Posted Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011, at 3:20 PM
MADISON, Wisc. -- The Democrats came out of their caucus meeting today and headed to the office of Gov. Scott Walker. The journey took some time. The halls were lined with supporters who kept slapping the Democrats on the back and thanking them, and with reporters putting cameras into every available pocket of air. Rep. Peter Barca, the Democratic leader, spoke briefly to reporters about the deal Democrats were going to suggest to Scott Walker.
"Our budget saves more money than their budget," declared Rep. Brett Hulsey, checking with the Democrats' press secretary to make sure this was technically correct. (It is, for this year.) He backed up for reporters to come by and stake out the meeting.
"Let 'em through. Let's not get trampled by the media. Although, it could be worse -- you guys have soft shoes, not jackboots."
I asked Rep. Louis Molepske about the coming vote. It had been delayed two days, but the outcome was obvious -- the Democratic replacement would fail, the Republican version of the "budget repair act would succeed."
"Well, we've had two days for people to find out more about this bill," he said. "It would have passed on Thursday without scrutiny, and now people in my district know how much it'll cost them."
Earl Jewett, a retired teacher standing nearby, added that Wisconsinites know knew more about the influence of the Kochs, and the no-bid power plant deal that could benefit them if -- and they say they haven't -- they go for it.
The meeting ended not long after this; there was no deal. The vote for the Assembly's bill will happen today.
*not sure which, really