Plale's Job One: Finding Plale a Job | WisCommunity

Plale's Job One: Finding Plale a Job

Will State Sen. Jeff Plale,  a South Side Milwaukee Democrat who portrayed himself as a friend of blue collar workers in his losing campaign for re-election, sell out union members and sabotage their contracts as his final act in the legislature? (That's him at right with tin cup and "Will work for food" sign)

Plale, a conservative Dem who lost his seat to progressive Chris Larson in September's primary, was surrounded by hard hat construction workers in his campaign mail and commercials. 

He touted his endorsements by a number of unions, including AFSCME, the public employees union. carpenters, operating engineers, teachers, firefighters, laborers, boilermakers, pipe trades, steamfitters, iron workers, and more.

But he's out of work on Jan. 3, and reportedly angling for a job from Republican Scott Walker.

So, in the current effort by the Democratic-controlled legislature to ratify contracts with state employees -- contracts that include concessions and are being completed a year and a half after the last contracts expired -- Plale acted Tuesday like Scott Walker's boy.

Walker wants to stop those contracts, try to get another pound of flesh from the unions, maybe get rid of state employee unions altogether if he can.

And Plale wants a job.

So he parroted Walker's view that the new Republican legislature, to take office in January, should act on the contracts, even though they were negotiated by the current administration.  If the State Senate holds a special session, he said, he will vote against the contracts.  Most of them are with units of AFSCME, the union that supported him in his tough primary.

Meanwhile, Russ Decker, the Democratic majority leader in the State Senate -- who was beaten by a Republican last month and also will be leaving office on Jan. 3 -- is acting like he might not even agree to call the session.

Does Decker, a union member himself before being elected, want a job from Walker, too?  Or is he trying to extort some other price from the unions?  Whatever it is, it's the kind of sleazy game-playing that gives public service a bad rep. [ UPDATE:  Whatever it was, Decker must have gotten what he wanted.  He agreed to the session and voted in committee Wednesday to approve the contracts.]

"Job Creation Is Job One," Plale's campaign mail pieces proclaimed. "Wisconsin workers know they can count on someone who has always fought for their jobs."

He didn't say that his top priority, Job One, was to get himself a job from Walker.


December 14, 2010 - 6:58pm