Where are the Democrats? (Day Two)

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander….both parties have staged “walkouts” before.

Indianapolis – Indiana House Democrats are making national headlines this week as they take a leaf out of the Wisconsin Democrats’ playbook by fleeing their home state. The lawmakers are unhappy over what they call a “radical” agenda being forced by their Republican colleagues. At issue is legislation affecting labor unions and education, among several bills.

Gov. Mitch Daniels told reporters Tuesday that he had no intention of using Indiana State Police troopers to haul the wayward lawmakers back to the Statehouse to force a quorum. But the Democrats remain at a hotel in Urbana, Illinois as of Wednesday. They say they are caucusing.

The Indiana Democratic Party is paying for the trip, including the hotel and meals, although the lawmakers are still receiving their per diem and salary while they’re out of state, something that has irked their Republican colleagues as well as taxpayers. House Speaker Brian Bosma says he’s considering fines, censure, or suspending the per diem to compel their return.

While a number of bills fell by the wayside Tuesday night, I’ve said time and again there’s no such thing as a bill being dead. We’re at the halfway point of the 2011 legislative session. If labor legislation and other bills “die,” they could still be amended in the second half of the session.

In 2001, Republicans were in the minority. They were unhappy with what the majority Democrats were doing, and the Republicans walked out for two and a half days. They returned on April 29th, the last day of that legislative session, and finally got business done. Both parties have pulled this stunt over the years.

Other notes:

Bosma had stern words for union workers who were protesting loudly Wednesday morning. While those who were inside the chamber were respectful during the Pledge of Allegiance, there were some loud boos at one point. Bosma told them he welcomed their participation but said he wouldn’t tolerate any outbursts from the gallery. When Bosma gaveled out he said the protesters wouldn’t be allowed back into the chamber for the afternoon session. Outside the chamber, the atmosphere was boisterous – there was even a live band playing.

During our noon live shot Wednesday, we did a quick poll asking the union workers where they were from. Many said Indianapolis, but we also heard Peru, South Bend and Anderson, just to name a few of the towns and cities represented.

11 thoughts on “Where are the Democrats? (Day Two)”

  1. If you are an elected official you are required to conduct yourself in a manner that reflects favorably on the state of Indiana. Not reporting to work is not acceptable. What type of example is this for our children? What type of example is this for the public? Do we walk away when things don’t go the way we want them to do? I’m embarrassed to be an Indiana resident. I believe eveyone who failed to report should be terminated after they apologize to the voters for their behavior. We really don’t need anyone who plays games like this. They were not elected to not vote! Actually in today’s world we can vote for them from our homes via our home computers and we no longer need their childish representation period. Let’s cut the budget…fire all state representatives and change the laws to allow the public to vote on all bills online. No doubt we would do a better and more efficient job!

  2. I don’t agree with what is going on the democrats they should stay and debate this is what they got voted in to do.I understand that the republicans did the same thing a few years ago.Solution rember this next election !!!

  3. I have written to my state rep, Dave Cheatham, and chastised him for this juvenile behavior. It is no consolation that both parties have used such tactics before. Whatever happened decency, respect, compromise, and most importantly, an honest attempt to represent their constituency. When leadership – political, spiritual or social – operates in a degenerative manner, how can we expect any admiration from our younger generation? It just makes my calling as a Minister all that more demanding and, necessary.

  4. After reading an overview of the RTW bill….I don’t see what is so bad. It sounds like it is about choices and the right to have a choice. Republicans says it is good, democrats say is will kill jobs. Nobody explains how. After looking over the minority leaders website, I couldn’t find anything jumping out at me to explain his stance on this. If the dems are right, they should be at the statehouse and debating and changing minds. That’s their job. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you don’t. Do your job and take it.

  5. All these union members at the state house are not the only people here in Indiana. I wish you guys would report both sides of this. All I have seen so far is reporting of union members at the state house. They don’t represent all the people of Indiana. As far as the demos leaving the state, I wish they would just stay gone. They don’t represent all the people or they would be here doing their job, which isn’t taking their toys and go crying in the corner in another state. I’m sure the next election will prove that out, by the people of Indiana kicking them out of office.

  6. john stehr said the two right to work studies were conflicting. they are not conflicting,they show the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. thats why the democrats and unions are doing what they’re doing. they are trying to protect all of us workers from business and their agents the republicans. if you are a worker and voted republican you just voted against yourself.

  7. I support the Democrats’ walk-out. It’s the only option they have to serve the Indiana public. If they stayed they would lose a lop-sided vote. They serve their constituants better if they force a non-vote. Republican hypocrite Bosma seems to forget he led the Republicans on a similar walk-out not that long ago, yet now he is critical of Democrats and wants to fine or censure them? He and Governor Daniels should both be fired!

  8. When is a strong third party going to rise up?Both parties as I have witnessed answer to someone and are puppets. The whole thing is a sick joke!

  9. I have a question. If you or I decided to not show up for our job, just how long would our boss put up with that behavior? How long are Indiana voters going to put up with this nonsense? It doesn’t matter why they’re not where they should be, what matters is that they are not at their place of employment. Will Indiana voters remember this failure to report to do their jobs when election time rolls around? If not, they really are a stupid bunch and prove once again that Indiana voters have a short memory.

  10. Our governor seems to beleive that let’s cut wages in half and put twice as many people back to work, he’s engaging in the same tactics he used against IPL wokers that worked all their lives and now are virtually stripped of thier pensions thanks to your man Mitch.
    How does that work, your told you’ll have a pension as part of your wages and then at some point in time someone comes along with power that says were going to change all that because we can’t give you what we told you we were going to. I think all of you should have your wages cut in half and then hire your neigbor who is out of work. All of you think it’s ok as long as it’s not you.
    Wages for the same type of work in Right to Work States is almost half of a non RTW State.
    It seems the talk is about the Democrats standing up for what they think is right, fighting for the Indiana workers. People DO have a choice, if they don’t want to belong to a union don’t join. It is unfair for the union organization to represent you for a better dignified wage without you helping to pay a small amount of your wage to help protect you from unfair labor practices and unfair government plus many other benefits to your families.
    That is what our country was built on a long time ago, Remember the revolutionary war against Britain. The government took your money as taxes and then told you how your going to live under them does that sound familier?
    So many people talk about unions without the real facts, they assume a poor lazy worker cannot be let go it happens every day the cream rise to the top and the lazy and poor worker is let go. Unions do not pay people to be off work or to participate in these rallies downtown some are unemployed just like a lot of other people and others believe in what is right so they participate.That is what a united organization is about, yes it’s called a Union.
    Get the facts people! The media isn’t giving it to you it’s just about the HOT story for news that’s about it. Sells viewers/readers.

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