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WI Democrats Filibuster Budget Reform

From a cheering Associated Press:

Wis. Democrats filibuster to delay anti-union bill

By Todd Richmond, Associated Press
February 23, 2011

MADISON, Wis. – Democrats kept the Wisconsin Assembly up overnight with a droning filibuster in another desperate attempt to block the Republican governor’s bold plan to strip public sector workers of nearly all of their bargaining rights.

The debate marked the first movement in days in what has become a high-stakes game of political chicken between Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker.

The governor says the bill is needed to help solve the state’s looming budget deficit, but Democrats see it as an all-out assault on unions, their staunchest campaign ally

The Assembly debate began around noon Tuesday, with lawmakers coming to the floor under heavy guard as protesters in the rotunda cheered and banged on buckets and bongo drums.

Imagine the media outrage if Tea Party protesters made it necessary for representatives to have to put on "heavy guards." We would never hear the end of it. But when Democrats and unionista thugs threaten legislators – that is just ‘real democracy in action.’

Democrats introduced dozens of amendments and gave drawn-out, rambling speeches criticizing the bill.

Just like ‘Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. Except that it wouldn’t occur to them to read the US Constitution, of course.

Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald said around 8 a.m. Wednesday — after 20 hours of debate — that he was working with Democratic leaders to take a vote on passing the bill by the end of the day.

"We could get there later tonight," Fitzgerald said.

Democrats didn’t have enough votes to get their amendments adopted, so much of the time was spent dissecting the bills and playing to the thousands of protesters who watched the start of the debate on monitors in the rotunda.

"Can you hear that?" Rep. Tamara Grigsby, D-Milwaukee, screamed into her microphone. "Can you hear the cheers? Can you hear the chants? Can you hear the voices of the people who elected you? How can you not hear that?"

Yep. This is how legislation should be decided. By who can bus in the biggest claque — the loudest mob. That isn’t quite what the founders had in mind for our republic.

Republicans sat mostly in silence as the debate dragged into the wee hours, though tempers flared when two Democrats lashed out at Republican lawmakers and aides for laughing at them during the debate.

"This is not a game! We’re dealing with people’s lives! This isn’t funny!" Rep. Andy Jorgensen, D-Fort Atkinson, shouted in the chamber, his face red. "I haven’t laughed in a long time, especially not on a day like this!"

Yes. The idea of public sector workers having to pay 5% towards their retirement pension is a matter of life and death!

Dressed in orange T-shirts proclaiming they were fighting for working families, Democrats introduced 66 amendments, with more than half coming after midnight, and promised more were on the way…

Democrats have always been about dignity. And nothing says dignity like wearing an orange T-shirt while you are doing the people’s business in the state house.

Of course orange was strangely becoming for a lot of them. Perhaps we should arrange for them to wear it for a long time to come.

Democrats offered to adjourn shortly before 3 a.m., Republicans — who easily have enough votes to pass the bill once they have disposed of the Democrats’ amendments — refused and began the long grind of voting each change down one by one.

"We understand. You don’t like the bill. We get it," Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc, said. "(But) at the end of the day the vote has got to come, folks."

Grownups have to say things just like this to their children practically every day of the week.

One of the missing Democrats, Minority Leader Mark Miller, delivered a response from Illinois.

"The only action available to us to slow this down and allow democracy to work was to take us out of the Capitol," he said.

These Democrats not only need lessons in civility, they need some lessons in civics.

But we have only the public school teachers to blame.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “WI Democrats Filibuster Budget Reform”

  1. TerryAnne says:

    I don’t know if I’d call the AP cheering on this one. I picked up a bit of snark going on for a change. Calling their speeches drawn-out and rambling; proclaiming they were fighting for working families (proclaim gives a sense of doubt directed toward the proclaimers); pointing out that the Dems got angry for simply being laughed at; and, most importantly, calling out the fact that they had to waste time by dissecting everything since they didn’t have the votes. I’m sensing a change of attitude in this article.

  2. Tater Salad says:

    Public Sector Unions to the American Taxpayers:

    Sorry you have to pay out of your own wages that you earn for your “own” retirement (401k) but brother, could you dig a little deeper in your wallet and keep funding my pension also. I have a second home that needs some work done on it before I retire at 55 years of age! “Taxpayers, keep up the good fight and I will be there for you………until age 55 anyhow”!

  3. untrainable says:

    I love it. Democrats babbling aimlessly. Getting cranky when people laugh at their sillyness. Crying because they don’t get what they want. The masses are getting a clear look at who these people are, and what they really stand for.

    They are bratty little children who have never been told NO!, and now that they’re hearing it, they don’t know how to act. You can almost see the snot bubbles starting to grow in their little noses. They have no plan to fall back on, except to stir up uninformed mind-numbed gimmes, who will protest anything for cash, as long as there is a free lunch and they don’t have to pay for gas. And the only thing they stand for is themselves and their own power.

    “This is not a game! We’re dealing with people’s lives! This isn’t funny!” Rep. Andy Jorgensen That’s where you’re wrong, right, and wrong again Andy!. You’re wrong… it is a game, and democrats are the ones who turned it into a game. You’re right that we’re dealing with people’s lives. Only we’re dealing with everyone’s lives and you’re just worried about the unions because it means your a$$ in the next election. And you’re wrong, it’s not only funny. It’s hilarious. Watching you guys is better than Benny Hill.

  4. merkelerk says:


    What more can be said. That is absolutely perfect.

    Snot bubbles…. my mind is going to conjure up that image of democrats for the remainder of my days.

  5. Liberals Demise says:

    WHY is it the party of the “JACKASS” does it’s best bidding
    and scheming after midnight?

  6. wirenut says:

    When politicians offer more then, “We The People” can provide, then you’ll have this. In a civil discussion with some “neighbors” and “friends” last friday, most of which live in the public sector. I was labeled a Tea Bagger! Thanks to the education I get here, I was able to refute, dismiss or challenge this current whitewash of truth. With respect. The “Duh” moment came after I asked this. Do you really want to strap your grandchildren to what you want now? Or, I pay all my bills, why shouldn’t you? The beer wasn’t the only thing that was cold that evening! Haw-haw!

    • canary says:

      Democratic Minority Leader Mark Miller is insinuating that Democratic dictators forced them to go on the lamb. We don’t hear their freedom ringing from what ever rock their hiding under.

      “The only action available to us to slow this down and allow democracy to work was to take us out of the Capitol,” he said.

    • dscam says:

      One of the missing Democrats, Minority Leader Mark Miller, delivered a response from Illinois.

      “The only action available to us to slow this down and allow democracy to work was to take us out of the Capitol,” he said.

      These guys actually think that fleeing the state in an attempt to prevent a piece of legislation from coming to a vote is “allowing democracy to work”? Sheesh!

    • TerryAnne says:

      To anyone who calls me a TeaBagger, I always tell them, “Don’t project your sexual proclivities on me.” Throws them off balance and puts them on the defensive (which is exactly where I want all liberals, because then they’ll act “stupidly”). :)

    • Right of the People says:


      That’s about as intelligent as running away to another state to skip out on your bills.

      My brother-in-law and his spouse, both flaming libs and both with PHd’s tried to do that twenty years ago. They thought that by moving across country they could out run their debt. Maybe a hundred years ago you could but not now. They were shocked when their creditors found their new address and mailed them their bills.

  7. wardmama4 says:

    Check out at Michelle Malkin’s site – the OH union goon’s ‘description’ of the Tea Party – coupled with this – I’m all for it! Keep it up – Let hard-working, tax paying Americans see exactly who you are and how you behave. Hopefully, it will wake up the American people as to the depths of lying depraved beliefs that these leeches on society are about. And how juvenile, how petty and power hungry they are.

    Last night on Glenn Beck – he had two economic guests – who showed how much the ‘poor’ rioting in the Middle East make – and why in India where there are desperately poor – there are no riots. IT’S ALL ABOUT ATTITUDE – ENTITLE ME Vs I CAN MAKE IT BY WORKING HARD.

    Look at who are rioting here – people making two times what I wish we were (and we use to) making here. Give Me A Break. Cry me a river and excuse me if I don’t give a damn at your plight at all of being asked to pay a pittance to your own damn future and health. At least you HAVE a job.

    “The only action available to us to slow this down and allow democracy to work was to take us out of the Capitol,” he said

    No, NO, HELL NO – Vote on it – Yeah I know that being in the minority, you’d lose, so you chose to run away rather than vote, COWARD!

    Elections have consequences. WE WON.

    May they all rot in hell.

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