The Seattle Times reports Monday that hundreds of activists descended on the state Capitol in Olympia in a rally designed to show support for the public employees in Wisconsin.
Holding signs that read “Solidarity with Egypt,” “Cut the bull, not the teachers” and “No more cuts to higher ed,” protesters expressed concerns over their own bargaining rights.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) addressed the crowd while “wearing a union T-shirt from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.”
“What’s happening in Wisconsin is relevant to every state in the union,” Kucinich said before speaking to the activists, according to NWCN.com.
Kucinich’s own state of Ohio is also facing a budget shortfall, and union activists – aided by the Democratic National Committee and President Obama’s Organizing for America – descended on Ohio’s Capitol in an effort to spread unrest to that state.
Although Washington is facing a budget shortfall, one GOP Senator doubts the state government will take the same action that is being proposed in Wisconsin. According to NWCN:
“I don’t see it happening. Labor has a stronghold on the majority party,” said Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside.
Honeyford has a bill that would give legislators, not the governor, the negotiating rights with state employee unions. He said as long as democrats control the majority in Olympia, bills to reform any aspect of the state unions are unlikely.
When asked if his bill might pass, Honeyford responded, “I don’t think it has a chance in the world.”
The rally in Olympia was part of a four-day nationwide effort by the Service Employees International Union.
On Tuesday, the public employees union have rallies scheduled in Colorado, California, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
They also plan to continue the protest in Wisconsin. According to the Seattle Times:
“We’ll be here Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday — as long as it takes,” Gary Lonzo, a union organizer and former Wisconsin corrections officer, said Sunday as he watched protesters banging drums and waving signs for a sixth day in a row. “We’re not going anywhere.”
But the public is beginning to tire of the never-ending protests and demands by the unions.
Polls suggest voters are more inclined to side with Wisconsin Governor Walker and the Republicans who seek to fix Wisconsin’s budget problems. The longer the protests continue, the more likely voters will side with the GOP.
On his Monday radio program, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh explained:
Unionizing teachers, unionizing state employees is not about better teachers. It’s not about better employees. It’s about more power for the Democrat Party. It’s about institutionalized Democrat Party membership as state and federal workers and employees. How could you get them more loyal to the government than to make ’em union members? That’s all that’s going on here.
It is also, in part, an effort to undermine the newly-elected GOP majority in Wisconsin.
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