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Judy Masterson: Wisconsin senators are welcome here

Thomas Delany Jr. Staff Photographer.
Judy Mastersresporter for The News Sun.
7/12/06

Thomas Delany Jr. Staff Photographer. Judy Masterson, resporter for The News Sun. 7/12/06

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Updated: March 5, 2011 2:06AM



It may be time to clean out my junk room and haul in the futon. I mean, how long can legislators from Wisconsin and Indiana who have gone underground in Illinois while trying to find a solution to blatant gubernatorial attempts at union busting, afford to stay in some out-of-the-way Slumberland motels?

I’d be proud to welcome one woman or man who does not mind spaghetti every Wednesday and the occasional squabble over “Where’s the remote?” I’d be proud to welcome a politician who actually possesses the courage of his convictions, who is willing to fight for what’s right, even at the cost of his political career.

No one would ever guess that, let’s say, Wisconsin state Sen. Bob Wirch, was doing battle from my working class town. Wirch, a former factory worker who served in the Army reserves, and who volunteers in the Shalom Center Soup Kitchen, would fly under the radar in my neighborhood, where decent wages and benefits from collective bargaining have helped people buy homes, raise families and enjoy lives free from worry and want.

It is simplistic to argue that legislators who are refusing a quorum for injustice are shirking their responsibility. Was Abraham Lincoln failing to govern when, in 1839, he joined his party in a walkout of the Illinois Legislature and even jumped out the window of the statehouse in an attempt to quash a vote on a Democrat-sponsored bill?

The job of governing can’t be compared with truck driving or bean counting or sub-prime lending. Hey. That reminds me. It wasn’t unions or working people who caused the economic crisis that dried-up tax revenues. The Wall Street miscreants who should have paid, didn’t. Instead, they’re back to fat and sassy — after a taxpayer bailout. It’s the poor and middle class who are being vice-gripped in an attempt to cope with the disaster — while governors like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker slather big business with tax cuts.

State legislators who have gone underground are protecting the rights of workers not only in Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio, but across the U.S.

I’m proud of each and every one of them. I only wish I had a bigger house.



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