Mar 092011

Scott Walker and the Republicans in Wisconsin proved tonight what I and many others have been saying all along — their “budget” bill really had nothing to do with the state’s budget and everything to do with busting up the unions and weakening (they hope) the Democratic base in their state…

Wis. GOP bypasses Dems, cuts collective bargaining

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Senate voted Wednesday night to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers, approving an explosive proposal that had rocked the state and unions nationwide after Republicans discovered a way to bypass the chamber’s missing Democrats.

All 14 Senate Democrats fled to Illinois nearly three weeks ago, preventing the chamber from having enough members present to consider Gov. Scott Walker’s “budget-repair bill” – a proposal introduced to plug a $137 million budget shortfall.

The Senate requires a quorum to take up any measures that spend money. But Republicans on Wednesday separated from the legislation the proposal to curtail union rights, which spends no money, and a special committee of lawmakers from both the Senate and Assembly approved the bill a short time later.

The unexpected yet surprisingly simple procedural move ended a stalemate that had threatened to drag on indefinitely. Until Wednesday’s stunning vote, it appeared the standoff would persist until Democrats returned to Madison from their self-imposed exile.

“In 30 minutes, 18 state Senators undid 50 years of civil rights in Wisconsin. Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will never be forgotten,” said Democratic Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller. “Tonight, 18 Senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people.”

Republicans 1; Americans 0.

If you can, please contribute $5.00 to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, which is leading the effort to recall the Republican liars and hypocrites in the Wisconsin state Senate.

UPDATE: Our friend Rachel…