Friday Judge Maryann Sumi placed a temporary restraining order on the implementation of Wisconsin’s new law regulating public sector employees. However, Judge Sumi’s neutrality is rather questionable. From Red State:

This is a problem. Judge Maryann Sumi should have recused herself entirely from the Wisconsin battle due to her inability to be neutral in this case. You see, Maryann Sumi has a clear conflict of interest. Her son is a political operative who also happens to be a former lead field manager with the AFL-CIO and data manager for the SEIU State Council. Both the SEIU and the AFL-CIO have members who are public-sector employees in Wisconsin. In fact, as a federation, the AFL-CIO can boast of several member-unions that represent public-sector employees. Maryann Sumi is hardly an unbiased judge in the matter.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has refused to run this op-ed from Governor Scott Walker, explaining his position, which is something the mainstream media refuses to do. Here is part of the Governor’s response to his critics:

In Wisconsin, we are doing something progressive in the best sense of the word. We are implementing reforms to protect middle class jobs and middle class taxpayers. While our idea may be a bold political move it is a very modest request of our employees.

We are reforming the bargaining system so our state and local governments can ask employees to contribute 5.8% for pension and 12.6% for health insurance premiums. These reforms will help them balance their budgets. In total, our reforms save local governments more than $700 million each year.

Most workers outside of government would love our proposal. Over the past several months, I have visited numerous factories and small businesses across Wisconsin. On these tours, workers tell me that they pay anywhere from 15% to 50% of their health insurance premium costs. The average middle class worker is paying more than 20% of his or her premium.

Even federal employees pay more than twice what we are asking state and local government workers to pay and most of them don’t have collective bargaining for wages or benefits. These facts beg the question as to why the protesters are in Wisconsin and not in Washington, D.C. By nearly any measure, our requests are quite reasonable.

Beyond helping to balance current and future budgets, our reforms will improve the quality of our governments. No longer will hiring and firing be done solely based on seniority and union contracts. Instead, schools – as well as state and local governments – will be able to make decisions based on merit and performance.

Read the rest here.

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