Wisconsin’s AWOL 14 are returning to Madison, and Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald gave them a harsh welcome:
Today, the most shameful 14 people in the state of Wisconsin are going to pat themselves on the back and smile for the cameras. They’re going to pretend they’re heroes for taking a three week vacation.
It is an absolute insult to the hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites who are struggling to find a job, much less one they can run away from and go down to Illinois — with pay.
Their appearance at the Capitol today is in direct violation of the contempt order issued by the state Senate earlier this month, and it proves their absolute disregard for the institution of the Senate and the constitution they took an oath of office to serve.
But the people of Wisconsin won’t forget what they were really doing these past few weeks.
Sen. Tim Cullen refused to come back to save 1,500 jobs.
Sen. Mark Miller refused to come back even to make sure his own staff were safe in the Capitol he abandoned.
Sen. Fred Risser refused to come back out of respect for the institution and dignity of the state Senate.
Sen. Bob Jauch refused to come back even though our side was negotiating in good faith to try to find a reasonable compromise.
Sens. Jon Erpenbach, Chris Larson and Lena Taylor were all too happy to pat themselves on the back and smile for the cameras in Illinois, never mind their constituents here in Wisconsin.
And Sens. Dave Hansen, Kathleen Vinehout, Tim Carpenter, Spencer Coggs, Jim Holperin, and Julie Lassa refused to come back to actually do the job they were elected to do.
To the Senate Democrats: When you smile for the cameras today and pretend you’re heroes, I hope you look at that beautiful Capitol building you insulted. And I hope you’re embarrassed to call yourselves senators.
It is a tough assessment, but I think a fair one.