WISCREPORT.COM (9/24/07) - Representative Marlin Schneider (D-Wisconsin Rapids) told the Wood County Democratic Party meeting at the American Legion Hall in Pittsville that the real problem in getting a state budget is that 15 Republican members of the State Assembly signed a No Tax Increase pledge and are now stuck in their own rhetoric.
The veteran lawmaker said either some Republicans are true believers in this no tax issue or they think it is politically popular.
"The problem now is that Speaker Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) cannot put together enough votes to pass a budget bill without coming to Democrats and that puts him between a rock and a hard place," Schneider suggested.
"These special interest groups that think it is cute or clever to force legislators into various positions at election time never think about the results that come later," he said.
"That's why I don't fill out questionaires, with very rare exception, or get caught up in these pledges, because it gives you no room to negotiate compromise," the veteran lawmaker said.
Schneider also blasted the fact that while the budget remains deadlocked, other bills wait in the wings and nothing gets done. Just as he did at the recent opening of the new Job Center in Wisconsin Rapids, Schneider also criticized the fact that the Assembly had only been in session 14 days all year.
"It's an absolute outrage that while we fiddle around nothing is getting done," he said.
"These Republicans like to talk about how they run government like a business. Any business that only opened 14 days a year would not survive very long," Schneider pointed out. "They make us look worse than Congress and that's hard to do."
"The GOP leadership had better understand that playing games with people's lives, because their members were foolish enough to sign silly pledges, is likely to get them tossed out on their ear come November 2008," the Wisconsin Rapids Democrat concluded.