NICHOLS: Most Important Wisconsin Vote on April 3rd “Will Not Be About Personalities. It Will Be About An Issue: Collective Bargaining.”
One of the labor movement’s most effective champions, The Nation writer, John Nichols, published a short piece yesterday that suggests the Wisconsin GOP Presidential primary on April 3rd is not, in fact, the most important matter for voters that day. Rather, a referendum on collective bargaining, also featured on the ballot that day, is:
Not to diminish the Republican presidential primary, or the many contests for local, school and judicial posts that will be decided April 3. But the most important vote that day will not be about personalities. It will be about an issue: collective bargaining.
The Dane County ballot features an advisory referendum that asks: “Should all Wisconsin workers have the right to seek safe working conditions and fair pay through collective bargaining?”
Placed on the ballot by the County Board with support from Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, the measure provides an opportunity for voters to signal their clear opposition to the anti-union policies of Gov. Scott Walker.
As if we needed a reason to consider the GOP presidential primary a second-rate news story. As if. Romney and Santorum have been going from state-to-state inventing issues and spending millions. Sane working people, meanwhile, look on in disbelief as the important issues affecting them — stagnant wages, income inequality, outsourcing, basic rights — are swept under the conservative rug.
Nichols is right. April 4th will be an interesting day. We’ll find out just how many Republican Wisconsin workers want to inoculate themselves from their party’s harmful habits.