Wisconsin Democrats Offer a Lesson in Minority Governing

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Sometimes you have to make new rules to do what you think is right.

In a last-ditch effort to stop the passage of Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial budget repair bill, Senate Democrats staged a walkout Thursday, leaving the state to avoid a forced return to the Capitol and a doomed vote against the bill.

Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller, D-Monona, gave an interview on CNN, saying only that he and his colleagues were in “a secure location outside the Capitol.”

Miller said the senators, who are not all in the same location, would return to the Capitol when the governor decides to end his bid to curb collective bargaining powers for state and local employees and returns to the negotiating table with union leaders.

On Thursday, Walker called for the senators to return to Wisconsin.

“Out of respect for the institution of the Legislature and the democratic process, I am calling on Senate Democrats to show up to work today, debate legislation and cast their vote,” Walker said. “Their actions by leaving the state and hiding from voting are disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of public employees who showed up to work today and the millions of taxpayers they represent.”

[...]

“In the most powerful show of unity in decades, we have joined together to send a powerful message to Gov. Walker and the entire state of Wisconsin,” Assembly Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca said in a statement. “We support our teachers, nurses, snow-plow drivers, 911 operators, EMTs and all the working people that keep our great state functioning in both the public and private sectors.”

[Wisconsin State Journal]

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