Tonight at the PWC Democratic Committee meeting it was decided to send the below letter to our VA Gov. We also passed the hat and will be sending our brothers and sisters in Madison $250 of Pizza!!
Dear Governor McDonnell,
We are deeply concerned about your expressed support for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as he fights against workers’ rights and abuses his authority to strike a blow against all working people in Wisconsin.
In your video address last Friday, you stated that the drastic actions taken by Governor Walker are simply a matter of course and that asking public sector workers to “do more with less” is a means to “get Wisconsin’s fiscal house in order.” This assessment obscures the real issue at hand in Wisconsin: Governor Walker is unscrupulously using the budget crisis as an opportunity to push forward a small government, anti-organized labor agenda. Blaming public sector workers for budget problems caused by the worst economic downturn in decades is a shortsighted, misguided approach at best and opportunistic and autocratic at worst.
Public sector workers in Wisconsin have made the concessions to pensions and health care benefits that the Governor has requested. The firefighters, teachers and nurses that are filing into the capitol building by the thousands have, in fact, agreed to “do more with less.”
The problem is that Governor Walker is not bargaining in good faith. He has made it abundantly clear that this is an ideological crusade against working people and their right to bargain collectively, not simply an exercise in fiscal discipline. Governor Walker’s exploitation of Wisconsin’s economic instability for political purposes is shameful. In the struggles of his constituents, he sees political opportunity.
From 950 miles away in Virginia, we see weak leadership and an interest in governing for corporations given a higher priority than the interests of every day citizens. For the last several years, states across the nation — with Democratic and Republican Governors alike — have made some incredibly difficult budget decisions. The Commonwealth of Virginia is no exception. In fact, as a right-to-work state, Virginia’s budget has faired no better than those with strong public sector unions like Wisconsin.
Although we accept that difficult times require difficult choices, Virginians are simply not buying the “blame the public sector workers” mentality. As organizations, we see our members and supporters suffering from several years of drastic budget cuts. We hold in good faith that our elected officials in the Commonwealth will make pragmatic budget choices and will not use our health, safety and education as bargaining chips in a power play to further a political agenda.
We stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of firefighters, teachers, nurses and police officers that are making up the grassroots protests in the capitol buildings of Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana.
These working men and women deserve our respect and support for continuing to fight for the American dream.
Bruce Roemmelt, Chair www.pwcdems.com