While government in Washington, D.C., remains divided and marked by long-term gridlock, governments in the states are much less divided. Of the 50 states, 37 now feature state governments where the governor and majorities in both legislative houses are controlled by one party—24 of those are controlled by Republicans. Extreme, anti-working family Republicans have repeatedly assaulted the rights of people in recent years and, by all accounts, the trend looks to expand in 2013. Working families are mobilized and fought back in 2012 and will continue to fight in 2013. The response to the "right to work" for less push in Michigan was so strong, that governors in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin have since declared that they won't push for right to work in their states.
Remember the state fiscal crisis, when state treasuries were running out of money because revenues (aka taxes) were down and cuts to education, health care, public safety and roads were the flavor of the day?
One of the little known factors behind this loss of revenue to state treasuries—and this is hard to believe—is that in 19 states, with Pennsylvania on the verge of becoming number 20, corporations are pocketing workers’ state income taxes instead of sending the weekly withholding to the state where it could be used to help pay for education, health care, public safety and roads.
When working people come together in political action and successfully fight to elect lawmakers who back working families, they are at least guaranteed someone who will listen to their concerns. But in too many cases corporate money has propelled politicians like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett to office where they turn a deaf ear to working people.
In this cross-post from Working America’s Main Street blog, Ruth Oditt shows that even the loss of thousands of jobs and the economic devastation of communities isn’t enough to move Corbett to act, let alone listen.
Working America members, teachers and unemployed Pennsylvanians on both sides of the state delivered more than 1,000 handwritten postcards to Gov. Tom Corbett’s regional offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. We wanted Corbett to know the drastic, widespread and ultimately disastrous results of the budget cuts he enacted last year. We wanted him to make good on the rhetoric used in his first year, which called for “shared sacrifice.”
A recent memo from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s (R) deputy chief of staff Luke Bernstein to other top staff and supporters says that in discussing Corbett’s first year in office, they should compare his “successes” to failures of other first-year governors, including Walker and Kasich.
From the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), whose employess are represented by AFGE, to local workers answering emergency calls, government workers have been playing a major role in the cleanup effort of Hurricane Irene. Two of those workers, one in Rutland, Vt., and one in Princeton, N.J., lost their lives while trying to help keep their communiteis safe during the storm.
We haven’t checked the national polls lately to see how Texas Gov. Rick Perry is doing in his I’m-more-right-wing-conservative-than-thou race to capture the Republican presidential nomination. But it looks like he’s closing in on the lead in another important election—the Transport Workers’ (TWU‘s) Worst Governor Ever summer special election.
There have been a lot of really bad governors over the years. But working families are confronted with quite a bumper crop of despicable state chief executives who are hell-bent on eliminating good middle-class jobs, giving the wealthy and corporations big tax breaks, undermining voters’ rights, cutting funding for education and jobs and more.
More than 200 students, teachers and other activists—many from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania—rallied today in Washington, D.C., against Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) and Gov. Tom Corbett’s moves to privatize their states’ schools.
Earlier this week 5,000 workers from dozens of unions marched on the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg to let Gov. Tom Corbett (R) know his budget is an attack on workers and communities. Said Gordy Moretton of Transport Workers (TWU) Local 2009:
The governor wants to make cuts to services that everyday people need. We need to stop this attack on the middle class.