Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's plan to eliminate 50 years of collective bargaining rights for public employees is supposed to come to a vote today, and Senate Republicans there have the numbers to pass it. So what are Democrats supposed to do? Flee the capital to stop the vote from happening! And far, far away from the capital, hopefully, because police are hunting them down.
The Wisconsin Senate needs a quorum — the minimum number of legislators needed to hold a vote — of 20 members. There are 19 Republicans and 14 Democrats in the Senate. So what happened today when the Senate tried to start its vote? From the Wisconsin State Journal:
Senate Democrats were leaving Madison to avoid participating in the vote on Gov. Scott Walker's controversial budget repair bill, which has sparked four days of protests at the Capitol, an aide confirmed Thursday morning.... [At] 11:30 a.m., when the session began - 30 minutes late - a roll call revealed that most if not all 14 Senate Democrats were absent. At 11:35, Republican Senate President Mike Ellis announced a "call of the house" to send police to force errant Democrats to return to the chamber.
Truants! But come on. They're probably just hiding in the broom closet off the Senate floor.
Update: They've fled the whole state. Where have these scofflaws gone? Out to Kansas Territory? A Chicagotown speakeasy? This is delightful.
[Image of today's Wisconsin Capitol building protest via AP]