The Blaze has reported closely on what has been brewing in Wausau, Wisconsin between local labor groups, Republicans, and the Labor Day Parade. To make a long story short, the President of the local county labor council that is organizing the parade came out earlier this week saying that he planned to bar Republicans from participating in Wasau's family-friendly yearly Labor Day event. Marathon County Labor Council President Randy Radtke said that because of the GOP's position in the public sector employee collective-bargaining reform that has gone on in Wisconsin over the past year, he planned to ban them from the parade. At one point the labor council president even said that Labor Day is about honoring hard-working people and, in his opinion, “Republicans don’t represent those values.”
When news of the GOP-ban surfaced, Wasau's Mayor Jim Tipple delivered an ultimatum to the local labor council, saying:
“The banning of a political party from participation at any event co-sponsored by the City is against public policy and not in the best interest of all the citizens of the City of Wausau. And therefore, we encourage the event organizer to invite all interested parties, or reimburse the city for other costs.”
The Wausau Daily Herald reports today that the labor council has budged and that the ban has been lifted:
"In an email statement issued shortly before midnight, Marathon County Labor Council President Randy Radtke said everyone will be permitted to march in the parade 'because we don’t want to have community groups and school bands affected.'
'We didn't start this fight in Wisconsin, but were responding to anti-worker positions and policies supported by local Republican politicians, including those who have complained about not being invited,' Radtke’s statement read. 'With the track records that Pam Galloway, Sean Duffy, Scott Walker, and Jerry Petrowski have all put together this year, they should be ashamed to even show their faces at a Labor Day parade.'”
Not exactly a call for both sides to join hands and sing Kumbaya. But between death threats, protesters marching into the capital, and Democratic senators skipping town to avoid voting, the backhanded admission should be no surprise in a dispute between Big Labor and Republicans that has been both contentious and unconventional.