Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Late Night Destruction of Wisconsin - Wetland Destruction Bill Passed

Republicans in the State Senate rammed through another bill under cover of night, the Wetland Destruction Bill (SB 368), even though the Republicans campaigned against such tactics. Just like the collective bargaining rights-stripping bill (1 AM) and the voter suppression bill (11 PM), the vote took place late at night, just past midnight.

How do you know the bill is bad? Because the Republicans rammed it through as quickly as possible when the fewest people will notice. Many people, including environment and wildlife sporting groups, are very concerned the bill if enacted would result in substantial loss of Wisconsin wetlands and wildlife.

Earlier Tuesday, Scott Fitzgerald abruptly postponed debate on the bill after Democrat Senator Fred Risser moved to vote on a bill restoring collective bargaining rights for public workers that were taken away by the collective bargaining rights-stripping bill (Act 10).

Senator Dave Hansen gave a passionate speech for the rights of workers. Then, at his first chance, Fitzgerald jumped up and ripped into the microphone, "It is the anniversary, but I'm wondering what we're talking about. Are we talking about Kathleen Falk?"

Were you listening at all, Scott? We're talking about restoring rights you took away. What does Kathleen Falk have to do with the bill Risser tried to bring to a vote?

If it's about corruption, Fitzgerald said, "I'd love to talk about that all day if you want." Is it so wrong that a gubernatorial candidate said they support workers' rights? Is that corruption? An open statement in support of rights? And secret meetings at private law firms to gerrymander your district isn't corruption?

Fitzgerald ended his tirade by slamming Senator Hansen and then moving to adjourn until 12:01 AM, "Senator from the 30th, boy I wish Senator Nygren would have gotten enough signatures to get on the ballet, because you'd be gone too right now." It sounds like Fitzgerald is worried he'll get voted out and jealous that Hansen wasn't.

Senate Republicans voted in step with Fitzgerald and the Senate reconvened at 12:01 AM and quickly moved to a vote on the Wetland Destruction Bill. The Republicans passed the bill onto the Assembly on a party-line vote. Protesters against the bill could be heard in the gallery, but I'm sure far fewer people were able to attend or watch at midnight.

I don't have a video for you, because WisconsinEye continues to lock down their videos, making it impossible for us to share videos of our government's proceedings. However, if you have a Windows PC, or are good with your Mac, you can view the videos here and here.

If you are unable to see the debate and votes, you can thank Scott Fitzgerald for his part. This is one of the reasons he has been recalled.

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