From a Reuter’s article on their own website. An attempt to diminish the influence of the local Tea Partiers by implying they have little numerical support. What Reuters pointedly fails to mention is that thousands of unionists and supporters have been bussed to Wisconsin from all over the country. A sign held by a Tea Party protester sums it up nicely- “We can only protest Saturday, we’re too busy working to pay tax the rest of the week.” Another was “I vote with my vote”.
Tea Party backers outnumbered in Wisconsin budget demonstrations
By James Kelleher
MADISON, Wisconsin | Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:55pm EST
MADISON, Wisconsin (Reuters) – Supporters of legislation to reduce public employee union bargaining power and benefits in Wisconsin were far outnumbered by opponents on Saturday, as the two sides shouted competing slogans under clear skies. Tens of thousands have demonstrated throughout the week against Republican Governor Scott Walker’s proposals, which supporters say are necessary to bring state spending under control and opponents contend are aimed at breaking the back of state worker unions.
Both sides drew thousands on Saturday, but opponents appeared to have several times as many on hand as those attending a rally backed by Tea Party groups, the first such demonstration this week.
At least they allowed some comments from the Tea Partiers-
“I’ve been working in a factory for 26 years. We pay 15 percent for the cost of our health care. The state workers get Cadillac insurance and pensions. They have no god-given right to collective bargaining,” said bill supporter Anthony Thelen, 46, who works in a non-union factory outside of Milwaukee.
In addition to sharply curtailing union bargaining power, the Republican legislation would make state workers contribute more to health insurance and pensions. “I’m so excited that you people have come out to support Governor Walker. In an era of irresponsible government he is doing the right thing,” Ned Ryun, President of the American Majority, a sponsor of the rally, told the crowd.