Walker blames a few “radical” Dems for upcoming layoffs
Early Thursday, Wisconsin Senate Republicans adopted a resolution to find the 14 Wisconsin Democrat Senators who have fled the state in contempt of the Senate if they did not return to Madison by 4 pm. Four o’clock passed and the Democrats remain in Illinois, which subjects them to detention by any Wisconsin police authority should they return.
But will the police be willing to arrest them Senators if they find them?
James Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association said the GOP resolution is “insanely wrong” and an “unreasonable abuse of police power.”
The WPPA represents nearly 11,000 active and retired law enforcement officers across Wisconsin.
“Politics aside, encouraging the forcible detention of duly elected lawmakers because they won’t allow you to dictate with a free hand is an unreasonable abuse of police power,” Palmer said. “Due to the fact that Wisconsin officers lack any jurisdiction across state lines, does Senator Fitzgerald intend to establish a ‘lawmaker border patrol? The thought of using law enforcement officers to exercise force in order to achieve a political objective is insanely wrong and Wisconsin sorely needs reasonable solutions and not potentially dangerous political theatrics.”
Democratic Senator Chris Larson of Milwaukee denies any division within the caucus. In a phone interview with WTMJ-4, Larson said “We’ve all been standing united” and that nobody has expressed a desire to break ranks.
“I think it’s unfortunate that he (Walker) is resorting to name-calling while the Republicans are resorting to petty tactics,” including holding paychecks, taking over staff and office tools and diverting police resources to clear the capitol and search for the Senators.
So what about those estimated 1,500 pink slips? If those go out Friday, it raises the question of whether those cuts will count toward the over 8,000 public positions slated for elimination in the new budget, not including the over 17,000 jobs cut from the public rolls if Walker is successful in severing UW-Madison from the state system.
Walker used the word “frustration” over a dozen times in his 9-minute speech Thursday evening. The Democrats are also frustrated. “This was our best day of negotiations so far,” said Larson. He called the press conference “a surprise,” and theorized that today’s negotiations were not held in good faith.
“Instead of bringing us closer together like a true leader should, he’s continuing to divide the middle class.”