Friday, April 16, 2010

Ticket to a GOP circus

Around 3 o’clock this morning something became crystal clear in the Assembly. We saw the true colors of Republicans who have been obsessively focused on punishing their former colleague, now Independent lawmaker, Jeff Wood.

It is not about good policy. It is not about clean government or the integrity of the Legislature. It’s not even about the Assembly officially punishing Rep. Jeff Wood.

The Republicans hope to orchestrate a spectacular three-ring circus.

Wood made everyone aware around 9 pm Thursday night that he planned to pull the expulsion resolution against himself from committee to the floor for a vote. Both sides went into caucus to talk. Dems came back around 10:30 pm.

But Republicans found ways to drag session out – standing informal, caucusing – for six hours. Then after delay upon delay, they cried foul – we simply could not resolve this in the middle of the night!

If their agenda was to punish Wood, they could have done so last night. The Democrats voted to pull the motion from committee so we could take it up, deal with it and move on to other important matters. There is a lot going on right now that is of vital importance to Wisconsin’s economy, our families and our future. But Republicans voted against taking action on Wood saying they didn’t like the early-morning timing they themselves had forced and that they wanted Rep. Steve Nass, who requested the expulsion proceedings, present.

First – this is not about Rep. Steve Nass. We offer our condolences to Rep. Nass right now on the loss of his mother. Having another chance to speak against Jeff Wood cannot be what is foremost on his mind at this difficult time. As Republicans have publicly agreed – this is about the institution and how we are going to discipline members. And Nass himself made it clear when he chose not to attend a committee hearing on the Wood investigation that his presence is not necessary for action.

“There wasn’t any need for me to be there,” Nass told the media after missing the hearing. “It was very clear cut…The resolution is very, very clear…”

Nass is right – his resolution against Wood is clear.

And now another thing is clear. It’s clear what the Republicans real motive has been all along.

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