Posted on | February 19, 2011 | 147 Comments
Tea Party activists staged a “Stand With Scott Walker” rally today at the Capitol in Madison. Our man Troglopundit was on the scene and Tweeted that the union goons outnumbered the pro-Walker crowd. But he also Tweets this:
Speaker: Know when we got the idea for this rally? Thursday. Thousands of you here!
Given the short notice — I didn’t write about it until yesterday afternoon — the turnout seems pretty impressive: Instapundit has a crowd photo. He also has this video interview with Andrew Breitbart:
UPDATE: Blogs are way ahead of the regular news outfits on this story. Michelle Malkin:
Free-market champion and conservative businessman Herman Cain declares Madison “Ground Zero” in the battle against Big Labor.
That’s the first quote I’ve seen from Cain’s speech, and he spoke more than two hours ago. You would think that when a presidential candidate gave a speech at a major event like this, reporters on the scene would rush to be the first to report it. But you would be wrong. Anyway, Malkin is using reports via Twitter to cover the rally and posts this Twitpic of the scene:
UPDATE II: Jim Hoft is on the scene phoning in reports and sending photos via Lady Liberty. Meanwhile, the governor is standing tough and the Democrats are trying to back down:
Gov. Scott Walker on Saturday rejected an overture from a Democratic state senator that public employee unions had agreed to make financial sacrifices contained in the budget-repair bill in return for the right to bargain collectively.
So after all this protesting, now the unions want a “compromise”? Yeah, they’re losing this battle and they know it. John Fund at the Wall Street Journal explains why the Battle of Madison is so important.
UPDATE III: The New York Times reports from Madison, but evidently failed even to notice Herman Cain’s speech. Someone recently pointed out the blinding whiteness of the union protesters in Madison, but I’d hate to invoke that famous word with 5 A’s.
Meanwhile, from California, Joe Fein at Valley of the Shadow writes:
The protests by the Teacher unions (and the professional protesters called up by OFA and President Obama) in Madison, Wisconsin are almost a bad re-play of the Anti-war protests of the Bush years (both Bushes). Thus, deja vu.
UPDATE IV: Robert Costa of National Review got this video of Herman Cain’s speech:
Man, the people were cheering so loud they were drowning him out! (Nice fedora, BTW.)
UPDATE V: Welcome, Instapundit readers!
UPDATE VI: Welcome, Gay Patriot readers! And now Robert Costa has his report online at National Review.
Walker has called on 14 Democratic state senators, who fled the state rather than allow a quorum permitting a vote on the bill, to return to Madison.
Bill opponents say they won’t allow a vote unless Walker negotiates on the plan to eliminate collective bargaining rights for everything but wages. The legislation also would require most employees to pay more for their pensions and health insurance benefits.
“I have been informed that all state and local public employees — including teachers — have agreed to the financial aspects of Gov. Walker’s request,” said Sen. Jon Erpenbach, a Democrat. . . .
Walker, who says the state is “broke,” is asking legislators to pass his Budget Repair Bill to combat a $137 million shortfall through June 30. An upcoming two-year budget for 2011-13 must address a pending $3.6 billion deficit, he said.
The governor’s press secretary, Cullen Werwie, released a statement Saturday calling on Erpenbach, Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller and other Democrats to return from Illinois.
“These are many of the same senators who, two years ago, rammed through a billion dollar tax hike in 24 hours with no public input,” the statement said. “The quickest way to resolve the current situation is for the Democratic senators to stop shirking their responsibilities and debate the bill in Madison.”
Opponents say the proposed legislation is an attack on workers’ rights.
“Worker’s rights,” my ass! You’ve got no “right” to be employed by the state, nor any “right” to hold taxpayers hostage and demand that they give you more money or more benefits.
UPDATE IX: Linked by Moe Lane — thanks!