After many months of bitter political wrangling in Wisconsin, Republicans and Democrats can still come together on one issue: the Green Bay Packers.

GOP and Democratic leaders alike, from Gov. Scott Walker to Democratic state senators who fled the state last year to fight Walker's policies, rallied around the Packers and agreed replacement officials blew their last call in the Packers' game against the Seattle Seahawks on "Monday Night Football."

Walker, a Republican who gained national attention last year for his measure to all but end collective bargaining for most of Wisconsin's public workers, also called for the NFL to bring back its union referees.

"After catching a few hours of sleep, the Packers game is still just as painful. #Returntherealrefs," Walker tweeted.

Some of the Democratic state senators who left Wisconsin for Illinois in an effort to block Walker's controversial law also took to Twitter to back the Packers.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, tweeted the phone number for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, encouraging people to call him.

"In the end, it's very frustrating, and you can only yell at the TV so much," Erpenbach told the State Journal. "You need to call the commissioner."

Despite the bipartisan outrage over the blown call, Walker's comments quickly drew criticism from his political opponents, who said his comments were ironic in the wake of his collective bargaining law, now in the courts.

Erpenbach said if Walker wants to support professional referees organizing, it's odd that he doesn't do so for public school teachers as well.

"I think that's ironic," Erpenbach said.

But Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said, "The tweet had nothing to do with unions and everything to do with a blown call."

Not all Republicans were as bipartisan in their comments.

"Did you guys watch that Packer game last night?" vice presidential candidate U.S. Rep Paul Ryan, of Janesville, said Tuesday in Cincinnati. "I mean, give me a break. It is time to get the real refs. And do you know what, it reminds me of President Obama and the economy. If you can't get it right, it's time to get out. I half think that these refs work part time for the Obama administration in the budget office."

The NFL locked out union officials in June after their contract expired. The league opened the season with replacements, most with experience only in lower levels of college football, after being unable to reach a new collective bargaining agreement.

State Government Reporter for Wisconsin State Journal

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(21) comments

RedWhiteBlue
RedWhiteBlue

I checked the Koch website. We're still against all unions.

Anonymous1952
Anonymous1952

grampabucky: Since the refs were locked out rather than striking, they may not have the right to ask other unions not to cross their picket lines.

Various labor laws and contracts define which picket lines another union may authorize its members to refuse to cross.

If a union member refuses to cross a picket line not recognized by law or contract their employer could discipline them for engaging in an illegal job action. Sanctions could include termination.

JoeDaPlumber
JoeDaPlumber

Russell Wilson is now the first quarterback to throw a game-winning interception for his own team's victory! He deserved a break in the last minute heroics.

Unfortunately, Walker's role model is the incompetent refs, admiring the way they can paint a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

bobsuruncle
bobsuruncle

WI Union Busters Gov. Walker & Congressman Ryan want the Unions Back - just in the NFL. Both are a couple of Velveeta Heads (not real "Cheese Heads").

Good Gosh
Good Gosh

So the country is incensed about this situation and demanding the NFL bring back the refs and get rid of these non-refs. Even the really big shots are twittering and tweeting all over the place about this - it's an OUTRAGE I TELL YA!!!!! Too bad teachers, firemen, police, and other public workers that make quite a difference in people's lives can't get the same reaction from all the big shots. Of course, the taxpayers don't pay anything for the refs. Nor for the games. Oh wait, I guess they sometimes get help to build stadiums, roads that lead to the stadiums, mention in the state tourism manuals, etc., etc. But that doesn't really count, does it?

kashka-kat
kashka-kat

OUCH! I just hurt my brain - trying to follow the logic of why the Guv is not being a hypocrite.

Steve_R
Steve_R

Just stay out of it, Guv. You're way over your head as it is.

bobsuruncle
bobsuruncle

"Dude, think I should get a college degree? I am the Governor of WI, maybe I can get an online university diploma so I'll have more time to devote to the Packers.".

Phil_Eng_Amer
Phil_Eng_Amer

Before people freak out at Walker for not being consistent, remember that public and private sector unions are significantly different. Forget the fact that in the public sector unions are negotiating for a larger stake in public, government money, as opposed to privately earned capital. The real problem is that in the public sector you have unions essentially electing the officials they negotiate with thanks to the huge lobbying impact they generate (http://bit.ly/HcCfwK). You have a public entity negotiating with a special interest group behind closed doors. It’s the reason FDR was always against collective bargaining in the public sector (http://bit.ly/o2vxdp). If you support the referees in this lockout, it doesn’t mean that you automatically have to support public sector unions.

Jambalaya
Jambalaya

According to you, a "huge lobbying impact" on our government officials is bad when it comes from public workers, but a "huge lobbying impact" on our government officials is fine and dandy when it comes from private/corporate/wealthy individual special interests. Do I have this correct.

Hogzilla
Hogzilla

It's not exactly correct, but you have the right idea. In this case, the union is taking issue with an employer that has a healthy bottom line and generates their own money based on the service that they provide. On the other hand, public employees don't generate any profits and they are protected from being beholden to a forced group of shareholders that have no choice but to comply with the powers that be. The owners of the NFL can stand to lose revenue over poor choices and decisions. Taxpayers that don't want to comply with the terms the unions of the public sector get sent directly to jail for tax evasion.

If you can't understand the difference, that is your problem, not ours.

Billie
Billie

Jamba- They both are wrong. Neither is better than the other.

gobi
gobi

Wow Phil, an FDR reference. You sure know how to tie this all in with the twisted logic . In your mind, it's best to let the Koch brothers decide what is best for everyone, right ?

Tricolor Dog
Tricolor Dog

Too funny. The Gov is a Packer fan but none of them can stand him.....wouldn't share a cab with him if it was raining cats and dogs......

DMA
DMA

Cosmic justice!
If the Packers miss the playoffs by a game, it's on WALKER.

joebob
joebob

too funny
what a hypocritical PIG!!

ems1
ems1

The refs were republicans and the Seahawks Koch brothers!

grampabucky
grampabucky

Just wondering, since the union refs are being locked out, should'nt the Players Association demand the same from their members? The way I see it, the players are actually crossing the picket line also.

johnnn
johnnn

Those darn out-of-state non-union thug bosses!

JohnGalt2016
JohnGalt2016

The referee who made the call on the last play was a Madison Judge!

Devastation608
Devastation608

For some reason this makes me like walker..... And it's gone

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