This week, Governor Scott Walker all of a sudden discovered a fondness for public employees, after trashing them for months.
In a video to state employees, he said:
"On behalf of all of the people of Wisconsin, I want to say thank you to the thousands of men and women who work each day as public servants here in the state of Wisconsin. That's you, thousands of public workers who work in state government. We can't say thank you enough. From one end of the state to another, from one state agency to another, day in and day out you provide professional service to the people of the state of Wisconsin. To recognize that, we're not only saying thank you right now, we're putting in place a new state employee recognition system."
He announced that awards would be given to public employees showing "outstanding innovation" or "exceptional service" or "ongoing dedication."
Walker also distributed a video to the public, seeking nominations.
Rumor has it that there is a campaign under way to nominate Judge Maryann Sumi for one of these awards.
AFSCME Council 24 was not amused by Walker's crocodile cheers. It denounced the "self-serving, aggrandizing, patronizing video sent out today by the Governor. We are incredulous that this governor is two-faced enough to try and pretend he is concerned about state employees and what they do. If he was really committed to pubic service, he would not be assaulting your rights every day; and he would not be constantly attacking the unions that represent these public employees."
Turns out that Walker isn't the only public-sector-union-busting Republican governor pulling this stunt.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is doing the same thing, as the Democurmudgeon points out.
Kasich issued a florid proclamation announcing "Public Service Appreciation Week" this week, lauding "the positive impact public servants have on our communities."
Tim Burga, Ohio AFL-CIO president, denounced Kasich's move as "superficial" and "disingenuous."
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Bin Laden's Crimes, and Ours."
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