March 3, 2011

"Wisconsin Senate Does Not Need a 3/5ths Quorum to Pass Much of the Budget Bill."

Says Jim Lindgren.

72 comments:

ricpic said...

Just Do It!

traditionalguy said...

Does this confirm that poker player Walker bluffed them into two weeks of making fools of themselves, even assisting several to abscond?

kent said...

Indeed, there is a 1971 Opinion of the Wisconsin Attorney General that determined that a bill changing collective bargaining rights was not a fiscal statute under the constitution and did not require a three-fifths quorum.

Boom. ;)

Scott M said...

Assuming he's right, 1) I would not like to think about the competency of the combined senators not to have known about this and 2) if it does get split up in this fashion to be passed, wouldn't the Assembly need to vote again on the altered legislation?

Dose of Sanity said...

I wholeheartedly agree. Bargaining rights are not fiscal.

But - that's what I've seen saying all along. They don't belong in this budget bill.

MadisonMan said...

I don't see how Risser couldn't have known this -- he was a Senator back in 1971, after all, when the Opinion was written.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Scott I've been asking for the bill to split the whole time. Yes, the assembly would need to ratify a new bill. (I'm not sure if they were done separately if they could use a committee to sort out the differences )

If you wonder why I want it split, it's because I believe the bargaining rights portion wouldn't pass.

EDH said...

Correction: Wisonsin Senate Does Not Need No Stinkin' 3/5th Quorum.

Ut said...

"Just Do It!"

Yes.

Hold a vote.

Then, when the Senators return to challenge your vote, arrest their fucking asses and haul them before the Senate. Now you have your quorum. Then hold another vote - this one all legal like.

Look ... Democrats have set the rules of the debate and the rules are that there are no rules.

If Democrats want to flee the state in order to prevent Democracy then they deserve to be fucking hanged.

Marshal said...

"MadisonMan said...

I don't see how Risser couldn't have known this -- he was a Senator back in 1971, after all, when the Opinion was written."

They did know this. The legal matters are irrelevant, the entire event is political theater. Democrats want the Republicans to pass the bill without them so they can claim Republicans are using tricks to pass legislation. It's never been about the facts.

Richard Dolan said...

Nothing in that analysis is likely to be news to the WI senate majority. All along, the commentary coming from the WI senate leaders has indicated that they understand this too.

But that's not all that's in Walker's budget reform bill. They may yet take up the provisions dealing with union dues, annual recertification elections and collective bargaining in a separate bill. But for now, they seem more intent on forcing the Dems back to WI.

The only conclusion I draw is that the WI senate majority (and the governor) think it benefits them to keep the focus on the issue in this way. Time (and the results of the next election) will tell.

Marshal said...

"Dose of Sanity said...

@ Scott I've been asking for the bill to split the whole time. Yes, the assembly would need to ratify a new bill. (I'm not sure if they were done separately if they could use a committee to sort out the differences )

If you wonder why I want it split, it's because I believe the bargaining rights portion wouldn't pass."

I can't believe this racist posts here.

Ut said...

"Bargaining rights are not fiscal."

Not only are they not fiscal ... they're not rights in the first place.

They're privileges which never should have been granted to government official unions in the first place.

Calypso Facto said...

Unfortunately the bargaining rights provision of the Budget Bill is found in the...wait for it...Budget Bill. Good luck making the case that the Budget Bill is not fiscal in nature.

Separating that item and passing it independently without a super-quorum was always an option, as I understood it, just not one the R Senators wanted to undertake. They are sticking to the "it's a necessary part of the budget fix" script as a modicum of cover...

Calypso Facto said...

Actually a good point, Ut. I've been trying to stick with the phrase "bargaining privileges" in most discussions.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Marshal

Okay, that was funny. :)

@Ut

Fair enough. Just using the common term here. My more recent post on my blog explains why I think we should consider them rights.

former law student said...

Just where does the opinion of the Attorney General rank in Wisconsin's judiciary? Above the state Supreme Court?

The legal effect of such an opinion should be similar to that of the Bush White House's "waterboarding isn't torture" memo.

Further, you guys don't think much of AG Holder's opinions; why sanctify a long-ago Wis AG's opinion?

Ut said...

"Unfortunately the bargaining rights provision of the Budget Bill is found in the...wait for it...Budget Bill."

There's no such thing as a "bargaining right."

Collective bargaining is a privilege allowed under a law that can be amended or abolished. It is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution. Collective bargaining can be eliminated anytime we all agree it should be eliminated and any time it becomes too expensive to pay for.

That time is today, since there's no more money left.

Scott M said...

My more recent post on my blog explains why I think we should consider them rights.

Does your blog also explain how "good faith" negotiations can take place when both sides are seated on the same end of the table? That's the crux of the matter here.

I never really had an opinion on cop unions or mandatory deduction of dues before this whole thing in WI, but I certainly do now.

Revenant said...

Just where does the opinion of the Attorney General rank in Wisconsin's judiciary? Above the state Supreme Court?

Has the state Supreme Court ruled on this issue?

Link, please.

Further, you guys don't think much of AG Holder's opinions; why sanctify a long-ago Wis AG's opinion?

Because Holder is a proven crook and idiot. The former Wisconsin AG, on the other hand, *might* have been competent. :)

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Ut - I suppose you could say it was a statutory right.

Don't get hung up on that and miss the point that it shouldn't be in a budget bill in the first place. :)

Triangle Man said...

First of all, Jim Lindgren is from Chicago. Need I say more?

" Good luck making the case that the Budget Bill is not fiscal in nature."

No, no, no. It's a Budget Repair Bill. It's no more a budget bill than a jackhammer is a sidewalk. The purpose of the collective bargaining provisions is to give local officials the "tools" they will need to repair their budgets now that the actual budget bill has been released, in which municipalities face steep cuts in State funding (unless they need roads built). Also, all that stuff in the Budget Repair Bill about cutting State employee compensation by 7%, that's tools too. Not budget.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Scott

Actually yes - I address those issue. My biggest concern is the mandatory dues. Take a look and the most recent post.

Dose of Sanity said...

No, no, no. It's a Budget Repair Bill. It's no more a budget bill than a jackhammer is a sidewalk.

That's not entirely true. It's a budget bill to affect this CURRENT budget cycle. That's why it's called repair. Revisionary would also work - it's not meant to address only the "causes" or they wouldn't need quorum.

Ut said...

" ...why sanctify a long-ago Wis AG's opinion?"

Because we agree with it.

Are you confused?

Then let me explain: Democrats set the rules for the debate. If we agree with something, then we vote. But if we don't agree, then we change the rules and flee like little pussy girls so we can't lose.

Those are the new rules.

Republicans are just reacting to the new rules and so in the future, any legal rulings or opinions that back up our preconceived ideas we will support and any that don't will be declared "judicial activism" and we will ignore those.

So fuck you, dude. We're only doing precisely what Democrats do every single day and you have absolutely no problem with them doing it and never have.

So fuck you.

You would impose an intellectual consistency on us that you yourself rarely if ever impose on yourself or Democrats.

So fuck you.

That's why we sanctify this.

Ut said...

"Good luck making the case that the Budget Bill is not fiscal in nature."

That's a case for a court to decide years from now when it finally gets a hearing after numerous delays and legal foot-dragging and millions in legal fees for the unions.

Between now and then the union can be fucking eviscerated.

Get. To. Voting.

MadisonMan said...

Much of the Budget Bill

As others not, the word much is the key. I'm not sure why the Senators didn't break out the non-budget parts long ago and vote on them. But if they did that, then they wouldn't have the cover/fiction that they had to pass all the things that constituents might object to fix the budget hole

rhhardin said...

Quorum today would be "of who."

Alex said...

Republican playing by the rules = FASCISM!!!!

Alex said...

Dose of Insanity - YOU LOSE!!!!

kent said...

Republican playing by the rules = FASCISM!!!!

"1971 Wisconsin Attorney General = FASCIST NIPPLES!!!11!!"
/garage

Sofa King said...

I think everyone knows that the reason not to split the bill is tactical, not legal. Mainly: regardless of the AG opinion, if the bargaining provisions are altered without the super-quorum, it *will* be legally challenged on that basis. By refusing to split it and holding out for a super-quorum, that challenge is mooted.

Alex said...

The only way the Republicans will compromise is if the people of WI are hell-bent for unions. Absent evidence of THAT, the union-crushing bill is gonna pass.

David said...

If they go forward on this, the issue will be who controls the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The Supreme Court certainly is not bound by a OAG.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ Alex...

How do I lose?

Paddy O said...

Here's an interesting article on the salaries of union employees.

Union battles these days are about protecting the privileges and income of union leaders, who obviously actually must hate the poor or workers given they are willing to risk worker jobs but not union leader perks.

Paddy O said...

For instance:

• American Federation of Teachers. Membership: 887,000; assets: $115 million. AFT is the smaller of the two teacher unions and also represents school support staff, higher education faculty and staff, health care professionals and state and municipal employees. At AFT's headquarters in Washington, nine officers and employees earn more than $200,000 a year. Randi Weingarten, who was elected president in 2008, received $428,284 in salary and benefits. Of the $2.4 million donated to political candidates in the past two years, the union gave all but $10,000 to Democrats.

It would take some masterful rhetorical skill to argue this is anything other than blatant corruption being waged on the backs of working teachers and the poor.

Paddy O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cato Renasci said...

People have been making this point for a while. Split the bill and pass the non-money changes in the law. If the dems don't come back, just start laying people off.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

former law student said...

Just where does the opinion of the Attorney General rank in Wisconsin's judiciary?

Well, last week, an Attorney General holding was widely cited as proof that Governor Walker was violating the constitution by closing the doors of the capitol.

Ut said...

No, just start LAYING DEMOCRATS OFF.

Keep the Republicans.

We won.

Ut said...

"The Supreme Court certainly is not bound by a OAG."

The Wisconsin Supreme Court only exists because the Wisconsin Constitution says it exists.

But that can change.

They should remember that.

chickelit said...

Coming Soon to the Broom Street Theater, a musical farce:

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Quorum

Starring:

Scott Walker as Nero

Charlie Sheen as Jon Erpenbach ("Winning!")

Ann Althouse as Domina Casavecchia

Lawrence Meade as Spiritus Meadium

Fred Risser as Erroneous

And so on.

edutcher said...

Hmmmm...

The Demos may not want to come back, if this is the case...

former law student said...

Do you think the Dems could stay away till the recall election in July? Sen. Lassa will have had her baby by then.

Emil Blatz said...

How about Fred Risser as a long standing example of inebriation?

Mutaman said...

"If Democrats want to flee the state in order to prevent Democracy then they deserve to be fucking hanged."

I'm glad to see that the Althouse commentators have expanded their advocacy of hanging to all ethnic groups. Quite a breakthrough.

kent said...

advocacy of hanging to all ethnic groups

Democrats are an "ethnicity," now, are they?

Dolt.

pstukel said...

This is not news at all. Walker has been asked about this ad nauseum, both by local and national media. Perhaps I'm ridiculously naive, but he's basically taking a principled position: yes, they could pass it separately, but the whole purpose of the collective bargaining provisions is to provide local governments the ability to deal with fiscal issues (such as the $1 billion+ reduction in state assistance to local schools). So he's being consistent between his stated objectives and the means by which he achieves them. Implicit in this approach is something very, very refreshing, particularly in light of the actions of Dem legislators in Wisconsin and Indiana: the means by which you achieve your objectives must be legitimate, regardless of the ends you seek. That's a lesson the Wisconsin 14 would do well to take to heart.

Trooper York said...

Well you have to be careful of your Democrats too.

They might want to drag you to death behind their Big Wheels.

They are pretty nasty children you know.

I'm a Shaaaaark said...

I'm glad to see that the Althouse commentators have expanded their advocacy of hanging to all ethnic groups. Quite a breakthrough.

You really are a tool.

Just thought you should know. You know, I'm just trying to be helpful, yet civil.

Dose of Sanity said...

@ York

Don't knock big wheels. You know we would all drive them if we could.

Bonniegee said...

Wish this headline would have SAID Budget Repair Bill. I assumed you were talking about the bill Walker presented this week.

SPImmortal said...

advocacy of hanging to all ethnic groups

Democrats are an "ethnicity," now, are they?

Dolt.

-------

I think he was trying to intimate that we are in favor of hanging blacks or something. I dunno, the comment didn't have a drop of truth behind it so it made no sense and just made him sound like a total idiot.

AprilApple said...

"Union treasuries - filled by dues paid by union members - not only fund programs benefiting union members and their families. The money they collect also pays six-figure compensation packages for labor leaders and provides millions of dollars for Democratic causes and candidates."

No wonder the dems left the state.

former law student said...

The money they collect also pays six-figure compensation packages for labor leaders

Worse than that: Thousands of uniformed young girls have been sent out this month to sell cookies. The money they collect also pays a six-figure compensation package for their Girl Scouts of America leader.

Doesn't that violate some child labor law?

deborah said...

It should fall under RICO, too :)

SPImmortal said...

Worse than that: Thousands of uniformed young girls have been sent out this month to sell cookies. The money they collect also pays a six-figure compensation package for their Girl Scouts of America leader.

Doesn't that violate some child labor law?

--------

Thanks for the unfunny joke.

We know you don't give a shit about the corrupt patronage that is threatening to bring this country to it's fiscal knees, but some of us do.

kent said...

Excellent Reason link to an article explaining how Wisconsin's public unions managed to screw their own pooch: Shikha Dalmia on "Wisconsin's Real Lesson."

pstukel said...

FLS - RE: Girl Scounts. Glib, but pretty nonsensical. The difference is that Girl Scounts aren't forced to be Girl Scounts in order to be - er - girls. It's that funny thing we call "free association," something sorely lacking from the unions in question.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Doesn't that violate some child labor law?

I don't care as long as I get my Thin Mints.

former law student said...

We know you don't give a shit about the corrupt patronage that is threatening to bring this country to it's fiscal knees

One thing at a time: I'm still trying to understand the Bernie Madoff-New York Mets connection.

But if you mean there's too much special interest money in politics -- with Citizens United the Supreme Court pretty much gave the Koch Brothers free rein. What are you gonna do?

SPImmortal said...

But if you mean there's too much special interest money in politics -- with Citizens United the Supreme Court pretty much gave the Koch Brothers free rein. What are you gonna do?

-------

I doesn't have anything to do with special interest money doofus. The problem isn't corporation paying politicians but politicians paying corporations, TARP and the auto bailouts and public unionsm the whole stinking pile.

Revenant said...

Do you think the Dems could stay away till the recall election in July?

Would they even qualify to run? There's a residency requirement -- if you quite pointedly and publicly move to Illinois and refuse to set foot in Wisconsin in the months leading up to the election, do you still qualify for office?

former law student said...

There's a residency requirement -- if you quite pointedly and publicly move to Illinois and refuse to set foot in Wisconsin in the months leading up to the election, do you still qualify for office?

I'm looking, but for voters, where your spouse and kids live is determinative. Temporary absences don't change residence, either:

6.10 Elector residence. Residence as a qualification for voting
shall be governed by the following standards:
(1) The residence of a person is the place where the person’s
habitation is fixed, without any present intent to move, and to
which, when absent, the person intends to return.
(2) When a married person’s family resides at one place and
that person’s business is conducted at another place, the former
place establishes the residence. If the family place is temporary
or for transient purposes, it is not the residence.

PWS said...

I mentioned this a couple of days ago in the comments here; my wife said it last week to me in our home; I'm sure Republicans and Walker have thought of this idea long before that.

I think the main reason they're not doing it is because they may not be sure of the outcome or at least don't want to put some more moderate Republican Senators, who may be vulnerable to recall, in the position of having to vote on the CB issue as a stand alone.

Revenant said...

with Citizens United the Supreme Court pretty much gave the Koch Brothers free rein. What are you gonna do?

The Koches have given as much money to Republicans as the Postal Workers' Union has given to Democrats. Around 1/13th what the teachers' unions have given Democrats, in other words.

Raise your hand if you think postal workers are a powerful political force in America. Anyone? No? Ok, moving on.

Moneyrunner said...

The Left’s obsession with the Koch Brothers is interesting from the psychological perspective. You wonder if it’s genuine, in which case there should be a term for it in the reference books for psychological disorders, or it’s feigned, in which case it’s an example of one of Alinsky’s Rules. With Leftists there is always a doubt if they are wicked or insane.

former law student said...

rev, read my lips: Citizens United Not contributions to any candidate.

Alex said...

FLS - I have given small donations to candidates the last few years(all GOP). I have no immediate financial connections to giant multi-national corporations. Yet I feel that Citizens United benefits me because corporations do more to drive economic growth then government. So I favor unlimited corporate spending on political ads to counter government intrusion in the private sector. I view CU as in my own economic interest, and I suspect many other people do as well.

Thorley Winston said...

I think a better strategy is:

1) Keep the budget bill “as is” with the collective bargaining reforms.

2) Continue with the business of the legislature by voting on other non-fiscal items that don’t require a supermajority such as Voter ID, “shall issue” concealed carry, tort reform, abolishing racial preferences and setasides, etc.

3) Layoff State employees on schedule

4) Push through recall elections for the absent Democratic Senators.

5a) If / when they return to either (a) do their jobs or (b) try to thwart the recall, slap the cuffs on the most unsympathetic ones, drag them to the Senate chambers and vote to pass the budget bill; or

5b) Keep laying off State employees and reminding voters that it’s the fault of the absent Senators.

Revenant said...

rev, read my lips: Citizens United Not contributions to any candidate.

No, I get it. You tried to change the subject; I didn't go for it. We're discussing the corrupting effect of money on politicians, not the left's fear of free speech.

In other words:

SPImmortal: Special interest money corrupts politics.

You: I don't understand. You must mean that corporate speech corrupts politics. How about them Koch Brothers?

Me: The Koches don't contribute much money. Unions contribute tons of money.