Mark Miller, the leader of the Wisconsin Senate Democrats, says members of his party won’t be falling for any of the tricks Governor Scott Walker might use to lure them back home and jam his union-busting bill through the legislature.
A bit of back story: Walker spent about 20 minutes on the phone yesterday with a man he thought was David Koch, one of the wealthy Koch brothers who bankroll a bunch of conservative causes. In the course of the call, Walker revealed that he was gaming out a bait-and-switch plan to tempt Democrats back to the state for bad-faith negotiations. Once they arrived, they could spend some time arguing with the governor over policy, but at the end of the day the Republicans would have a quorum in the Senate and could pass his legislation with no problem.
On a conference call organized by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, I asked Miller whether the Democrats were prepared for these sorts of antics.
“I’ve heard rumors of it. Maybe it reveals something about the governor’s character. The possibility of us having to be dragged back to the Capitol before this bill has had enough public scrutiny has always been a possibility and that’s why we left the state in the first place,” Miller said.
He offered no indication that Democrats have a plan to return to Wisconsin. “Employees have given him a victory, they’ve given him the money he needs…. The ball is in the governor’s court,” Miller said. “The only thing in his way is his refusal to accept a compromise.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.