March 10, 2011

Ezra Klein admits: "Scott Walker’s procedural maneuvering last night was ... legitimate."

A nice effort at making a show of not being a hypocrite:
Certainly as legitimate as the Democrats fleeing the state to deny the Republicans quorum. They did something procedurally extraordinary to stop the bill from being passed, and he did something procedurally extraordinary to get the bill passed.



It seems to me that the system worked. Democrats were able to slow the process down and convince both voters in Wisconsin and the national media that there was something beyond business as usual happening in Madison. National and state polls show they were successful in that effort. Walker and the Senate Republicans ignored the Democrats’ attempts at compromise and ignored the public turning against them and decided to pass the legislation anyway.

That was their prerogative, and now it’s up to the voters to decide whether to recall the eight Senate Republicans who are eligible for judgment this year, and to defeat Walker and the other Republicans in a year or two, when they become vulnerable to a recall election. That’s how representative democracy, for better or worse, works. The representatives can make unpopular decisions, but the voters can punish them for it. I thought that during the health-care debate, and I think that now — though I would be interested to see whether any of the conservative voices who were shocked and appalled by President Obama’s decision to ignore public opinion and finish health-care reform using the reconciliation process are calling for Walker’s head today. If not, I think they need to ask themselves what makes this case different.
Klein also notes the technical question whether the procedural move violates the state's "open records" law.

59 comments:

Anna said...

That will leave a scorch mark.

rdkraus said...

there was something beyond business as usual happening in Madison

Yes, the state is bankrupt.

Democrats continue to say,

LALALLALALALALALALALALA

I can't hear you !!!!

Dateline Wash DC - Same story.

traditionalguy said...

Even Klein admits that it is game, set, match to Walker. Now if only the Florida Supreme Court doesn't issue any special rulings.

shoutingthomas said...

The system worked?

Fleeing the state to avoid voting?

Mob rule in the capitol building?

If the Tea Party had engaged in these tactics, the liberal press would be calling for scalps.

Nothing worked here.

This is as close to a shooting war as you can get without shots being fired.

And that's the way the Democrats wanted to play it.

roesch-voltaire said...

Sorry but there is a possible violation of open meeting law so I would not rush to judgement on this.

kent said...

Ezra Klein admits: "Scott Walker’s procedural maneuvering last night was ... legitimate."

... and, just like that -- *POOF*!!! -- another intellectually bucktoothed leftie meme drops to its poor knees and keels over dead.

shoutingthomas said...

Sorry but there is a possible violation of open meeting law so I would not rush to judgement on this.

This bullshit is beyond contempt.

The Democrats breached the rule of law when they fled to Illinois.

All bets are off.

You should have worried about the rule of law when the Democrats decided to pull their obnoxious stunts.

TWM said...

"Sorry but there is a possible violation of open meeting law so I would not rush to judgement on this."

Possible, but not likely. My guess is Walker had his attorneys throughly research this before they did it.

Just in case though, if I were Walker I would wait until the Dem senators get back in the chamber, lock the doors and pass the original bill while they have a quorum.

Twice as nice . . .

Henry said...

I realize the Gray Davis election is a precedent, but there's something deeply troubling about this recent leftists love affair with recall elections. A recall election, applied generally, replaces representative government with government by the mob.

If you want to talk about things "procedurally extraordinary" how about talking about that?

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

Sorry but there is a possible violation of open meeting law so I would not rush to judgement on this.

Hmmmm. Considering that there were opponents of it there (who were shouting stuff) then the meeting was certainly "open".

Now, you could be referring to Senate Rule 25(1)(b), which is not a law, but a senate rule, in which case:

" provides that “public notice of every meeting of a committee shall be given at least 24 hours before the commencement of the meeting, unless the committee on senate organization determines that for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical.”

Now, considering exactly what happened almost as soon as the vote occurred, I would say that there was damned good cause to determine it would be impractical - and probably dangerous, too.

I guess we'll find out soon enough.

cubanbob said...

Walker should have done that ten days ago along with banning civil servants unions and passing a right to work law and have the democrats removed from office for abandoning their positions. Hey if you are going to be accused of being a criminal, then be a big criminal. Nobody likes or respects a small time crook. Come to think of it he should have also jacked up the state employees medical contribution to the state private worker average and the pension contribution to the employee portion of social security contribution. Only to be fair to the taxpayers.

Class factotum said...

Walker and the Senate Republicans ignored the Democrats’ attempts at compromise

Did he not see Walker's emails to the Fleeing 14 offering compromise? It was the Dems who refused.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/117598658.html

madawaskan said...

Have you read the updates to Jim Lindgren's post on this at Volokh?

It isn't all that reassuring.

roesch-voltaire said...

"Last night will be remembered as a black mark on the history of Wisconsin government. The actions by 18 Republican state senators leave no doubt that Governor Walker's attack on Wisconsin workers has nothing to do with the budget and everything to do with advancing a national corporate agenda. Sadly, these actions further drive divisions within our state and threaten the future economic recovery of Wisconsin. Proponents of this plan should remember: Wisconsin's citizens will hold their elected officials accountable." This if a real leader in Wisconsin

cubanbob said...

roesch-voltaire said...
Sorry but there is a possible violation of open meeting law so I would not rush to judgement on this.

3/10/11 10:14 AM


Wouldn't all those democrat state senators meeting together out of state also constitute a possible violation of the open meeting law?

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

From the Journal Sentinal:

"We're prepared to do whatever it takes to kill the bill or shut it down," said Daniel Ginsberg of Milwaukee, an organizer with Students for a Democratic Society.

Pictures at the link, showing the doors to the Assembly being blockaded by protesters and furniture etc.

Nice to see the SDS is still around. I've almost missed those guys.

madawaskan said...

UPDATE: The 2-hours notice provided for the Senate committee meeting may have been legally inadequate. As to violating rules that it sets for itself, one would want to look at the Stitt case discussed in my SSRN article and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel case. I haven’t had a chance yet to explore this issue.

2D UPDATE: The Senate Rules provide:

Senate Rule 25 (1) (b)
(b) Except as provided in par. (d), public notice of every meeting of a committee shall be given at least 24 hours before the commencement of the meeting, unless the committee on senate organization determines that for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical. In no case may notice be provided less than 2 hours in advance of a meeting. A public notice may be amended at any time to delay the commencement of the meeting or to delete items from the agenda of the meeting.

So, did the “committee on senate organization” make such a determination? It would appear to me that the actions of the demonstrators tonight strengthen the factual case for such a determination (if one were made) — that safety concerns and a breakdown in order was reasonably feared.

BTW, the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law does not apply where it is inconsistent with a Senate Rule.

3D UPDATE: I believe that a description of the alterations to Senate Bill 11 might be here, but the description is awfully hard to follow.

4TH UPDATE: I have a new post briefly describing the substitute bill.


[ Jim Lindgren Volokh.com]

Revenant said...

Walker ignored public opinion to reduce deficits, Obama ignored public opinion to make them worse.

I hope that clears up Klein's confusion. :)

rocketeer67 said...

"Some Democrats, such as state senator Julie Lassa and leader of the Assembly's Democrats Peter Barca, are claiming that the vote Wednesday night on the budget repair bill violated the state's Open Meetings Law because the senate did not give 24 hours notice before convening. But Wisconsin's Senate Chief Clerk, who offers non-partisan parliamentary and legal advice to the chamber, sent out a note tonight saying that the vote was above board. '[T]he notice appears to have satisfied the requirements of the rules and statutes,' according to Senate Chief Clerk Rob Marchant.

Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald's office passed along an email tonight that included Marchant's statement:

Tonight's Conference Committee was properly noticed. From the Senate Chief Clerk, Rob Marchant:

FYI . . .

There was some discussion today about the notice provided for the legislature's conference committee. In special session, under Senate Rule 93, no advance notice is required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board. Despite this rule, it was decided to provide a 2 hour notice by posting on the bulletin board. My staff, as a courtesy, emailed a copy of the notice to all legisaltive offices at 4:10, which gave the impression that the notice may have been slightly less than 2 hours. Either way, the notice appears to have satisfied the requirements of the rules and statutes.

I thought you might find this information to be useful.

Thanks.

Rob


Sorry, R-V. Game. Set. Match. You lose.

WV "losta": You losta, getta used to it.

traditionalguy said...

The Open Meetings Law apparently allows 2 hour notices in exigent circumstances and provides that a valid notice requires posting the meeting notice on the Capitol announcement board. All of that was done. Then as an extra favor to the out of State Dems, an E-mail of the announcement board posted notice was also sent out by the Clerk. It is that E-mail which bears a 4:10PM time sending time for a 6:00 PM meeting that has become the red herring of the Dems claiming lack of a legal two hour notice. Come read the announcement board at the Capitol next time, you silly gooses.

shoutingthomas said...

The actions by 18 Republican state senators leave no doubt that Governor Walker's attack on Wisconsin workers has nothing to do with the budget and everything to do with advancing a national corporate agenda.

Oh, bullshit, roesch-voltaire, you just lost.

Eat it. Go away.

Get ready to continue losing.

kent said...

There was some discussion today about the notice provided for the legislature's conference committee. In special session, under Senate Rule 93, no advance notice is required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board. Despite this rule, it was decided to provide a 2 hour notice by posting on the bulletin board. My staff, as a courtesy, emailed a copy of the notice to all legisaltive offices at 4:10, which gave the impression that the notice may have been slightly less than 2 hours. Either way, the notice appears to have satisfied the requirements of the rules and statutes.

Bam. ;)

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bgates said...

I think they need to ask themselves what makes this case different.

* ObamaCare is plainly unconstitutional if the Constitution imposes any limits on federal power at all;

* Walker won election promising to be fiscally conservative, Obama won running against a health insurance mandate (and promising to be fiscally conservative, come to think of it - "net spending cut", he said);

* Walker saves a modest amount of the people's money, ObamaCare costs trillions;

* Pelosi/Reid made a mockery of the Constitutional requirement that all "all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House", Wisconsin Republicans followed the letter and spirit of Joint Rule 11

Robert said...

So, we're giving consideration to the word of a 26 year old wunderkind without a law degree on this one?

Rubin smacks him down almost daily, but here he's the published sage so let's broadcast his remarks even more widely?

Really, Professor?

Breathlessly awaiting your post on Justin Bieber's take on all of this.

Progressively Defensive said...

But you will see; if Republicans leave the state over a commonplace tax increase or spending increase in the future, the Democrats will cry foul.

Jim said...

Here is a post this AM at Volokh on the notice requirement:

Questions have been raised whether the 2-hour notice given of the Wisconsin Senate committee meeting was adequate. Rob Marchant, the Clerk of the Senate issued this statement (tip to Wheeler Report):

"There was some discussion today about the notice provided for the legislature’s conference committee. In special session, under Senate Rule 93, no advance notice is required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board. Despite this rule, it was decided to provide a 2 hour notice by posting on the bulletin board. My staff, as a courtesy, emailed a copy of the notice to all legislative offices at 4:10, which gave the impression that the notice may have been slightly less than 2 hours. Either way, the notice appears to have satisfied the requirements of the rules and statutes."

Since the Clerk is relying on Senate Rule 93, it’s worth a look. The provision is a special rule for special sessions, which tend to be more focused in topics and more time pressured in duration. Rule 93 in part provides:

Senate Rule 93 (2)
(2) A notice of a committee meeting is not required other than posting on the legislative bulletin board, and a bulletin of committee hearings may not be published. [SNIP]


On its face, this rule would seem not to require even a 2-hour notice, just posting on the bulletin board, which is how the Clerk interprets it. This is consistent with the emphasis on speed implicit in several parts of Rule 93. Yet it is possible one could instead read the rule as merely covering the method of notice, not the timing of it, but I think that reading is neither the literal one nor the intended one.

The Wisconsin Open Meetings Law has an exception for inconsistent legislative rules so that is unlikely to come into play.

Jim Lindgren
Volokh.com

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

Bam. ;)

VIOLENCE!!!!! YOU... YOU... RACIST TEABAGGER!!!!11!!!!

Henry said...

The actions by 18 Republican state senators leave no doubt that Governor Walker's attack on Wisconsin workers has nothing to do with the budget and everything to do with advancing a national corporate agenda.

The very lack of evidence suggests it must be true!

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

Governor Walker Presser on now:

WTMJ 620

madawaskan said...

There is this part from Lindgren's updates-

So, did the “committee on senate organization” make such a determination? It would appear to me that the actions of the demonstrators tonight strengthen the factual case for such a determination (if one were made) — that safety concerns and a breakdown in order was reasonably feared.


However it still relies on the bad behavior of the demonstrators after the fact. It's possible the demonstrators have literally demonstrated that the Republicans fears were correct but if you have to use the standards that liberals apply in Madison-might be a large threshold to hurdle.

But garage is on another thread comparing the condition of Madison to that of Libya right now-so there's that.

george said...

I don't believe the polls. If you asked the public whether government funds should go straight to the unions the answer would be a resounding no. If you asked them about any of the specifics of the bill you would be hard pressed to find a part of it they would disagree with. What they don't like is the narrative that the press has laid out which has nothing to do with reality whatsoever.

Eventually all of this will come out in the wash.

Contrast this with the Tea Partiers where the more that is known about Obamacare the less it is supported. There is also the little issue of it being quite clearly unconstitutional. I know this because I can read and the text of the commerce clause is quite clear. So the government can have its health care plan but it cannot at the same time have its legitimacy. It is currently in the process of choosing which it values more highly.

A whole lot of men of very low intellect and even lower morals had to make a lot of blatantly absurd decisions for us to even get to the point where the government would feel it could get away with instituting a government run health plan of any sort. That is before you even get to the current issue of people being forced to engage in economic activity not of their choosing.

Everyone should get used to this strife. It is the way of all socialist countries. That is the path we have been heading down and Obama has done everything in his power to accelerate it. The end will not be pretty. What happened in WI is nothing compared to what is coming.

lemondog said...

Is 'fleeing' going to spread and become sop for both parties, at both state and federal levels?

While dems were vacationing on taxpayer $$$$ should have passed legislation making such activity illegal or subject to automatic ouster.

Not enuff lawyers available to construct such legislation?

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

But garage is on another thread comparing the condition of Madison to that of Libya right now-so there's that.

No way. Obama would issue a No-Fly Zone for Wisconsin before he would in Libya. ;)

edutcher said...

This is how we got ZeroCare. How can the Lefties complain?

PS I will be a gentleman here and not ask the Althouse Hillbillies to join me in giving all the National Socialists in our midst a rousing chorus of, "Live with it!!!! We won!!!!! Hahahaha!!!!", as they did when ZeroCare was passed.

madawaskan said...

Henry-

Did you notice that they are trying to make both arguments?

First that the bill- because they stripped it out proves that it had nothing to do with the budget, then if they don't win that argument-they try to claim that it did have fiscal elements in it and therefore a quorum needed to be held?

madawaskan said...

Obama would issue a No-Fly Zone for Wisconsin before he would in Libya. ;)

LOL!

I dunno don't you need a C-130 just to shuttle Michael Moore back and forth-I'm sure he'd get a *special* clearance.

Chase said...

though I would be interested to see whether any of the conservative voices who were shocked and appalled by President Obama’s decision to ignore public opinion and finish health-care reform using the reconciliation process are calling for Walker’s head today. If not, I think they need to ask themselves what makes this case different.


This conservative was not at all "shocked and appalled" by Obama's ramming of the bill. It was totally expected and the political results were predicted and fulfilled as well.

Here's the difference that matters, Ezra. Obama lost independents who looked at the idiotic costs to their own personal lives.

Do you Ezra believe that for a minute that the majority of Independents in Wisconsin are going to support the pro take-more-out-of-my-pocket-to-pay-your-higher-than-my-wages union leeches?


Good luck with that, Ezra.
And look up "hypocrite" in the dictionary, Ezra. You obviously don't get that or the proper use of analogies.

Ned said...

I'm with Robert...why would anybody in their right mind care what ezrass klein thinks on ANY topic????

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

I dunno don't you need a C-130 just to shuttle Michael Moore back and forth-I'm sure he'd get a *special* clearance.

LOL... I woulda said a C-5, but I'm mean. ;)

Matt said...

Well, good for Klein, trying to be consistent.

In answer to his question about conservative support for Walker and opposition to the passage of Obamacare: It needs to be remembered that the extraordinary legislative process used in Washington to pass Obamacare not only went against public opinion as expressed in polls, but also as expressed in the remarkable election of Scott Brown to replace Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. Had Martha Coakley won that election, Senate Democrats would have had the votes to overcome a (perfectly legal, within-the-rules) filibuster and Obamacare would have passed via normal legislative means.

In Wisconsin, the ability of the Walker plan to pass via normal means was not blocked by any election. Indeed it was facilitated by the Republican electoral victories last November. Instead, what required the Wisconsin legislature's extraordinary procedure was the Democratic senators' anti-democratic tactic of leaving the state to deny a quorum.

So, the question for Klein is: In the Obamacare debate, what parallel is there to the flight of the 14 Wisconsin senators?

Alex said...

r-v is spinning like a plate today, VAMOS!

MikeR said...

"A nice effort at making a show of not being a hypocrite:" Can't follow this, Ann. Why not say: Way to go, Ezra, not being a hypocrite!
Isn't it nice when people do the right thing? Why throw nasty insinuations at them for it?

madawaskan said...

C-5 Ha! What would you call that flight -Air Force Ton?

The Walker presser just ended-the guy is getting better and better. Thanks for that link.

Chase said...

Henry-

Did you notice that they are trying to make both arguments?


There is a growing body of scholarship - David Brooks has written about some of it - that shows that the boomer generation, the TV coming of age generation, is more "conspiratorially minded" than the previous 7 generations, yielding a sort of second reality that they live their lives in. They then pass this through media portrayals and the school systems they have run to the following generations, and the only escape from this denial of reality is in those who grasped a more conservative worldview (even numerous liberal scholars are agreeing with much of this thought).

That is why - and we all have this experience - talking with a liberal using reason and logical terms is so frustrating. They have been trained to pull anything from out of the air to support their arguments - seeking correlations that have no common sense relationship. The conspiracy minded worldview of the regular liberal causes them to believe that disparate facts or partial truths can be evidence of whatever
political, physical, moral, or (this is my favorite) existential argument they want to win.


Thus - opposing facts actually 'prove" whatever point the liberal mind wants it to prove.

It will take literally generations - if mankind can survive that long - for this conspiracy minded worldview to diminish.

We are literally in another dark ages against reason.

kent said...

That is why - and we all have this experience - talking with a liberal using reason and logical terms is so frustrating. They have been trained to pull anything from out of the air to support their arguments

Minor point of order: it absolutely is not "the air" from whence said burblings and babblings are routinely being extracted. ;)

The Crack Emcee said...

"Ezra Klein admits: "Scott Walker’s procedural maneuvering last night was ... legitimate.""

Good news for our side, but I still have a question:

Does this mean he's a cult member?

Tracy said...

How does Klein get away with claiming that the "Walker and the Senate Republicans ignored the Democrats'attempts at compromise" when the recent release of E-mails shows that Walker was clearly offering areas for discussion of compromise and was rebuffed by the Dems?

BoboFromTexas said...

Elections have consequences.

We won.

Don't you just love Hope&Change?

LawGirl said...

Thanks, Chase. That was very helpful. I feel like I'm banging my head against concrete discussing things with postmodern liberals and your post elucidated the reasons behind the problem well.

Michael K said...

I wonder if Jonah Goldberg will publish a second edition of his book "Liberal Fascism," with the Madison story as a preface for those who thought it was fiction.

kent said...

I wonder if Jonah Goldberg will publish a second edition of his book "Liberal Fascism," with the Madison story as a preface for those who thought it was fiction.

I think the Professor (with or without Meade) should pen the definitive chronicling of this entire sad, sordid affair, once it's all over and done with. (Who better, given all the reporting she's done thus far...?)

JohnBoy said...

Here is an excerpt from Ezra's piece:

"Walker and the Senate Republicans ignored the Democrats’ attempts at compromise and ignored the public turning against them and decided to pass the legislation anyway."

Um...this is exactly wrong. The record shows that the Democrats would settle for nothing less than 100% of what they wanted or they would continue to stay away.

This is dangerous because the left is basically trying to subvert representative Democracy. When we win, we jam through what we want. When we lose, we use any and all means to subvert the legislative process, including recalls, skanky protests and leaving the state.

Alex said...

JohnBoy - the Dems were within their legal rights to be fleebaggers and the WI voters are also within their legal rights to vote out every single last one in Nov 2012 or recall sooner!

TickedMD said...

Republicans were fighting fire with fire. Dems started the fire.

Democrats went beyond nuclear, actually.

Typical of democrats... to try to overturn the results of democratic elections.

revcraigh said...

"Ezra Klein admits: "Scott Walker’s procedural maneuvering last night was ... legitimate.""

No, he didn't. What he said was:

"Assuming Scott Walker’s procedural maneuvering last night was legal — and, as I’ll explain in a moment, there are some questions about that — then it was also legitimate."

After a discussion of the move's legality/illegality, he says, "I simply don’t know enough to evaluate any of these claims..."

Sooooo...sorry but the claim in the title is simply false as is clear to anyone who actually red Klein's article through to the end.

revcraigh said...

Oh, those pesky ellipses! Often it's what is left out of a quote that makes quite a difference in meaning.

jim said...

Well, nobody can claim this is an argument from authority: Ezra Klein isn't exactly an expert on such matters, to put it kindly - & comparing this to HCR is at best a torturous analogy. Rules differ widely between Madison & DC, just for starters - & Walker hardly spent months dithering with a bipartisan panel over it, let alone repeatedly watering down the bill in a vain attempt to appease his opposition (although he DID take his strongest budget card off the table when he cut taxes).

Perhaps someone with a legal background could look at the actual law itself & do some real worthwhile analysis of whether or not it is unconstitutional(PDF file).

As one might expect, it's basically a wish-list for corporations & the owners who love them - of particular interest to me are the supermajority requirement for any future tax hikes (because that folly has worked out so well for California) & tax preferences for conversion of wetlands to non-wetlands along with exempting those areas from wetlands' water-quality standards, provided they're used for business purposes.

It takes semantics like Stretch Armstrong to say this bill isn't budgetary - but it's safe to assume Walker can find a judge adept enough at yoga to "prove" that what just happened was legit.

If this goes into effect as written, the lawsuits coming out of it (including class-actions) will be truly EPIC. Let the games begin!

spool32 said...

The record shows that Republicans did not ignore negotiations with Democrats on a compromise, but in fact the opposite occurred.