GOP banned from Labor Day parade


In our neighboring state of Wisconsin, Wausau has banned Republicans from marching in this year’s Labor Day parade, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The parade is sponsored by Marathon County Central Labor Council.

“Usually they’ve been in the parade, but it seems like they only want to stand with us one day a year, and the other 364 days they don’t really care,” said Randy Radtke, president of the council.

In a statement, Radtke added that the parade is intended to celebrate working men and women and what the labor movement has given them: weekends, a 40-hour workweek, child labor protection and a safe working environment.

“It should come as no surprise that organizers choose not to invite elected officials who have openly attacked worker’s rights or stood idly by while their political party fought to strip public workers of their right to collectively bargain,” Radtke said.

Rep. Sean Duffy, a Republican, took exception.

“Having walked in this parade in past years, Congressman Duffy was hoping that for a moment, we could set our differences aside and simply have some fun in a family-friendly event,” he said in a statement posted on

(Photo: The 2010 Wausau Labor Day parade via Flickr)

  • Jim Shapiro

    Wealthy republicans are primarily self-interested. Non-wealthy republicans are delusional as to whose interests they are really serving. They should have their own parade of fools.

  • Bob Collins

    Are there NO Republican members of a labor union anywhere in Wisconsin?

  • Heather
  • matt

    Union leaders are primarily self-interested. Union members are delusional as to whose interests they are really serving. They already have a parade.

    How far did the Republican party in Wisconsin move the state in the direction of “conservative” values with their union busting moves? How will excluding Republicans from the parade improve the lot of union workers? This is right up there with Packers fans who moon the buses of opposing teams as they enter Lambeau – thinking that will give their team the edge.

  • Jamie

    It may not “improve the lot of union workers” to exclude Republicans from the parade, but it’s an important statement that must be made. Who said that it would or should “improve the lot of union workers” anyway?

    It’s nothing at all like Packer fans and mooning. That’s utterly ridiculous.

    I applaud the decision.

  • Jim Shapiro

    matt – Nice twist on my comment. But union members aren’t delusional as to whose interests they are serving. They are directly helping themselves and family, and attempting to help other working people. Whether or not they are winning the battle is a different issue.

    Any republican that earns less than 6 figures is an ignorant tool.

    That said, I would vote for Ron Paul before I vote for Obama again, but he is the exception that proves the rule.

  • matt


    If I am paying union dues that go pay for lobbying efforts and to sponsor parades I would expect my union dues improve my lot. If they made things worse for me it would be a foolish use of those funds…even if they were neutral it would be foolish. The whole purpose of the union is to improve the lot of union workers.

    You don’t mean to suggest that the whole labor movement has gone beyond its original goals and is now just another rent seeking lobbying group on par with energy companies, seniors and defense contractors that sees this is the best way of advancing their political goals with out one thought of the impact on workers – or do you?

  • Tyler

    If you throw the party, you get to choose who comes. Tough nails, Wisconsin Republican Party. Throw your own parade.

  • matt

    @Jim Shapiro,

    Bush/Obama tax cuts reduced tax rates at all levels, if you are a social conservative Don’t ask don’t tell was a winner, same with DOMA, if you are a national defense hawk we are getting all the wars that we can handle. Republican pols are delivering on what they offer voters. Many like to think that Republicans only vote that way because they feel that they will someday be the next billionaire and benefit from the outsized gains that republicans deliver to the moneyed elite and political class but it is incorrect to paint the voters that way without any data to back it up.

    I would proffer that unions deliver about the same percentage of benefit to their base as the Democrats and the Republicans, again with the lions share going to the political class. They are losing bets unless you got a govt gig.

  • Jim Shapiro

    matt – Well stated.

    That said, regarding – “…it is incorrect to paint the voters that way without any data to back it up.”

    The type of data that would prove my point that “Non-wealthy republicans are frightened tools”

    is extremely difficult to gather because it is based on true motives, or the WHY behind why people vote, which is not a quantitative fact, and frequently unknown on a conscious level.

    What CAN be measured is the amount of republican social issue rhetoric that is based on promoting fear ( primarily fear of the other, and of change.).

    Much of the republican economic rhetoric can be disproved by simple fact checking.

    If people understood and paid attention to data-based economic information, (eg the rapidly growing disparity between the extremely wealthy and the shrinking middle class) there would be a revolution in this country.

    No, I take that back. A revolution would probably be more likely to occur if the NFL season was canceled.

  • Paul

    File this under “Well Obviously”. In other news, the KKK won’t be allowed to march in MLK parades.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Bob – I sent a response to matt’s comment directed to me, in which I sincerely complimented him on his articulate and well-thought statement.

    I went on to say that it would be difficult to provide data as to the motivations behind voters’ action, because political polls tend to address more easily quantifiable variables.

    I mentioned the difference between campaign rhetoric on social issues and economic issues, and the general republican propensity to use none-too-subtle Fear tactics with the former and verifiable Mendacity with the latter.

    When I hit the POST button, I received a response that said something along the lines of “The blogger is reviewing your post”.

    This was several hours ago, and Paul’s witty comment has appeared subsequent to my non-appearing one.

    The disappearance of my brilliant comment (imho) has led my little mind to spinning in a somewhat paranoid direction.

    -Are you (or a “shut the hell up!” filter) tired of the sound of my voice? ( Granted, I HAVE commented on several different posts today).

    -Have you installed a “not nice” filter? ( I think I said something referring to non-wealthy republican voters as “frightened tools”. Oh, yeah, and I think I also indirectly called for revolution, but that was pretty clearly tongue in cheek. That’s probably it. The “not nice” filter can’t read nuanced satire yet. 🙂

    I fully accept either of the above, as well as the distinct possibility that it simply got lost in the ether.

    I’m just happy you let a rummy like me come into a classy joint like this at all.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Bob – wouldn’t you know. I now feel quite the fool. I just posted my “why didn’t you post my comment” diatribe, only to find said comment posted, and marked with the original post time, BEFORE Paul’s.

    Either I’m losing it (OK, what little of it remains), or something else occurred.

    I’m open to either possibility.

  • Al

    To bad the Republicans were excluded. It would have been more effective if they had let them in and organized the crowd to boo and tell them what they thought of their actions every single foot of the parade route.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Al – Wow. Great idea. But it clearly had some advanced strategy and tactics thinking behind it.

    The parade organizers apparently were in more of a “I’m not gonna let you play if you won’t play nice” mode.

    Sadly, that’s one of the reasons democrats lose. They bring a Marquis of Queensberry rule book to a knife fight, and republican strategists know it.

  • Bob Collins

    Moveable Type is really good at picking off spam, which prevents about 100 cruddy messages a day from infecting the blog.

    Sometimes, particularly with legit comments that have links in them, MT doesn’t know for sure whether something is spam or is a legit comment, so it just holds it until I can decide, which I did on the particular comments to which you refer.

  • Eliot

    Unions have helped destroy this country’s industries and sent jobs overseas by forcing companies to pay employees more for less work, give them more retirement pay and health benefits even if the company was losing money and going in the tank. I hate unions because all they are is a bully group, we in Oklahoma voted to keep their butts in check by making our state a right to work state as every state should be. No one should be forced to be part of a union to attain work, it is wrong and thank god the unions are losing their grip on employees all over the nation, keep up the fight people you will win your right to work free of union interference.

  • Porkov

    Martin Luther King was a Republican and a leader and hence would not be allowed to walk in the parade. What a bunch of racists.

  • lucy


    Up to this point, I have thought that the hide-the-post-tactic was to shame some of the more wise-guy posters. Sort of a military-break-’em-down-and-build-’em-up-tactic.

    However some of us have no bottom when it comes to being shamed. : )

  • Alison

    I wouldn’t get upset about the filters Jim. I’ve had a post or two get stuck in jail for a day or more. They happened to be ones where I included innocuous web addresses. Including web addresses seems to be a sure ticket to detention. And Bob, being the hardworking NewsCut reporter he is, doesn’t always see them within the hour.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Lucy and Alison –

    Thanks much for the support. Bob was considerate above and beyond the call of duty and explained what had occurred, allowing me to recover my lost dignity and stretched to the limit sanity. 🙂