Wisconsin Labor Day Parade’s GOP Ban Sparks Outcry

By:  Alex Newman
08/31/2011
       
Wisconsin Labor Day Parade’s GOP Ban Sparks Outcry

The decision of local union bosses to ban Republican politicians from this year’s labor-day parade in Wausau, Wisconsin, is sparking nationwide attention and criticism, adding even more fuel to the political turmoil in the state following months of partisan battles over the power of government-sector unions.

In addition to the national outcry from activists on both sides, locals are fighting back as well. Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple, who is not affiliated with either party, said the union organizers would have to foot the bill for the parade themselves if their decision to bar the GOP stands.

“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 Mayor said in a statement.

The decision of local union bosses to ban Republican politicians from this year’s labor-day parade in Wausau, Wisconsin, is sparking nationwide attention and criticism, adding even more fuel to the political turmoil in the state following months of partisan battles over the power of government-sector unions.

In addition to the national outcry from activists on both sides, locals are fighting back as well. Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple, who is not affiliated with either party, said the union organizers would have to foot the bill for the parade themselves if their decision to bar the GOP stands.

“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 Mayor said in a statement.

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Photo: A Marathon County Sheriff's car rides in last year's Labor Day parade in Wausau.

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