Monday, October 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

On Wisconsin

Wisconsin Governor might be setting the template for other state budgets.

On Wisconsin

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Yo. See what's happening in the Badger State?

BE: People are getting badgered?

JB: Union people are. And the new Republican governor there, Scott Walker, sounds serious. He wants to change the way the state deals with public-employee unions. Check out this story from the Wisconsin State Journal. Looks like change is coming.

BE: Change we can believe in?

JB: If you're not a union member, maybe.

BE: What's he saying?

JB: He's saying there won't be any contract negotiations because there's no money. He saying expired bargaining agreements will be canceled in a month. He's saying union workers' pension costs and health insurance will go up. He's saying the only thing they can negotiate is salary.

BE: Well received?

JB: Well, he's receiving new titles: "dictator," "union-buster."

BE: Sounds like lawsuits and strikes are on the way.

JB: Maybe so. But he's also saying he'll call out the National Guard to, for example, man prisons if corrections employees attempted work stoppages.

BE: Wow, just like the 1930s! Must be tough times in Wisconsin.

JB: The deficit there is $3.6 billion. The deficit here in PA is estimated at $4 billion or more.

BE: Uh-oh.

JB: Exactly. Keep your eye on this one. Could be the start of a trend.

BE: Could be a line in the sand.

JB: Could be one side singing "On Wisconsin" and the other side singing "Which Side Are You On?"

BE: Harlan County, USA? Don't scab for the bosses. Don't listen to their lies. Poor folks ain't got a chance unless they organize. Which side are you on, boys? Which side are you on?

JB: That's the one.

BE: I hope Gov. Corbett doesn't bring in the Pinkertons.

JB: Grrrr.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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