Senator Hansen’s red herring argument

It’s been one week today since state Senator Dave Hansen and his fellow Democrats in the State Senate skipped town to avoid voting on the budget repair bill.  And state Senator Hansen has made an appearance, in the local paper.

Thirteen days ago Gov. Scott Walker and legislative Republicans introduced a 144-page bill, at the heart of which aims to destroy the right of Wisconsin’s teachers, nurses, probation and parole agents, Capitol police officers, corrections officers and others to organize. Their goal was to pass this bill in less than a week so the people of this state would not know what was in it until it was too late. If they had succeeded, this bill would have received less legislative consideration than that afforded a bill making the polka our state dance.

State Senator Hansen there has been over 17 hours of public hearings on the budget repair bill.  The Assembly has also been debating this bill for since Tuesday morning.  So it has received more than adequate legislative consideration.  Compare that to the 2009-2011 state budget, when you and your Democrat colleagues were in charge, which received very little in the way of public hearings and debate.

The message is clear: Public workers have agreed to the increased payments for health and retirement benefits that Gov. Walker has requested. All they have asked for in return is to protect their rights as Wisconsin workers and citizens. In response, Gov. Walker refused, saying his position is non-negotiable.

It is the government’s job to protect the rights of its citizens, not take them away.

The time for negotiation has passed.  As for the agreement regarding benefits how long will that last, until the next contract negotiation, if collective bargaining isn’t restricted. When it comes to rights, those are protected under the state’s Civil Service Protection laws so nothing is being lost there.

At the beginning and end of every day we are all Wisconsinites. We may disagree, but we are fundamentally fair and respect each other’s opinion. The workers and their families have stepped up to help resolve this impasse.

You are right state Senator.  We do disagree on this and other issues.  But are you seriously going to claim the opinions of Governor Walker and others supporting his budget repair bill?  Do signs comparing Governor Walker to Hitler, calling his supporters names, etc fit the definition of respect in your eyes?

The workers have stepped up when it comes to benefits and for that credit is due.  However they really wanted to step up why not do it in previous contract negotiations in order to save the state, local municipalities, and school districts money.

It is now up to Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans. They can end this impasse today by simply removing all language related to collective bargaining from this bill and return its focus to their stated concern for the state’s finances.

State Senator Hansen, do you really think you are in position to make such statements?  Instead of running away like a scared child perhaps you should return to Madison and start doing your job which is to represent the constituents you serve.  In other words debate the bill on the floor of the State Senate and cast your vote against it if you feel it is wrong.  That is how the legislative process works.  And that is what your colleagues on the other side of the aisle did when they were in the minority.  They didn’t take their ball and go hide.  They didn’t shirk their responsibility and make a mockery of democracy.


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Irresponsible to run away

Great editorial from the Wisconsin State Journal.

They made their point.

Now it’s time to get back to work — in Madison, not Rockford, Ill., or Chicago.

The Senate Democrats who fled Wisconsin for Illinois last week need to do the jobs they were elected to do at the state Capitol in Madison. Running away from their problems won’t solve them.

All 14 Democrats in the 33-member Wisconsin Senate staged a walkout from the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison on Thursday.

They bolted to prevent the 19 Republicans who control the Senate from potentially voting in favor of GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial budget repair bill. The proposal, which the Democrats adamantly oppose, includes sweeping limits to collective bargaining for public employee unions.

So the Senate is now stuck because it needs at least 20 members for a quorum before it can vote on fiscal matters.

And that’s one more senator than the Republican majority has.

State law allows the Senate to use law enforcement to force absent members back to the Capitol. But because all of the Democrats are apparently holed up out of state, they’re outside the jurisdiction of Wisconsin law enforcement.

So Wisconsin sits and waits. For how long? Until Walker apologizes for winning the last election?

Like it or not, the majority of Wisconsin voters elected Walker and other Republicans to run the statehouse for the next two years. The Democrats can’t change that until subsequent elections.

The runaway 14 have a responsibility to represent their constituents.   That means going to work and doing the job they were elected to do.  Even when it means voting on a bill that you don’t like.

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Candidate forum tonight

The Fox Valley Initiative is sponsoring a candidate forum tonight.

What: 8th Congressional Candidate Forum

When: 7:00 PM tonight

Where: SC Grand, 1250 Mid Valley Dr. DePere, WI

The event is free and open to the public.

From Fox Politics:

The founder of the Fox Valley Initiative, Jim Steineke, believes people need to get involved and informed early in the process. “In the past, most of us have taken a back seat in these primaries as the leadership in both parties chose the candidates they liked. It is time for the people of northeast Wisconsin to take control of the process. We need candidates accountable to the people they represent – and getting involved now is the first step towards that end,” says Steineke.

“Given the current debate over health care reform legislation, rising taxes, and a supposed economic recovery that isn’t reaching the people, we feel that the voters are going to be more involved in the upcoming elections than they ever have been” said Steineke.

So stop out at the SC Grand and learn more about the GOP candidates vying for the People’s seat in the 8th District.  Five of the six will be there: Marc Savard, Roger Roth, Reid Ribble, Terri McCormick,  and Andy Williams.

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