The Wisconsin Senate declared the fourteen fugitive Democrats who fled the state two weeks ago to be in contempt this morning.
That means they’re going to issue arrest warrants tomorrow, which can be executed by force. If the Democrats don’t return to the Senate by 4:00 PM today, it’s tasers and handcuffs. A breathless America prays for dashboard camera video from the police cars.
Since the fleebaggers are hiding across state lines, it might be tough for Wisconsin cops to bag them. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald was seen issuing strict instructions to a crew of bounty hunters after the vote, declaring “I want them alive… no disintegrations.”
There were rumors in the wee hours Monday night that fugitive Democrat Tim Cullen had broken ranks with the rest of his craven caucus, and returned to Wisconsin. He’ll wish those rumors had been true when he’s running down a rain-slicked back alley, while the cops use a bazooka to fire a weighted capture net at him.
Actually, the situation is not quite as entertaining as all that. What Fitzgerald actually said, according to Fox News, is that the Senate action is legally different than arrest, but “definitely a shift away from asking them politely.” The sergeant at arms of the Senate is authorized, under the state Constitution, to “take any and all steps, with or without force and assistance from police, to bring the senators back.”
The authorities might have questions for some of the missing Democrats, even if they return voluntarily. Writing at Red State, Moe Lane describes how Democrat State Senator Mark Miller worked with the mayor of Madison, Democrat Dave Ciesliewicz, to delay implementation of Governor Walker’s budget repair bill after passage, to give the Mayor time to push through some very juicy union contracts. This was before Miller’s union paymasters told him to “delay implementation” by checking out the pay-per-view options at Illinois hotels.
That is the kind of garbage that union protesters are trying to defend by filling the state Capitol with garbage. Wisconsin officials have testified in court hearings that the bill for security during the protests is now over $5 million. It will cost millions more to clean up the mess. Among the trash taxpayers will be paying to remove, according to the Wisconsin State Journal: live ammunition. Sheriff’s deputies collected over forty rounds of .22 long rifle ammo from three different locations around the Capitol today.
Meanwhile, even as the clock runs out for the Wisconsin fleebaggers, the Ohio legislature landed a devastating blow against public unions with the passage of Senate Bill 5, which is considerably stronger than the Wisconsin labor reforms, and affects roughly twice as many unionized public employees. The Ohio reforms include the elimination of collective bargaining privileges for health and pension benefits, banning strikes by public employees, and forcing pay increases to be awarded on the basis of merit rather than seniority. The Ohio bill also does not exempt police and firefighters, as Wisconsin’s does.
Ohio Democrats, who could not shut down the legislature by fleeing the state because Ohio’s quorum rules require only a simple majority, are not taking the passage of Senate Bill 5 very well. The bill passed 17 – 16, with six Republicans joining the Democrats to vote against. This prompted Democrat state senator Joe Schiavoni to whine to CNN, “It passed by the most narrow of margins. That really shows how much public outcry there is on this bill. That they can change a 27-year-old law in three weeks is scary.” Remember, folks, the privileges and benefits of public unions transcend democracy itself. No matter what the law says, it’s still an outrage when taxpayers work through their representatives to impose fiscal sanity.
The Ohio bill is scheduled to come up for a vote in the state House of Representatives on March 10. If the Republican majority passes it, the first great victory in the War On Taxpayers will be won in Ohio, while Democrats and union bosses were busy running a circus in Madison, Wisconsin.