The law passed the Assembly Thursday night and the Governor did sign it this morning. The Republicans got together Wednesday evening and pulled all finance relating items from the "Repair Bill". They called a joint committee meeting with unless than 2 hours’ notice, did not allow the bill to be read with the changes and the Republicans ignored Peter Barca (D) objections that they were not following the "Open Records Law". The Republicans started voting for approval of the changes and then walked away while Peter Barca was still objecting. The Republican Senators then walked to the Senate Chamber and passed the bill. They finally proved by their actions that collective bargaining rights were not a financial issue but a political goal. Lawyers for Dane County and City of Madison are now determining if Republicans are in violation of the "Open Records Law". The "Open Records Law" requires a 24 hour notice of a meeting or if there is an emergency a 2 hour notice is enough. The meeting was held before the required 2 hour's notice to the public. There may be other procedures or laws broken during this meeting but now it is up to the lawyers to file their briefs in court and the public to wait for the decision.
A call did go out on Wednesday evening that this meeting was taking place and the public converged on the Capital. Some people got into the Capital before the police locked the doors stating that the Capital was closed for the evening. The public stood before the locked doors demanding to be let in. Some of the protesters in the building opened windows allowing people into the building. The police then decide to open the door and retreated to the 3rd floor of the Capital. Approximately 7000 people swarm in the Capital and many climbed to the 2nd and 3rd floors causing fears that the bridges would collapse from the weight. The Press first reported that windows were broken that is not true there were no broken windows or other damage that night. This was about the people wanting to be heard by their government but they were just ignored instead. One of my coworkers was there and he told me there was a question asked to the group that night: HOW MANY OF YOU ARE UNION WORKERS? Very few raised their hands and when asked who were not a majority raised their hands stating they were not. Most people are in shock that the Republicans majority would ram this through and ignored THE PEOPLE OF WISCONSIN.
Now that the legal status is in the hands of the courts, people are turning their energies toward the recall petitions for the 8 Republican Senators. Majority leader Senator Scott Fitzgerald stated that they will be changing the recall rules so it will be harder to remove elective officials from office.
"Yeah, I mean, I've always been a believer that recall probably would be more appropriate if a legislator was involved in some type of, you know, either criminal activity, or something that could be deemed, you know, unethical," said Fitzgerald. "Not related to simply taking a stance on a tough vote. And you know, I think there's other legislators that feel that way as well."
I guess he feels that ramming bills down people throats and ignoring the "Open Records Law" has nothing to do with ethics.
If the public wants a change they need to be aware that there is an election for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Position on April 5, 2011. We need to replace David T. Prosser, Jr. with JoAnne F. Kloppenburg. If you want a government run by the people and not special interests, we need a person who will follow our laws and precedents.
Note: Around 4 PM a judge ruled that she would not bar the law from being published. After it has been published the law takes affects in 10 days. She set a hearing next Wednesday to determine if this bill is lawful.