Republicans Afraid Of Their Own Actions

Before today’s committee hearing on the misnamed Right to Work Legislation, Senate Labor Committee Chair Senator Steve Nass stated that they had to hurry up to pass the bill to avoid a confrontation with the people:

Nass told the committee that it was essential to move quickly on right-to-work legislation to avoid the sustained protest of 2011. Then, lawmakers had to “go through tunnels like rats” to get into the Capitol and a senator was “cornered like a wounded (raccoon)” by protesters, Nass said.

If what you are doing is so onerous that you have to rush it through in ‘extraordinary session’, you might want to consider another line of work. Really!

But the fear mongering didn’t stop there. Although the committee hearings were supposed to continue until 7 PM, Senator Nass pulled the plug because of a credible threat of ?? wtf?:

… shortly before 6:30 p.m. committee chairman Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) said that he was cutting off the meeting abruptly because of what Nass called a “credible threat” in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report. That story said that union demonstrators were planning to peacefully disrupt the committee vote by raising their voices if Republicans didn’t let everyone from the public testify.

“When the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article came back, that’s credible to me or they wouldn’t be reporting that,” Nass said later of his decision to call the vote early, adding that he wanted Wednesday’s Senate session to start on time.

Well, first I am surprised that the Senator had time to read online newspapers while running a contentious committee meeting and I am even more surprised that a state senator from Whitewater would be reading the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (sorry guys).

Raised voices can certainly be threatening, but I would think that would be business as usual in the State Capitol by now. But that wasn’t his real concern…go back to his reasoning for hurrying this bill…and feel his real concern:

“I think the whole objective on the other side was delay, delay, delay,” he said after the vote.

And what did the unions have to say? They just wanted to have time for everyone to testify. Raised voices…probably…but no threats:

During the meeting, the source for the Journal Sentinel report, Bruce Colburn of the Service Employees International Union State State Council, stood up in the middle of the committee hearing and told Nass that there was no threat or need for concern. Colburn and AFSCME Council 48 executive director Boyd McCamish later told the Journal Sentinel that the newspaper’s report was accurate but that they disagreed with Nass’ contention that their plans constituted a “threat,” calling that argument a “sham.”

“There was no threat,” Colburn said. “We wanted to insure that people had a right to speak.”

“They used it as a straw man to get out of a very uncomfortable position,” McCamish added. “It’s an act of political cowardice.”

“It’s an act of political cowardice.”

Without a doubt!

btw, here’s how the evening ended:

The vote in the Senate Labor Committee was 3-1, with all three Republicans voting for the bill to prohibit requiring workers to pay union dues and one Democrat, Sen. Bob Wirch of Kenosha, voting against.

Union supporters reacted with disbelief and anger to the sudden vote, shouting,” Shame! Shame! Shame!” as police escorted Republican lawmakers from the hearing room.

Do you really think that you are doing a good job as an elected official if you have to have a police escort from your place of work?


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4 thoughts on “Republicans Afraid Of Their Own Actions

  1. I feel that the process of government is more important than the outcome on any policy–I am a process democrat–(small d). When those in power who know they will have their win in the end can not allow for the full airing from those opposed to their efforts shows to all how far from the ideal we are–the ideal that we all learned in civics as a kid.

  2. Many very moving, emotional stories from all but the paid lobbyists for the bill. One speaker asked if they wanted to be connected with the history of Jeremiah Rusk or Robert LaFollette. Rusk was the Governor who ordered the National Guard to shoot strikers in 1886 at the Bay View Rolling Mills. (They were striking for the eight hour day.) Sad to see them shove this down Wisconsin’s throat.

  3. In short, the session was a sham by a soul-less, senseless, scared shit-less majority. Let the media record it as another failure in Democracy by Governor Doe’s gang.

  4. In essence, the proceedings resembled a hearing of the Pan Hellenic Council at Faber College, c. 1962

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