After nearly a week of protests from union members, those in favor of Governor Scott Walker’s budget repair proposal made their voices heard at the Capitol Saturday. Thousands turned out for a rally on the east lawn of the Capitol, organized by Americans for Prosperity and several other Tea Party organizations.
AFP executive director Tim Phillips attacked Democratic Senators for leaving the state to prevent a vote on the bill. Phillips remarked that the eyes of the nation are on Wisconsin, and people are beginning to see that the unions are only working to protect their own interests. He criticized teachers for calling in sick several days during the week, so they could protest the Governor’s proposal.
Republican Presidential hopeful Herman Cain said Saturday’s rally shows most people support the Governor and his push to limit the collective bargaining rights of state workers. Cain says America has been hearing from 10-percent of the workforce all week, but now it’s time to hear from the other 90-percent of the workforce who support the Governor.
Nancy Milholland of the Racine TEA Party says Governor Walker is doing exactly what he promised while campaigning. She says Walker’s budget repair bill is “bad tasting, but much needed medicine” that will help prevent thousands of lay-offs.
Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher told rally-goers the Governor is right to bring union benefits in line with what private workers have had to give up and urged them to continue supporting the Governor.
The Tea Party rally took place as thousands more gathered around the Capitol for a sixth straight day of protests against the Governor’s bill. Officials put crowd estimates in and around the building at up to 60,000 people. While heated exchanges between the two sides could be seen around the Capitol Square, there were no reports of any major clashes.