February 22, 2011

What can/should the Wisconsin GOP legislators do while the Democrats are off hiding in Chicago?

The NYT reports:
Starting Tuesday, those [Democratic] senators, who are in Illinois, will have to watch from afar as Republicans continue the work of governing without them, taking up matters from the mundane to the controversial.
“By not being here, they’re basically deciding to let things go through the body unchecked,” said Scott Fitzgerald, the Senate majority leader. “They’re not here to represent their constituents. We’re here to work.”...

In Wisconsin, the issues scheduled for consideration in the Senate on Tuesday were routine: an appointment by the governor, tax breaks for dairy farmers and a resolution commending the Green Bay Packers for their Super Bowl victory. But Mr. Fitzgerald said more significant legislation could also be in play, including a bill requiring voter identification that Democrats strongly oppose.

Gov. Scott Walker, in comments delivered against the din of the raucous protesters gathered outside his office, praised the Senate Republicans for the move, which he said he hoped would entice the Democrats home. “It’s time for them to come back and participate in democracy,” Mr. Walker said.
You know, it really was rather smart of the Republicans to let the protest/exile peter out over time. The teachers couldn't keep canceling school, and the group at the Capitol will, more and more, be UW students/TAs and old Madison lefties with more radical slogans. The legislators-in-hiding look more and more ineffectual and more and more Chicago. I don't think these developments are increasing political support around the state.

Meanwhile, Walker and his GOP cohort are waiting patiently — it only takes a few days — to get going working on the state's problems.
“They can vote on anything that is nonfiscal,” said Senator Jon Erpenbach, a Democrat, from his hotel across state lines. 
(There's a Senate rule that requires a larger quorum for fiscal matters. The Republicans need one Democratic senator to return to give them that quorum.)
“They can take up their agenda; they can do whatever they choose to do.”

Mr. Erpenbach said that his caucus was determined not to return until the restrictions to collective bargaining were off the table. But he worried aloud about what legislation could emerge in the meantime.
What legislation should the Republicans put on the agenda? They have the votes to pass things with or without the Democrats, so the question might be: What do they want to do that will be especially convenient to do without Democrats around to pester them? Or: What are the things that, if done without the Democrats' participation, will most hurt the Democrats politically? Or: What issue will prompt at least one Democrat to return, thus enabling them to get to the fiscal matters?

UPDATE: Concealed carry, voter ID, race-blind admissions in the University of Wisconsin system...

159 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

If Wisconsin is a trend, your beloved NYT will need 50 reporters to twist the news in all 50 states.

shoutingthomas said...

Ban racial and sexual quotas in all state business.

Make the state officially color and sex blind.

Scott M said...

1) Concealed carry. Last I checked, Wisconsin and the Peoples Republic Of Illinois are the only two states left without CCW.

2) Remove any legislation or regulations currently on the books that have anything to do with AGW.

3) Paint all the roads magenta.

4) Mandatory Rocky Horror Picture Show every third Friday night at midnight in the rotunda. All reps and senators are required to be in costume. More than three virgin mistakes and you lose your seat.

MadisonMan said...

The missing Senators look more and more like they've been outfoxed. I don't think they were thinking 3 steps ahead, let along 2.

GMay said...

Did Democrats pull these same anti-democratic shenannigans in Texas a few years ago?

Amazing that they call themselves Democrats.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Voter ID.

Robert said...

"What legislation should the Republicans put on the agenda?"

Gun rights. I believe Wisconson is one of two state that prohibits concealed carry.

rdkraus said...

They should not do anything sneaky, or which can be portrayed as sneaking something through. They have public opinion on their side (because the general public is more and more starting to understand that there's no more money) and they should not risk losing that with anything that can be perceived as a dirty trick [like leaving town to thwart the public's elected choices].

shoutingthomas said...

Create laws that sentence race and sex hustlers who want to force institutions into denouncing heretics for racism and sexism to:

1. Five days in the middle of a circle of circus clowns laughing at them.

2. A pissing contest between the accuser and the accused. Whoever pisses further wins. (This to take place after the five days of ridicule at the hands of mental patients.)

3. Finally, a thorough roto rootering of the assholes of the accusers.

Fen said...

Can they introduce legislation that would make Wisconsin a Right to Work state?

Triangle Man said...

They are not in Chicago. They are in Harvard. Or not.

Steven said...

Perhaps a law saying that if a state senator fails to show up for work for a certain number of days without a (valid) medical excuse, the seat becomes vacant, and is filled by appointment of the governor until the next election.

madawaskan said...

Wisconsin Judicial Commission

The Commission has nine members, including one court of appeals judge, one circuit court judge, and two attorneys, all appointed by the Supreme Court; and five non-lawyer members appointed by the governor with Senate confirmation. Members of the Commission may serve up to two consecutive three-year terms. Its staff consists of a full-time executive director, who must be a member of the state bar, and a full-time administrative assistant. The Commission also retains other investigators and attorneys, when necessary, to assist in the conduct of investigations and the prosecution of formal actions.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I'm at the point where I'm really starting to enjoy the show. I hope the Democrats stay in exile for a very long time. They look a little more feckless with every day that goes by.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The missing Senators look more and more like they've been outfoxed. I don't think they were thinking 3 steps ahead, let along 2

Wisconsin Senators....the underpants gnomes of politics.


1. Get angry
2. Run away and pout
3. ??????????
4. Victory?

Clowns.

edutcher said...

Fitzgerald laid out a lot of legislation they could put up, a quite impressive list.

This is starting to look like the Russians walking out of the UN just before the North Koreans invaded the South...

And then General MacArthur had a suggestion for Mr Truman.

WV "antienti" What his nephews and nieces call Mr Enti's wife.

madawaskan said...

Politically for all non-budget votes they can do what ever they want because they have more than enough for the simple majority.

Most of the electorate doesn't get that.

They make moves without the 14 Lost Badgers and it'll be more apparent.

I say keep waiting them out.

They can get everything done with them there.

That's probably the better way to do it.

roesch-voltaire said...

We must hurry and pass this bill before the Dems return so that that the Koch folks can clean up--16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state

Scott M said...

Voter ID

Good one.

@rdkraus

You're probably on to what will actually happen. The high road just isn't as much fun, generally, but in the end it's usually the best route.

@Steven
Perhaps a law saying that if a state senator fails to show up for work for a certain number of days without a (valid) medical excuse, the seat becomes vacant

There's got to be some way of punishing AOL pols. Freezing pay after a week of unexcused absences? Who to they excuse them to? It seems counter-intuitive to assume there's no mechanism already in place.

MadisonMan said...

Pass a bill that requires the Minority Leaders' offices to be painted monthly. Put a sunset clause in it, so it expires after 2 years.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I agree with rdkraus. The Republicans should not pass legislation that would make them appear to be vindictive.

MayBee said...

Doesn't Wisconsin have same day voter registration? I'd eliminate that.
For one thing, you can be sure the unions will be trucking people over state lines to vote next time around.
It would be the perfect counterpoint to what's actually happening there.

shoutingthomas said...

Is it possible to fire the ass of the Provost for Diversity and Climate?

That's $150,000 saved right there.

foxlets14 said...

wonder why ann cites nyt rather than chi trib....would seem trib much closer to this than times....just asking...

Alex said...

Def concealed carry is an important one.

madawaskan said...

Right the 14 Dems look ridiculous don't give them the excuse to come home.

Don't let them look like they are returning to stop the Big Bad Republicans from doing other things behind their back.

Their return should be with their tail between their legs, and it shouldn't be given the chance to look like heroics in any way.

GMay said...

I'm sure it's probably been mentioned here, but looks like a Democrat is a Democrat, regardless of which state.

Democrats only seem to appreciate democracy when they're in charge.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Out of all the issues that could have driven the Democrats out of the state, the one that finally pushed them over the edge was a threat to their their biggest campaign contributors. What heroes!

Fidelius said...

garage mahal said...

The missing Senators look more and more like they've been outfoxed. I don't think they were thinking 3 steps ahead, let along 2.

The state has turned on Walker no matter what happens. The polling this morning was just brutal, and that's why he's going on TV tonight. Epic failure.

GMay said...

"There's got to be some way of punishing AOL pols."

Wait, first they pick up Huffington, now America Online is getting politicians???

(I had to get you back somehow.)

Fidelius said...

Consider pursing the Senators-in-hiding for ethical violations. Example: Did the two Senators-in-hiding who have active law licenses (Risser and Taylor) violate Wisconsin State Bar ethical rules?

According to the Office of Lawyer Regulation ("OLR"): "All lawyers promise when they are licensed to uphold the law and to be guided by rules of ethics adopted by our state Supreme Court. A lawyer who violates these standards of professional conduct may be required to take certain remedial measures, meet required conditions, or be disciplined. In very serious matters, discipline could mean suspension of the attorney’s license to practice law or even its revocation."

Supreme Court Rules Chapter 20 (Rules for Professional Conduct for Attorneys): Preamble (A LAWYER’S RESPONSIBILITIES): [5] A lawyer’s conduct should conform to the requirements of the law, both in professional service to clients and in the lawyer’s business and personal affairs. A lawyer should use the law’s procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others. A lawyer should demonstrate respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers and public officials. While it is a lawyer’s duty, when necessary, to challenge the rectitude of official action, it is also a lawyer’s duty to uphold legal process.

ABA comment (#5) appended to Supreme Court Rule 20:8.4 ("Misconduct") "Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens. A lawyer’s abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of lawyers."

Rules pertaining to Wisconsin Senators:

WI Constitution: Article IV. Section 28: Oath of office. Members of the legislature, and all officers, executive and judicial, except such inferior officers as may be by law exempted, shall before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe an oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Wisconsin, and faithfully to discharge the duties of their respective offices to the best of their ability.

Senate Rule 16: Leave of absence. Members of the senate may not be absent from the daily session during the entire day without first obtaining a leave of absence. The leave may be granted at any time by a majority vote of the senate.

Senate Rule 23: Committee not to be absent. Members of a committee, except a conference committee, may not be absent by reason of their appointment during the sitting of the senate, without special leave. (Senators Risser and Taylor are both members of Standing Committees.)

Senate Rule 84: Sergeant to bring in absentees. The chief clerk shall immediately call the roll of the members, and note the absentees, whose names shall be read, and entered upon the journal in such manner as to show who are absent with leave and who are absent without leave. The chief clerk shall furnish the sergeant at arms with a list of those who are absent without leave, and the sergeant at arms shall forthwith proceed to find and bring in such absentees.

Joint Rule 11. Quorum ... (3) A majority of those present, even though a smaller number than a majority of the current membership is present, may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide, as provided under section 7 of article IV of the constitution.

Full information about filing a grievance with the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation.

Scott M said...

lol

AWOL, no AOL.

GMay said...

garage said: "The state has turned on Walker no matter what happens. The polling this morning was just brutal, and that's why he's going on TV tonight. Epic failure."

Was that Research2000 polling?

America's Politico, is that you??

Jason said...

Pass a resolution saying legislators and staffers must show up to get paid, and be paid only by paper check.

In addition, require the legislators to approve their staffers time cards in person.

They will have no choice then.

P said...

Maybe they should decouple the collective bargaining issue from a fiscal issue bill...and pass it on its own?

-bear

pbAndj said...

"I don't think these developments are increasing political support around the state."

We're reduced to guessing? Strange that nobody's (publicly) polling this.

MadisonMan said...

Consider pursing the Senators-in-hiding for ethical violations. Example: Did the two Senators-in-hiding who have active law licenses (Risser and Taylor) violate Wisconsin State Bar ethical rules?

I'll say this again. It's not good politics to attack a Senator when that Senator's constituents aren't thoroughly disgusted with what he or she is doing. And I don't think that point has been reached with these Democratic Senators.

The Republicans lose absolutely nothing by being patient adults here.

AprilApple said...

Are the Tax Payers of Wisconsin paying for the hotel rooms in Chicago?

Jay said...

What legislation should the Republicans put on the agenda?

1. Mandatory Photo Identification to vote in the state of Wisconsin.

2. Eliminate state funding of public employee pensions.

To start their Tuesday...

pbAndj said...

Oh, now having read the comments, I see that (according to garage) the polling has been done.

And, Althouse's thoughts have (apparently) been discredited.

Fen said...

Dust Bunny: I agree with rdkraus. The Republicans should not pass legislation that would make them appear to be vindictive.

Yah, I think he's right too.

The media is frothing at the bit, waiting for anything they can use to change the news cycle from what it is now.

So far, the GOP pols have played their hand perfectly. I expect more of the same.

Scott M said...

The Republicans lose absolutely nothing by being patient adults here.

Howard Johnson is right!!!

Jason said...

Garage-

I'd like to know what polls you are referring to.

Get out of the Dane County Bubble. Outside of Madison and Milwaukee, this is playing out horribly for the Dems in this state.

The only reason they haven't come back is because they don't know what they are going to say.

AprilApple said...

Democrats are always against measures that would keep our system of voting legitimate and fair.

I wonder why?

Badger Down Under said...

It's actually a constitutional rule that requires a 3/5 quorum for fiscal bills (Article 8, section 8).

pbAndj said...

"...this is playing out horribly for the Dems in this state"

What poll is this claim based on?

Jay said...

The state has turned on Walker no matter what happens.

Could you possibly type any more wishes as fact?

Boy is the Walker Admin going to be a loooonnnnggggg time for you and all the bozo's like you...

Jon said...

@garage

What "brutal" polling are you referring to? Is there another poll out this morning besides the one sponsored by the AFL-CIO and NEA?

MadisonMan said...

Eliminate state funding of public employee pensions.

Riiight. Legislators are going to eliminate their own pension contributions.

Drew said...

Voter ID. Voter ID. Voter ID.

Kevin said...

A resolution making the absent senators honorary citizens of Chicago, and honorary Bears fans...

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

They just did a poll of Democractic Underground, and Walker lost it 75%-25%.

:p

Bob From Ohio said...

It is this poll:

"according to a new poll taken by the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and sponsored by the AFL-CIO, Change to Win and the NEA."

The actual release is at Politico.

AllenS said...

While I agree that Republicans shouldn't do anything to look vindictive, passing Voter ID legislation is surely a win, win outcome.

Comrade X said...

Riiight. Legislators are going to eliminate their own pension contributions.

your state legislators get pensions? that's fucked up.

Sloanasaurus said...

The biggest problem for the deomcrats is that they will not be around to debate some of these issues. If you bring up Voter ID, yes, the Republicans could pass it anyway, but now the entire debate in the committees and the chamber will be one-sided.

Jay said...

Walker, who is expected to make a televised address to the state Tuesday night, told a Wisconsin TV station that layoff notices could be issued as soon as next week if his proposal to help offset a $3.6 billion budget deficit is not passed.


He should start the layoffs on Friday...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Voter ID rules and eliminate same day registration.

Anything to stop the rampant voter fraud that is certain to be perpetrated in the next election.

Scott M said...

Walker, who is expected to make a televised address to the state Tuesday night

Who are we kidding? It will be a televised address to the nation in fact, if not so named.

Jay said...

The polling this morning was just brutal, and that's why he's going on TV tonight.

So the "polling is brutal" and therefore he's going on TV to re-iterate this allegedly unpopular position.

Or, more likely, you're lying.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

As you say, they can already pass anything the want on a party-line vote.

However, there might be some issues on which the Republicans are split, with most voting one way, but 4 or 5 who would vote with the Democrats. These items could be passed now, without the Democrats. I'm not saying this is a good strategy, because you don't want to piss of those 4 or 5 who disagree with the majority, but it is a possibility.

You could also have an issue where all the Republicans want something, but several don't want to vote for it because it would alienate too many of their voters. This would be a chance for the Republicans to pass it while letting some of their ranks vote against it.

edutcher said...

Bob From Ohio said...

It is this poll:

"according to a new poll taken by the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and sponsored by the AFL-CIO, Change to Win and the NEA."

The actual release is at Politico.


A poll commissioned by the AFL?

Wow, that won't be self-serving, will it?

When they want to talk to Gallup or Rasmussen (The Zero is down to -20 Strong Approve - Strong Disapprove), phone.

PS As to passing legislation, ask what the Demos would do and take the same course.

Jason said...

Walker should give the Dems until this weekend. If they aren't back to at least pass Walker's debt refinancing plan before it expires, which needlessly adds $100 million to the state debt, all bets should be off. That plan has nothing to do with unions or workers whatsoever.

Jay said...

It will be a televised address to the nation in fact, if not so named.


I think it would be a good idea if the RGA could get a couple of more Gov's, say Christie and Bob McDonnell to go on TV this week and say the same things...

JAL said...

Pass something about putting an amendment into the WI constitution about dereliction of duty and unexcused absences re elected persons? (But do not require doctor's note. That would be pointless.)

Don't know how you Badgers do it, but even having it talked about heading for a vote by the Citizens of Wisconsin, (not the Senators of Wisconsin - wherever they are) might be a breath of fresh air.

Representing your constituents in a democracy is a privilege and a huge responsibility. And sometimes it stinks, I am sure. But life is full of Lousy A versus Lousy B decisions.

It might help to at least have grown-ups making those decisions.

Copping out is cowardly. And there need to be consequences.

AJ Lynch said...

I don't need any stinking polls to know which side is winning the public's approval. Just watch Mika Brejzinski in the morning- if she is gloating, the Dems scored some points. If she is not, the Dems stock is dropping like a stone.

george said...

They just need to say that the people's business must go on so they are going to move on matters for which they do not need the extra bodies in the chamber. The people will understand this, especially if they give notice and lay out the voting time line for each issue. Then the fleebaggers can sit and chew over which votes they are willing to miss.

In fact I think the Pubbies take a hit if they DON'T do this because they were sent there to do a job, not sit there with their thumbs up their butts.

Anyone who has ever been on a playground knows that if a kid gets angry and takes his ball home the games go on anyway without him. You might not be able to play the same game without the ball but you don't just sit there pining for him to bring his ball back. If you don't have enough people left to play one game then you switch to another.

I am sure the Republicans have heard some version of this from nearly every constituent they have spoken to outside of the leftist bubble around the capitol.

I will also say again that I am certain polling has been done but has not been released (just like the location of the fugitive senators is being held as a closely guarded secret by the media). If it were favorable to the union stooges then it would have been released by now so we already know what it says. We just don't know the details.

sonicfrog said...

Scott... I LOVE your list. But if you want to get at least one back, you MUST include an abortion measure on that list....

Or, do you save that one for the future, that way you can get the other stuff done first.

bagoh20 said...

Stage one thinking - the entirety of the modern liberal mind. In other words: "Oops, what do we do now? We made things worse."

al said...

Join Arizona, Vermont, and Alaska and pass Constitutional Carry.

Jason said...

Garage has been in very close touch with America's Politico. Finger on the pulse, baybee!!!! Finger. On. The. Pulse.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

AJ, Mika was pouting big time this morning as Walker trashed all her talking points. It was so bad I almost felt sorry for her. Maybe her guests wouldn't be so well prepared if she didn't repeat the same talking points every day.

JAL said...

Voter ID
No registering on voting day.

(Voter reistration: It's not like it's a secret rite only Republicans and independents are in on.)

And the CCW sounds good too.

Simple. Not extreme.

And be patient. It works wonders.

Don't be greedy.

Someething to do with letting people hang themselveersats after they buy the rope themselves. (Sorry for the super violent imagery there. No, I'm not. Metaphors are quite useful devices.)

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Last week, I proposed exactly this plan in the comment threads here -- long before any of these latecomers.

But someone did some research that said that this being a special session of the legislature, they can only vote on measures already on the agenda. I forget who it was. former law student did a lot of research, might've been him.

If that research is correct, then as much as this would serve the Democrats right, it can't happen.

Bob From Ohio said...

"A poll commissioned by the AFL?

Wow, that won't be self-serving, will it?"

Duh. Why do you think I quoted that particular language?

Hoosier Daddy said...

The state has turned on Walker no matter what happens. The polling this morning was just brutal, and that's why he's going on TV tonight. Epic failure.

THERE ARE NO AMERICAN TANKS IN BAGDAHD!!!

Marshal said...

garage mahal said...

"The state has turned on Walker no matter what happens."

Baghdad Bob lives!

Class factotum said...

Get rid of the smoking ban on private property.

James said...

Doesn't Wisconsin have same day voter registration? I'd eliminate that.
For one thing, you can be sure the unions will be trucking people over state lines to vote next time around.
It would be the perfect counterpoint to what's actually happening there.


Nothing's wrong with same day voter registration. The problem is not requiring a photo ID to vote. I live in South Eastern Wisconsin and I've personally seen people bused over from Illinois to vote.

Toby said...

They ought to do things that strike at the heart of other key Dem constituencies. As others have noted, the Democratic party is transactional : teamsters, environmentalists, pro-choicers, etc. all support each other primarily for the sake of having the others' support. If a bill that pisses off the environmentalists gets passed because Democratic representatives weren't there to oppose it, environmentalists get angry because their issue was sacrificed for the benefit of another group. It drives another wedge between and among the Dems and their constituencies, further weakening the party that is sure to be hurting after public employees lose their collective bargaining rights.

James said...

The biggest problem for the deomcrats is that they will not be around to debate some of these issues. If you bring up Voter ID, yes, the Republicans could pass it anyway, but now the entire debate in the committees and the chamber will be one-sided.

There's nothing left to debate about the Voter ID bill. It was passed in both 2003 and 2005 and vetoed by Jim Doyle.

AllenS said...

Pass a law that says we can arrest Freder and waterboard the absolute fuck out of him.

edutcher said...

Bob From Ohio said...

"A poll commissioned by the AFL?

Wow, that won't be self-serving, will it?"


Duh. Why do you think I quoted that particular language?


Because he thought nobody would question it?

WV "doxylv" When the hooker lets you do it because she likes you.

Jason said...

Democrats have now fled Indiana to avoid votes on similar legislation. Their destination? Illinois, of course.

What an embarrassment to the country these idiots are. Its like they are flipping off every voter in their state.

Is this what the Democratic Party has turned in to?

Michael K said...

roesch-voltaire said...
We must hurry and pass this bill before the Dems return so that that the Koch folks can clean up--16.705 (1)


What do you teach ? Surely not science.

Chip S. said...

Leaving the Republicans aside, it's clear what at least one Democratic senator should do--brush up on his history. I'm lookin' at you, Tim Carpenter:

Sen. Carpenter said: “Well, I can look out my window and see Wisconsin. But not the Soviet Union — just Wisconsin.”

Idiot can't even repeat a joke that's been told 10^10 times already without fucking it up.

Roux said...

The voter id law is a great law. It keeps people who are not who they say they are from voting. We passed it in Louisiana after Mary Landrieu stole the 1996 senate election and it has really helped. And get rid of same day registration. If you can't plan far enough ahead to register then you're probably too stupid to vote.

garage mahal said...

Garage has been in very close touch with America's Politico. Finger on the pulse, baybee!!!! Finger. On. The. Pulse.

I guarantee you Walker and his people saw the poll, and are taking it seriously. He is going on TV tonight for a reason, and it's not because he thinks he is winning.

S said...

I like a lot of the more serious suggestions here (I'm classifying the waterboarding bill of attainder as unserious), especially decoupling the fiscal parts of the bill at issue, which seem to be the least contentious parts.

I do agree that nothing wildly unpopular should be passed, for the sake of the Republican brand, even if the bill would be wildly popular in the districts of the remaining Senators. But keep in mind that any legislation that can pass the Assembly would presumably not be wildly unpopular in the state as a whole.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The voter id law is a great law. It keeps people who are not who they say they are from voting.

I have to show my ID when renting a movie from Blockbuster or cashing a check, and now in Indiana, to be able to buy booze (no matter how old you look). Its hardly unreasonable to expect the same to be able to vote in local and national elections.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Idiot can't even repeat a joke that's been told 10^10 times already without fucking it up.

How do you know he's not just being nostalgic? I actually knew people who cried when the Soviet Union went away and it wasn't tears of joy.

Scott M said...

Its hardly unreasonable to expect the same to be able to vote in local and national elections.

Don't you oppress me. COME AND SEE THE VIOLENCE INHERENT IN THE SYSTEM!

Fen said...

Democrats have now fled Indiana to avoid votes on similar legislation. Their destination? Illinois, of course.

WTF? Okay, I've got to get to Illinois and check out the Hooter girls. They must go to 11.

Fen said...

Pass a law that says we can arrest Freder and waterboard the absolute fuck out of him.

To be fair, Freder is the only liberal here who would prefer to have his friends, family and city nuked if it meant waterboarding a known terrorist.

I don't agree. But he gets a pass for being the one liberal that actually believes in the things he lectures the rest of us about.

AJ Lynch said...

Garbage logic:
"He is going on TV tonight for a reason, and it's not because he thinks he is winning."

Does that explain why Obama is on TV almost every other day?

Sofa King said...

Freder is the only liberal here who would prefer to have his friends, family and city nuked if it meant waterboarding a known terrorist.

Yeah, but he knows as much about physics as the Insane Clown Posse.

chickelit said...

@garage:
My guess is that Walker is going to outline how layoffs will be necessary if the little boyz in Illinoiz don't get their butts back to the Capitol.

Thorley Winston said...

Things the Wisconsin legislature should do:


1) Require a photo ID for voting and eliminate same-day registration.


2) Pass shall-issue Concealed Carry Reform.

3) Abolish racial and gender preferences and setasides and require any organization receiving State funding to do the same.

4) Tort Reform.

5) Fix the line item veto to prevent the governor from rewriting a bill by eliminating individual words.

Triangle Man said...

Are they back in regular session now, or is it still a special session?

Sloanasaurus said...

Thorley has some great ideas.

I think at some point, they should either pass a bill that prevents these senators from getting paid or at least end their direct deposit so they have to return home to pick up their checks.

Another issue is that of bribery. In this situation, any comfort they receive while in Illinois (such as someone providing food or shelter to them) is bribery because it is being given to them to futher their non-attendence in the Senate. Any comfort given to them is directly tracable to their political actions, which is bribery.

Consequently, these Senators better be careful on how they are funding their own absence in Illinois.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

How is a Wisconsin Democrat Senator like Muammar Qaddafi? They both flee the capitol when things don't go their way.

Hey, if the unions want to use Mubarak references, this is what results.

garage mahal said...

Are they back in regular session now, or is it still a special session?.

Go to http://wiseye.org/

sunsong said...

I like the suggestions for gun rights! And aren't there any number of laws and regulations that can be repealed? This would be a great time to clear out a lot of unhelpful stuff that's on the books - increasing personal liberty and responsiblity.

Sloanasaurus said...

To be fair, Freder is the only liberal here who would prefer to have his friends, family and city nuked if it meant waterboarding a known terrorist.

I don't agree. But he gets a pass for being the one liberal that actually believes in the things he lectures the rest of us about.


Hmm, this only proves Freder is ill, not that he is principled.

Triangle Man said...

And aren't there any number of laws and regulations that can be repealed?

Tomorrow the Senate will vote on repeal of the requirement for collection and analysis of "racial profiling" data related to traffic stops.

Scott M said...

increasing personal liberty and responsiblity.

Increase personal responsibility? Vile, racist code words.

Fen said...

My guess is that Walker is going to outline how layoffs will be necessary if the little boyz in Illinoiz don't get their butts back to the Capitol.

Yup. Indiana too.

"Governors Declare State Budgets Held Hostage By Unions, Begin Massive Layoffs"

"School Children Left At Bus Stop"

"Ambalance Services Dangerously Stretched"

"Union Leadership Renovates Offices, Intalls New Jacuzzi"

Gene said...

I don't think the Wisconsin Democratic legislators planned their walkout very well. All they were thinking of was the great coverage the public employee unions were going to get on CNN and in the New York Times. They expected then, in the face of universal condemnation and charges of union-busing in the elite media, that the governor would have no choice but to fold.

Well the public employee unions got their great coverage, which gave them a psychological boost that they can draw down for the next ten years. In the meantime, though, the chickens are coming home to roost.

Now Wisconsin voters will have to show ID to vote. How radical! How unfair! How burdensome to people who wore out their old IDs cashing checks at the liquor store.

Triangle Man said...

@Garage

Thank you for the URL. Why not take this opportunity to learn to make a link? This might help.

Don said...

They passed right-to-carry last year and had it vetoed by the previous Governor. Most people figure it's a shoo-in now anyway . . . but they should write the least restrictive shall-issue bill that will make it through the House and pass it in both houses right now.

TosaGuy said...

Dems totally got waxed both strategically and tactically. There was an opportunity here for a Dem to step up and take leadership of this issue. Rally the troops with rational rhetoric and develop a valid counterproposal (even though it would never pass). Make that the conversation and develop good will with people other than pure partisan union hacks. Hiding in IL and having Jon Erpenbach anywhere near a microphone accomplishes none of that. There was a moment in this where Dems could have watered down this bill with targeted amendments designed to squishy GOP moderates squish some more. Such a Dem would have gone along way to being a credible challenger to Walker in 2012. Instead, 14 Dems have automatically removed themselves from that career goal.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Indiana dems now cutting and running:

http://jammiewearingfool.blogspot.com/2011/02/cut-and-run-dems-now-cutting-and.html

Alex said...

Are we witnessing the death of the Democratic party - in a blue state no less?

Alex said...

I will sing paeans to the Wisconsin & Indian Democratic parties. I will hold Viking funerals to commemorate them.

Alex said...

Harry Truman is weeping at the sight of these cowards. Ole Harry would've gave 'em hell.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Can't imagine how this will be seen as a winning strategy.

Then again we are talking about liberals so after slapping myself upside the head it makes perfect sense.

Alex said...

Don't know whether to laugh or cry. Emotions are complex.

Alex said...

FDR, Truman, JFK all weeping today. That's if they weren't decomposing.

Scott M said...

Don't. Get. Cocky.

Alex said...

Gov Quinn of IL has proposed to build a Statue of Cowardice to welcome all fleeing Democrats from neighboring states with the words at its base reading:

Give me your cowards, your thugs,
Your corrupt politicians yearning to stifle democracy,
The wretched refuse of your legislatures.
Send these, the gutless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the hocked golden door!

WashJeff on February 22, 2011 at 12:09 PM


LOL!!!!!

BEK477 said...

Ann,

They should try legislation that hits Democratic hot buttons:

Change WI environmental policy,

Change or ban racial or sexual or gender quotes,

Kill support or susidies for AGW,

Establisha WI Accident Compensation Commission tha t supercedes Tort Liability and ends tort litigsation. I refer you to the NZ ACC which has dones this for more than 20 years.

I suspect that the missing Dems will reappear in the statehouse before the bill is sent up for a final reading.
Replace all Democraatic office holders appointed by the previous administrations. This should get the missing 14 legislators to show up for the vote.

Enact legislation that requires all evidence used in WI state courts to be based on scientificly ascertained theories recognized as standard by the AAoS and similar venues and bodies End the practice of allowing courts to use unprovian scientific ideas as valid theories and evidence.

End recognition of the Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, WWF, Green Peace, PETA and et al as having legal standing in WI state courts.

BAR the ACLU from judicial standing in the WI courts because it is a political organization and not an unbiased charity.

Bar Greenmail in the courts.

Alex said...

Scott - I'm gonna celebrate as if it's V-E day.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

@Alex

Let me help:

Woefully inadequate, oversimplified, one-line comparison of conservatives vs. liberals;

Conservatives - tired of being robbed and tired of being invalidated for complaining about it.

Liberals - spoiled children that pick up their ball and go home when things don't go their way.

chickelit said...

Alex said...
Are we witnessing the death of the Democratic party - in a blue state no less?

People forget that Robert La Follette, Sr. was a Republican.

Here's to Ruby "Red" Tuesday: link

Lincolntf said...

Fascinating possibilities. I favor the notion of a bunch of Senators looking around the hotel bar at each other, going still, then all together jumping up and racing to their cars in the hopes of being the first one back to "strike a deal" and get some national TV time.

JAL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JAL said...

Did y'all catch this? Hilarious.

AWOL Wisconsin senators' cover blown.

wv retortla
I keep getting these funny wvs.

Sen Carpenter did a retortla.

Sofa King said...

At this moment Kessler is warning darkly of all the "disruptions" that will be caused if the union bill is passed.

Thus illustrating why the union needs to be weakened: they are perfectly willing to abuse the public trust and wield the monopoly power of the government for their own selfish ends. This is unacceptable.

Scott M said...

"disruptions" are just grade-school for terrorism. There. It's been said.

Duncan said...

Tort reform.

Make Wisconsin a Right-to-Work State (for private workers).

Dereg health insurance to allow interstate sales into Wisconsin.

Outlaw eminent domain takings for private developments.

Sofa King said...

Grigsby just lauded the demonstrators for "taking off of work."

!!!!

AJ Lynch said...

Evaluate everything the state does and determine if it is a mission critical role of the state govt. If it is not, stop doing it ASAP.

Maguro said...

Wisconsin unions: I can haz general strike?

Pass the popcorn.

chickelit said...

General strike? It'll be the most memorable one since the Madison Newspaper Printer's Strike of 1977.

Will the Cap Times and the Daily Cardinal editorial staff walk out in sympathy again?

chickelit said...

Sciopero is not a gelato flavor.

garage mahal said...

The teachers are taking over! Education Brotherhood!

AAAARRRRGGGHH!!!!

Synova said...

It's interesting that you mention TAs being at the protests. When my sister was a grad student she attempted to organize a union and from what she said it was all George Bush's fault that grad students weren't allowed to have a union at all.

(My response was: George Bush? Really? And how is he responsible for multiple generations of your rabidly liberal professor's exploitative behavior?)

I know that I've come across as severely anti-union, but it seems to me that the predominantly liberal realm of academia treats their grad students like slave labor and the grad students, if they expect to get their advanced degrees, have no choice but to suck it up. The only up-side seems to be that when they get to be professors themselves they can return the favor.

(There is also the issue of blatant exploitation of foreign grad-students. If anyone actually *needs* a labor union it's them.)

Synova said...

But I suppose the difference is who is doing the exploiting.

Scott M said...

I know that I've come across as severely anti-union, but it seems to me that the predominantly liberal realm of academia treats their grad students like slave labor

A not-so-surprising glance at what society might look like if such overlords were given free reign without worry about the consequences? Hmm...what sort of government structure does that sound like?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So. They want to call a general strike.

I've thought about what would happen if there were to be a general strike in California of all government workers and how it would affect me.

The conclusion is not much.

Go ahead and strike. With the exception of a few roads not getting plowed immediately, I don't care. About 30% of the population have personal snow plows on their extra 4x4 vehicles or own tractors with front loaders. We can cope.

DMV closes...yippie...that is a plus.

No Police. Hell, we only have one guy at night patrolling at least a 100 mile square area. It already takes 30 to 40 minutes to get a cop/sheriff. Big deal if they don't show up. We already rely upon ourselves and a well armed citizen patrol.

Fire Department? All volunteers and self funded.

Library? Same thing. Privately funded because the County decided to close our branch.

Food Pantry: Ditto

School is out? Ha ha don't make me laugh.

Go ahead.....strike. I'm looking forward to it.

Scott M said...

@DBQ

Wouldn't a series of general strikes severely impact the major unions' bank accounts? When a general strike is called, my understanding was that, if it protracts, the union itself sends it's members monies to cover the basic necessities. If WI, IN, OH, and a few other hot-spots light up, this would put the unions in a very bad place budget-wise, giving them limited time to ramp up to 2012.

Call it a layman's take.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Scott.

I think it would depend on the Union and the agreements that they have. As I remember, when my parents went on strike for the International Typographical Union (both were printers) they received some minimal amount of strike pay for a period of time...not forever. Some of the money came from the local union coffers and THEN the National. However, other workers and associated unions who also struck in sympathy did not get paid.

If it does tie up the union money, that is a a feature, not a bug :-)

cubanbob said...

Doesn't matter what the WI republicans do or do not do. The democrats will demonize them no matter what. If you are going to do the time might as well do the crime. Create a wish list of republican legislation and pass it immediately. CCW? Voter ID? Same day voting? Tort reform? Letting additional insurance carriers in to the state? Right to work? School vouchers? Seriously other than leftists and union members does anyone really believe that voters in WI are going to go crazy with anger at the republicans if they passed these things? Or as suggested eliminating the standing of various groups in lawsuits where they are not parties? If Walker has any notion for running for president then he ought to push these things now.

Christy said...

@BEK447, what's wrong with The Nature Conservancy? I like the Nature Conservancy. They see a piece of land they don't want developed, so they buy it. That's about as capitalist as it gets, isn't it? Please don't tell me they are evil. They host the most exquisite little events.

Alex said...

Seriously other than leftists and union members does anyone really believe that voters in WI are going to go crazy with anger at the republicans if they passed these things?

They're always crazy with anger.

Revenant said...

1) Concealed carry. Last I checked, Wisconsin and the Peoples Republic Of Illinois are the only two states left without CCW.

California doesn't have it either -- not really. It is entirely up to the police whether or not to issue a permit, and they always say "no" unless you are politically connected.

Sofa King said...

Garage said:
You couldn't be more wrong Julius. Still laughing too. Walker will cave tomorrow night.

Well, wrong again.

Revenant said...

Fire Department? All volunteers and self funded.

Brush fires aren't an issue in your area? You *do* live way up north. :)

chickelit said...

@garage:

Told ya. Now why don't you get on the right side of this Sumter situation and help save the real union?

A "Shotgun" Gold said...

Concealed carry will pass with or without the Democrats in town. Quite a few Democrats supported it the last couple of times it came up.

But this would be perhaps a better opportunity to past "Constitutional" concealed carry-- i.e, no permit needed, as has always been the case in Vermont and is now also true in AZ and AK-- and probably soon coming to a number of other states where it has been proposed. Constitutional concealed carry would not require the creation of a new bureaucracy to administer it, nor would it cost the taxpayers a penny. Simply modify or repeal the current ban on concealed weapons and and a few associated statutes, including the current vehicle carry requirements and the school zone restrictions. One can already carry a gun openly in most places in Wisconsin-- it hardly makes sense to require a permit or special instruction simply to put a jacket on over the gun you can already carry.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

and they always say "no" unless you are politically connected

Or if you smile real nice and have big tits :-D

Actually, I got mine years ago (the permit that is) when I was a bank officer and was required to go to the bank at night once in a while to replenish the cash in the ATM.

Seriously, though the Republicans have a golden opportunity to pass all kinds of laws, they should be adult about it only pass those things which would have generally wide support.

Voter ID and some other election voting types of issues that are just common sense, concealed carry.

The Republicans need to look like the adults in the State and let the Dems continue to hoist themselves on their own petard(s)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Brush fires aren't an issue in your area? You *do* live way up north. :)

You betcha ;-)

However, most big fires are in remote areas on Federal Land and the concensus is that they should probably burn anyway because they are so overgrown and thick with underbrush, due to the shut down of the logging industry.

Our VFD is for structure protection and they do also handle local small brush or wild fires.

E.M. Davis said...

You should ask the opposite question: What should the hiding democrats do while they're in Chicago?

A clandestine travel guide of sorts.

A "Shotgun" Gold said...

"What should the hiding democrats do while they're in Chicago?"

Take lessons while in the heartland of clean politics and Al Capone?

Emil said...

Sen. Erbenbach - have a nice life in Rockford. I think there is a Railroad Museum of some kind nearby, and if that gets old you can go in with some of the other Democrats (you still get your per diem...no?) and rent a car and visit the John Deere foundry site at Detour. Then...

Class factotum said...

Nothing's wrong with same day voter registration. The problem is not requiring a photo ID to vote. I live in South Eastern Wisconsin and I've personally seen people bused over from Illinois to vote.

I've worked at the polls for two elections. I don't think voter ID is necessary if we have a good registration process. That process does not include same-day registration because even if the voter is later found to be ineligible, his vote counts.

If you don't have an ID, you can claim to be someone else, but then that person doesn't get to vote. Sucks for that person, but you are not adding extra votes to the system.

I don't know how Illinois residents could vote unless there were coordinated fraud with fake residence documents. It could be done, because you can use your SSN as your personal ID instead of a WI drivers license, but it would take some work to get fake Wisconsin proof of residence documents.

Besides, why shouldn't Illinois residents get to vote in Wisconsin elections? They have 14 of our senators right now.

Michael McNeil said...

California doesn't have it either — not really. It is entirely up to the police whether or not to issue a permit, and they always say “no” unless you are politically connected.

It depends on the county.

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