Former Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty backs Wisconsin Gov. Walker on union standoff

As the saying goes: Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his boots. And former Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty knows how the soles of Scott Walker’s feet must feel right about now.

On Tuesday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, Fenty, a Democrat, said the Republican governor of Wisconsin was spot-on in his standoff against his state’s pro-union forces. Fenty said the Wisconsin Democrats who are on the lam should do their duty and vote up or down on the legislation.

“Well, this is kind of what I faced four years as a mayor,” Fenty said. “He’s right on the substance, I think. I tend to agree with him on the need for collective bargaining reform. But he’s also right on the politics. I just don’t understand why the legislature has been given this pass to go to another state and not do what they were sworn to do, and that’s to take a vote. And unfortunately for Gov. Walker, he hasn’t been able to get that out. He needs to point the finger a little bit more at them and say, ‘Listen, they should take a vote. All I want is them to vote up or down and then I’ll be fine with whatever they decide.’”

“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski objected to Fenty’s stance, explaining Walker hasn’t been willing to compromise. However, the former Washington mayor said he shouldn’t have to.

“But, again, I think just as Pat [Buchanan] just said, he has the votes in the legislature,” Fenty said. “All you should have to do as an executive is to get a majority of the votes. Had that happened early on in this process, I don’t think he would have taken all the bows and arrows and shots that he has.”

Last year, the teachers’ union was credited with unseating Fenty in the Democratic primary against Vincent Gray, the current mayor of Washington. Fenty explained that some elements of public sector union collective bargaining are outdated.

“The substance of it, I do,” Fenty continued. “There was a discussion on the show a couple of weeks ago that said most governors and mayors would love to be able to manage their team without the interference of collective bargaining. It’s true. I believe that managers have the ability to set fair wages and to set fair hours and to reward people or hold them accountable. I think it’s a new day. I think a lot of collective bargaining agreements are completely outdated. That being said, I really do believe if you are in a state house, the state legislature needs to vote up or down and then let’s move on. I bet he would be willing to accept whatever they come up with.”


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  • Mr B

    Fenty and Rhee did a great job with DC school reform; till the unions knocked them out. It’s so exciting to see similar changes, and then some, on our horizon in WI. Go Walker!

  • robjh1

    Why do we need unions for collective bargaining?

  • chicagochuck

    I never thought I would see the day…I would actually vote for that man, at least on this issue. I’m impressed, though I believe he understands the issue becuase he lost his power. If he moves to Maryland though he’d be a welcome addition to Congress, oust Steny Hoyer or Van Hollen, he might even join the Tea Party Caucus.

  • angst

    Wow, thank you Mayor Fenty! I was beginning to think that there were no Dems left who believe in the rule of law, thank you for proving me wrong.

    Mayor Fenty is absolutely right that Gov. Walker shouldn’t HAVE to compromise. He has the votes, and thus the mandate as defined by Wisconsin law. As my momma would say, “That’s the way the cookies crumble.”

    The way for the Dems to protest would be to rally up their base and elect more Democrats next time. But, until that happens, they are bound to do what they’ve been elected to do- represent the people of Wisconsin.

    • angst

      Ah- FORMER Mayor Fenty. Boo! He should still be mayor.

    • SamAdams25

      Republicans at the state and federal level should be reminding Dems and the public on a daily basis of Obama’s terse statement to Republicans: “Elections have consequences. I won.”.

      Well, now the shoe is on the other foot, and the Dems are either screaming bloody murder, or running away like little schoolgirls from a spider. This just another example of the extreme hypocrisy that is standard operating procedure for the Dems. How willing was Princess Pelosi to “negotiate” with the GOP on ObamaCare? Absolutely none.

      The Dems have no problem with hardball tactics as long as they are the ones using them. They simply can’t take their own medicine. Pathetic!

  • SargeH

    No wonder Fenty lost in the liberal swamp called D.C. He makes too much sense. DemoNcrats can’t deal with that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Donald-Dweebo/100002133788458 Donald Dweebo

    Wow, now that’s a Democrat I can get behind!

    • ojfl

      I agree Donald. School reform now this. And this man was ousted largely because of the unions.

      • SargeH

        And leading the charge was the teacher’s union. And we all know how well the D.C. schools are functioning.