March 29, 2012 12:29
If you have questions about why the IAFF will work to make sure “Mitt Romney’s view of the White House is from a tourist bus” – as General President Harold Schaitberger told IAFF members attending the IAFF 2012 Legislative Conference – then Romney’s remarks on the Wisconsin’s labor fight should erase any doubts.
Romney held a telephone town hall with Wisconsin primary voters on March 28 where he endorsed anti-union Republican Governor Scott Walker’s labor policies.
A woman asked the Republican candidate for president his opinion about Walker taking away workers’ right to collectively bargain.
In response, Romney called Walker an “excellent governor.”
"I believe he is right to stand up for the citizens of Wisconsin and to insist that those people who are working in the public-sector unions have rights to affect their wages, but these benefits and retiree benefits have fallen out of line with the capacity of the state to pay them,” he told callers. “And so I support the governor and his effort to rein in the excesses that have permeated the public sector union and government negotiations over the years."
One year after the collective bargaining law was passed, Wisconsin now ranks as the worst state in the United States for job creation.
The Wisconsin presidential primary is April 3.
On June 5, Wisconsin voters will decide if Walker will finish serving the remainder of his term as governor. Democrats in the state must still decide on a candidate to challenge the governor in what will be a tight race.
Romney also called public employee pensions and health care “excesses.” This comes from the man who just bought a mansion with an elevator for his cars.
Romney’s record and words when it comes to issues important to fire fighters and public employees are crystal clear.
Last year, he supported Ohio Governor John Kasich’s bill to significantly reduce collective bargaining rights in that state and announced his opposition to a voter referendum on Issue 2 on his Facebook page during the summer. Romney later visited a phone bank in Ohio to rally support for the doomed legislation only to backpedal on the issue before members of the media.
Romney is also opposed to critical public safety programs, including the Staffing for Adequate for Emergency Response (SAFER) and FIRE Act grants.
The stakes are high this election cycle, and IAFF members can’t afford to take a backseat.