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Wausau Mayor: Union Organizers Must Reimburse City if Republicans Excluded from Labor Day Parade

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By Doug Powers  •  August 30, 2011 11:01 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

You may have read in the past few days that a Labor Day parade in Wausau, Wisconsin that is organized by unions, but also funded by the city, had planned to bar Republicans from taking part because those Republicans “have openly attacked workers rights.”

Now the Mayor of Wausau says that’s not a problem… provided the labor leaders reimburse the city for expenses:

(Reuters) – The mayor of a Wisconsin town said on Tuesday a local labor council would have to reimburse the city up to $2,000 for a Labor Day parade if organizers exclude Republican lawmakers from attending.

The move in Wausau, Wisconsin, came after a county labor official said last week that Republican politicians were not welcome at the event due to their party’s stance against collective bargaining when state lawmakers voted to curtail it earlier this year.

Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple told Reuters on Tuesday that the decision to exclude elected Republicans “flies in the face of public policy.”

“This is not a political rally, it’s a parade, for God’s sake,” Tipple said, noting that taxpayer money is used by the city to pay for staging the event. Tipple’s office is nonpartisan, and he claims no affiliation with either political party.

Most people marching in the event are thrilled with the change, because the partisan parade route planned by the union started in downtown Wausau and ended at the Heritage Inn and Suites in Harvard, Illinois. This guy never would have made it that far.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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