By Glen Johnson, Globe Staff
MILWAUKEE â€” Governor Deval Patrick waded into the national debate over labor rights last night, telling fellow Democrats in the union battleground state of Wisconsin that Republicans â€œhave abandoned any sense of responsibility for our common future in order to win power at all costs.â€™â€™
Offering tidbits of the personal story outlined in the memoir he is now selling, as well as a preview of the pro-Obama speech he will deliver over the next year as a surrogate campaign for the president, Patrick was scalding as he mirrored President Obama in casting the 2012 election as one less about policy than values.
â€œRepublicans say that if you just shrink government, cut spending, crush unions, and wait, all will be well,â€™â€™ Patrick told a sold-out audience of 400 at the Democratic Party of Wisconsinâ€™s annual Founders Day Dinner. â€œOf course, they donâ€™t actually believe a whole lot of this.â€™â€™
Building momentum, he added: â€œThe same folks who say smaller government and less spending is the right way to go are the ones responsible in the Bush administration for the biggest run-up in the size of the federal government in history, and spending deficits out as far as the eye can see.
â€œThe same folks who are attacking the principle of public sector collective bargaining today will make an exception if your union endorses them,â€™â€™ he said.
The latter comment referred to the political fight that paralyzed this state in February, when newly elected Republican Governor Scott Walker pushed a bill proposing to eliminate union collective bargaining rights.
That prompted union opponents and Tea Party and other backers of the governor to clash at the state Capitol in Madison, triggering a national debate over how to cope with generous labor contracts amid the national recession and massive government spending cuts across the country.
To read more, visit:Â http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2011/05/patrick_attacks.html
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