Friday, February 25, 2011

The 1:00 AM Republican Wisconsin Assembly Vote Was a "Sneak Attack"

It wasn't ONLY the bill stripping unions of collective bargaining rights — something that LIAR Governor Walker NEVER campaigned on — but the way the vote was carried out. In a democracy, the minority has a constitutionally protected right to be heard. That's the only thing they can do: Express and record their opposition within the rules. These Democratic state legislators were elected by the people of Wisconsin to represent their interests in state government. One outraged Democrat said that "a million and a half" Wisconsinites could not be heard when, in the early morning hour, the Republican leader abruptly cut off debate and called for a voice vote. It was the legislative equivalent of an ambush, in which only 13 of the 38 Assembly Democrats managed to vote. This was an outrageous, dictatorial, heavy-handed maneuver that fundamentally disrespected the minority's right to participate in the democratic process.
Republicans in Wisconsin's state assembly passed Governor Scott Walker's budget bill, including controversial anti-union provisions, before sleep-deprived Democrats knew what hit them. At 1 a.m. this morning, after three grueling days of debate and filibusters by the minority Democrats, Republican speaker pro tempore Bill Kramer called a voice vote. Within seconds, the ayes had it, 51 to 17. Only 13 of the Assembly's 38 Democrats managed to vote. Democrats said they were pressing the electronic "No" button on their desks as hard as they could and started booing and chanting, "Shame! Shame! Shame!" once the digital vote system on the wall announced the tally. In a video replay, one unidentified Democratic legislator "could be seen throwing his papers and a beverage of some kind into the air in the heat of passion."
If you want to help, stand with the workers and people of Wisconsin and please answer the call by for nationwide solidarity with Wisconsin rallies in all 50 states, this Saturday. Estimates are that more than one million people will participate. Find out more here.

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