As you may have already heard, the absent senators in Wisconsin are being held in contempt and not just by voters:
Republicans voted, 19-0, to find the Democrats in contempt of the Senate and issued orders to Wisconsin law enforcement to detain them.
“We simply cannot have democracy be held hostage because the minority wants to prove a point,” said Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).
The Senate voted in the morning that absent Democrats would be in contempt of a Senate rule requiring attendance if they did not return by 4 p.m. When they didn’t return, the Senate reconvened and Fitzgerald signed for each missing senator an “order to detain (in the nature of a warrant to arrest and deliver).”
Additionally the protests at the Capital has come at a cost to the voters, literally:
State officials said Thursday that damage to the marble inside and out the State Capitol would cost an estimated $7.5 million.
Cari Anne Renlund, chief legal counsel for the state Department of Administration, said in Dane County court that estimates of damage to marble includes $6 million to repair damaged marble inside the Capitol, $1 million for damage outside and $500,000 for costs to supervise the damage.
Much of the damage apparently has come from tape used to put up signs and placards at the Capitol.
Meanwhile two different recall efforts are under way in Wisconsin. Two weeks ago recall efforts were launched against some democratic senators for fleeing the state. Now the Union supported democrats are launching counter recall efforts against republicans who stayed and they are putting some serious green into it:
The Wisconsin recall effort is only a day old, but it’s going strong. The state Democratic Party has launched a website called Recall the Republican 8 to coordinate events. They have volunteer and contribution pages. There’s also a separate ActBlue page set up for the recall. A separate effort to air a powerful TV ad from the PCCC and DFA, filmed on the day of the 100,000-plus protests last Saturday, has already raised over $225,000.
I suspect a lot of help for union families could be done with 225k but leave that aside for a moment. Let’s look at the arguments:
This past weekend, constituents of Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, gathered in an effort to recall her.
“She let it out of committee. She had a chance to look at the bill and say, ‘This reaches too far,'” Darling recall organizer Kristopher Rowe said Saturday.
Or as State Democratic Party chairman Mike Tate puts it:
“In 60 days you can take Wisconsin back by recalling the Republican senators who have decided to push Scott Walker’s divisive attack on the rights of workers and his assault on schools, universities and local communities,”
While on the other side:
“You’re not representing me if you’re not in the Capitol to vote,” said constituent Amanda Cabrera, as she signed the petition.
“Vote yes or no, whether they agree or not, but they need to be in Madison,” said constituent Sandra Dolye. “If (Wirch) can’t do his job, he should get out.”
That’s all you need to know about this: Republicans want to recall people for playing Hooky. Democrats and Unions wants to recall people for showing up.