The weather in Wisconsin is cold this time of year -- but the budget fight is only getting hotter. Following a walkout by the state Senate Democrats, depriving Republicans of the three-fifths majority needed to pass the budget and its controversial anti-public union provisions, the NBC affiliate in Madison now reports that sources say the Dems have left the state entirely.
This comes after the state Senate majority leader said that the State Patrol could be called in to round up the Dems. However, leaving for another state would presumably place the legislators beyond the state's jurisdiction. (Fun fact: The state Senate leader and the Assembly Speaker are brothers -- and the new head of the State Patrol is their father.)
I asked the state Democratic Party for comment on this latest report, but communications director Graeme Zielinski was unable to confirm anything. "I know the whereabouts of not a single Democratic senator," said Zielinski. "I do not know what latitude they're on, or know what longitude they're on. I assume they're in this hemisphere, I'll say that."
No idea how long they can keep it up; the sickouts, the protests, something tells me Walker is going to be one stubborn prick about this. The fight is coming to Ohio and other states as well - how long until our Republicans pass a law that says we will not harbor renegade Democratic legislators from other states?
UPDATE: Oh good Lord, now I've got Wisconsin law firms hitting this blog off the term "fugitive".
No, we don't have your Democrats. I was joking. Have you checked Minnesota?