While we know that Wisconsin residents are up in arms in regards to Gov. Scott Walker’s Budget Repair Bill, it would be interesting to know how many of those who voted Walker into office are amongst those protesting. Asked their opinions and experiences on the protests, the budget bill, collective bargaining and their choice for governor, they provided the following responses via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail:
“I wouldn’t say I voted for Walker more than I voted against Barrett. I’ve read a lot of stuff lately concerning this matter…. I do not think it is unreasonable for state employees to have to provide more % towards pension and health insurance. I would question the stripping of bargaining rights, but I also see small towns and districts being ‘held hostage’ to union wage increases when they simply cannot afford them. Why not try putting more control into the local hands? If it’s a dramatic failure then Democrats will sweep the next elections and can change it back. I have plenty of friends that are teachers…. I asked them this ‘How is it that when I see your union leader on TV they are only concerned about the bargaining rights, but when I talk to you (teachers) you guys are more concerned about less take home pay?’. If Doyle and his administration would have had some guts and addressed these issues, instead of using our $2 BILLION federal stimulus money to balance his budget, we wouldn’t be in this situation. I wouldn’t change my vote based on info today, I think Barrett was in the same tax & spend mold as Doyle. The protests do not bother me at all, that is what makes USA different than Egypt and Libya. I do not necessarily care to see people from out of state being brought in here to protest though. if you don’t pay taxes here go protest somewhere else (Jesse Jackson). ” – John LaMont, Abbotsford
“I did vote for Scott Walker, but I can not support his current move to limit the negotiating power of any union. For me, this is not an economic issue. It is a human rights issue. The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that ‘(e)veryone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.’ How can we hold every other nation in the world to this standard, yet step back from it ourselves? I fully support the protests. Not because of pay and benefit issues, but because they are faced with being stripped of one of their basic human rights.” — Jennifer Lincoln-Lewis Nienhaus, Inventory Planner, Waukesha
“I did vote for Scott Walker, and I do support his bill for the most part. I did not participate in any demonstrations either for or against the bill. Teachers and other state workers have a job to do. Teachers in particular have other people, both students and parents, depending on them. Many parents were left with having to take work off themselves (some without pay I am sure) or find childcare on very short notice and I do not find that to be very fair to them. In addition, students will have to make up those days somewhere, and it interrupted their learning ‘cycle’. The elementary school students cannot really understand what this is all about, so I find the rationale of ‘we’re teaching them about democracy and to stand up for what they believe in’ to be kind of hollow.
“I was surprised to learn what is included in collective bargaining beside what you would expect – wages, health care, pension, sick days – but also things like class size. I honestly did not know class size was something that teachers could bargain for. I also learned about how and where the pension and teachers’ health care comes from (the state and for most school districts, the union’s health insurance division provides the insurance – that sounds like a conflict of interest to me). I did not know that the state takes the union dues deduction from paychecks and forwards to the unions. (I think that is wrong – the union members should pay the union themselves.) This whole thing has been quite a learning experience for me.” – Amy Holzinger, Web Developer, Waukesha
“I work for the UW system and I support Gov. Walker’s budget. The union perks and pensions are unsustainable, folks. Instead of all the griping, we need to be grateful for even having a job. All you have to do is look around you and see how many have lost homes and jobs. I was at the capitol on Sat. carrying the American flag. As I walked past the protestors and headed for the Tea Party rally, a protestor told me to give him my flag so he could wipe his a–. I’m so proud of all that have sacrificed for us and proud of our Governor and the Senators standing with him.” – Carie Kendrick, Milwaukee