Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Kleefisch attacks collective bargaining in new ad

By Eric W. Dolan
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 17:20 EDT
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Wisconsin’s Lieutenant Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) released a video advertisement on Tuesday attacking collective bargaining rights for public employees.

Kleefisch and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are facing the possibility of a recall for their controversial “budget repair bill,” which stripped nearly all collective bargaining rights from public employees.

“Here is how collective bargaining effects your checkbook,” she says in the ad. “The government is constantly dipping into your wallet: sales tax, property tax, income tax. Those all go to fund government.”

“Government employees get together in unions in order to ask for all kinds of things,” Kleefisch continues. “They call that collective bargaining. In collective bargaining in Wisconsin, unions have told their employers — you, the taxpayer — that in Wausau they don’t want any volunteer crossing-guards. They want to pay a union employee to do it.”

“In Racine county, they don’t want private contractors to clear away snow in a big blizzard, they want only union employees to do it, even if that snow doesn’t get cleared in time for the morning commute.”

Kleefisch says in the ad that restricting the collective bargaining rights of public employees allows Wisconsin to lower taxes.

“So when you open your property tax bill this year and you see that it’s been frozen, you know that the changes to collective bargaining have affected your bottom line, and just in time for Christmas,” she concludes.

The collective bargaining power of workers is a key bulwark for American laborers, who’ve often been forced to organize throughout U.S. history to force management into offering better pay, health insurance, greater job security, vacation time or even maternity leave. Without collective bargaining, the power of unionized workers is reduced to their last and most extreme tool in their set: the strike.

The attack on collective bargaining rights sparked massive protests and set off unprecedented recall campaigns against Republican and Democratic Wisconsin state senators. Democrats ended up gaining two seats in the Senate after defeating incumbent Republicans in recall elections on August 9, but fell short of the three seats needed to gain a majority.

In a previous ad, Kleefisch urged voters not to sign recall petitions against herself and Walker because the special election would cost “about 7.7 million dollars.”

Watch the ad, uploaded to YouTube, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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