Effing Wisconsin. First I have to spend 10 minutes with my clicker searching around for something ridiculous called “TruTV” to catch the Michigan tournament game. I can’t find it so I have to stream the game on the radio while I watch Texas coach Rick Barnes continue his brave struggle to become the first developmentally disabled coach to make it to the Final Four. But then I have to kill the sound and change the channel because there’s “breaking” news from Wisconsin regarding its ongoing labor union bukkake session and, technically, I’m “working” today. Freaking cheese eating mofos just trying to hassle brothers.
But whatever, when last we checked in on Wisconsin the state was in a governmental standstill because Democrats fled the state in order to prevent Republicans from passing a bill that would eviscerate the rights of labor unions. Since then, the people of Wisconsin have demanded a recall election to oust the Republican state legislators (apparently being elected and trying to pass horrible bills is more offensive than being elected and refusing to show up for work at all).
Meanwhile, Republicans decided to pass their anti-union bill anyway, without the Democrats or a quorum. Was it legal for Republicans to pass the bill under those circumstances? Not exactly says a Wisconsin judge…
Really, was there ever any doubt that the courts would have to get involved in this process? Every time some guy pops up to complain about “activist” judges, I want somebody else to bitch about “totally incompetent legislators.” Here’s the report from the L.A. Times:
Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi granted the temporary order that prevents publication of the measure signed into law by Republican Gov. Scott Walker after weeks of protests and a boycott by Senate Democrats that turned the capital of Madison in a national political battleground on the issue of limiting public employee union power.
The judge was acting on a request by Dist. Atty. Ismael Ozanne, a Democrat, who had filed a lawsuit contending a legislative committee had violated Wisconsin’s open meetings law by pushing the measure onto the floor. That maneuver was key in unblocking the legislative stalemate and allowing the bill to be signed by Walker on March 11.
Judge Sumi didn’t decide the case on the merits, instead the T.V. people are reporting that Sumi issued the TRO because apparently Wisconsin Republicans can’t even read their own open meeting laws. The law requires 24 hours notice before an open meeting, but the Republicans only issued an official notice a couple of hours before the meeting.
How dumb is that? It’s an open question whether or not you can even use an “open meeting” to pass this kind of legislation, why would you further complicate matters by not following a simple notice requirement? It’s not like they had to wait a few weeks, they had to sit on it for a freaking day. Now it looks like some guy came up with this open meeting loophole and the Republicans were so excited they could keep it together for a single day.Wisconsin legislators are like teens trying to talk to girls: the losers run away and the winners end up prematurely ejaculating.
Of course, between nuclear tsunamis, Libyan dictators, and Louisville spitting the bit (you see what I did there? Don’t worry Louisville fans, the Kentucky Derby is just around the corner!) the total freaking anarchy happening in Wisconsin has gone a bit under the radar.
Maybe that’s fair enough. The relatively anonymous courts are going to be dealing with this mess for at least a couple of years.
Judge blocks Wisconsin anti-union law [L.A. Times]