In Light of His Attack on Public Workers, Does Scott Walker’s Employee Recognition Program Make Him Two-Faced?

By Richard Thayer

Well, Governor Scott Walker continues to give middle class working families the back of his hand in Wisconsin. The latest slap in the face came this past Thursday when he signed a bill overturning Milwaukee’s paid sick leave law.

The law was passed back in 2008 with a clear majority — 70 percent — voting for the law. Upset with the election results, Milwaukee’s corporate interests filed a law suit against the measure. It finally made its way to the state’s Court of Appeals which upheld the validity of the law this past March.

In order to curry favor with his corporate benefactors, Governor Walker overrode the court’s decision Thursday by signing a bill disallowing all Wisconsin communities from approving ordinances requiring paid sick days.

By voiding a law passed by 70 percent of the voters, Walker and his cronies have said most emphatically that the will of the majority is not nearly as important as the will of their corporate bosses.

But that’s not all.

The Huffington Post reported over the weekend that the Republican-run Senate in Wisconsin is now busy attempting to cram several years’ of their agenda through the legislature in a matter of weeks. Why the hurry? It’s because of the numerous recall elections slated for Republicans later this year, with the first coming up as soon as early July.

Those recall elections could quite possibly give the Democrats control of the Senate, which the Republicans now control by a 19 to 14 margin.

Writes Kevin Kennedy, chairman of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board: “There has been no time for the careful evaluation and vetting needed to ensure the best options for voters and election officials is enacted.”

In addition to a number of Republican-favored laws, there is also the possibility that they could act again on the governor’s scheme to strip public employees of their collective bargaining rights.

And, on top of all that, the governor has set up a new State Employee Recognition awards program. He says he has initiated this as a way of saying thanks to all of the state’s hard-working, dedicated employees.  Isn’t that sweet? He kind of reminds me of one of those Batman villians. No, it’s not the Joker. It’s the one called Two-Face.

To commemorate the Employee Recognition Program Walker has appointed James R. Scott as his new Commissioner and chairman of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. The WERC is the oversight body charged with settling disputes between government workers and management. Mr. Scott is a member of the Milwaukee law firm of Linder & Marsack, which specializes in busting unions.


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