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The Wolverine State Is Going to the Dogs


COMMENT: Some scary and [pos­si­bly] prece­dent-set­ting events are unfold­ing in Michi­gan.

The GOP in The Wolver­ine State has craft­ed a blue­print that would use the need for “fis­cal aus­ter­i­ty” to imple­ment an agen­da that is clear­ly unde­mo­c­ra­t­ic and, in its fun­da­men­tals, fas­cist.

“Rachel Mad­ow Expos­es Michi­gan Repub­li­cans’ Secret War on Democ­ra­cy” by Sarah Jones; politicususa.com; 3/9/2011.

EXCERPT: Last night on MSNBC’s Rachel Mad­dow show, Mad­dow explained that Michi­gan Repub­li­can Gov­er­nor Rick Sny­der is push­ing a bill through that will give ulti­mate gov­ern­men­tal pow­er lit­er­al­ly to cor­po­ra­tions, there­by using shock doc­trine tac­tics to cre­ate a dystopi­an gov­ern­ment. Synder’s bill not only goes after col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing rights, but does in fact seem to rep­re­sent the Repub­li­cans’ final solu­tion to killing democ­ra­cy by enabling the replace­ment of elect­ed offi­cials, dis­solv­ing entire city’s gov­ern­ment and hand­ing them over to cor­po­ra­tions. Sny­der calls his “bud­get bill” a “shared sac­ri­fice,” but it gifts cor­po­ra­tions with 1.8 bil­lion in tax breaks while hit­ting cit­i­zens with hard­er tax­es, includ­ing seniors and oth­er vul­ner­a­bles, and cut­ting essen­tial ser­vices to an already suf­fer­ing region.

Rachel Mad­dow began her seg­ment on Michi­gan with, “The Michi­gan House has already passed and the Michi­gan Sen­ate is about to pass a bill that sounds like it is out of a dystopi­an left­ist nov­el from the future. If you think Repub­li­can gov­er­nors across the coun­try are using fis­cal cri­sis as a pre­text to do stuff they oth­er­wise want to do, this is some­thing I don’t think I would have ever believed Repub­li­cans even want­ed to do, but this is what they are propos­ing. This hasn’t got­ten much nation­al atten­tion, but please check this out.”

She described the threat to democ­ra­cy in Michi­gan, “Gov. Rick Snyder’s bud­get in Michi­gan is expect­ed to cut aid to cities and towns so much that a lot of cities and towns in Michi­gan are expect­ed to be in dire finan­cial straits. Right now, Gov. Sny­der is push­ing a bill that would give him­self, Gov. Sny­der and his admin­is­tra­tion, the pow­er to declare any town or school dis­trict to be in a finan­cial emer­gency. If a town was declared by the gov­er­nor and his admin­is­tra­tion to be in a finan­cial emer­gency they would get to put some­body in charge of that town, and they want to give that emer­gency man­ag­er that they just put in charge of the town the pow­er to, “reject, mod­i­fy, or ter­mi­nate any con­tracts that the town may have entered in to, includ­ing any col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ments.”

The bill also has the pow­er to sus­pend or dis­miss elect­ed offi­cials, “This emer­gency per­son also gets the pow­er under the bill to sus­pend or dis­miss elect­ed offi­cials. Think about that for a sec­ond. Doesn’t mat­ter who you vot­ed for in Michi­gan. Doesn’t mat­ter who you elect­ed. Your elect­ed local gov­ern­ment can be dis­missed at will. The emer­gency per­son sent in by the Rick Sny­der admin­is­tra­tion could rec­om­mend that a school dis­trict be absorbed into anoth­er school dis­trict. That emer­gency per­son is also grant­ed pow­er specif­i­cal­ly to dis­in­cor­po­rate or dis­solve entire city gov­ern­ments.”

Mad­dow said Michi­gan Repub­li­cans want to abol­ish entire towns, “What year was your town found­ed? Does it say so like on the town bor­der as you dri­ve into your town? Does it say what year your town was found­ed? What did your town’s found­ing fathers and found­ing moth­ers have to go through to incor­po­rate your town? Repub­li­cans in Michi­gan want to be able to uni­lat­er­al­ly abol­ish your town and dis­in­cor­po­rate it. . . .


8 comments for “The Wolverine State Is Going to the Dogs”

  1. I’ve been watch­ing this unfold for a while, and oh boy, this is scary stuff, lemme me tell ya, Dave!

    I live in Texas and I’m afraid it could be only a mat­ter of time before we could see the same B.S. unfold­ing here in the Lone Star State.

    Take care now, and please, do keep us informed. =)

    Posted by Steven | April 20, 2011, 11:17 am
  2. As a Michi­gan “expat” who was born & raised in Michi­gan, I’d just like to remind the Spit­firelist com­mu­ni­ty of the latent fab­ric of fas­cism that has gained strength in Michi­gan since the 1960s:

    (1) The mys­te­ri­ous death of labor leader Wal­ter Reuther (see FTR #18, The Death of Wal­ter Reuther), fol­lowed by the Latin Amer­i­can-style polit­i­cal “dis­ap­pear­ance” of Jim­my Hof­fa.

    (2) The home of Black­wa­ter founder & CEO Erik Prince. Although Prince no longer lives in Michi­gan, his fam­i­ly back­ground & fam­i­ly ties are con­nect­ed to Michi­gan pol­i­tics, includ­ing in-laws Dick DeVos & the bil­lion­aire, ultra-right-wing DeVos fam­i­ly. Prince, it is often over­looked, interned for George H. W. Bush after drop­ping out of the Navy & attend­ing the ultra-right-wing Hills­dale Col­lege in Hills­dale, Michi­gan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_devos

    (3) Oth­er far-right nota­bles include Tom Mon­aghan, founder & own­er of Domi­no’s Piz­za. Mon­aghan is a fas­cist of the ultra­right Roman Catholic vari­ety. Dur­ing the past decade, Mon­aghan has poured mil­lions of dol­lars into cre­at­ing a Fan­ta­sy Reich “Catholic town” in Flori­da called “Ave Maria, Flori­da” where he attempt­ed to estab­lish a “Catholic Bib­li­cal code of munic­i­pal law” that attempt­ed to supercede Flori­da laws (what few there are), includ­ing build­ing codes. Mon­aghan main­tains polit­i­cal influ­ence in Michi­gan. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ave_Maria,_Florida

    (4) Michi­gan has a vibrant “mili­tia move­ment” that includes such note­wor­thy spawn as Tim­o­thy McVeigh & the more recent “Huta­ree Mili­tia” that was bust­ed in 2009 in a half-assed plot to attack Michi­gan police: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutaree

    (5) The Michi­gan State Police depart­ment has some fas­cist ideas of their own, includ­ing some Ashcroft-style ideas about the 4th Amend­ment, involv­ing cap­tur­ing motorists’ cell phone data with­out any arrest or prob­a­ble cause: http://news.cnet.com/8301–17938_105-20055431–1.html

    Michi­gan police have been put into a “siege men­tal­i­ty” dur­ing the past two years by var­i­ous con­tro­ver­sies pit­ting police against cit­i­zens & an ambush-style mass-shoot­ing at a Detroit police precinct (not relat­ed to the Huta­ree Mili­tia plan not­ed above).

    Dear­born, Michi­gan, it should also be not­ed, is home to the largest U.S. Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion & Mid­dle East­ern immi­grant pop­u­la­tion, attract­ing spe­cial FBI & “Home­land Secu­ri­ty” atten­tion over the past decade.

    All in all, a recipe for estab­lish­ing a beach­head for grass­roots munic­i­pal U.S. fas­cism, or paving the way for a 9/11/1973 Chilean-style mil­i­tary coup with local con­trols.

    It’s also inter­est­ing that what amounts to the Michi­gan “Enabling Act” and “state seizure” of local com­mu­ni­ty assets and “nul­li­fi­ca­tion of elec­tions” (which would seem to vio­late the Vot­ing Rights Act & oth­er Civ­il Rights laws) have attract­ed NO ACTION or even ANY COMMENT from nation­al-lev­el Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty “lead­ers” — con­firm­ing my sus­pi­cion that a Vichy estab­lish­ment of many, many Dodd-style Tro­jan Hors­es (or box­ing “ringers” paid to throw fights) are help­ing to smooth the pow­er­grab.

    1919 Chica­go Black Sox?

    Posted by R. Wilson | April 20, 2011, 7:29 pm
  3. The semi-vig­i­lant (albeit taint­ed by its CIA-con­nect­ed founder) web­site Dai­ly Kos has many con­trib­u­tors who are post­ing infor­ma­tive arti­cles per­tain­ing to the Michi­gan “Emer­gency Pow­ers Coup”:

    “Michi­gan Gov­er­nor Seeks Emer­gency Pow­ers” cov­ers an overview of the omi­nous scope of GOP ambi­tion in their “Enabling Act”:


    An April 20 arti­cle describes Detroit Police being used by Gov­er­nor Sny­der’s “EFM” Hench­man to arrest school­teach­ers, par­ents & chil­dren in a har­bin­ger of a U.S. post-Oba­ma future, where resis­tance to RapePub­li­can “eco­nom­ic solu­tions” will not be tol­er­at­ed:


    Posted by R. Wilson | April 20, 2011, 7:41 pm
  4. Posted by R. Wilson | April 20, 2011, 7:42 pm
  5. @R.Wilson: you seem pret­ty knowl­edge­able of this case. I just won­der if, to your atten­tion, this coup d’é­tat in dis­guise, or at the sec­ond degree, in Michi­gan has been planned or man­u­fac­tured in cohe­sion with the attack on the unions in Wis­con­sin. The two things are hap­pen­ing simul­ta­ne­ous­ly and are going in the same direc­tion. It cer­tain­ly looks like it does. What is your take?

    Posted by Claude | April 21, 2011, 9:55 pm
  6. @Claude: Cer­tain­ly, in my opin­ion, Michi­gan, Wis­con­sin & Ohio are pilot pro­grams for a local­ized sup­port struc­ture for a 1973-Chile-style mil­i­tary coup. I hope Dave does a show on the Great Lakes states’ coup (all 3 are Great Lakes states).

    I believe there is plen­ty of evi­dence (much of which Dave has cov­ered, as well as oth­er com­mon­place his­to­ry such as Grover Norquist’s “Starve-The-Beast” plans) for net­work­ing, col­lu­sion, and far-sight­ed sys­tem­at­ic dis­man­tling of demo­c­ra­t­ic insti­tu­tions & infra­struc­ture, and this is sim­ply the next phase: a roll­out of bot­tom-up grass­roots total­i­tar­i­an­ism which will sup­ple­ment the top-down coup.

    If you haven’t read it, get Nao­mi Klein’s “The Shock Doc­trine” & Nao­mi Wolf’s “The End of Amer­i­ca” to read what comes next in the total­i­tar­i­an blue­print that is being fol­lowed very pre­dictably in Michi­gan, Wis­con­sin & Ohio.

    The dif­fer­ences between those three states are mere­ly tai­lored to suit the judi­cial (and extra­ju­di­cial) “needs” which would be required to exter­mi­nate unions & demo­c­ra­t­ic safe­guards in each respec­tive state ... OR, in addi­tion, to estab­lish three dif­fer­ent prece­dents & paths to total­i­tar­i­an­ism. But there’s noth­ing ad hoc about it; recall the case of Don Siegel­man, or the fir­ing of the U.S. fed­er­al attor­neys (Car­ol Lam, et al). There’s pri­ma facie evi­dence for a sys­tem­at­ic over­throw.

    Hitler abol­ished unions on May 2, 1933, and the attack on unions is not lim­it­ed to Wis­con­sin, but is tak­ing place in oth­er forms in Michi­gan & Ohio. Herr Sny­der in Michi­gan has sim­ply direct­ed his “EFM“s (“Emer­gency Finan­cial Man­agers”) to sim­ply dis­re­gard & nul­li­fy any exist­ing col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ments.

    I’m not sure if Dave has ever men­tioned the com­ments of Rep. Mar­cy Kap­tur (D‑OH) made in Michael Moore’s film “Cap­i­tal­ism: A Love Sto­ry”, in which she alludes to a Deep State plot when she says that (para­phras­ing) ‘there was some­thing very strange in the pre­ci­sion tim­ing & orga­ni­za­tion of events’ of the 2008 eco­nom­ic melt­down. She lit­er­al­ly says that “it was like an intel­li­gence oper­a­tion”.

    I believe that a detailed study of the take­down of the Weimar Repub­lic would be well-sup­ple­ment­ed by a detailed study of the 1973 Chilean coup, the 1977 Argen­tine coup, & the 1980 Boli­vian coup. There are par­al­lels espe­cial­ly between 1970–73 Chile & the U.S. since 2008.

    First, the Engi­neer Wrecks The Train. What comes next is cov­ered in “The Shock Doc­trine” & “End of Amer­i­ca”. And through­out “For The Record” & AFA.

    Paul Krug­man (in the fore­word of his book “The Great Unrav­el­ling”) quotes Hen­ry Kissinger:

    “Those who warn against the dan­ger in time are con­sid­ered alarmists; those who coun­sel adap­ta­tion to cir­cum­stance are con­sid­ered bal­anced and sane. But it is the essence of a rev­o­lu­tion­ary pow­er that it is will­ing, indeed eager, to push its prin­ci­ples to their ulti­mate con­clu­sion.”

    Posted by R. Wilson | April 22, 2011, 8:40 pm
  7. from a recent arti­cle in Forbes mag­a­zine...

    A well known polit­i­cal play­er in Wis­con­sin, Ed Gar­vey, is report­ing that Scott Walk­er is now prepar­ing his next assault on the demo­c­ra­t­ic polit­i­cal process in the State of Wis­con­sin.

    Fol­low­ing the lead of Michi­gan GOP Gov­er­nor Rick Sny­der, Walk­er is said to be prepar­ing a plan that would allow him to force local gov­ern­ments to sub­mit to a finan­cial stress test with an eye towards per­mit­ting the gov­er­nor to take over munic­i­pal­i­ties that fail to meet with Walker’s approval.

    Accord­ing to the reports, should a locality’s finan­cial posi­tion come up short, the Walk­er leg­is­la­tion would empow­er the gov­er­nor to insert a finan­cial man­ag­er of his choos­ing into local gov­ern­ment with the abil­i­ty to can­cel union con­tracts, push aside duly elect­ed local gov­ern­ment offi­cials and school board mem­bers and take con­trol of Wis­con­sin cities and towns when­ev­er he sees fit to do so.

    Such a law would addi­tion­al­ly give Walk­er unchal­lenged pow­er to end munic­i­pal ser­vices of which he dis­ap­proves, includ­ing safe­ty net assis­tance to those in need.

    Accord­ing to my sources, the plan is being writ­ten by the legal offices of Foley & Lard­ner, the largest law firm in the state, and is sched­uled to be intro­duced to the leg­is­la­ture in May of this

    Posted by Sandra | April 23, 2011, 1:22 am
  8. Back in Jan­u­ary, Wis­con­sin Gov­er­nor (and Koch-lack­ey) Scott Walk­er had some choice words for Wis­con­sin’s pub­lic pro­fes­sors: get up off your lazy ass­es and teach. This was his mes­sage to a group of pro­fes­sion­als that already spend 50 to 70 hours a week teach­ing and doing all the oth­er stuff they’re expect­ed to do:

    Gov. Scott Walk­er to UW fac­ul­ty: Con­sid­er teach­ing one more class per semes­ter

    Jan­u­ary 29, 2015 7:30 am • By Matthew DeFour | Wis­con­sin State Jour­nal
    Matthew DeFour | Wis­con­sin State Jour­nal

    Gov. Scott Walk­er said Wednes­day that Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin Sys­tem fac­ul­ty and staff could increase their work­load to reduce the impact of his pro­posed $300 mil­lion bud­get cut.

    Walk­er announced this week that the pro­posed cuts, along with a two-year tuition freeze, would be part of his two-year bud­get pro­pos­al to be deliv­ered to the Leg­is­la­ture on Tues­day. In return, the UW Sys­tem would be con­vert­ed into a pub­lic author­i­ty with more auton­o­my, though it’s unclear how much mon­ey that would save.

    Uni­ver­si­ty offi­cials have said they might have to lay off employ­ees in the short term, and then raise tuition start­ing in 2017.

    UW Sys­tem Pres­i­dent Ray Cross sent a memo to his admin­is­tra­tion employ­ees Wednes­day say­ing the pro­posed cuts would require cost-con­tain­ment mea­sures, begin­ning imme­di­ate­ly with a hir­ing freeze on non-essen­tial state-fund­ed posi­tions, a mora­to­ri­um on out-of-state trav­el and a halt to any salary adjust­ments or pro­mo­tions until fur­ther notice.

    Walk­er said UW cam­pus­es might be able to tap into their reserves to off­set the cuts, but he empha­sized “it will make them do things that they have not tra­di­tion­al­ly done.”

    “They might be able to make sav­ings just by ask­ing fac­ul­ty and staff to con­sid­er teach­ing one more class per semes­ter,” Walk­er told reporters Wednes­day in Madi­son. “Things like that could have a tremen­dous impact on mak­ing sure that we pre­serve an afford­able edu­ca­tion for all of our UW cam­pus­es, and at the same time we main­tain a high-qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion.”

    Vince Sweeney, vice chan­cel­lor for uni­ver­si­ty rela­tions at UW-Madi­son, said the most recent sur­vey data found UW-Madi­son fac­ul­ty spend 50 to 70 hours per week teach­ing and sup­port­ing stu­dents, par­tic­i­pat­ing in research and oth­er activ­i­ties.

    “It should be not­ed that many also bring in mil­lions of dol­lars in grant fund­ing that is a direct boost to the Wis­con­sin econ­o­my,” Sweeney said. “Many cre­ate their own com­pa­nies, which go on to cre­ate state jobs. We val­ue their work great­ly.”

    Grant Pet­ty, pres­i­dent of PROFS Inc., the pro­fes­sion­al group rep­re­sent­ing UW-Madi­son pro­fes­sors, said he doesn’t know any UW fac­ul­ty who don’t already spend 50 hours a week or more doing what are con­sid­ered the “essen­tial duties” of their job.

    “As Gov­er­nor Walk­er knows from his own fam­i­ly back­ground, a pastor’s job doesn’t start and stop with the Sun­day ser­mon,” Pet­ty said. “The same is true of uni­ver­si­ty pro­fes­sors and the class­room.”

    Pet­ty, a mete­o­rol­o­gy pro­fes­sor, said a three-cred­it course typ­i­cal­ly requires 10 to 15 hours per week of prepa­ra­tion, grad­ing and meet­ing with stu­dents to help them under­stand the mate­r­i­al. He teach­es two class­es, and also works one-on-one with grad­u­ate stu­dents, often com­pet­ing for fed­er­al grants to help sup­port those stu­dents. He also is expect­ed to stay cur­rent with issues and pub­lish in the fields of his exper­tise.

    “I was not able to tell from the governor’s state­ment which of these things he thought we should do less of to make room for more of some­thing else,” Pet­ty said.

    Sys­tem offi­cials declined to com­ment Wednes­day.

    Walk­er reit­er­at­ed that his pro­pos­al — which amounts to a 13 per­cent cut in state sup­port for the state’s 13 four-year cam­pus­es and 13 two-year col­leges plus anoth­er two-year tuition freeze — is effec­tive­ly “Act 10 for the UW Sys­tem,” a ref­er­ence to the 2011 law that large­ly elim­i­nat­ed col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing for most pub­lic employ­ees.

    He said con­cerns raised by uni­ver­si­ty lead­ers about poten­tial lay­offs are the same com­plaints that school boards and super­in­ten­dents made four years ago, when Walk­er made his­toric cuts to K‑12 edu­ca­tion. Those were large­ly absorbed by teach­ers and oth­er K‑12 staff pay­ing more toward pen­sion and health insur­ance pre­mi­ums.

    But Walk­er has argued the elim­i­na­tion of union con­tracts that dic­tat­ed hir­ing and fir­ing and oth­er work­place rules has giv­en school dis­tricts the flex­i­bil­i­ty to con­trol their bud­gets more like a pri­vate busi­ness.


    As you might imag­ine, Scott Walk­ers com­ments did­n’t go over so well with Wis­con­sin’s pro­fes­sors. And would­n’t go over well with any state’s pro­fes­sors.

    And since Scott Walk­er is pitch­ing his over­haul of Wis­con­sin’s pub­lic edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy as a tem­plate for the nation as he pre­pares to run for pres­i­dent, edu­ca­tor every­where should prob­a­bly pay close atten­tion to what Scott Walk­er has in mind for the future of edu­ca­tion in Amer­i­ca. Espe­cial­ly since it’s a future where tenure pro­tec­tions basi­cal­ly don’t exist. Yes, pro­fes­sors will still have tenure under Scott Walk­er’s lat­est pro­pos­al. But you can still be fired, for basi­cal­ly any rea­son:

    Scott Walk­er Takes Aim At Strip­ping Tenure Pro­tec­tions From State Law

    Pub­lished­June 11, 2015, 10:03 AM EDT

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Four years after tak­ing union rights away from teach­ers and oth­er pub­lic work­ers in Wis­con­sin, Gov. Scott Walk­er now wants to strip job pro­tec­tions for Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin pro­fes­sors in a move he likens to the 2011 law that made him a nation­al fig­ure and set up his expect­ed pres­i­den­tial run.

    Elim­i­nat­ing tenure in state law, as Walk­er pro­posed in Jan­u­ary and a Repub­li­can-con­trolled leg­isla­tive com­mit­tee approved ear­li­er this month, is part of a larg­er over­haul of high­er edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy that he is talk­ing about to Repub­li­can vot­ers around the coun­try.

    Walk­er and Repub­li­can back­ers defend his high­er edu­ca­tion pro­pos­al as empow­er­ing uni­ver­si­ty lead­ers to be more like a busi­ness and nim­ble in how they gov­ern. Uni­ver­si­ty pro­fes­sors and their sup­port­ers, both in Wis­con­sin and nation­al­ly, are rais­ing alarms that it’s an attack on aca­d­e­m­ic free­dom that could gain momen­tum in oth­er states.

    “With­in the high­er ed uni­verse, this is being seen as an extreme­ly con­se­quen­tial, sig­nal event,” said Bar­mak Nas­siri­an, direc­tor of fed­er­al rela­tions and pol­i­cy analy­sis at the Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion of State Col­leges and Uni­ver­si­ties.

    A com­pan­ion effort would take from pro­fes­sors and staff cer­tain deci­sion-mak­ing pow­ers about cam­pus issues includ­ing cur­ricu­lum, research and fac­ul­ty sta­tus. Com­bined with end­ing tenure in state law, the high­er edu­ca­tion pro­pos­al would be the first of its kind in the coun­try, Nas­siri­an said.

    “Obvi­ous­ly the fac­ul­ty are opposed, but there are plen­ty of folks who look at it and believe this, in fact, is the future,” Nas­siri­an said, cit­ing the increas­ing pres­sure on uni­ver­si­ties to be more effi­cient in light of esca­lat­ing tuition costs. “And it may be.”

    Wis­con­sin fac­ul­ty mem­bers are sound­ing alarms that the changes will lead to a flood of depar­tures for uni­ver­si­ties with stronger tenure. A peti­tion signed by more than 450 of the uni­ver­si­ty’s award-win­ning researchers asked law­mak­ers to recon­sid­er.


    Still, Walk­er open­ly makes com­par­isons. This is “Act 10 for the uni­ver­si­ty,” he says, invok­ing the title of the union law.

    Oppo­nents say protests could grow, and extend beyond Wis­con­sin. Hen­ry Reich­man, vice pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion of Uni­ver­si­ty Pro­fes­sors and chair­man of its com­mit­tee on aca­d­e­m­ic free­dom and tenure, said the pro­posed changes in Wis­con­sin could embold­en fac­ul­ty both there and around the coun­try to become more orga­nized as Walk­er mounts his expect­ed run for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion.

    “One mes­sage to high­er ed would be you real­ly don’t want to sup­port Scott Walk­er for pres­i­dent because if he can do it in Wis­con­sin, he will do it every­where,” Reich­man said.

    Walk­er, who attend­ed Mar­quette Uni­ver­si­ty but did not grad­u­ate, ini­tial­ly pro­posed cut­ting the uni­ver­si­ty’s state aid by 13 per­cent, or $300 mil­lion. Bud­get writ­ers in the Leg­is­la­ture have reduced the pro­posed cut to $250 mil­lion, while still vot­ing to elim­i­nate tenure in state law, leav­ing it up to the uni­ver­si­ty’s regents to set a pol­i­cy as is done in every oth­er state.

    But the Leg­is­la­ture’s bud­get com­mit­tee went even fur­ther, propos­ing to change the law to make it eas­i­er to fire those with tenure. Now, tenured fac­ul­ty mem­bers can only be fired for just cause or if there’s a finan­cial emer­gency. Under the new pro­vi­sions, the admin­is­tra­tion could fire them “when such an action is deemed nec­es­sary due to a bud­get or pro­gram deci­sion requir­ing pro­gram dis­con­tin­u­ance, cur­tail­ment, mod­i­fi­ca­tion or redi­rec­tion.”

    The Leg­is­la­ture is expect­ed to vote on the pro­pos­als this month or next, when pass­ing a state bud­get. Walk­er has been cam­paign­ing for the GOP nom­i­na­tion for months, in all but name, but says he won’t announce his deci­sion until the bud­get is passed.

    In tak­ing tenure out of state law, the leg­is­la­tion would let the Board of Regents set its own pol­i­cy on that mat­ter. But with 16 of the 18 regents appoint­ed by the gov­er­nor, tak­en togeth­er with the broad­er author­i­ty under state law to fire fac­ul­ty, oppo­nents of the move say the result­ing pol­i­cy is bound to be feck­less.

    “Tenure will be gone as we know it and I think it’s a step back­ward for our rela­tion­ship with fac­ul­ty mem­bers,” said Tony Evers, who serves on the Board of Regents in his capac­i­ty as state super­in­ten­dent. Evers fought against Walk­er’s union restric­tions against teach­ers and oth­er pub­lic work­ers four years ago and signed the peti­tion that led to the 2012 statewide vote over recall­ing Walk­er from office. Walk­er won that vote.

    Tenure, you’re fired!


    Now, tenured fac­ul­ty mem­bers can only be fired for just cause or if there’s a finan­cial emer­gency. Under the new pro­vi­sions, the admin­is­tra­tion could fire them “when such an action is deemed nec­es­sary due to a bud­get or pro­gram deci­sion requir­ing pro­gram dis­con­tin­u­ance, cur­tail­ment, mod­i­fi­ca­tion or redi­rec­tion.”


    Yes, Scott Walk­er clear­ly hates pub­lic edu­can­tion (and pub­lic every­thing else that isn’t mon­ey) and clear­ly wants many of Wis­con­sins edu­ca­tors fired too. It’s some­thing pro­fes­sors across Wis­con­sin, and per­haps across Amer­i­ca, are about to learn. Not that this was­n’t already obvi­ous. But some may have been sleep­ing through the pri­or lessons on this top­ic. Hope­ful­ly the new cur­ricu­lum will be more effec­tive at teach­ing this crit­i­cal les­son.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 11, 2015, 2:28 pm

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