With a sweeping series of bills introduced Monday night in the state Senate, Republicans in Arizona hoped to make Wisconsin’s battle against public unions last year look like a lightweight sparring match.
The bills include a total ban on collective bargaining for Arizona’s public employees, including at the city and county levels. The move would outpace even the tough bargaining restrictions enacted in Wisconsin in 2011 that led to massive union protests and a Democratic effort to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
“At first glance, it looks like an all out assault on the right of workers to organize,” Senate Minority Leader David Schapira (D) told TPM on Tuesday. “And to me, that’s a serious problem.”
The bills were crafted with the help of the Goldwater Institute, a powerful conservative think tank in Phoenix that flew Walker to the state for an event in November. Nick Dranias, director of the institute’s Center for Constitutional Government, told TPM he sees Walker as a “hero” but that Wisconsin’s laws were “modest” compared to Arizona’s measures.
“In Arizona, we believe that the political will exists to do even more comprehensive reform,” Dranias said. “The environment, the climate that we face in Arizona is much more receptive to these kinds of reforms than Wisconsin is.”
Look at that last paragraph, Arizona. You were pissed off about the Economy, yet the Electeds have chosen only to hear an anti-Labor message from your Vote in November of 2010.
The question is, are you going to let them get away with it?