Former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, a Democrat, told us early on in the Wisconsin standoff that you’d better not poke a badger in the eye. This letter from Republican State Senator Scott Fitzgerald to his Democratic counterpart, Mark Miller, “Parts Unknown, IL,” might qualify. By way of WisPolitics (pdf):
Dear Senator Miller,
Thank you for your hand-delivered letter with an offer to meet, in Illinois, about the business and future direction of Wisconsin.
Let’s set aside how bizarre that is for a moment.
As you know, this legislation is designed to finally balance the state budget, prevent layoffs and create jobs in the real world. There are hundreds of thousands of unemployed or underemployed Wisconsinites, and at least 1,500 more whose jobs are in the balance because of your media stunt. We all deserve better than this.
In the meantime, members of your caucus have been meeting with the governor’s staff, talking to the media, trying to find a way back to Madison, and contradicting your message in public. In case you don’t remember, you were present yourself at one of those meetings with the governor’s staff. Your grasp of reality, and control of your caucus as minority leader, continues to amaze me.
As you know, your opportunity to compromise and amend the bill was on the floor of the state Senate. As you know, you forfeited that right and opportunity when you decided to flee the state instead of doing your job.
Your stubbornness in trying to ignore the last election and protect the broken status quo is truly shameful. While we wait for you and your colleagues to finally show up, Senate Republicans continue to stand ready to do the job we were elected to do, here in Wisconsin. I hope you are enjoying your vacation, and your vacation from reality.
cc: Governor Scott Walker