State Rep. Peter Barca
Press Release

Rep. Barca Statement on Shutting Down of Public Hearing

"I am deeply disappointed that Senator Nass and Republicans did not at least live up to their promise of holding the public hearing until 7:00 tonight."

By - Feb 24th, 2015 07:00 pm

MADISON – Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) released the following statement after Republicans shut down a committee public hearing on their so-called “Right to Work” bill:

“I am deeply disappointed that Senator Nass and Republicans did not at least live up to their promise of holding the public hearing until 7:00 tonight. Slamming the door on public testimony and silencing the hundreds of people who have come all day to testify is just another abuse of power by Republicans and an affront to our Wisconsin values of open, honest and transparent government.”

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12 thoughts on “Rep. Barca Statement on Shutting Down of Public Hearing”

  1. Paul says:

    Barca is just mad because the disturbance he had planned was reported on and stopped before he could act like a twelve year old that doesn’t get their way

  2. TR says:

    Agrees with Paul. They should have kept it quiet but than again look at what were dealing with

  3. PMD says:

    Absolutely. Shutting down a hearing on a contentious issue because a peaceful protest is planned is a shining example of mature behavior.

  4. Kyle says:

    While I understand their motivation to finish this while it’s too cold for mass protests, it does certainly look like they’re trying to push the issue through too quickly.

    That being said, I have trouble feeling outraged that this committee voted on the issue at 6:30 in a meeting that was scheduled to run from 10:00 until 7:00. Maybe if the Senate Democrats hadn’t filed into the committee meeting smiling after 6, their hand wouldn’t have been tipped.

  5. PMD says:

    And what kind of raucous was going on at 6:30? Were people chanting and shouting and what not? Cause if that’s the case, those aren’t ideal conditions for a productive public hearing. Seems like there’s blame on both sides here.

  6. Kyle says:

    SEIU claims they had a protest planned, but insist it was going to be peaceful. People chanted and shouted during the vote regardless, but it seems the crowd was generally respectful during the bulk of the meeting.

    If I had to guess, the goal would have been to prevent a vote from being taken in the committee yesterday, since that would have delayed it going to the full Senate. If that had happened, it probably would have ended their chances of getting it passed this week and would have made weekend protests a bit more meaningful.

    For what it’s worth, I hope they aren’t pinning all their hopes on these public protests. They didn’t result in anything during Act 10, and I doubt they’ll change anyone’s mind. To me, it’d make more sense to find some moderate out-state Republicans in the Senate with a significant union constituency and make a more personal appeal. If you can flip two who think this is being pushed through too quickly and it could hurt their district, then you might have a chance.

  7. PMD says:

    No argument here Kyle. I agree.

  8. Paul says:

    Kyle…So you want to flip people into voting to stop someone from the freedom to join a union or not? The protesters are trying to make this look like it’s the end of all unions, all it does is make a union prove it’s worth to the workers.

  9. Kyle says:

    Paul, I’d rather support ending the provisions that require a union to provide representation to non-union members. Some blame the Taft-Hartley act for that (the original Republican right-to-work bill), while others claim it’s written into the union contracts. If you’re going to take members and money away from the unions, they should be allowed to refuse to represent those same non-members. Without that, it really does look like a move to kill off the unions rather than a true choice. Let the workers choose, but let them face both the pros and cons of their choice.

    Let me put it this way: If you choose to buy a condo, should you be allowed to opt out of Condo fees? If you choose to buy a house in a neighborhood with a Homeowners’ Association, should be be allowed to opt out of those rules? If you choose to take a union job, should you be allowed to opt out of paying for the services the union is required to provide you? (Keeping in mind that you are already allowed to opt out of the portion that goes to other causes, such as politics.)

  10. AG says:

    Kyle, comparing shared property ownership is NOT the same as forced representation for your livelihood.

    Regarding representation of non-union members, this requirement can be exempted if the unions are willing to forgo their exclusive representation clauses. The unions will never do this though because they want to remain the only group with a foothold in a particular employer.

  11. Kyle says:

    You don’t have a right to be employed by any particular employer. There are a wide variety of ways that you’re allowed to sell your labor, so go find another one. Unless your official stance is that people have a right to a job but not a home.

    If the exclusivie representation clause is as voluntary as you claim, why are there no examples of either an employer or a union establishing a contract without one? The only court case remotely challenging that clause was a narrow ruling in 1962. I suspect that even without an exclusivity clause, a union would lose a lawsuit over failure to adequately represent a non-member, even in a right to work state.

  12. Paul says:

    Kyle…And if the company would pay some people more that quit the union because of their value to the company the unions would sue saying they we union busting. Also I tried your idea to opt out of the political contribution part, they offered me 18 cents out of my $48 dues.

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