March 3, 2012 By Rebecca Kemble, Arthur Kohl-Riggs and Nicole Schulte
On Wednesday, February 29, 2012 Arthur Kohl-Riggs of Shit Scott Walker Is Doing To My State interviewed Brian Fraley, Communications Director of the MacIver Institute. MacIver describes itself as a “Wisconsin-based think tank that promotes free markets, individual freedom, personal responsibility and limited government.” In other words, it’s a rightwing propaganda machine, and this year it has taken the lead in promoting Scott Walker and his recall campaign entitled, “It’s Working!”
Kohl-Riggs also pushed Fraley on whether or not Scott Walker’s budget and jobs policy was working. He pointed out that with a projected $143 million loss for the 2011-2013 budget period, Wisconsin is deeper in the fiscal hole than when Walker took office.
On jobs Kohl-Riggs said, “As soon as Walker’s policies went into effect we saw seven consecutive months of job losses. Is that working?” Fraley admitted, “The job losses are absolutely troubling and things are going to have to change in the private sector. He did however, end 2011 with a net gain in jobs.” This figure is disputed by Arthur, who said, “When we find out that Walker has a net loss of jobs will you admit that it is no longer working?”
In conclusion, Brian Fraley said, “The ‘It’s Working!’ campaign is about local governments being given the flexibility to adjust their budgets so they don’t have to lay employees off.” This sparked a heated exchange about the non-financial aspects lost with the abolition of collective bargaining having to do with working conditions. “There are still tons of protections in place for public employees. Tons. Tons,” said Fraley. Kohl-Riggs pointed out that the only reason that those protections exist in state statute is due to workers fighting for them through bargaining collectively, an irony completely lost on the man who would justify their destruction.