WI Republican: We're "Wasting Valuable Time" On "Classic Overreach" By Gov. Walker

March 02, 2011 5:12 pm ET — Alan Pyke

Over the weekend, Wisconsin state Sen. Dale Schultz (R) was thrown into the spotlight after reports that he would vote against Gov. Scott Walker's union-busting scheme (and a quick, unconvincing denial from his spokesman). This morning, local blog Uppity Wisconsin reported that Schultz blasted the governor in a radio interview today for "wasting valuable time about collective bargaining, which I don't ever remember being a part of last election's discussion whatsoever."

Schultz — who had praised Walker's focus on the state budget hole before the governor announced his union-busting proposal and protesters flooded the Capitol — went on to explain why Republicans won't just carve out the contentious anti-union provisions of the bill and move forward. "The problem with that approach is then you'd have to admit that this collective bargaining issue really didn't relate to the state budget," Schultz said.

And even if Republicans did move the collective bargaining provision into another bill in order to sidestep the quorum rules Democrats have used to block the measure, Schultz warned that Walker's drive to break the public employees unions would 'tear apart' the state:

SCHULTZ: The other thing is that if you bifurcated the issues you still wouldn't give any hope to people who are fearful of something that's been wiped out that's given us labor peace for 50 years in this state. And it has. That isn't the history of Wisconsin, we've had people killed in strikes. And people tend to forget that when they don't occur regularly. [...] Let's tackle this budget, let's not raise taxes, but let's do it in a way that doesn't wind up tearing apart families and communities.

Listen:

Schultz is absolutely right that "this collective bargaining issue really didn't relate to the state budget," and it's nice to see a Wisconsin Republican show an interest in keeping the state together to work through budget issues. Schultz is still not saying how he'll vote on the bill, but in the interview this morning he made his personal view of Walker's plan perfectly clear: "To me," he said, "this just looks like the classic overreach we see every two years."

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