Wisconsin Senate Dem: ‘We Were Left With No Choice’

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Sen. Jon Erpenbach, one of the Wisconsin State Senators who participated in today’s walk out, tells WisPolitics that he and his fellow Democrats “were left with no choice,” and have left the state.

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Erpenbach would not disclose where he was or how many of the Dem senators were with him. But he said he believed all 14 were already out of state by early this afternoon.

“The question is when are the Republicans going to sit down seriously with the other side on this issue and try to work something out,” Erpenbach said when asked how long Democrats would stay out of the state. “When are we going to be reasonable about this and slow things down?”

Demonstrators have flooded Wisconsin’s state capitol in Madison this week, to protest Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to strip nearly all government workers of their collective bargaining rights. Earlier today, state Senate Democrats staged a walkout, depriving Republicans of the three-fifths majority needed to pass the budget and its controversial provisions. Erpenbach said the move “isn’t a joke.”

“We have time,” he said.

Read the rest here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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