Minnesota GOP may renew efforts to curb unions | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

One of the big questions of Minnesota’s 2012 legislative session was whether the Republican majority in the Legislature would ask voters to decide whether unions could require all workers to belong to a union and pay dues.

Lawmakers never voted on the question, in large part because of concerns that the state’s labor unions would spend millions to defeat the proposal and those who helped put it on the ballot. But supporters of the so-called right to work amendment say Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in Tuesday’s recall election should give them the courage to follow through with the plans.

“If you say you’re going to do something and you stick to it and do it and it works, you will be rewarded in politics,” state Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, said of Walker’s victory.

Organized labor targeted Walker after he pushed through a plan that stripped collective bargaining rights from many public employees. Walker survived the recall vote, defeating his Democratic opponent, Tom Barrett, by several percentage points.

Walker’s victory could have ramifications for Minnesota.

Thompson, one of the biggest backers of the right to work amendment, said Republicans should follow through with that proposal and other efforts that would dramatically cut state spending.

“My belief is that had we done the same thing that Scott Walker did and stood up to the clamoring in the halls of the Capitol and put that on the ballot this fall, not only would we have survived it, but we would have been rewarded for it,” Thompson said. “And it would have passed.”

House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, said he also is emboldened by Walker’s victory. He said Republicans will continue to oppose tax increases, and he suggested public employees will be targeted if Republicans retain control of the Legislature this fall.

“As far as public sector unions — whether it’s state workers or teachers unions — they should not have a different set of standards that are above and beyond the taxpayers that are actually funding their salaries and funding their benefits,” Zellers said. “The days of a gold-plated government versus what an average Minnesotan gets paid, I think, are gone.”

But several public employee union leaders say Republicans are reading the wrong message from the Wisconsin elections.

Jim Monroe, president of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, said Minnesota is not Wisconsin. He said the recall election in Wisconsin was largely about Walker and his opponent.

“Wisconsin is a unique situation — just like any intense election like that is — and the far right is reading way too much into the results,” Monroe said. “They’ve been looking for an issue and I guess the voters of Wisconsin gave them one.”

Monroe and other union leaders say they’ll work to elect candidates who support union rights.

Gov. Mark Dayton said the results in Wisconsin show that the state is closely divided, much like Minnesota. But he said it’s hard to read too much into the results because the campaign in Wisconsin was a referendum on Walker.

“A recall is just that,” Dayton said. “You’re voting for or against that person continuing in office. There are similarities with issues given his actions and what Republicans have proposed in Minnesota, but I don’t know how to apply what happened yesterday to Minnesota in November.”

Some other union leaders insist that the Wisconsin outcome has energized their members to work to ensure that the changes Walker made there do not happen in Minnesota. The election in November will be a key test of that theory, because control of the Legislature is up for grabs.

via Minnesota GOP may renew efforts to curb unions | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota.

Firefighters union files grievance with city » Breaking News » The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — An effort to reduce overtime is creating a safety hazard for the general public, as well as firefighters, says Jon Smith, president of Anderson Fire Fighters Local 1262.

Smith presented his complaint to the Anderson Board of Public Safety on Thursday; a grievance was filed with the city April 24.

According to Smith, the Fire Department has attempted to cut costs by short staffing four city fire stations.

Instead of having five firefighters at each station (three assigned to a fire engine, and two assigned to ambulance) as required under union contract, Smith said the department now only requires three firefighters, with firefighters shuffling between both vehicles.

Mayor Kevin Smith has asked all city departments to reduce expenses by 20 percent. In a previous interview, Chief Phil Rogers said that would require the department to fire 30 firefighters. Instead, he said he would cut back on overtime expenses.

However, Jon Smith questions whether the city really is in a “financial crisis,” and if the cuts are really necessary.

With the shortened staffs, Smith said there will be times when stations will be completely unmanned, because firefighters are out on runs.

“This puts the public and fire personnel at risk,” Smith said.

Not only are fire stations a safe haven, Smith said, but they are places citizens should expect to receive help. In addition, Smith said the shortened staffs will slow response times.

County Council member John Bostic, who served on the Board of Public Safety under former mayor Kris Ockomon, said his mother and wife were recently assisted, on separate occasions, by the Fire Department’s ambulance service.

“It was because of their fast response times, that my mother and my wife are still here,” Bostic said.

Bostic said he was familiar with the challenges facing the board, but warned them not to do anything that would jeopardize public safety.

Board chairman Bruce Dunham called the grievance a “serious concern,” and that the board would need further time to investigate.

Smith advised Dunham that he had 10 business days to respond to the grievance.

♦ Police officer files grievance after being relegated to front desk duties

Anderson police officer Ryan Geer has also filed a grievance with the city.

According to Geer, Chief Larry Crenshaw assigned him to front desk duties at the department as a “cooling off period” as the city attorney assessed several pending lawsuits filed against him.

As a result, Geer said he has been denied overtime opportunities.

Geer claims he is being discriminated against, because there are other officers with pending lawsuits, but none of them have been taken off their regular assignments.

Geer said front desk duties are generally assigned as a method of punishment. He said all but one of the lawsuits have been dropped against him. Also, he added, all of the lawsuits have been filed by Anderson attorney Lisa DeLey, which is unusual that they would all come from the same lawyer.

The Board of Public Safety has 30 days to respond to Geer’s grievance.

via Firefighters union files grievance with city » Breaking News » The Herald Bulletin.

Police Union Partly Settles With City Over NATO Overtime Pay | Progress Illinois

The Chicago Fraternal Order of Police reached a deal with the Chicago Police Department, which will allow members to receive compensation for overtime worked during the NATO summit.

However, there are still three outstanding grievances and lingering acrimony between the city and FOP, the union that represents rank-and-file officers, even as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council continue to deify Police Department head Garry McCarthy for his work during the summitt.

The FOP filed a grievance following the summit, which ended May 21st, alleging that the city violated its collective bargaining agreement by not giving officers the choice between compensatory time and overtime pay for extra hours worked. Instead, the city planned to pay the officers for their extra work, but not give the option of compensatory time, which essentially means applying the overtime as credits toward additional paid vacation time.

An anonymous city official told the Chicago Sun-Times last week that the problem stemmed from a paperwork error. Pat Camden, spokesman for the FOP, confirmed in a phone interview that the city agreed this week to give the officers an option of compensatory time.

But Camden says the other grievances remain unresolved. The union contends the city is breaking its labor contract by not awarding officers overtime pay for working a 6th or 7th consecutive day of the week.

Also, the city awarded overtime pay at the start of 12-hour shifts some officers worked instead of the end of the shift. By filing the overtime paperwork this way, the union claims, the city is unlawfully avoiding ‘change of start time’ pay.

The FOP and police department are also awaiting an arbitrator’s decision regarding their grievance filed over the city cancelling furlough days during NATO.

The complaints are being made just a month before the union’s contract expires.

They also come amid unending praise of both rank-and-file officers and McCarthy. At a Chicago City Council meeting yesterday for example, aldermen said McCarthy did a marvelous job fending off NATO protesters, with Ald. Nick Sposato (36th) comparing the police leader to the Mel Gibson character in “Braveheart.”

But while McCarthy has quietly accepted the praise, the police union has used their moment in the sun to criticize city leadership – putting up billboards to implore the city to “Hire More Officers” and accusing Emanuel of refusing to “pay us what we are owed,” even after “we protected the Mayor’s personal residence from anarchists.”

via Police Union Partly Settles With City Over NATO Overtime Pay | Progress Illinois.

Southwest City News-Herald, Pension Reform Fails To Pass

But Illinois Legislators Approve Bill for Gambling Expansion

Efforts to approve a bill dealing with pension reform in Springfield are on hold for now, after state lawmakers failed to act on a bill under discussion on May 31, the last day of the spring session.

Instead, the legislators passed a bill that would expand gambling, allowing slot machines in racetracks and several casinos in the Chicago area. But Quinn has not said whether he will sign the gambling bill.

Speaking Saturday following a deployment ceremony for National Guard soldiers at Midway Airport, Quinn said the pension issue remains the most important issue facing Illinois, and state senators and representatives should focus on that. He said he would likely call the General Assembly back into session over the summer to deal with pension reform.

“It could save Illinois tax payers tens of billions of dollars,” said Quinn.

The sticking point came over a bill originally backed by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-22nd), which would have required school districts Downstate and in the suburbs to take over responsibility for funding pensions, which are now covered by the state. Republicans rebelled, saying that would require property taxes to be raised, something they refuse to do. The bill

Madigan then turned over sponsorship of the bill to House Republican Leader Rep. Tom Cross (R-84th), and said he would no longer support it. Quinn then asked that it not be brought up for a vote, because there likely would not be enough votes to pass it without Madigan’s support.

The state Senate did pass a smaller bill, which would have affected employees of state agencies and the General Assembly, but not teachers or employees of universities or community colleges. The House bill would have required current and retired employees of Downstate and suburban teachers, including those at universities and community colleges, as well as state legislators, to accept less than the 3 percent annual cost-of-living raises, but keep state-subsidized health insurance as retirees.

Quinn said Saturday that turning over the responsibility of pensions to local districts is not a bad idea.

“I think it is an important part of accountability that we need to accomplish. Maybe it can be worked in over time (so taxpayers are not hit so hard at once),” he said.

“We have got to fight for the common good,” said Quinn, asserting that the legislators should be inspired by the National Guard soldiers, who are being sent to Kuwait for a year. “All of us should emulate them. Then we will do well in life,” he said.

Asked about a marriage equality bill allowing gay marriage that was also not brought up for a vote before the end of the spring session, Quinn said it could come up for a vote in the fall. “I agree with the president. I support marriage equality, but for now, I think we are going to have to focus on pension reform.”

Quinn has previously stressed the need to fundamentally reform the pension system, enacting legislation that would “eliminate the unfunded liability.”

Illinois pension system is recognized as the most underfunded in the nation, and Democrats and Republicans acknowledge that the current pension system is unsustainable, and could damage the state’s credit rating if it is not corrected.  — Southwest City News-Herald

via Southwest City News-Herald, Pension Reform Fails To Pass.

Pension Reform Issue Threatens Illinois Credit Rating « CBS St. Louis

SPRINGFIELD, Ill (IRN) – If pension reform legislation isn’t sorted out and passed by the end of the fiscal year, the state could see its credit rating affected.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services will evaluate the state’s FY 2013 when it is enacted on July 1st to “assess the state’s progress on structural alignment of revenues and expenditures.” A press release from the company goes on to say that no action was taken on pension reform and the ratings firm considers it negative from a credit standpoint. S&P says the outlook on Illinois’ A+ rating remains negative and they will resolve the outlook based on the review.

Republican legislative leaders say to avoid a downgrade, pass what’s already agreed on and work on other nuances of funding over the summer. “There is an agreement on the benefit reform that produces savings that would satisfy the bond houses so I think we ought to act on those and this other discussion, that’s complicated by we don’t know what the numbers are, we need to figure out how it interplays with other funding mechanisms, could be done over the summer,” said Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont).

But Gov. Pat Quinn wants one package that includes shifting the cost of pensions from the state to suburban and Downstate schools over time. “I told the…leaders that we’ve got to move quickly,” Quinn said. He says he wants legislative leaders to meet again towards the end of the month to hash out a deal before he signs the FY2013 budget into law.

via Pension Reform Issue Threatens Illinois Credit Rating « CBS St. Louis.

Teacher Bashes Pension Reform | WQAD.com — Quad Cities News & Weather from WQAD Television, Channel 8

MOLINE – Retired teacher John Flaherty bashed the pension reform Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan supported last week.

The legislation would make teachers choose between health insurance or an accumulating cost of living adjustment or COLA as they call it. If teachers wanted the health insurance in their pension, their COLA payment for the year would not be as much.

“Do you want to get shot with a 38 or a 45?” Flaherty said of the legislation. “Either way, you’re going to suffer. Which way do you want to get shot?”

Illinois legislators know that something has to be done though. The Illinois pension fund is $83 billion in debt. Some think the legislation could save the state almost all of that money.

“It’s quite a perk,” Illinois State Rep. Pat Verschoore said of the current teacher pension system. “But if the government doesn’t start paying it’s fair share of the pension, there was going to be a train wreck. We all happened to be in the station when the train hit the walls.”

Verschoore is alluding to the COLA for teachers which accumulates every year when they’re retired in Illinois. Because that amount keeps increasing, some have wanted the teachers to give in to the legislation.

“I spent 39 years in education with a promise of a three percent COLA,” Flaherty said. “To wait until we retire to take that away is grossly unfair.”

So what will Illinois do now? It can’t do anything until it goes into a special session because the House never voted on it before the session adjourned. The bill is Senate Bill 1673. Verschoore said he would vote ‘no’ on the bill because he does want to protect the teachers from the change.

via Teacher Bashes Pension Reform | WQAD.com — Quad Cities News & Weather from WQAD Television, Channel 8.

Illinois’ Pension Reform Debate Continues

Attempting to pass a pension reform bill kept lawmakers in Springfield extra busy last week.  After they failed to reach a deal party leaders are now trying to decide on their next move, a task that’s proving to be just as difficult as passing a pension reform bill.

“It’s our turn, our time to resolve it,” said Governor Pat Quinn.  “Our moment, our hour is today.”

State leaders ran out of time to find a way to reform the pension system during the spring session, and with each passing day the state steps deeper and deeper into debt.

“Each day we don’t do something, the solution is going to become more painful,” said 34th District State Senator Dave Syverson.

If something isn’t figured out soon bond-agencies have made it clear they will downgrade the state’s credit, again, even though Illinois has the lowest bond rating in the country.

“When the bond rating goes down, that means it costs the state more to borrow money,” said Syverson.  “And Illinois borrows more money than any other state.”

The main issue, shifting pension costs from the state to local cities and school districts.  Lawmakers can’t agree on how to shift pension accountability away from the state, a price tag that currently totals $83 billion dollars in pension liability.

“We cannot allow these pension systems to be funded at a 43-percent level, that’s unacceptable,” said Quinn.

The senate has already passed a bill that would reduce pension benefits for state employees and legislators.  Several top lawmakers want to pass measures like that, where a majority of state leaders have already agreed to the terms while continuing to negotiate other pension sticking points.

“Even if it’s not a total fix, anything right now that can stop the bleeding is better than letting it just continue,” said Syverson.

But Governor Quinn wouldn’t agree to that saying he wants a complete overhaul.

“We have to roll up our sleeves and do it all,” said Quinn.  “We can’t have partial solutions, that won’t get the job done.”

Top lawmakers are planning to meet again later this month to continue to work out a plan to reform the state’s pension system.

In the meantime, they plan to speak to school and city leaders, as well as area accountants to better understand the impact it would have on local economies should they decide to shift retirement costs away from the state.

via Illinois’ Pension Reform Debate Continues.

St. Louis aldermen pass one of Slay’s pension reform bills, defer another

An aldermanic committee delayed voting today on the bulk of Mayor Francis Slay’s firefighter pension overhaul proposal, instead passing just the portion that defines and limits the powers of pension trustees.

The bill that passed, Board Bill 11, bars trustees of the Firemen’s Retirement System of St. Louis from suing the city concerning the design or benefits of the pension plan – something trustees have already vowed to do.

The bill says trustees “shall have no duty or authority to contest or challenge actions taken by the city” concerning the design of the pension plan. Moreover, it continues, they cannot “authorize the expenditure of any assets… to fund any such contest or challenge, including but not limited to expenses related to litigation.”

Aldermen in the board’s Public Safety Committee voted 7-3 to pass the bill. Aldermen Larry Arnowitz, Jeffrey Boyd and Antonio French voted against it.

The second part of the mayor’s proposal, Board Bill 12 – which outlines a far slimmer set of firefighter pension benefits going forward – was also discussed, and at length.

Alderman Craig Schmid, sponsor of the bills, said the city has little choice but to pass reform. The fire department has the most expensive retirement system per person in the city, and payments have risen 500 percent over the past decade, to more than $21 million, not including debt service.

A few firefighters at the meeting, however, urged the aldermen consider their welfare.

“The reality is, this is a nine percent pay cut,” said Chris Molitor, president of the International Association of Firefighters, Local 73. “That’s extreme and extraordinary.”

The department is already, he said, one of the lowest paid in the Midwest.

In addition, said fire pension trustee Bruce Williams, the mayor’s bill limits cost-of-living increases for disabled firefighters to 25 percent of the original amount. That could leave firefighters with permanent, incapacitating disabilities “destitute” as they age, he said.

And Capt. Duane Daniels, 51, said he has planned his future with the current benefits in mind. “I signed up for this job 24 years ago, and now you want to change my pension?” he asked the aldermen.

He later said he expected some firemen to simply quit. “Then this city is going to be messed up.”

In the end, aldermen held up a vote on the second bill, concerned with technical questions about deferred retirement accounts, trustee terms and cost of living increases for firefighters completely disabled on the job.

Alderman Greg Carter, chair of the committee, said he would hold another hearing on the bill next week.

Jeff Rainford, Slay’s chief of staff, said the day’s event were a good sign. “We obviously got seven votes on the committee,” he said. “We’ve been at this for eight years. Another week is not going to hurt anything.”

via St. Louis aldermen pass one of Slay’s pension reform bills, defer another.

Charles Krauthammer: What Wisconsin means – The Washington Post

Tuesday, June 5, 2012, will be remembered as the beginning of the long decline of the public-sector union. It will follow, and parallel, the shrinking of private-sector unions, now down to less than 7 percent of American workers. The abject failure of the unions to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) — the first such failure in U.S. history — marks the Icarus moment of government-union power. Wax wings melted, there’s nowhere to go but down.

The ultimate significance of Walker’s union reforms has been largely misunderstood. At first, the issue was curtailing outrageous union benefits, far beyond those of the ordinary Wisconsin taxpayer. That became a nonissue when the unions quickly realized that trying to defend the indefensible would render them toxic for the real fight to come.

So they made the fight about the “right” to collective bargaining, which the reforms severely restricted. In a state as historically progressive as Wisconsin — in 1959, it was the first to legalize the government-worker union — they thought they could win as a matter of ideological fealty.

But as the recall campaign progressed, the Democrats stopped talking about bargaining rights. It was a losing issue. Walker was able to make the case that years of corrupt union-politician back-scratching had been bankrupting the state. And he had just enough time to demonstrate the beneficial effects of overturning that arrangement: a huge budget deficit closed without raising taxes, significant school-district savings from ending cozy insider health-insurance contracts, and a modest growth in jobs.

The real threat behind all this, however, was that the new law ended automatic government collection of union dues. That was the unexpressed and politically inexpressible issue. That was the reason the unions finally decided to gamble on a high-risk recall.

Without the thumb of the state tilting the scale by coerced collection, union membership became truly voluntary. Result? Newly freed members rushed for the exits. In less than one year, ­AFSCME, the second-largest public-sector union in Wisconsin, has lost more than 50 percent of its membership.

It was predictable. In Indiana, where Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) instituted by executive order a similar reform seven years ago, government-worker unions have since lost 91 percent of their dues-paying membership. In Wisconsin, Democratic and union bosses (a redundancy) understood what was at stake if Walker prevailed: not benefits, not “rights,” but the very existence of the unions.

So they fought and they lost. Repeatedly. Tuesday was their third and last shot at reversing Walker’s reforms. In April 2011, they ran a candidate for chief justice of the state Supreme Court who was widely expected to strike down the law. She lost.

In July and August 2011, they ran recall elections of state senators, needing three to reclaim Democratic — i.e., union — control. They failed. (The likely flipping of one Senate seat to the Democrats on June 5 is insignificant. The Senate is not in session and won’t be until after yet another round of elections in November.)

And then, Tuesday, their Waterloo. Walker defeated their gubernatorial candidate by a wider margin than he had — pre-reform — two years ago.

The unions’ defeat marks a historical inflection point. They set out to make an example of Walker. He succeeded in making an example of them as a classic case of reactionary liberalism. An institution founded to protect its members grew in size, wealth, power and arrogance, thanks to decades of symbiotic deals with bought politicians, to the point where it grossly overreached. A half-century later these unions were exercising essential control of everything from wages to work rules in the running of government — something that, in a system of republican governance, is properly the sovereign province of the citizenry.

Why did the unions lose? Because Norma Rae nostalgia is not enough, and it hardly applied to government workers living better than the average taxpayer who supports them.

And because of the rise of a new constitutional conservatism — committed to limited government and a more robust civil society — of the kind that swept away Democrats in the 2010 midterm shellacking.

Most important, however, because in the end reality prevails. As economist Herb Stein once put it: Something that can’t go on, won’t. These public-sector unions, acting, as FDR had feared, with an inherent conflict of interest regarding their own duties, were devouring the institution they were supposed to serve, rendering state government as economically unsustainable as the collapsing entitlement states of southern Europe.

It couldn’t go on. Now it won’t. All that was missing was a political leader willing to risk his career to make it stop. Because, time being infinite, even the inevitable doesn’t happen on its own.

via Charles Krauthammer: What Wisconsin means – The Washington Post.

Wisconsin Fallout: Will Union Support Hurt Chris Donovan Congress bid? | Connecticut 5th District

Candidate Chris Donovan is not shy about the support his campaign for the 5th Congressional District gets from local labor unions. A rally, held for Donovan in front of teachers’ union headquarters in Hartford, was populated by a largely union crowd, and the speakers were labor leaders.

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker defeated Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in a special recall election. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

But could that relationship hurt Donovan’s campaign?

On Tuesday, Wisconsin’s Republican Governor, Scott Walker, withstood a recall attempt, which began when Walker tried to roll back collective bargaining rights as a cost-saving measure. As The New York Times and other news sources reported, the recall effort was driven by Wisconsin-based and national labor unions, and its defeat, albeit by a slim margin, is seen by many as a condemnation of union power.

“This was a referendum on collective-bargaining rights, and the unions lost,” Luke Hilgemann, director of advocacy group Americans for Prosperity Wisconsin, told The Washington Post. “The taxpayers of Wisconsin made it very clear that they did not support lavish pay and benefits for government workers.”

Chairman of the CT GOP Jerry Labriola, Jr. (New Haven Register Photo/Peter Casolino)

“There’s an awakening going on in the country,” Jerry Labriola, chairman of Connecticut’s Republican State Central Committee, said. “A lot of attention was paid to the furor in Wisconsin, which I see gaining momentum.”

According to Nathaniel Sillin, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, Tuesday’s vote in Wisconsin “shows that union bosses don’t have the power that they used to have. It’s an indictment of big labor’s power.”

At that Hartford rally Wednesday, labor leaders like Lori J. Pelletier, secretary-treasurer of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, said how strong a supporter of unions Donovan has been during his tenure as a legislator.

Donovan was a union organizer before being elected to the state House of Representatives in 1992 and, since then, “Not one time has this man voted against working families,” Pelletier said.

In response, members of the audience shouted, cheered and chanted. But how many individual votes union members will cast in an election is another question.

According to the U.S. Department Of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2011, there were 272,000 workers represented by unions in Connecticut, making up 17.7 percent of the workforce. And with 2,121,442 registered voters in the state, union members, not counting spouses and other family members, make up 12.9 percent of the voting public in Connecticut.

Though the ratio of public sector union members to private sector union members is not provided by the DOL, there are far more public sector members on a national level.

“Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (37 percent) more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.9 percent),” the DOL said in a release.

Chris Donovan speaks at a 5th District Congress debate in Cornwall. (Register Citizen Photo)

“I know that people are thinking that what happened in Wisconsin is going to have this tidal-wave effect,” according to Gary Rose, chairman of Sacred Heart University’s Department of Government and Politics. “Connecticut is not Wisconsin.”

Rose said that he does not expect Donovan’s relationship with labor unions to have an adverse effect on his campaign during the run up to the Aug. 14 primary, at which he will face Elizabeth Esty and Dan Roberti. But, “should he prevail in the primary, which he might,” Rose said it could hurt him in November’s general election.

According to Rose, if he does win in August, Republicans will use the union issue, and the “benefits that public employees have right here in Connecticut,” as a talking point.

“The Democratic electorate in Connecticut is not an anti-union electorate,” he said. “Republicans are going to use what happened in Wisconsin to their benefit. Independent voters could be persuaded by that rhetoric.”

via Wisconsin Fallout: Will Union Support Hurt Chris Donovan Congress bid? | Connecticut 5th District.