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Wisconsin’s Walker coming to Springfield

Thursday, Mar 22, 2012

* The Illinois Chamber just sent out a notice to “chamber executives” about an upcoming speech that will surely draw a ton of media attention…

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is very proud to announce Governor Scott Walker will serve as keynote speaker at Employer Action Day, the Chamber’s annual lobby day to be held in Springfield on April 17. His address will recount Wisconsin’s dramatic fiscal turn around and serve as an important reminder to our state policy makers that big problems require big solutions.

The Chamber is trying to keep it quiet for now. From the same e-mail…

While this invitation is being sent to chamber executives today, we are not making a formal press announcement at this time. Please take reasonable steps to keep the invitation limited to employer members and not members of the press.


A “sample notice” to local members is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 12:33 pm:

    “Before I begin, Wisconsin Business Licence Applications wil be on the back table for you …”

    This is an “open” invitation, that should be kept quiet and hidden from the publc.

  2. - Newsclown - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 12:36 pm:

    Will he still be governor then?

  3. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 12:38 pm:

    I think Illinois could dramatically increase exports to Wisconsin if Walker and his crew are introduced to the horseshoe. Kudos to the Chamber for bringing us this opportunity.

  4. - Commonsense in Illinois - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 12:41 pm:

    To embellish STL…AFSCME and the SEIU also want to say thanks. They were looking for something to do that day. Talk about manna from Heaven!

  5. - Perfect Timing... - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 12:48 pm:

    I think this is the same day the Governor wants his Pension Working Group to have their “framework” for reform.

  6. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    I promise I won’t tell anyone about this confidential invitation. Shhhhhhhh!

  7. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    Will they have Walker wear a mask when he gives his speech?

  8. - frustrated GOP - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:02 pm:

    Why would the chamber of commerce have as a speaker someone who is actively trying to take members away from the organization and the state?
    I bet he omits from his speech the Wisc. income tax rate which is higher then Illinois and the tax on pensions they have.
    give me a brea

  9. - seriously? - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:03 pm:

    They want to honor that jackass? Disgusting….
    It won’t just be AFSCME and SEIU out there.

  10. - Publius - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:09 pm:

    I promise I won’t tell anybody, other than my Facebook friends, twitter, other than them nobody else…

  11. - The Captain - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    Dear Illinois AFL-CIO, please don’t let me down on this one.

  12. - Cindy Lou - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:15 pm:

    I’m suddenly feeling the urge to visit Springfield on the 17th.

  13. - Union - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:15 pm:

    Is he looking for a place to flee to once he is recalled?

  14. - Thoughts... - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:16 pm:

    I saw Walker speak in a national setting not too long ago and it amazed me how many times he took shots at Illinois. I counted a half-dozen during a maybe 20 minute address. If this goes off (and I’m saying if because I think this will gin up more than they bargained for and Walker won’t come), I wonder two things - how many union members get call to action notices for that day, and whether he’ll continue the Illinois-bashing to an Illinois crowd.

  15. - Reality Check - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:17 pm:

    The only thing Scott Walker knows about employment is how to lose it.

    When he shoved his anti-worker budget down Wisconsin’s throat one year ago, Walker pledged it would create 250,000 private-sector jobs by the end of his first term. A year later, Wisconsin has seen just 6,000 private-sector jobs added. At this rate, Walker will keep his promise only if his first term extends to the year 2053.

    In fact, as the Madison Capital Times recently reported, “under Walker, Wisconsin is the nation’s #1 jobs loser.”

    Now you know why more than 1 million Wisconsin residents signed petitions to recall Walker. Before he destroys any more of their jobs, they’re going to make sure he loses his own.

  16. - wndycty - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:19 pm:

    I think its ironic they are bringing Walker down to Springfield because there is a very real possibility that he can end up like our former Governor, Rod Blagojevich. He has retained a criminal defense attorney and set up a legal defense fund. So those of you who like to hold up Scott Walker to make Quinn look bad, be careful because recall might not be his biggest challenge:

  17. - Excessively Rabid - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:19 pm:

    Has Wisconsin actually had a dramatic fiscal turn around? I thought they were still groaning along, pretty much the same as us without as much graft.

  18. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:22 pm:

    And the latest polls show Wisconsin resident opposing the recall by 11 points…. go figure.

    I guess Mickey Mouse will not be voting…..

  19. - Boone's is Back - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:22 pm:

    They just need to remember to use their tow cables…

  20. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:41 pm:

    Let’s just take care of this now:

    April 17
    High noon
    Pat Quinn vs. Scott Walker.


    Two governors enter.
    Only one will leave.

  21. - railrat - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:45 pm:

    I wonder if IUOE Local 139 will be a co-host, maybe the lunchpail republicans !! lol

  22. - Lefty Lefty - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:53 pm:

    Actually a PPP poll in February found Walker trailing both Barrett and Falk. He’s lost his advantage in the state assembly. He’s cut the pay of every public employee in the state. He’s tried to obtain the ability to sell state assets a la Arizona to pay for his maneuvers. And he ridicules IL all the time.

    Boy, I’m glad I quit the local Chamber.

  23. - Dan Johnson - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 1:58 pm:

    Walker is among the most ideological speakers in the country. It’s hard not to see the Illinois Chamber of Commerce as a Republican organization.

  24. - IUOE Rank and File - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 2:05 pm:

    Local 139 has an empty hall, IL Operating Engineers have Pat Quinn and the Lunch Pail Republicans. Jim Sweeney has sold out the rank and file operators for the public sector. Local 139 is still a hoisting and portable union, Not the IUOE version of the SEIU.

  25. - In 630 - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 2:21 pm:

    Frustrated GOP hit my main thought.

    Someone anti-Illinois has no business speaking to a group that in theory is supposed to be pro-Illinois business.

  26. - Quill - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 2:22 pm:

    Can we put up a fence to keep him out?

  27. - Aldyth - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 2:27 pm:

    Wisconsin’s economic turnaround? Is Walker ignoring the statistics on job loss, etc., for his state. Silly goose.

  28. - Stateline - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 2:28 pm:

    A few years ago we were working with a prospective company looking to locate to the State. The prospects representative told us they were concerned with our business climate. I asked them for specifics and they produced literature from the IL Chamber of Commerce pointing out all of the negatives about Illinois. Knuckleheads!!

  29. - Knee Jerk - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 2:29 pm:

    Doesn’t it seem extra insulting that it is the state chamber honoring this guy who has taken repeated pot shots at our state? I wonder if the chamber is ready for the backlash that is likely for disrespecting their own state. Remember what happened to the Dixie Chicks?

  30. - Bitterman - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 2:42 pm:

    Shrill, desperate, threatening, dismissive, bellicose, goofy, arrogant……all the things that make a blog entertaining.

  31. - lincoln's beard - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 2:45 pm:

    @ Stateline

    If you think about it, that kind of literature serves the IL Chamber quite well. It makes it more likely they’ll get favorable legislative treatment here, and it discourages potential out-of-state competitors from moving in. A Chambers interest is to protect existing business interests, not to encourage new competition.

  32. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 2:54 pm:

    Has anybody started a petition to rescind the invitation?

    BTW, which businesses are represented on the board of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce?

    I would be interested in encouraging a boycott of said businesses.

    If the Illinois Chamber of Commerce wants to go shopping for controversy it should be prepared to reap the fury of the storm.

  33. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 3:13 pm:

    Rich -

    Reality Check is correct. This is a huge gift to the AFL-CIO.

    The Wisconsin State Journal story from just two weeks ago:

    Governor’s jobs promise is still off pace

    Despite a bump in January, Gov. Scott Walker’s goal of creating 250,000 private-sector jobs is still a long way off, according to numbers released Thursday by the Department of Workforce Development.

    Wisconsin has gained only 6,000 private-sector jobs in the 13 months since the governor took office, a sluggish economic pace that leaves the state far off the mark Walker set during his campaign.

    Some quick math:

    Goal: 250,000 jobs in four years
    Progress: 6,000 jobs in 13 months

    Projection: Will create 22K jobs in four years, not 250K.

    Most folks who are more than 90% “off pace” get a pink slip pretty quick.

  34. - Nice Kid - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 3:57 pm:

    The Illinois chamber wants to invite a guy trying to lure businesses from Illinois? How idiotic.

  35. - Frank Golden - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 4:06 pm:

    Sounds like the Teamsters will be in town HA!!!

  36. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 4:12 pm:

    Carl Nyberg–

    Chamber board can be found here–

    Agenda for Employer Action Day is also posted–

    In other words it is the Chamber’s Lobby Day.

  37. - zatoichi - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 4:39 pm:

    The local Republicans had Ted Nugent several weeks ago. The world did not stop nor was there much PR after the event. Let Gov. Walker, or anyone else of their choosing, come and speak. Just make sure the fact checker machine is up to speed. Someone is paying the expenses for the trip. The Chamber must feel this event is worth the bucks and whatever heat they may get from members. Seems an odd choice.

  38. - Joe Melugins - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 4:40 pm:

    Here is why Governor Walker’s Wisconsin is in better financial shape than Illinois.

    Top Individual State Income tax rates:

    5% (after being 3% for 20 years.

    – 6.15 percent on taxable income between $10,071 and $20,130.
    – 6.5 percent on taxable income between $20,131 and $151,000.
    – 6.75 percent on taxable income between $151,001 and $221,660.
    – 7.75 percent on taxable income of $221,661 and above.

    And Illinois is not in bad financial shape because they spend more than Wisconsin:

    Total state expenditures per capita.

    Illinois: $3599
    Wisconsin: $6798

  39. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 5:17 pm:

    @Joe -

    Stop it with your fact-ranting already!!

    The state of Illinois is facing serious problems.

    This is no time for facts.

    We need to make rushed decisions based on propaganda and political hyperbole. Walker is just the guy for the job.

  40. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 5:22 pm:

    @lincoln’s beard -

    The anti-business propaganda is NOT in the interests of Illinois business. 80% of business is business-to-business, and CEO’s hire the guy they know from the country club.

    The only ones benefitting from this are the lobbyists from the Chamber and their consultants, and maybe the national Republican interests. Driving an “Illinois is anti-business” message fits into their presidential agenda.

  41. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 10:13 pm:

    =The Illinois chamber wants to invite a guy trying to lure businesses from Illinois? How idiotic.=

    After our commercial break…Politicians who during a tough economy want to give work Visas to employees from other countries in exchange for votes and campaign contributions and a discussion regarding the impact off-shoring has on unemployment, the ability to pay for your own healthcare insurance in this nation, and your ability to fund social security contributions while on unemployment.

  42. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 10:19 pm:

    And now a message from our sponsors…P90X fitness training DVDs.

  43. - Capital View - Thursday, Mar 22, 12 @ 11:08 pm:

    let’s see if Ed from MSNBC shows up to attend the union rally outside of this presentation…

    my dime says MSNBC will cover it.

  44. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 12:26 am:

    Doug Whitley’s explanation for bringing Walker to their lobby day makes him sound kind of dumb or disingenuous:

    “We did pick him (Walker) in part because he was controversial,” Whitley said Thursday. “When he was elected governor, he inherited a multibillion-dollar budget problem, and he fixed it. Governor Quinn inherited a multibillion-dollar budget problem, and we’ve still got it.

    “The message we’re trying to get across is that Illinois elected officials need to be open-minded about the best practices that have been pursued in other states,” Whitley said.

    However, Whitley could not say specifically what the chamber likes about changes in Wisconsin’s pension system made by Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature.

    “I can’t tell you that, at least not off the top of my head,” he said.

    Pension changes

    The Wisconsin Legislature last year increased what public employees must pay toward their pensions. Before the law passed, workers paid less than 1 percent of their salaries - in some cases nothing - toward pensions. Under the new law, public employees pay 5.8 percent to 6.65 percent, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Pension benefits themselves were not changed.

    Most Illinois public employees already pay more than that. Teachers contribute 9.4 percent to their pensions, state university employees pay 8 percent, judges pay 11 percent, and legislators pay 11.5 percent. State employees pay 4 percent if they also contribute to the Social Security system and 8 percent if they do not.


    Whitley said the chamber does not endorse Walker’s approach to collective bargaining.

    “I want to make this very clear. That is not our issue, and that is not why we invited Scott Walker to come to Illinois,” he said.


    So Walker didn’t change pension benefits for workers and instead he took away collective bargaining rights and somehow that is an approach to budgeting that the Chamber thinks we should be open to… except the chamber itself is advocating a plan it says will balance the budget by decreasing pension benefits for workers but is totally against taking away union collective bargaining rights.

    Hmmm… bringing a governor to Illinois who did exactly opposite of what you are advocating on pensions and will ignite a massive fight with all labor unions in this state is going to help you pass your pension reform plan how exactly, Chamber?

    Why not bring someone like New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who like reformed his state’s pensions like you are advocating by increasing his state’s retirement age for workers and introducing 401(k) retirement benefits for some workers without curtailing anyone’s collective bargaining rights?

    That would seem to make more sense to me than bringing Walker, that is, if the Chamber actually wants to pass meaningful pension reform and isn’t just potstirring in an election year out of a partisan objective or simply sheer boredom.

  45. - Joe Melugins - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 7:06 am:

    The Illinois Chamber of Commerce would sell their mothers if they thought they could make money from it - and if they thought they could get out of paying taxes on the profit.

  46. - BelleAire - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 7:38 am:

    I spend a lot of time in Milwaukee nuturing my addiction to cheese and sausage. This mess has been worth being up here since it is fascinating–in many ways it is better than the Blago Drama.
    Rebecca Kleefisch, the WI Lt Gov, doesn’t have the money to defend herself in the recall. Prior to the election, she spent barrels of dough on commercials talking about how she was a Mom with an SUV and didn’t a need a train to get to Madison. She never mentioned that she could carpool with Mr Kleefisch who is also in the legislature. They are both former TV talking heads so they are photogenic.
    There are several GOP members of the WI Congress who are also involved in the recall (including the Fitzgerald Bros)who are usually on the frontlines helping Walker do his bidding.
    And, as mentioned by others, there are several members of Walker’s staff who are under indictment.
    They are all going to be very busy over the next few months. I’m surprised that Scotty has the time for the trip to IL which he has blasted time and time again. I doubt that the BMO buyout of M+I or the Spanish train company leaving has helped his employment numbers.

  47. - FedUpAlready - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 7:48 am:

    “AFSCME and the SEIU also want to say thanks. They were looking for something to do that day.”
    - Yeah, like going to work. Oh wait, the union bosses will pay them to take the day off and bus them to the protest, while the rest of us have to WORK to earn our paycheck. Nevermind.

  48. - anonymice - Friday, Mar 23, 12 @ 9:02 am:

    Just wait until he finds out the sauce on his horseshoe is made from “soy-based processed cheese-like substance.”

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