Dem Reich: Walker Will Pay Politically for Vote

Wednesday, 09 Mar 2011 10:02 PM

By Hiram Reisner

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Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich says Wednesday night’s Wisconsin vote is another example of governors “trampling on the rights of working people, making a mockery of democracy, and a mockery of the rule of law.”

"In Wisconsin, the governor [Scott Walker] has exposed himself,” Reich said on MSNBC. “I mean, after all, his whole justification for getting rid of most of the bargaining rights of state workers was to save money. But in order to ram this particular piece of legislation through the state Senate, they had to characterize it as having nothing to do with the budget at all. I think the governor is going to pay a huge political price for this.”

Reich was asked how the Wisconsin Senate’s action to limit public workers’ collective bargaining might impact other states.

“I think that in Ohio, [Gov.] John Kasich is probably encouraged by what Walker did, or by what Walker is doing,” Reich said. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if governors in New Jersey … and also in Indiana and other Midwestern states – where you have Republican governors, who believe they are in the ascendancy – take some courage from all of this, and feel that actually Governor Walker is going to make headway, at least among Republicans and conservatives.

“But I do think that the American public does not like this kind of extremism,” said former President Bill Clinton’s labor secretary. “And Republicans both at the state level – and also Republicans who are threatening a shutdown of the federal government – risk turning the public off.”


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