Wisconsin protesters sought by police… the State’s Senators.

Update February 18, 2011: USA Today says that indeed the Wisconsin State Troopers are seeking the Democratic leader of the Senate. Arrested voter.

Some protests fill me with a sense of tragedy, one only need look to today’s news from Bahrain and Libya. But this one really had me laughing. The Wisconsin Senate Democrats went AWOL to protest the cutting of benefits to state workers and the gutting of the their rights as members of unions. And the Governor sent the police looking for them to round them up… some of them fled across state lines to avoid the police.The Green Bay Press Gazette reports:

State Democrats could not stand by and watch the Senate take up a bill aimed at stripping collective bargaining rights from public employees, Assistant Senate Minority Leader Dave Hansen of Green Bay said Thursday evening.

Senate Democrats left Wisconsin on Thursday to block the bill.

Party leadership made the decision to cross the border into Illinois hoping it would pressure Republicans to compromise, Hansen said. By midday, all 14 members of the caucus had departed from the capitol where thousands of people were protesting the legislation.

Some say that the use of the police to bring the culprits (ahh… excuse me the Senators) back to vote on the issue at hand is unconfirmed. Well I cannot confirm it either but report another source that definitely the police might be looking into what they can do to track the nefarious absconders down. (I hope that was sufficient politically nuanced for you…)

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said that Democrats in his house were “not showing up for work” and that he wanted law enforcement to bring them back.

“That’s not democracy. That’s not what this chamber is about,” Fitzgerald said of the boycott.

The state constitution says lawmakers can be compelled to attend floor sessions. Senate Chief Clerk Rob Marchant said he was “researching the extent to which law enforcement can be involved” in doing that.

Actually I am very gratified that our democracy is getting raucous. I hope that soon in Wisconsin and the rest of the states we can see our way clear to really talk about what is important to our lives as workers and citizens.

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