March 10, 2011
Contact: Senator Jauch
Statement from Senator Bob Jauch
It is a dark moment in Wisconsin history. Senate Republican swift and possibly illegal action to end collective bargaining was political thuggery in its worst form. The moment will be recorded as the time the lights went out on democracy in Wisconsin.
The manner in which they so quickly rammed the bill through without explanation was more like a political coup that you would see in a third world country than in the Wisconsin statehouse long revered throughout our great state. They brought shame upon the institution and exposed the Governor and Republican lawmakers as frauds.
The dramatic parliamentary maneuver to strip collective bargaining from the fiscal bill shows that the debate was never about fiscal responsibility, but was always about eliminating bargaining rights for workers. In their desperate attempt to attack unions they lied to the citizens of Wisconsin.
As one who had been actively working to achieve a compromise to protect collective bargaining I am appalled by the shameful conduct of the Governor and Republican lawmakers who showed contempt for the citizens of Wisconsin. Republicans turned a deaf ear to the hundreds of thousands of citizens who passionately believed that their voice would be heard.
Predictably, the Senate Republicans will try to blame someone else for their reprehensible behavior. They may have had the votes to exercise this abuse of power, but they have lost in the eyes of public opinion.
Everyone watching this mockery of democracy is appalled by the Republican behavior that once again stifled the voice of the Assembly Democratic leader in their rush to end worker rights.
Following the vote several Republican lawmakers were seen exchanging high fives and cheering as though they had scored a touchdown. Their gleeful celebration demonstrates a cynical disregard for their duty to serve the people instead of radical ideology.
Their action doesn’t end the debate, it intensifies it. The Republicans may think they have stifled workers rights, but they can’t silence the hundreds of thousands of voices who begin today to restore those rights.