March 12, 2011


I don't have a lot to add to the screaming in Wisconsin (Ann Althouse and hubby Meade have already done a fine job of on-site reporting) other than a few observations. One of which is this:

March 10, 2011
Mr. Tom Ellis, President
Marshall & Ilsley Corporation
770 N. Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Dear Mr. Ellis:
As you undoubtedly know, Governor Walker recently proposed a “budget adjustment bill” to eviscerate public employees’ right to collectively bargain in Wisconsin...

As you also know, Scott Walker did not campaign on this issue when he ran for office. If he had, we are confident that you would not be listed among his largest contributors. As such, we are contacting you now to request your support.

The undersigned groups would like your company to publicly oppose Governor Walker’s efforts to virtually eliminate collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin. While we appreciate that you may need some time to consider this request, we ask for your response by March 17. In the event that you do not respond to this request by that date, we will assume that you stand with Governor Walker and against the teachers, nurses, police officers, fire fighters, and other dedicated public employees who serve our communities.

In the event that you cannot support this effort to save collective bargaining, please be advised that the undersigned will publicly and formally boycott the goods and services provided by your company. However, if you join us, we will do everything in our power to publicly celebrate your partnership in the fight to preserve the right of public employees to be heard at the bargaining table.Wisconsin’s public employee unions serve to protect and promote equality and fairness in the workplace. We hope you will stand with us and publicly share that ideal.

In the event you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact the executive Director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, Jim Palmer, at 608.273.3840. Thank you in advance for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

James L. Palmer, Executive Director
Wisconsin Professional Police Association
Mahlon Mitchell,President
Professional Fire Fighters
Jim Conway, President
International Association of Fire Fighters Local 311
John Matthews, Executive Director
Madison Teachers, Inc.
Keith Patt, Executive Director
Green Bay Education Association
Bob Richardson, President
Dane County Deputy Sheriffs Association
Dan Frei, President
Madison Professional Police Officers Association

If this were teachers making boycott threats, it would be garden variety union weight-swinging, annoying perhaps but quite legitimate. But when law enforcement and fire fighters utter such veiled threats, it starkly illustrates exactly WHY public-sector unions are a bad idea for a free society.

As the racketeers always say, "Nice business you have there. Shame if anything were to happen to it." By stacking up the law enforcement and fire unions as the majority of the signers, the implied threat is clear. "Support us ... or else." Don't expect any rapid response or strenuous investigations when your building or home or vehicles get vandalized or torched, or when you or your employees are harassed and/or assaulted. It's not only an implied threat, it's a backhanded invitation to fellow travelers to demonstrate the Protection Principle to you.

On a lighter note, one of the funnier headlines of the day:

Wisconsin labor protesters refuse to quit

Heh. And you can't just fire them, they're union!

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