Assembly Democrats Hint at Impasse Lasting Weeks

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 24 2011 8:07 PM

Assembly Democrats Hint at Impasse Lasting Weeks

MADISON, Wisc. -- Two Assembly Democrats responded to Gov. Scott Walker's press conference with mockery and a promise to stick around for weeks, at least. Rep. Mark Pocan and Rep. Jennifer Shilling didn't say yes when asked whether they were in touch with the missing Senate Democrats. They focused on the impression that their standoff was bringing them closer to victory.

"There's been movement," said Pocan. "The governor of Michigan has said he's not going after collective bargaining. The governor of Indiana told Republicans there to not do it. All of the governor's Tea Party friends realize it's not the best idea to have tens of thousands of citizens protesting you." He said the governor had been "punked" by phone pranksters; the implication was that this weakened him further.

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The representatives were canny at first about how long they thought the standoff would last.

"It's up to the governor," said Shilling.

Pocan, asked again, compared this standoff to the previous, nationally famous political standoff. "How long did the Texas voter registration thing last?" he asked. "Six weeks?"

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.