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As week two of the stand-off in Wisconsin begins, it's clear that bargaining—either collectively or in good faith—isn't something that Governor Scott Walker is interested in doing.
And so the Wisconsin 14—the State Senate Democrats who left the state rather than allow Walker's union-busting disguised as a budget to be rammed through—are holding firm.
"We'll be here until Gov. Walker decides that he wants to talk," said state Sen. Tim Carpenter (D) in an interview with The Huffington Post on Saturday. He added that so far, the governor refuses to meet with them or even return the phone calls from members of the Democratic caucus.
"He's just hard-lined—will not talk, will not communicate, will not return phone calls," said Carpenter. "In a democracy, I thought we were supposed to talk. But the thing is, he's been a dictator, and just basically said this is the only thing. No amendments, and it's going to be that way."
"Clearly, we offered a viable compromise at the end of last week," said state Sen. Robet Wirch (D), who is in northern Illinois, but not in Rockford with other members. "We wanted the clergy to come in and mediate this thing. But the governor just has his feet in cement."
Naturally, Walker's office refused to comment for the story.
Bear in mind, the unions have agreed to the portion of Walker's bill that would have members "double their health insurance contributions and contribute 5.8 percent of their salary to their pensions," but of course this isn't about money, it's about busting the unions.
And remember, the Wisconsin 14 are talking a huge risk to fight for the collective bargaining rights of thousands of Wisconsinites, and they may pay an equally huge political price for it. Please take a moment and donate to these Senate Democrats for the fight that's still ahead of them.