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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast



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Remember in grade school when kids who didn't have their homework done had to stay in from recess until they finished it? That's what today at the State Capitol is.

Governor Jim Doyle called a special session of the Wisconsin State Legislature. Lawmakers don't get their day off today to do whatever it is they would normally be doing in the name of the taxpayers. Instead they've been summoned back to Madison to do what they should have done more than 100 days ago, and that's pass a state budget.

For more than 3 months lawmakers have argued, insulted, postured, and  postulated. What they haven't done is one of the few things they're actually required to do, and that's pass a budget. They remain deadlocked, each side seeming to view compromise as defeat.

We should rejoice in this. Whatever our personal politics, democrat, republican, some other party, or no other party, we the people can actually find something upon which to agree; the people we sent to Madison to represent us in state government have failed. 

I don't want to hear who's fault it is. I don't want to hear about how the other party is obstructionist. I don't want to hear about how the other party asked for too much. All I want to hear is, "We finally got around to doing our jobs and passed a budget."

Wisconsin is now the only state in the Union where the legislature has not approved a new spending bill. Embarrassing.

I'm among those who've been critical of the leadership in the new Iraq. Regardless of what you thought about the war, you've got to root for the people to come up with a system of democratic self government. It's been frustrating to watch warring tribes and factions stand in the way of progress. We in this country look at that, seeing our young men and women in harm's way, fighting to make the new freedoms stick, and we find it unconscionable.

How pretentious of us. These are people who've been at odds for much of history and we can't figure out why the insta-government we wish for them is having some struggles. Meanwhile we here in this country can't even do one of the most basic functions of government at the state level. We're all Wisconsinites! Get it done.

My proposal... when they get there for the special session... lock the doors from the outside. No caucus sessions. No lunch breaks, dinner breaks, smoke breaks, potty breaks... well, maybe potty breaks... but really. Do your jobs. You can come out when you're done.

Or... here's another... till you guys do the job we sent you to do... no more per-diem in your paychecks. Yeah, we shouldn't be paying you to go back to Madison to do the job you failed to do in a timely manner.





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Milwaukee, WI

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