Appearing on The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell last night, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm lashed out at Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for what he has been trying to do to the public sector unions in his state, accusing him of “standing on the side of the billionaires.”
“When you think about this, and I think people are starting to wake up to it, that the union really represents the little guy, and the ability of the janitors in the capitol to band together to be able to have some strength in negotiating. I mean, this is not like some guy with a cigar over in a corner, this is your neighbour. These are everyday people. And when you think about the wage disparity, the income disparity in this nation, this growing chasm where the middle class used to be, it is no wonder everyday citizens are supporting the right of these workers to band together.”
Granholm them made it personal with Walker over how he is handling the situation, calling him “lazy.”
“I think what’s really important in what’s going on in Wisconsin is that going to the legislature when you have an all Republican legislature and saying ‘ it’s my way or the highway and I am not even going to negotiate, but I am going to take away the rights of the everyday citizen,’ instead of allowing them to come to the table. All of that is the lazy governor’s way. It is a lazy governor’s way of getting what you need to get done. He is saying this is all about the future. What he’s saying is he doesn’t want to exert the effort to go to the bargaining table. I am telling you, Lawrence, as the governor of Michigan, we cut more out of state government than any state in the country in partnership with the unions. And yeah, we had to go to the table and yeah we had to negotiate concessions. When I hear these guys saying they put in a no bid contract, it was the unions that came to us and said, ‘we’ve got to stop the no bid practices, and we’ll help to identify the contracts that are wasteful,’ and they helped to identify $1.1 billion worth of savings in Michigan. So to vilify people that could be coming to you with savings is a completely a) lazy, and wrong headed way of doing business.”
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