Following is Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate’s Opening Day Statement.
“As the Milwaukee Brewers begin their 2012 pursuit of the National League pennant, Scott Walker will be confronted with some major league irony if he actually goes to tomorrow’s home opener.
Last year, in an act of historic cowardice, he became the first governor in memory to skip the Brewers’ Opening Day.
Maybe it was because Miller Park was built with the union labor he and his party have mocked. Maybe it was because Miller Park was built under prevailing wage conditions that Republicans have tried to undermine. Maybe it was because Miller Park was built using the project labor agreements that Scott Walker extremists have tried to outlaw. Or maybe it was because the players on the field are “union thugs” who have banded together to see that their rights are protected in their workplace.
This year, Scott Walker has special reason to cower from the public on Opening Day.
That’s because this year, the benefits of collective bargaining are writ large in the exoneration of Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun. Braun used protections only available to him through collective bargaining to beat back an unjust 50-game suspension. Without the basic principles that bind labor unions everywhere, the Brewers’ would have a much tougher 2012 campaign and Braun himself would have suffered irreparable injury.
Braun, of course, is no “thug,” but that is exactly the type of rhetoric that Walker’s Republican Party employs on a daily basis to demean the thousands of nurses, schoolteachers, garbage men, cops and firefighters who rely on exactly the same principles that protected Number 8.
These are uncomfortable facts for Scott Walker and his Tea Party Republicans who would rather pretend that their anti-worker rhetoric and policies exist in a vacuum free of real-life consequences.
We hope for fans of all political stripes that Opening Day is a welcome respite from the challenges of job loss and economic insecurity facing Wisconsin.
For Scott Walker, we hope he doesn’t cower and skip this cherished tradition and when he sees Ryan Braun take the field for the Brewers’ 2012 championship season, he understands that it was the union that made this possible.”