Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is sending the state police to get Democrat state senators who are boycotting the vote on anti-collective bargaining legislation for state employees. By boycotting a vote, the state senate can't reach a quorum to have that vote.
Without a vote, the legislation to strip virtually all of the collective bargaining rights of state employees cannot pass. (Full disclosure: I have Wisconsin state employees in my family.) First question, who does Walker thinks he is to send the police to find and bring back legislators? Are they accused of a crime? No!
Walker thought he was governor before he was governor, when he was still governor elect. He was dictating terms to Governor Doyle, but ironically, still exercising his authority as Milwaukee County Executive.
Now, Walker must think he can just make up the law and send police to do his bidding. One, if any person should have the power to send the police it should be Senate Majority leader Fitzgerald, because the state senate is in his branch of government. Walker is intruding on an independent branch of the state government. He cannot make nor enforce the rules of the state senate nor that of the state legislature at large.
This isn't the first time that Republicans abused their authority to potentially arrest, without any legal cause whatsoever, to bring back state legislators. Tom Delay's controlled Texas state legislature tried to do so in that state 8 years ago in order to redistrict and stack congressional districts to benefit the Republican party, only two years after they were already redistricted. Delay wasn't a member of the Texas legislature but a congressman and second, districts are commonly only redistricted once every ten years after the U.S. census count.
If this legislation passes it will give a green light to private businesses to be as anti-labor and anti-union as they desire in Wisconsin. Walker might have said that Wisconsin was "open for business", but it is sure darn well closed for everyone else.
You get harmed or injured by a corporation while Walker is governor and the GOP is in charge, good luck on your potential lawsuit. At least, they didn't strip away entirely the right to sue a major corporation.
Why are local police, state police and firefighters exempted from this legislation? Simple, Republicans believe they can capture some of their votes in the next election, and they don't want to alienate them.
After all, they need them to bring back state legislators, they need them loyal. Also, unions have to be certified every year under this legislation. That shows a clear intent to destroy unions in the public sector and shows probable contempt against the right to join a union for all the people of Wisconsin.
Walker isn't a despot, though he might think he is. He can't send state police to do his bidding to bring back people not breaking the law. If the police find a Democratic senator who doesn't choose to go back, is he brought back in handcuffs?
Is that the picture Walker wants in the newspapers? In fact, sending police to drag back legislators is probably an impeachable type offense. Why does Walker even need a vote anyway, if he has the power to drag citizens not accused of a crime, can't he just rule by decree?