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Wisconsin Politicians Disrespect Democracy - Why it Will Matter to You--Editorial

By HERWriter
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I’m interrupting my own series on the CDC’s National Survey of Family Growth to help spread word in the women’s health community about the atrocities committed in Wisconsin.

After more than three weeks of an aggressively upheld stalemate in the Wisconsin capitol, on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, the Republican Party took steps to reverse 50 years of democratic progress. By removing certain components of Governor Scott Walker’s highly controversial budget plan, the Republican Senators were able to sneakily vote without waiting for the Democrat Senators to return to Madison. As a result of this vote, the unions’ rights to collective bargaining has been dismantled (thereby leaving teachers, nurses, and public workers vulnerable and unrepresented), programs that support middle and working class people have been eliminated, and constituents have been designated as second-class citizens. This underhanded procedural trick was a blatant assault on the democratic process, an affirmation that this legislation has nothing to do with addressing the state’s budget deficit and everything to do with Walker’s desire to dismantle unions, and a direct blow to the state’s workers, families and – of course - women.

I do not wish this article to be a complete soapbox speech. Instead, I wish to urge every one of you to get educated. Whether you identify as a Republican, a Democrat or something else completely, it is your responsibility to understand what is transpiring.

Still unclear about why this is an issue worth investigating? Without even touching on the main issue of collective bargaining rights and workers’ protection, for the sake of space, let me give you just a couple poignant reasons:

1. The vote was illegal – it was held in violation of the state’s open meeting laws. (Learn more here: www.doj.state.wi.us/dls/.../2010OMCG.../2010_OML_Compliance_Guide. Pdf.) Republican Senators did not offer the mandated 24-hour notice to their fellow policy-makers or the public before opening the vote.

Wisconsin is serving as an example to states around the nation.

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

this Wisconsin "thing" is a threat to democracy-which is all of us, wealthy, average, and poor-all genders.I am a male college professor, financial exec. and balancing a budget on the backs of needy people is an undesireable value-Look at Europe and the social safety net and benefits for many people. The health and value of the people in this country are being demeaned and ignored. This is a indication that the undrpinning of our society is disintegrating.
Keep your head up and do whatever you can too protect rights that too me are inherent, not a privelege.
Thank you.

April 1, 2011 - 11:33am
EmpowHER Guest


Thank You for joining the discussion. Fourteen elected officials over the past three weeks have chosen not to participate.

If you're looking for facts on the subject perhaps we should start with President Franklin Roosevelt's position on Public Unions? A man famously in favor of collective bargaining knew as well as anyone that placing two people with the same objective into a negotiation is called collusion not collective bargaining. The fact that public employees have the right to this collusion is a grosse overstep in the first place.

In response to your two bullet points, (1) The 24hr disclosure clock started 3 weeks ago (2) and the bill passed by the Wisconsin Senate yesterday does not eliminate the programs you list but rather places them outside the budget process for deeper scrutiny.

I hope these points are helpful in your quest to learn as much about this event as possible.

Health & Happiness-


March 10, 2011 - 8:30am
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Dear Gordito,

I sincerely appreciate your respectful response. I would love to hear your opinion on this analysis of the attack being waged on women's health in Wisconsin: http://www.wiawh.org/media/AVMedia/audio/3-9%20Sara%20finger%20WTDY%20Radio.mp3.

In this sound byte, the director of the Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health explains how Walker's budget cuts impact programs that provide essential health services to families and communities and the detrimental effect they will have on women. I don't think "deeper scrutiny" is what the GOP has in mind with their anti-woman agenda. What do you think?


March 24, 2011 - 4:06am

Still not sold? Take a peek at this article summing up what is at stake for the nation: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/10/wisconsin-dispute-could-mobilize-democratic-base/

March 10, 2011 - 7:05am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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