Assembly Dems are heroes, too | WisCommunity

Assembly Dems are heroes, too

The 14 Democratic state senators who left the state to prevent passage of Scott Walker's union-busting budget bill have gotten the lion's share of the publicity and adulation during the last 10 days of struggle.  Their unity and determination, as Walker piles on threat on another, are admirable.

But the beleagured 38 Assembly Democrats also have done yeoman's work, and are continuing to do it tonight, nearly 36 hours after the floor session began on Tuesday morning.

Assembly Dems don't have the ability to stop action, like the senators did.  But they have offered and debated one amendment after another to Wallker's budget revision bill, highlighting some of the other odious provisions that had gotten little attention because of all the focus on labor issues.

The 38 have hung together, been remarkably disciplined, and have used the rules to force real debate on some of the issues, coordinating their efforts and taking turns holding the floor.

They've raised the alarm about Walker's plan to give away state-owned power plants in a no-bid deal, highlighted losses in transportation money that will result from Walker's budget, and threats to Medical Assistance and BadgerCare programs, among others.  They promise many more amendments to come.

Like the senators who left Wisconsin, Assembly Dems are buying time, insisting the bill be throughly aired and not steamrolled through, and allowing more time for opposition to build or a compromise to emerge.

Walker may well get his way in the end.  But he'll know he's been in a fight.  And voters will have many more reasons to remember what the GOP did come election time.

A fight well worth having, despite the sleepless nights.


February 23, 2011 - 6:59pm