By Lindsey Seavert, WCCO-TV

Saturday brought what may be the largest protest yet in Madison, one day after Gov. Scott Walker signed a divisive law that eliminated most union rights for public employees.

Thirteen of the 14 Democratic state senators who left Wisconsin to block the vote returned to speak before demonstrators.

Among the throngs of protesters were approximately 150 teachers with Education Minnesota. The group boarded buses early Saturday outside the Minnesota Capitol in what they called a move to stand in solidarity with Wisconsin educators.

“I am going today because the middle class needs to be saved. Teachers especially need to be able to bargain collectively,” said Myrna Doran, a retired educator from Osseo District 279.

Madison Police estimated the crowd at 85,000. Among the thousands, farmers barreled outside the Capitol on a brigade of tractors. They said Walker’s new law removing collective bargaining rights impacts their prices and access to farmland.

Some carried signs for what they call the “Fabulous 14”, after the Democratic senators who emerged from hiding with harsh words at a press conference before marching with the crowds.

“Eighteen Republican senators stole democracy from the state of Wisconsin and the people of Wisconsin,” said Sen. Spencer Coggs D-Wis.

“We left for democracy and we’re not apologizing for that at all. We did it for the right reasons and the people have picked up the banner and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Sen. Dave Hansen D-Wis.

Walker maintains his plan is necessary to prevent layoffs, and expects more public support with a more efficient government.

Minnesota teachers said that with the new law, public workers have lost their voice.

“Because the conditions that we work in are the conditions that the students learn in,” said teacher Bruce Mulder of ISD 287 in the western Twin Cities. “I think it’s an overreach on the Governor’s part and we are hoping we can undo it.”

The Democrats say they’ll now shift their energy toward recall efforts already underway against some Republican colleagues. Some Democrats also are facing recall efforts.

Comments (55)
  1. Disgraceful 14 says:

    “Fabulous 14,” I would call them the “Disgraceful 14.” They ran away from democracy. I would have more respect for their opinion if they voiced them during debate rather than than leaving the state and calling foul because the PEOPLE elected representation that promised fiscal responsibility. FDR once said that democracy would be compromised if government employees were allowed to unionize; he was right.

    1. tiredandretired says:

      May 2, 1933 in History
      In Germany, Adolf Hitler bans trade unions.

      “He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”
      “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for. ” Thomas Jefferson

      “These are the values inspiring those brave workers in Poland. They remind us that where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost.”
      ~~~Ronald Reagan; Labor Day Address at Liberty State Park, 1980~~~

      1. Victim Du Jour says:

        Hitler Banned Bolshevicks and Weimar republic Unions and replaced them with “The German Labour Front”

        The “National Socialist German Worker Party” promoted Nazi Unions in the Film “Triumph of The Will”

        If you want to see Nazis talking up their labor unions, maybe you should look up the film. It even won awards in Sweden and France.

      2. Victim Du Jour says:

        Public Schools hide their Ku Klux Klan origins too.

      3. TypesFromHome says:

        Hey, Victim, you’re saying Ronald Reagan sided with the Nazis! Tsk. Tsk. I don’t believe that to be true.

      4. Victim Du Jour says:

        Americans don’t have to feel guilty about Nazis.

        Jewish and Christian soldiers went to Europe with weapons made by US Corporations and defeated Hitler and his Union thugs.

    2. jimmy says:

      The DISGRACED 8 Republican senators will be recalled and voted out of office by the end of the year. Thus ending the fascist reign of terror in WI.

  2. HELPER says:

    This is AWESOME!

    People are waking up! This whole fiasco caused by that MORON WALKER is just a WAKE-UP CALL for DEMOCRATS!

    People can see what Republicans really are… that big idiot in the back of your canoe, trying to steer you back into troubled waters… Yeah, let’s just let Republicans taunt their ‘Budget Fixes’ for a little while longer… won’t be long until everyone but those 30%’ers realize what’s happening’

    LOL!! It’s SOOOO True!!

    1. jimmy says:

      Did you ever notice that when the Tea Baggers rallied the crowd pictures were from ground level. This was so they could lie about the number of people that attended. With the rally in WI Saturday the picture are from the air so you can see how many are there.

    2. good luck says:

      You are one of those that cant think for them selves

  3. Patrick Shull says:

    Here is a really stupid question for everyone including all news outlets. Last time I checked if you want to have a large gathering and or have a protest on public grounds that you needed to have permits to protest. I haven’t heard one word about anyone of these protesters having permits and if any one of us go down to the state capitol and try to stay the night we would end up in jail for trespassing and or who knows what else I would get arrested for. So yes these protesters should be fined and or thrown into jail for having illegal protests and staying at the capitol.

    For the 14 Democrats that decided to run off and not do their jobs, this is nothing new and Democrats have been doing this for years and learned it from now Governor Dayton amongst a very long line of none working Democrats. I don’t like Republicans either but at least they are at work trying to work and not waste too much of the tax payers money unlike these Senators that decided to not show up.

    I know if it were you or me we would of been fired for not showing up to work and ended up on tv stomping around, you can bet that I would be fired. But again I am not a Senator or have any government elected job so I guess my rights are nil and oh yeah since I have noticed that all of these union workers have decided not to show up for their jobs they still have them and never lost a day pay. Must be nice going into work and doing a half azz job and or just not show up at all and still get paid for it.

  4. Think about it says:

    Anyone who agrees with Walker and his billionaire Koch buddies suffers from a kind of economic Stockholm Syndrome, as far as I’m concerned.

  5. tiredandretired says:

    The Dem. Senators are indeed patriots and heroes. They represented their constituents in the best way they had at their disposal. I applaud their courage! America will be forever in their debt!

  6. Darren says:

    Lets see, in November the Republicans were voted into office by a wide majority because of the overspending,overtaxing democrats. Now some of those people who voted them in want them out? No wonder why nothing can get done in government when the people that elect them can’t make up their minds.

    1. Patrick Shull says:

      Those Democrats didn’t do their job in WI. Last time I checked you have to show up to your job into order to get paid. But I forgot if your in the union and or a elected politician these rule do not apply to you.

      1. tiredandretired says:

        “He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”
        “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for. ” Thomas Jefferson

    2. smitty says:

      adn as we all know that only about 50% of all eligable voters turned out and in 2012 if 70-80% come out and vote……………..landslide for the democrates

  7. Kevin #2 says:

    Attempting a conversation with a radish is more interesting than attempting a meaningful conversation with a conservative. Conservatives are so mind-numbing dumb, it boggles the mind. They repeat the same garbage over and over – the same garbage fed to them by who knows. I swear they’ve all been given a pamphlet “The Conservative Response to Everything” and they simply repeat what’s written there – without thought, without ever facing the facts.

    Walker and his fellow Repubs are waging war on the very soul of this country and conservatives are just too stupid to realize it. God save us from them all!

    1. Leslie says:

      you forget sometime that the avaerage iq of a dem is 25 points less than a republican. We can only help you if you help yourself. I know its hard sometime to comprehend the world of economics but we will continue to try and help even though you get frustrated.

      1. SMITTY says:

        leslie where are you coming up with these satistics ? a rebublican think tank ? think before you speak !

  8. allan thomas says:

    The republicans have cut taxes since Reagan and now they can’t pay the bills. Taxes are at a forty year low. How stupid. But big cuts will be made and lots of people will lose their jobs. What was once the richest country in the world is sliding down to the poorest. We will eventually become another banana republic with big business running everything, with no taxes for them and no government controls. Time to quit listening to their propaganda.

  9. Dan says:

    I thought Reagn was going to shrink goverment then he made it larger what a great president he was 😦 , Walker is doing the same, Will walker reduce his pension and health care to him and other politicians ( No pension for politicains or health care after retirement.)

    1. mark from says:

      Poor poor Dan, Regan did, it was the Democrats after him that made it larger. Read politics 101

    2. Tom says:


      Your 14 Senators “buddies” are enjoying all paid health care at your expense!!

  10. mark from says:

    Where were these clowns when the election was going on? They thought they had had all this power with there members, so wrong they were. Now it is bitting them in their a$$’$. So long Public Unions your days are numbered even in Minnesota

  11. mark from says:

    I love how these Socialist Liberal clowns are blaming the Republicans for this when it was the voters of WI who put them there. They have no clue! Now they want a recall, they will not get enough signatures just like they didn’t get enough votes in the last elections. Just a pipe dream for them.

    1. pss says:

      don’t you mean the conserative right-wing nutjob rebublican communist

  12. kyle says:

    Mark, have a cup of coffee, watch some fox news and bang your head against a wall.

    1. Heididog says:

      Kyle, watch any kind of news these days and bang your head agaisnt the wall! They are all awful! It says that it was a 8.9 earthquake in Japan…now the news changed that to a 9.0 earthquake!! Get what I mean?

  13. Heididog says:

    I wonder what this country would be like if the military went Union???? Look at their conditions that they work in!

  14. Kyle says:

    14 Cowards that can not get their way and the greedy government union people who support them are lowest form of Americans I have ever seen. I am switching to vote GOP from now on becaues of this. I have many Dem firends who also said they are done with Dems and will only support and vote for those who oppose the governement unions.

    1. TypesFromHome says:

      And I have many Republican friends who said they are done with Republicans and will only support and vote for those who support the people’s right to organize! I guess my friends neutralize the harm your friends can do. LOL

  15. Cindy says:

    We won, the real Workers Rights won out not the union thugs! Us real workers will nott have to pay for lavish lifetime government union pensions with built in inflation protection. I have a real job, not a made up government job and I will not have to suport goveernment union peoples pension with more and more of my tax money and my children will not have to be taxed out of their houses to support these lavish pensions. Real Works right by the grace of God have won out ..

    1. helper says:

      Here’s another right wing religious nut case. Hopefully the baby jesus will take you away on May 22!

  16. Liberalism is emotional control says:

    Have you seen the photos of the “protestors”?, many are not from WI and the overwhelming majority are college kids who are holding signs up with ‘talking points’ that they don’t have a clue about. This is what going to an expensive Lib school gets you, more sheep libs.

    1. TypesFromHome says:

      I didn’t notice the signs on anyone that said where they were from! You must have an extraordinary talent to be able to discern that from — what? The way they were dressed? The kind of car they drove? The type of lettering on their sign? WHAT?

  17. Dan Smith says:

    Democracy spoke when the governor signed a bill lawfully passed by the representatives of the people of Wisconsin. Out of state union thugs and wannabe socialists are free to express their opinions, but where were they last November? They assumed the party would go on endlessly, to paid for by tax dollars. Now the people have said a collective “No” and the caterwalling can be heard for miles. It doesn’t help when a cheerleading news media spews the party line instead of reporting the news. Where was Lindsey when the mob was threatening the legislators and trashing the Capitol? Having a latte with the unionists? When is WCCO going to hire journalists who don’t want to be opinion commentators?

    1. Linda says:

      You lost me when you said that the bill was passed LAWFULLY. It wasn’t.

    2. pss says:

      wrong the only one’s that said anything is the commie right-wing conervative nutjobs. as we can see the people are standing up for their rights to be heard not everyone voted for the 14 rebublickings and the so-called gov walker

  18. Deb says:

    Shelly –

    What are the people asking for? Well, here’s a sample….

    1. What do you do if you know you’re an incompetent teacher who’s just riding out tenure (with all the nice perks the school district has to offer – you know who you are) and you have a group of concerned parents calling you up, because your students and their parents are displeased with you teaching abilities?

    (You can find one of these “teachers” in any school district accross the US)

    Sorry, I forgot to mention promotions are not based on skills and abilities rather than “years of service”.

    Nothing… You’ve got tenure and a union to back you up, .if the school district tries to fire your ass… well, then there’s a “STRIKE” and no one wins – except the UNION LEADERS – they still get paid!

    1. Let’s say you get a DUI while driving to your school conference meeting, and you get pulled over while having a little too much to drink, what’s going to happen? (Actually happened, former principal in a TC western suburb)

    The school district will try and fire your right away, but don’t sweat it, the union will have you back on the job (with back pay) in about a week, as long as you sign up for a “AA” meeting.

    2. Let’s say you had sex with one of your students (not uncommon) What’s going to happen?

    More than likely, nothing, until the news media gets a hold of the story, then your on your own… But don’t worry, the school outside the news media coverage area will hire you on right away.

    So… what have we learned today? Maybe the passing of the bill is a good for the students, it will give the students better protection from the incompetent, pedifile, drunk teacher…


    1. atrie says:

      now where lumping every teacher into a large group of losers I also know people who are rebublickings that have received the same treatment so please quit quit lumping everyone into a group of goons those are 1 in a 10000 examples get fing real

    2. TypesFromHome says:

      You make it sound like a teacher can never be terminated! That is just NOT true. How do I know? It happened to a member of my family who happened to know some “unpleasant” facts about the new principal. That new principal made life so miserable for her to get rid of her to be sure she never told anyone the “facts”. When you have a medicated principal who is a pathological liar, strange things can happen.

      In addition, my eldest son had a classroom experience that, when reported to the principal, had that teacher out of the classroom the next day, deservedly so! So don’t give me the old song and dance of “You can’t fire a tenured teacher bull s**t. It just is NOT true!

  19. sad but true says:

    All 85,000 of you are winners, you will change everything, NOT but hey at least you’ll think you mattered

    1. smitty says:

      everyone matters even you sad but true just some of us more than you

  20. Get a life says:

    I am getting tired of hearing about this! Where does money come from??? Not from the printing press that makes it but from the taxpayers! Those 14 democratic senators should not receive payment for the weeks they went in hiding! They are a bunch of cowards and did not stand up for what they believed in!! If they were opposing the bill, they should have stayed and stood up but they went the cowardly way and now they are called “heroes”…yeah right!!

    1. Tom says:

      14 Democratic Senators from Wisconsin need to be Fired from their jobs!! (I’m happy to do it)

      1. artie says:

        why don’t get a life and tom go have another 12 pack of encouragement or just pass-out , i’m surprised that your up so early in the day

    2. mark from says:

      Well said Get a Life

  21. Get a Life says:

    artie, you must enjoy going along with the “cowards” way out! Why don’t you just run away and hide like they did???

  22. artie says:

    the cowards are the rebublicking senators and dunce walker taking a vote and passing into law WITHOUT a quorum which is required by Wisconsin law, as for hiding I in plain site every day of the week come and find me if you have the guts or maybe you better have another 12 pack of liquid courage first

  23. DJ says:

    The 14 who left did so because they had nothing else to offer. One of the basic principles of a Democracy is to openly debate the issues. The 14 in this case chose to leave their posts instead. This is because they couldn’t offer any alternatives to trimming the 300 million the Republican plan had on the table. The Democrats have no valid reasons to put forth to defend public unions and the knew it so they simply bailed. The stayed away at the request of their handlers – the union leadership who owns them. These people aren’t heroes and it’s insulting to label them as such when you think of those in our country who truly are.

  24. artie says:

    try again the rebublickings wouldn’t discuss or debate they were willing to just ram it down there throats of the democrates ! IT’S ALL ABOUT BUSTING UNOINS PLAIN AND SIMPLY

    1. mark from says:


  25. ag says:

    why does everyone assume that if your a union worker that you make tons of money?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

More From WCCO | CBS Minnesota

Good Question
Best Of Minnesota

Watch & Listen LIVE