Mere hours after being sprung from the Chippewa County jail where he was and will continue to be serving a 60-day Huber sentence after being convicted on his fourth DUI, soon-to-be-ex Assemblyman Jeff Wood (“I” who caucuses with the Democrats) became the 48th and deciding vote on 16 of the 17 state labor contracts soon-to-be-ex governor Jim Doyle and his fellow Democrats, including the soon-to-be-ex-members/leaders of both houses of the Legislature, are rushing through to tie the hands of the incoming Republicans.
The only contract that passed by more than the “margin of Wood” (i.e., a 49-46 margin instead of a 48-47 one the other 16 contracts were passed by) was one with the SEIU for independent home-care workers for FY2012-FY2013 (AB995 on your scoresheet). “Interestingly”, that contract, the only one that is for the period beyond June 30, 2011, is expected to cost the state an additional $622,400 per year beyond what was budgeted for FY2010-FY2011 (so much for “no pay increases” in this basket of dead-duck contracts).
As I type this, the Senate deadlocked on the first of the contracts, with soon-to-be-ex Senator/Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker providing the deadlocking vote. According to WisPolitics’ Quorom Call, Decker said that the voters “want someone else to make these decisions.” Joining Decker in opposition were the 14 present Republicans (Luther Olsen is in California and refused to cut short a family vacation) and soon-to-be-ex-Senator Jeff Plale. Of course, Decker also was likely the deciding vote to bring the Senate into this extraordinary session, as the Democrats hold a 3-2 margin in the Senate Organization Committee
Revisions/extensions (9:48 pm 12/15/2010) - The twin ex-es Decker is facing became “un-twinned” as his fellow Dems threw him under the bus in favor of assistant leader Dave Hansen. It didn’t have the intended effect as Decker continues to vote against the rammed-through contracts. They’re up through the 11th contract now, and all 11 have gone down by identical 16-16 votes.
R&E part 2 (10:00 pm 12/15/2010) - And all 17 contracts went down by identical 16-16 votes. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!
R&E part 3 (1:45 am 12/16/2010) - WisPolitics’ Quorum Call is reporting that the freshly-minted temporary Senate Dem leader, Dave Hansen and Senate President Fred Risser are planning on bringing the Senate back in session at 10 am today because, since it was a tie vote, anybody can call for a reconsideration. Meanwhile, the person who will be the Senate Dem leader in the next Legislature, Mark Miller, told Republican leader Scott Fitzgerald that the Senate wouldn’t be on the floor Thursday. How much do you want to bet that Risser and company are trying to get a second Republican (or Plale or Decker) to disappear from Madison?
R&E part 4 (10:43 am 12/16/2010) - The message on the Senate InSession site now reads, “THE WISCONSIN STATE SENATE STANDS ADJOURNED PURSUANT TO SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 1″. It’s over! To celebrate, allow me to break out the best part of the original Star Trek…