Wisconsin Democrats Still Hiding Out In Illinois

CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Wisconsin Democrats who left the state to block a vote on sweeping anti-union legislation might stay in hiding for weeks.

Wisconsin State Sen. Jon Erpenbach was staying at a Chicago hotel on Friday, although he would not disclose exactly which one in a phone interview with WBBM Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty reports

Erpenbach and other Democratic lawmakers from Wisconsin left the state on Thursday to prevent the near-certain passage of legislation backed by Republican legislators and GOP Gov. Scott Walker.

The proposed legislation would strip state employees of their collective bargaining rights. Thousands of protesters flocked to the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on Thursday to rally against the proposal.

Erpenbach said there’s no fixed date for when Democrats would return to Wisconsin, but said they might stay away for days, or even weeks.

All 14 Wisconsin Senate Democrats planned to meet somewhere in Illinois on Friday to discuss their plans.

There are 19 Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate, but 20 senators must be present to vote on budget initiatives like the bill in question. So, without at least one Democrat present, the legislation has been stalled indefinitely.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • wondering

    When something this unusual and embarrassing happens, how can these elected officials live this down?

  • Mr. Justice

    I think we should find these puking liberals, tie them up, and return them to Madison.

    The people of Wisconsin had better rally behind their Governor, who is trying to save the state from the same pitfalls that hamper Illinois, and tell their democratic representatives to get their heads out of their bums.

    What a bunch of cowards and if you agree with this tactic, then you are a coward and have no integrity or character either.

    • Lynn Urlaub

      I couldn’t agree more – I’m a Democrat but I am sick and tired of the corrupt and money grubbing unions bankrupting companies and states – they have gotten too greedy and too strong. These officials must be held accountable. I’d be totally embarrassed if I didn’t have the guts to vote. The Governor is doing the right thing.

  • John Zywicke

    The Democrat Senators are working for the people by staying away until this “union-busting” bill is flushed down the toilet where it belongs. It was rammed through by a corporate controlled governor to bust the unions for the special interest groups that elected him…Walker is just “cooking the books” on Wisconsin’s budget shortfall to bust the unions; Wisconsin does not have a budget shortfall…More power to the people, and these Democrat Senators!

    • Lady Blue

      Way to John !
      I agree with you.Unions Forever !

      Lady Blue

      • American

        Your a collectivist,socialist and maybe a communist….get out of our country.

    • Mr. Justice

      John, some of the dumbest comments I have ever read.

    • Donnell

      Bust away Wisconsin! Stand and fight the union goons and their mislead minions. THe goons see their income drying up from the backs of the teachers.

      You misguided soul are among the bleeding hearts who support the misuse of unions. You do not have a clue to what the unions are doing to your state . Power to the people who stand and fight the unions and liberal left who have their heads up their b. Your Democrat Senators are cowards – vote them out at the next opportunity! Cowards ALWAYS run and hide.

      • J Franks

        Don’t you people know that this Governor recently spent $125 million on pet projects to make the budget appear worse than it is and to blame the workers for this mess? You can read about it in the New York Times today. This isn’t about fixing a budget shortfall. It is simply trying to destroy the middle class. All of this hatred toward teachers and state workers is unfair and outrageous. When did we become such a hateful country?

  • what-a-state

    disgusting cowards! Shameful behavior. And they came here as if we don’t have enough of our own s- c- u -m.

  • Mr. Justice

    APPLAUSE TO: Donnell and what-a-state.

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/02/18/quinn-supports-wisconsin-senators-hiding-in-illinois/ Quinn Supports Wisconsin Senators Hiding In Illinois « CBS Chicago

    […] TagsdemocratsPat QuinnPensionsScott WalkerUnionsWisconsin // // Most Popular NewsWisconsin Democrats Still Hiding Out In IllinoisWisconsin Democrats who left the state to block a vote on sweeping anti-union legislation might stay […]

  • Dave H

    I wouldn’t put it past the Democrat Senators to have the tax payers of Wisconsin pay for their Hotel Stay while avoiding their jobs….

  • Pro Dems

    What is wrong with you people? I am a WI teacher and we are only asking for the right to be heard. We constantly learning how to become better educators. The loss of our union would mean less of our time to focus on curriculum and we wouldn’t have any right to bargain and stand up for what is best when teaching our children. The democrats who left the state are true American heroes! They are giving us and ALL of the other unions a right to be heard. Walker is refusing to listen to hundreds of thousands of people who are against this across the state. There are other ways to fix the budget but it is his way or the highway. Maybe you should find out what is really happening in our state before judging! There are cuts to state health care and MANY other areas and programs as well that aren’t even being mentioned. But hey, no one is threatening your way of life or your job so I understand why you don’t understand.

    • Oh Really??

      Chicago has one of the worst quality public education systems in the USA. Why?? The union protects some of the worst teachers in the nation!!! Hey, why does the USA rank so far behind other countries when it comes to education?? Are our children that much more stupid, OR could it have something to do with the UNIONIZED public school system?? Just a question to throw out there at you. I already know your answer. American heroes?? Making that comment alone makes you unworthy of teaching kids!!!

      • Mr. Justice

        Right On.

      • Average Guy

        Oh Really??
        If you feel that why about CPS then the solution would be to send your children elsewhere. I don’t think that it is fair to knock CPS when the public, students and teachers alike, should be trying to build some pride in the school system. Teachers are humans also. Some teachers are very good at their jobs and some are not as good. But, facts are every child’s chance starts at home.

        Speaking of home, some of us would not be here if not for unions. My paternal grandfather worked at US Steel before unions had any power. My dad retired as policeman. My maternal grandfather was a glassblower. My mother, her mother, my uncle work at Dutch boy Paint, he was in a union. Unions helped my family and others get through colleges, by homes and raise children. Now is not the time to turn back the clock on unions either.

    • ron

      love your post !!!!!!!

    • carol

      I know that I make around $40,000 a year and I I pay around $500.00 a month for health insurance for myself and one child. I also contribute 10% of my income to my 401K my employer puts in 2%. On top of that I have to pay taxes so that you can I have same thing. I do not think that it is unreasonable to ask you to support yourself!!!!!! Shame on you!!!!

  • Barack

    Bully for Quinn. He’s finally proving that he’s going to stand his ground on taxes. We the people followed the Republican’s plan for eight years under the illustrious George Bush where he deregulated government protections, spend surpluses and cut taxes all while starting two wars.

    Now, with the support of rich, fake libertarians like the Koch’s where clan’s leader, Charles Koch warns of “Democratic policies that threaten to erode our economic freedom and transfer vast sums of money to the state.” That’s his way of saying that the rich should not be taxed.

  • Elaine

    Well that is all the Tea Party people asked to do was to be heard, but Obama ignored them, made fun of them and just did what he wanted to. Then he forced the Obamacare down our throat with his 111th Congress which of course as you know was owed by the Democrats. So I have no mercy for you just wanting to be heard because they wanted to be heard and didn’t have crooks like the Fat Cat Union Leaders who have put you in this situation.

    • Mr. Justice

      Good comments Elaine

  • Who's Your Boss?

    What the Senators from Wisconsin are doing is called job abandonment. In the real world, people are fired for that. Even in unions.

  • luella

    To the teachers, if you were not so convinced that the union is the only way to teach our children, you are wrong.Everyone uses the words Rights! As Americans our rights are free we don’t need to pay for them! The union big shots have you all worried, because they will lose the money you pay them and their influence will be less. Their pocketbooks smaller. As for the democrats, they are nothing to brag about. They walked off their job and should be disciplined. Anyone remember when Obama pushed through the healthcare bill? Pelosi stated it had to be passed before we knew what was in it? Did you see any Republicans running? What don’t you people understand about being broke? As teachers you should know what that means. NO MONEY. You think you are going to have a pension,guess what, you aren’t . There is no money. As far a never loosing your job? Many should, believe me I have met many with my 4 children. I read the bill being proposed and I wish I had that type of agreement where I work. I pay over 600.00 a month for my families medical. That equals over half of my take home pay. We all need to sacrifice and my family has been. What do you want to leave the children you are teaching? A broke wisconsin and let them pay it off? I’d like to leave my children a better world..We had fiscally responsible people and need that again. Or would you like to bargain and not be laid off?

  • William

    GOP is a party for the wealthy and for the corrupt. Seems like they are fighting for big business and not for the people.

  • Jim Barrow

    Okay, William, THAT was the dumbest comment in this thread.

  • Bob

    >William. Big business is the people. Look around at the “Big Business” that left your state for greener pastures. Business provides jobs. State and Federal workers don’t get it or care because they “make” their profit off of taxpayers and not a revenue creating company. When the locals don’t have a job because “Big Business” left guess what? There are less tax dollars and that’s where you come in. They pay less, you get less. Hello?

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