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Fraternal Order of Police

Austin Lodge 49

12407 N. Mopac
Ste. 250 Box 386
Austin TX 78758

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News Item:  
Response of Chuck Canterbury, National President, Fraternal Order of Police to Statements Made By Glenn Beck on His Radio Program on 3 March 2011 03/03/2011
We know that Mr. Glenn Beck considers himself to be a friend to law enforcement, but he needs to get the facts before he acts—just as a police officer would.

The National Fraternal Order of Police had no role in organizing and is not participating in any of the demonstrations taking place in Madison, Wisconsin. That said, we strongly and unconditionally support the right of public employees to bargain collectively. For rank-and-file law enforcement officers, the ability to sit down with the employers and discuss workplace issues—from officer safety to wages and hours—is critical if the officers are going to be able to complete their mission. We would not deny any public employee the same rights and thus we sympathize with those who find their rights threatened—especially public employees who do so much for so many at every level of government. In any State where the rights of public employees are threatened, we are concerned about the rights of the rank-and-file law enforcement officer.

The Fraternal Order of Police strongly supports the right of the people to assemble peaceably when they do so in accordance with local, State and Federal law. Law enforcement officers provide security for thousands of demonstrations every year to ensure the safety of the participants and that of the general public.

We provide this security regardless of whether we agree or disagree with the issues that the demonstrators are presenting.

Mr. Beck's criticism of Mr. Anthony K. "Van" Jones and the American Dream movement may be justified. We have absolutely no relationship with Van Jones, and the National FOP is not part of any nationwide movement except our own. We reject any assertion that Van Jones may make regarding systemic police brutality. His record of inaccuracy speaks for itself. The FOP represents law enforcement officers; Mr. Jones represents an agenda.

On his radio show today, Mr. Beck stated that the cops have "acted stupidly," which is an irresponsible statement to make without all of the facts, whether uttered by a radio personality or the President of the United States.

Any suggestion that the FOP is just a union in a league with a vast labor movement is an inaccurate one. The FOP is not just an organization representing police, we are the police. When our leadership speaks out on issues, they are conveying the perspective of the rank-and-file law enforcement officer, not a national labor movement, and we know our interests better than any radio host.




New twist in Wisconsin collective bargaining battle

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 27, 2011 3:43 a.m. EDT

(CNN) -- The litigious and contentious battle in Wisconsin over collective bargaining rights has a new twist -- the publishing of the law despite a judge's order against such a move.

That left lawmakers and observers wondering Saturday whether the law had taken effect.

This latest drama started Friday afternoon when the state's Legislative Reference Bureau published the controversial act that curbs the collective bargaining rights of most employees.

The Legislature's website Saturday noted the publication of the law and cited these two points:

-- Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi on March 18 halted enactment of the law and forbade Secretary of State Douglas La Follette from publishing the law.

-- Wisconsin law requires the Legislative Reference Bureau to publish every act within 10 days of its passage.

"There was no temporary restraining order on the Legislative Reference Bureau from publishing, only on the secretary of state," Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told CNN affiliate WISN. "There was no reason that the (bureau) could not publish, and actually has an obligation to do that, as they did today (Friday)."

The state's Department of Justice, headed by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, issued a statement Friday saying that "no action by the Secretary of State is required by this section for the legislative reference bureau to publish an Act."

Van Hollen on Monday asked the state's 4th District Court of Appeals to lift Sumi's temporary restraining order halting enforcement of the act.

Sumi issued the injunction in response to a suit filed by a Democratic district attorney alleging that Republican legislators violated the state's open meetings law by calling a committee meeting to amend GOP Gov. Scott Walker's budget bill without providing the public 24-hour advance notice.

The amended bill, which had been stalled for weeks by 14 Democratic state senators who left Wisconsin to prevent a quorum -- and thus a vote on the measure -- then sailed to easy passage in both chambers of the Legislature.

In the appeal, Van Hollen argues that Sumi has no jurisdiction over state lawmakers or Wisconsin's secretary of state, all of whom have sovereign immunity. Sumi's order bars La Follette from publishing the new law.

The public brouhaha over Walker's $137 million budget repair bill all but shut down the Wisconsin state Legislature for weeks. It also drew protesters by the tens of thousands, among them union supporters and public employees, who called the proposed measure an attack on workers.

The Wisconsin State Employees Union Council 24 blasted the publishing of the law.

"By attempting to unilaterally publish their bill eliminating the rights of hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites, (Gov.) Walker and his cronies have unquestionably violated the laws of this state to further their extreme overreach for absolute power over our state's people."

Democratic state Sen. Chris Larson said, "The courts are going to step in again and say, 'No, you have to follow the letter of the law' and again they broke it ... I think it's pretty shameless of Walker and the Republicans."

Republican Rep. Robin Vos disagreed.

"We have the attorney general telling us we are doing everything legal," Vos told WISN. "And I am positive, as I have been before, that we'll move forward. We'll show that this was done according to the letter of the law, and people will realize this was a necessary step forward."