JUDGE STRIKES DOWN GOV. SCOTT WALKER’S LOGICAL ANTI-UNION LAW

A Wisconsin judge on Friday struck down the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers.

It was not clear if the ruling means the law is immediately suspended. The law took away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most workers and has been in effect for more than a year.

Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled that the law violates both the state and U.S. Constitution and is null and void. The ruling comes after a lawsuit brought by the Madison teachers union and a union for Milwaukee city employees.

Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said he was confident the decision will be overturned on appeal.

“We believe the law is constitutional,” said Department of Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck.

Lester Pines, an attorney for Madison Teachers Inc., did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The proposal was introduced shortly after Walker took office in February last year. It resulted in a firestorm of opposition and led to huge protests at the state Capitol that lasted for weeks. All 14 Democratic state senators fled the state to Illinois for three weeks in an ultimately failed attempt to stop the law’s passage from the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Read more here.

Chuck Norris enters 2012 political ring

Legendary action star Chuck Norris says he’s entering the political ring in Tuesday’s recall election for the governorship of Wisconsin, to offset the influence of Democrat powerhouses looking to oust Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Norris himself is not seeking office, but he’s throwing his name and weight behind Walker.

“When I saw [Democrats] also send in the big guns, former President Bill Clinton himself, against Gov. Walker, I knew I had to enter the ring, too,” Norris says in a brand-new column on WND.

“There’s one primary reason that Clinton came out to Wisconsin to engage in the battle to recall Gov. Walker,” he explained.

“Democrats, liberals and progressives like him know that as Wisconsin goes on Tuesday, so possibly goes the nation in November. They fear that a win for Gov. Walker will contribute to conservative momentum that will ultimately lead to President Obama’s defeat in his campaign for re-election. And they’re right.

“While the fight for conservatives doesn’t start and stop in Wisconsin, it’s an OK Corral of sorts for Democrats and liberals. When their groundless recall of Gov. Walker is shot down, a potent statement will be sent across our land about the type of government We the People want.

“Walker’s recall is not just about Wisconsin; it is about national reform. It’s about living within our means. It’s about taking back our republic. It is about saving our nation and posterity, one election and state at a time.”

Norris says Walker has consistently and adamantly opposed big government and special interest solutions to fix Wisconsin.

He writes Wisconsin’s economy is stronger and more fiscally solvent because of Gov. Walker’s leadership, and points out a new Marquette University Law School poll revealed that citizens – 50 percent to 43 percent – believed Walker would do a better job with the economy than his opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Read more here.

Governor Of The Year

In 2011, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker(R) served as the embodiment of the state by state battle to balance budgets and the best symbol of the struggle between the two political parties about how best to meet those fiscal challenges. His first year will extend well into his second year, quite likely culminating in a recall election to remove him from office.

He has dominated the political debate on both sides. Defining the issues. He is cited by both Democrats and Republicans as the best of example of what is wrong, or what is right with a conservative approach to government. Although they will never admit it, many Democratic governors are different from Walker only in a matter of degrees.

Nearly every governor, regardless of party, began the year saying the current path of expensive pension and benefit packages for public employees is unsustainable. The way the issue exploded in Wisconsin is as much a function of the legal and legislative tools at Walker’s disposal as it is about the specific route he chose to take.

This is why Governors Journal has selected Scott Walker as the 2011 Governor of the Year.

It is not accurate to say Scott Walker launched an unannounced attack on public employees. For decades, state and local government leaders have complained about government employee unions: Collective bargaining, growing benefit packages, under-funded pension systems and binding arbitration. The warning siren had howled.

As Idaho Governor Butch Otter(R) observed in one interview this year, the changes that occurred in 2011 could not have happened in the absence of the national economic collapse. In politics, things change when a crisis necessitates change.

That was the case this year in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Years of complaining about the problem led to action in state after state. Walker was faced with a larger crisis in Wisconsin, in large part, because the unions fighting his proposal to curtail collective bargaining rights had the help of a small group of Senate Democrats who fled the state, preventing a vote, for several weeks, as pro-union forces took over the Capitol in support.

Read more here.