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Beware The Ides of March – especially in Wisconsin

John Nichols has written another revealing article on the Wisconsin situation in The Nation. This one is a really frightening one for any free American: proposing legislation to deny State Senators the ability to serve their constituents.

Nichols cites State Senator Fred Risser of Madison in the article:
“Who does Senator Fitzgerald think he is? Just because his brother is the speaker of the Assembly and his best friend is the governor of Wisconsin does not give him the power to decide who can and cannot vote in the State Senate,” said Risser, whose Senate service began before Fitzgerald was born. “His statement that Senate Democrats can no longer vote in committee is the height of arrogance. In my tenure in the legislature, I have never seen any attempt to deny duly elected legislators their right to vote.”

Here’s a clip, but go into The Nation’s site and read it all:

clipped from www.thenation.com
Wisconsin Republicans have now moved to deny Democratic legislators the right to vote on legislation as it is being considered by state Senate committees.
For the better part of a month, fourteen Democratic state senators denied Republicans the quorum they sought to pass Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s anti-labor legislation—and, in so doing, provided the time for the development of a mass movement that last Saturday drew more than 100,000 union supporters to the Capitol. The Democratic senators have returned and the legislation has passed.
But Republican poll numbers have collapsed. And they are furious.
 

How furious?

Walker and his legislative consigliere, state Senator Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, have now moved to deny the dissenting Democrats the right to participate in the legislative process.

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (Walker in the background) of "Fitzwalkerstan"

The majority leader’s over-the-top actions have led one senior legislator, state Representative Mark Pocan, D-Madison, to begin referring to the Wisconsin as a “third world junta” state that he calls “Fitzwalkerstan.”

While that line gets a laugh, the assaults on representative democracy are serious.

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From The Hill: Collins says ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal must wait for tax cuts By Michael O’Brien

Susan Collins (R-ME), member of the United Sta...

Susan Collins (R - Maine)

Here’s a piece of O’Brien’s article.

The next time someone tells you that Susan Collins is a “liberal” Republican, have them read this…

There’s more at TheHill.com:

clipped from thehill.com
Democrats hoping to move forward with legislation other than tax cuts shouldn’t look to centrist Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) to break the logjam.

Collins said again on Friday that, while she would vote with Democrats to end the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, she wouldn’t do so until a debate over tax cuts has been resolved.
“Once the tax issue is resolved, I have made it clear that if the Majority Leader brings the Defense Authorization bill to the floor with sufficient time allowed for debate and amendments, I would vote to proceed to the bill,” she said in a statement.

The statement is a sign that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s (Ky.) Republican conference hasn’t fractured in its insistence that the expiring tax cuts be dealt with prior to action on any other legislative business.

 

All 42 Senate Republicans wrote Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to inform him that the GOP wouldn’t allow any other issues to move before tax cuts during the lame-duck session.
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