Wisconsin Farce Ending: AWOL Democrats Scramble Back After Republican Senate Finds Loophole To Pass Controversial Bill

Tyler Durden's picture

And so the biggest farce in US politics so far in 2011 (absent of course from the whole debt [ceiling|target] debate, not to mention the ridiculous budget, but those are topics for another day) is about to come to an end. After earlier tonight the Wisconsin Senate used a "procedural move on Wednesday to pass the proposal without the Democrats present" thereby rendering their three week long self-appointed exile to Illinois moot, "the leader of Democrats in the Wisconsin Senate says his caucus will return to the state, but he won't say when." The loophole used by the Republicans is that in lieu of passing the full budget bill, lacking a Democrat vote for a quorum, they instead formed a
special committee to isolate only the collective bargaining portions of
the bill and passed it with just 19 votes. The Seattle Times reports: "the floor session lasted just minutes, and the state Assembly is
scheduled to take up the measure on Thursday morning. That's the last
step before it can go to Walker for his signature. Senate Democratic leader Mark Miller of Monona says Democrats will
"join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government," but he
refused to say when." In other words, the first attempt at forced austerity in the US is about to be ancted. What happens next will likely not be pretty as it suddenly becomes evident that the whole "cost-cutting" thing that is so popular in Europe is about to really come to the world's most entitled country.

To commemorate ending the Democrats' three week long vacation from , Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald issued the following statement:

After nearly a month of debate on the budget repair bill, nearly three weeks of childish stunts and delay tactics from the Democrats, the longest public hearing in state history and the longest Assembly debate in state history, the Senate met tonight to pass the non-fiscal items in the Budget Repair Bill.  Sen. Fitzgerald released the following statement:

"Before the election, the Democrats promised "adult leadership" in Madison.  Then a month and a half into session, the Senate Democrats fled the state instead of doing their job.

"In doing so, they have tarnished the very institution of the Wisconsin state Senate.  This is unacceptable.

"This afternoon, following a week and a half of line-by-line negotiation, Sen. Miller sent me a letter that offered three options: 1) keep collective bargaining as is with no changes, 2) take our counter-offer, which would keep collective bargaining as is with no changes, 3) or stop talking altogether.

"With that letter, I realized that we're dealing with someone who is stalling indefinitely, and doesn't have a plan or an intention to return.  His idea of compromise is "give me everything I want," and the only negotiating he's doing is through the media.

"Enough is enough." "The people of Wisconsin elected us to do a job.  They elected us to stand up to the broken status quo, stop the constant expansion of government, balance the budget, create jobs and improve the economy.  The longer the Democrats keep up this childish stunt, the longer the majority can't act on our agenda.

"Tonight, the Senate will be passing the items in the budget repair bill that we can, with the 19 members who actually DO show up and do their jobs.  Those items include the long-overdue reform of collective bargaining needed to help local governments absorb these budget cuts, and the 12 percent health care premium and 5 percent pension contribution.

"We have confirmed with the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the Legislative Council and the Legislative Reference Bureau that every item in tonight's bill follows the letter of the law.

"The people of Wisconsin elected us to come to Madison and do a job.  Just because the Senate Democrats won't do theirs, doesn't mean we won't do ours."

And for those inclined to read what laws actually pass in this country, below is the Legislative Fiscal Bureau's summary of the passed bill, while the actual 138 page bill can be found here.

2011_03_09 Modification to SS SB 11_AB 11

h/t John Poehling

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hannah's picture

why is god doing this to us.....why.....?

JR's picture

God is a Republican…?

There’s always the cry for raised taxes to keep necessary services intact in the public sector. 

No greater example can be found than a phrase found in the lawsuit against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s temporary few days' furlough policy for California public employees (SEIU) to help with the budget crisis.  The 2010 complaint laments “the governor’s unreasonable insistence to avoid tax increases to pay the judgment and to keep the state services intact.”

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders this week writes: “Apparently the ticket to economic equality is for Americans to ignore the heavy load of debt that taxpayers much shoulder because politicians have handed out benefits and pensions to public workers regardless of the cost…

“The new message: A government can’t really be broke because politicians have the power to raise taxes.”

The private sector model for salary and benefits is for the employer to define the position in terms of the available salaries and benefits and the applicant has the option of accepting the conditions or not and can, if he wishes, apply for a job elsewhere.  It’s unusual in a real world that public employees define the working hours, the job conditions and qualifications, the salary and benefits and if not acceptable to the employer, they then go to binding arbitration to overrule the employer, i.e., the taxpayers.

jeff montanye's picture

you know he did; 9-11 and the subsequent commission too.  but it only took republicans to run democrats out of texas and wisconsin.  why is it that they think this makes good political theater, running from a battle?  this is getting to be a habit: impeachment off the table, bush foreign, financial, military policies adopted (after much fulminating about them under bush).  it takes at least two functioning parties to have much of a party based democracy.  imo the real battles of the next few years will be fought internally in the republican party.  the dems are done.

hannah's picture

...because democrates are wussies. they are girly men, emasculated she-males who cant make a decision for themselves.

downwiththebanks's picture

Their JOB is losing.  

The Washington Generals of politricks.

JW n FL's picture

Thank!! God!!!


The Unions in Wisconsin are almost Dead!


All of our problems are solved!!


This event will stop the Bankers from Robbing the Country Blind of Trillions of Dollars a year!!!


When the house is being robbed, it is not a good time to Paint Abortion Signs or Union Bust.. we should be dealing with the larger problems at hand..


Ahhhhhh.. never mind.. Unions, Danzig Wiff Da Starz and / or Jerry Springer... its all the same thing.


Broker Union Workers in Wisconsin are NOT! the Problem.. Trillions of Dollars and Bank Bonuses that could have paid for the Union plus! Plus!! PLUS!!! thats the fucking problem people!


Wake the FUCK! UP!! PEOPLE!!!

John Wilmot's picture

No one is suggesting that public sector unions are the only or the largest cause of the nation's problems. It is a major, if not the largest, cause of the state governments' budget problems. But regardless of magnitude, it is a problem that needs to be solved.

And don't scream at me about bankers, I'm fully aware of the financial oligarchy which controls this nation. That is another problem, let's solve that one too.

Can't you walk and chew gum at the same time?

Calmyourself's picture

+1    We had better start attacking our fiscal issues on multiple levels, although I echo JW's call to go after bankers, MERS, fraudulent mortgage securitization etc as soon as possible.  The reining in of government and it's bloodsucking public unions is an important part of the puzzle.

Carl Spackler's picture

+1  Teach thy brain to "multi-think."

The overall problem is more complex than just a picking "bankster" scapegoat. (while it is part of the overall problem, it is just a facet).

Another facet is in the process of being unwound...loss of taxpayer sovereignty leading to excessive borrowing and sovereign budget problems brought about civil workforce exercise of monopoly privileges.


MiddleMeThis's picture

15 sleeping sheeple must have junked you because you disturbed their American fantasy.

John Wilmot's picture

"The private sector model for salary and benefits is for the employer to define the position in terms of the available salaries and benefits and the applicant has the option of accepting the conditions or not and can, if he wishes, apply for a job elsewhere.  It’s unusual in a real world that public employees define the working hours, the job conditions and qualifications, the salary and benefits and if not acceptable to the employer, they then go to binding arbitration to overrule the employer, i.e., the taxpayers"

Exactly. These 'unions' are not free associations, they are government-sponsored entities with special legal privilages, not unlike Medieval guilds. In a free market system, people could organize themselves as they please through free association, cooperate in striking to achieve better conditions, etc. They would NOT be able to force their counterparts to accept contracts against their will. Employment is a contract, like any other, and a contract is invalid unless both parties agree to its terms voluntarily and without having been coerced.

homersimpson's picture

Um.. simple. It's because the clueless 'Crats in Wisconsin can't balance a checkbook.

JW n FL's picture

Go eat a large caliber bullet you fucking idiot.. whats the difference between the whores? Bankers own one and Unions own another? looks like the Bankers Lobby is winning!

Tapeworm's picture

Are you saying that we taxcows of Wisconsin must get reamed by the public employee unions because the banksters are doing it too?

 In the commie capital city there are six bus drivers that collect over 100k/annum with on over 150k.

 Check the union rules in any taxing district to see the looting of the sheeple.

JW n FL's picture
by Tapeworm
on Thu, 03/10/2011 - 00:41

Are you saying that we taxcows of Wisconsin must get reamed by the public employee unions because the banksters are doing it too?

 In the commie capital city there are six bus drivers that collect over 100k/annum with on over 150k.

 Check the union rules in any taxing district to see the looting of the sheeple.


Anger as JP Morgan bankers get $10bn pay and bonus pot



I am saying that JP Morgans Bonus Checks could float your entire state for years, including the Unions monies.

You think the Union is expensive? really? are you sure thats the Problem? I know you dumb fucks in Wisconsin marry your sister and stuff.. but it really is simple math that I am asking you to do, even a genetic defect can add and subtract.. or so I would hope!

Hacksaw's picture

JW, JW, you can't explain anything to these morons. They all think if they break up the unions that their taxes are going to go down. Go figure. They think that because Beck and Rush told them so. Bwahahahah

SunSword's picture

You are being illogical. Essentially you are arguing that they cannot solve one problem while another separate problem exists. This is false. Furthermore this is a state issue, involving state workers, being dealt with by a state government. The Bankster problem is a separate national issue. Yes it must be dealt with but the two problems must be resolved separately. Wisconsin is dealing with the one they can handle on their own. Your criticism is childish and unwarranted.

DispenzPez's picture

+1...logic inherently dictates separate solutions.  Besides aren't banksters and the unions acting in unison with a bilking-end-game and therefore at least parallel vs incongruent? Not-so-strange bedfellows.

JW n FL's picture

How many in Wisconsin were out in the Street with signs against the Bankers Bonus Monies?

and I am illogical? are you sure?

so the really big number?? gets a pass?? but the Union?? get all this media fan fare??

You all must be right, it is just me being concerned with the larger problem.. that is being completely fucking ignored and played down..

My bad, Carry on.. at least a few more months before you will be forced to think about it..

All is well, food stamps for all!!! Banker Bonuses, just for the few.. Sorry.

10kby2k's picture


because we are weak

GeorgeHayduke's picture

REAL Austeritybegins when the self-righteous "decision makers" cut their own pay, benefits and perks. At that point we may see some improvement in this country. However, don't count on the hypocrites, of which the Rethuglicans are the biggest, to impose such austerity on themselves. As usual, it's only for those other people.

bob_dabolina's picture

I love this.

The people of Wisconsin voted for reps. to govern them.

The democrats of Wisconsin leave the state to avoid voting and by extension preventing an elected body to govern ultimately shutting down a State government.

The democrats accuse the repubs of acting outside the realm of democracy.

Someone explain this to me...

Tyler commonly uses the word: surreal

Charlie Sheen would call it: collective winning

Misean's picture

Collective winning!



+a few trillion benny bucks

Michael's picture

The 24/7 infomercial for the Democrats also known as MSNBC are having a hissy fit.

bob_dabolina's picture

I can't watch MSNBC

Menstrating Sniveling Neurotic Bitches Crapping

...except Dylan he's legit

lawrence1's picture

Right, you cant handle people exposing lies and distortions... demands too much attention... doesnt fit to what you want to believe. Yeah, just stay on Fox News.

jeff montanye's picture

msnbc and fox both suck (or so i'm told; i don't watch because i believe lots of things i'm told).

Michael's picture

The 24/7 infomercial for the Republicans also known as FOX are planning their third war on Libya.

Gene Parmesan's picture

Hillary and Kerry are on Fox? The hypocrites on the left are leading the charge here.

bob_dabolina's picture

uhm...I don't watch fox news, or cnn, or msnbc.

Not sure where you got that from.

Michael's picture

The 24/7 infomercial for the Globalists also known as CNN are also in on brainwashing the sheeple.

Unless you have tiger blood, I suggest you do not view them at all.

ronin12's picture

Maddow was in full panic mode as if she lost her favorite vibrator.

lawrence1's picture

She's far too smart, too far above you that you can only disparage her sexual orientation. You poor, stupid shit.

Sheriff Douchenik from AZ's picture

Looks like lawrence1 having an msnbc style hissy fit also...bad night?

Creed's picture


MSNBC is over the top propaganda. 


It's hard to believe anyone would buy into it. 

TBT or not TBT's picture

Going out on a limb here, but a woman's preference for a vibrator versus other mechanical means of masturbating, has everything to do with the fact that she's anatomically female.    Her "sexual orientation" does not change the nature of her junk, and therefore doesn't change what mechanical means might best stimulate it.

nmewn's picture

Man...I could have a "ball" with the whole sexual orientation thingy where one forgoes the real for a fake...but it's early and I haven't eaten yet...LOL.

Calmyourself's picture

Larry, no one on MSNBC is so smart that you need to debase yourself like that..  Well, maybe you do..

JamesYoung's picture

All for-profit media is corrupt at its core and not worth saving.

Instant Karma's picture

Awesome! No Quorum required for non-monetary portion of bill! Now you union thugs, pay your fair share for your benefits!

Instant Karma's picture

I work in the private sector in Michigan. I pay a lot for health care benefits. I have no pension, and no matching 401K contribution from my employer.

Stop raping the few tax payers left, union thugs!

Michael's picture

See, See, Everyone see this guy here. They do exist. I here in secret 75% of the working people are like this guy instant whatever.

downwiththebanks's picture

And you're still a Wall Street lackey.  That's even more sad.

Yours is an argument for improving the wages of those working in the private sector, not assaulting those in the public sector.  The fact that 6% of the private sector is unionized goes a long way to explaining why they've gotten fucked over so badly.  It's not the fault of those who are in unions that those who aren't get fucked over by Capitalists, whose profit margins continue to soar year after year.  Hell, those in unions are getting fucked, too.

But there's no tax on derivatives.  Whew!

IT'S THE CAPITALISTS FAULT!  Why let these rat-bastards - the absolute scum of the universe - divide and conquer the 99.9% of the population they're robbing daily.  Why should the people who do the work get fucked over more and more egregiously, while the banker-gangsters loot the whole population blind?

Michael's picture

Actually, this brings the people together. The 12% of government workers who made twice as much are now going to be more even with the other 88% of non government workers, so we are more equal to each other financially. We should get together and go after the Federal Reserve Corporation who caused this mess.

downwiththebanks's picture

What creates solidarity more than backstabbing scabs?