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Obama: Wis. Budget Measures Are an ‘Assault on Unions’

"...they're our neighbors."

Early this morning we brought you a brief clip from of a local Wisconsin reporter's interview with President Obama. In the previous clip, Obama admits that he's not really been following the Wisconsin unrest closely. But that didn't stop him from weighing in anyway. After Obama said he wasn't really paying attention he went on to say the Wisconsin governor's emergency budget proposal is an "assault on unions":

In part that might be true. The governor is targeting public unions, but not without cause. The state faces a $137 million budget shortfall in the fiscal year that ends June 30. Forcing state workers to contribute 5.8 percent of their salaries to their pensions starting April 1, and at least 12.6 percent toward their health care, would generate $30 million by July 1 and roughly $300 million over the next two years when combined with the other concessions.

The measure would also remove the ability for public unions to collectively bargain over those measures.

Historically Obama has a close relationship with unions. One union alone, the SEIU, donated $27.8 million to Obama's 2008 campaign. In turn, three local chapters of that union have received Obamacare waivers.

The full, local interview can be seen here.

(H/T: Stephen Gutowski at

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