, WIWith Whom: Rep. Frank Lasee and UW-Fox Valley Dean Jim Perry will present alternate views and there will be time for audience questions and participation. There will be a moderator.What you can do: Show up and ask the hard questions that have yet to be answered by TPA proponents such as: what do you think is going to happen to Medicaid access for the elderly and the poor, what is going to happen to the cost of a UW education, and so on.

As always, for a quick look at TABOR/TP talking points, the Council's testimony given at the first public hearing on TP, along with other information on the proposals, click here:

SEPAC Note: You can also read AFSCME's testimony and learn more about TABOR / TPA by visiting the SEPAC website at: