Indiana's Democrats left the state today rather than vote on an anti-union bill. The measure that would take away unions' ability to get contracts requiring all workers to chip in dues. The state's Republican governor reportedly advised his party's legislators against pushing the issue.
Not that Indiana's Governor Mitch Daniels is a big union guy. He blocked collective bargaining for public employees after taking office in 2005. Now Think Progress picks up on him explaining to NPR what Wisconsin's governor stands to gain from doing the same. It's not about the budget. Governor Daniels:
Well, the most powerful special interest in America today are the government unions. They're the leading financial contributors. They have the biggest PAC's. They have muscle. A lot of times their contracts provide for time off to go politic and lobby. . . .
. . . . The problem comes from the, you know, forced expropriation, whether they like it or not, of money from -- that started with the taxpayers, from the salaries of government workers, circulated back into a political machine that is the most powerful out there.
In Columbus, Ohio, today, thousands of protesters turned to oppose a Wisconsin-style bill that would strip public employees of their bargaining rights. The Ohio state highway patrol limited the number of people allowed in, ostensibly because of safety. The lockout enraged House Minority Leader Armond Budish. "This is what we ask for. We want people to participate," he told the Columbus Dispatch. "They come down from all parts of Ohio to participate in government and the doors are locked. That is wrong."
The story from Wisconsin is no longer just the story of Wisconsin. We'll have a big look at this tonight on the show. See you at 9 P.M. Eastern. Meanwhile, if you've been to one of the rallies and you've got pictures, videos, reports to send, please send them.
(Image from a gallery of photos at the Columbus Dispatch.)