WI Public Employee Issue Expands Nationwide

Updated Wednesday afternoon

Spurred by Wisconsin, protests for — and against — public employee unions are expanding nationwide, and are even having an international impact.

On Saturday, the activist group MoveOn.Org is pushing to hold rallies in every state capital. The group, which says it has 5 million supporters, announced the plan in an email to its members Tuesday.

“Hundreds of thousands of regular Wisconsinites—teachers, firefighters, police officers, students—have taken to the streets of Madison. They’ve occupied the capitol building for the last 7 days and nights,” said the email from the group, which supports Democratic Party candidates.

“But this isn’t just about Wisconsin. In state capitals across the country, and in Washington, D.C., Republicans are using the wrecked economy as an excuse to slash vital programs and hurt workers. The American Dream itself is under attack.

So we’re helping lead an emergency call for rallies in every state capital this Saturday at noon to support folks in Wisconsin and oppose these attacks, wherever they occur.”

The group said those who want to participate can click here to sign up.

Writing in the Globe and Mail of Toronto, commentator Andrew Steele warned the Wisconsin protests could have implications for Canadians. “If you haven’t been following the debate in Wisconsin over their new governor Scott Walker’s proposal to end collective bargaining rights for public sector workers, you should,” Steele wrote.

Meanwhile, the Republican Governors Association has come out in support of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican who was elected last fall. The association launched a new Web site, Stand With Scott, which features video of Gov. Walker and a link to his Facebook page.

“Wisconsin is in a state of fiscal emergency and faces a $3.6 billion deficit,” the Web site says.

“Governor Scott Walker has a plan that would spur economic growth and balance the budget without raising taxes.

His proposal asks state government employees to join with taxpayers and modestly contribute to their own retirement and health care.

Scott’s budget is a win-win for all Wisconsin citizens. Approval of the plan would not only save the state money, but it would allow the state to avoid massive layoffs.”

A Stand with Scott ad has begun airing on Wisconsin television.

Will you go to a rally? Or, will you support Gov. Walker? Tell us in the comments section and on our Facebook page.

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