Lawmakers consider 'brat summit' good start toward bipartisan politics
Charles Benson reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
MADISON- Governor Scott Walker's "beer and brat summit" is over and most lawmakers agree it was a good start in moving the state past the partisan politics.
Security was tight as lawmakers arrived at the Executive Residence. Republicans were optimistic.
"This is a perfect opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to get together to talk about real issues over a beer and a brat, said Republican state Representative Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford).
But Democrats were more cautious. "Don't confuse this with a policy summit. This was a nice picnic and a nice gesture but that's all it was," said state Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee).
About 100 lawmakers accepted the governor's offer to stop by for a beer and brat. Milwaukee Democrat Jason Fields sees it as an opportunity to talk about jobs.
"We need jobs in the African American community. I think we need to have a full and honest debate on we can together do that."
River Hills Republican Senator Alberta Darling believes creating jobs can be a great unifier.
"We can move forward by focusing on a common goal by listening to our citizens and taxpayers, they want us to grow jobs in our economy," said Darling.
But harsh tones continue from protester. One woman shouted: "I hope you choke," as Republican Glenn Grothman arrived to enjoy a brat.
Visiting Marquette University Professor Charles Franklin says the state remains divided and that should make both parties concerned.
"I think we are in a situation where 40% of the state is Republican and 40% is Democratic and 20% could swing either way," said Franklin.
Governor Walker did not talk with reporters after the event but sent out a tweet saying: "I had a great time cooking brats. Everyone seemed to have a super time."