WASHINGTON – Jesse Jackson has reappeared, surfacing at rallies in Madison, Wisconsin and Columbus, Ohio in support of public employees attacking efforts to reform some collective bargaining practices in order to close deficits threatening state governments with bankruptcy.
Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli takes issue with Jackson seeking to equate domestic protests to retain lavish benefits packages for union workers with the social unrest in Egypt.
"It is out of line for Jesse Jackson to compare people in Egypt rebelling against tyranny to union activists in Wisconsin who are afraid they might have to make contributions to their pension plans like people in the private sector," said Project 21's Borelli. "Hosni Mubarak was a dictator who clamped down on dissenters to maintain power. Scott Walker wants state lawmakers — when they return to the state — to freely vote up-or-down on reforms that he believes will help end an unsustainable budgetary boondoogle."
Jackson used the term "Egypt spirit" when discussing the Madison protests with MSNBC host Ed Schultz. At a rally in the capitol rotunda in Madison, Jackson said: "Just as Egypt was ground zero in the battle for justice in the Middle East, Wisconsin is ground zero in the battle for economic justice across America."
Borelli added: "The issue in Wisconsin is out-of-control spending and getting people to give back to avert layoffs and further economic chaos. Egypt was about a backlash against a strong-arm ruler. Jesse Jackson's demagoguing on this issue is appalling."
Project 21 is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research.