A three-day-long stand-off at the state capitol between union supporters and those backing the Republican governor’s budget cuts just went to another level Thursday as Democratic senators apparently fled the area to prevent a vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill, which would cut public employee union collective bargaining rights and require them to contribute to pensions and health care.
Fourteen Senate Democrats have left the state to prevent the vote, according to AP sources in Wisconsin, attempting to force further negotiation on the bill, which would pass the Republican-controlled Senate if brought up for a vote. ABC News reports that 13 of 14 of the Democrats may have fled the state in a bus headed to Iowa. The move would stall a vote on the budget-repair measure and protect missing Democrats from a provision in Wisconsin’s constitution that allows lawmakers to compel their return to the capitol.
Earlier today, law enforcement was sent to find missing Democratic lawmakers, according to a Madison, Wis. ABC affiliate. State Sen. leader Scott said only one Democrat is needed for quorum to vote on the controversial bill, which is expected to pass a Republican-majority Senate. The “Sergeant of Arms is going door to door to find Democratic senators.”
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Everyone's been focused on DC and the federal budget battle just gathering steam, but the real action is in the states, especially those Blue States grappling with the unsustainable deficits that come with feel-good-now progressive governance. Thus, America's slow boiling battle over deficits and public sector unions has gone nuclear in...Wisconsin???
Don't bother looking at "regular" news outlets for information on these protests. Madison resident and A-list blooger Ann Althouse has plenty of graphic photos and videos of protesting teachers denouncing the inoffensive Gov. Walker as a Hitler, or - to avoid Godwin's Law - Hosni Mubarak. What this is supposed to accomplish, besides demean Walker and fill the union biddies with righteousness, I have no idea. Are there really people in Wisconsin who are going to see a picture of Walker with a Hitler mustache or Mubarak comb-over and say "Wow, I voted for Walker, but I had no idea he was a genocidal dictator!" Verum Serum sums things up nicely
To add to the chaos, the entire Democratic delegation in the Wisconsin State Senate has apparently jumped on a bus and fled to Illinois, in order to deny Republicans a quorum. Didn't this happen in Texas a few years ago?
Very mature. How long do they have to stay away before they can be said to have abandoned their seats?
These jokers might be able to fill a public square in Madison with chanting crowds, but the number of people who voted Wisconsin Republicans into office is surely larger by orders of magnitude. I haven't seen or heard from Walker, which I guess means he's not a combative Chris Christie type. But, I hope he has plenty of quiet courage. And, yes, just think. We could have done all this in California back in 2003.