Here’s the thing we all know: Right-wing Republicans don’t usually win if they’re honest about what they want to do. So in order to be successful, they have to lie, coerce, threaten, manipulate and cheat their way to victory. They can’t lead on the basis of their policies, because so few people support them once they know what they are.

So I’m not all that surprised that they’re trying to bully the Wisconsin Democrats out of their paychecks, their staff and their ability to serve. I’d be surprised if this new resolution is even legal:

MADISON – The 14 Wisconsin state Senate Democrats who left the state two weeks ago will now face fines of $100 for each day they miss, if they miss two or more days.

Republicans remaining in the Senate approved the daily fine on Wednesday morning with none of the Democrats present.

The Democrats left Wisconsin in order to delay indefinitely a Republican-backed bill taking away collective bargaining rights from public employees.

The resolution passed on Wednesday also requires the missing Democrats to reimburse the Senate for any costs incurred during attempts to force them to return. Their salary and other per diem payments can be withheld until they pay back the penalties and costs.

Republicans have already withheld the checks of missing Democrats from direct deposit and denied access to copying machines for their staff.

According to TODAY’S TMJ4′s Mick Trevey, there are punishments incorporated into the resolution which would allow for the removal of offices from senators, to downsize their offices, to take away spending capabilities for their offices for photocopies and office supplies, even to changing the way the staffs are run.

The two-day clock would not begin until Thursday, and if senators do not return two days later, the $100 fines and other measures could possibly begin.

I don’t think Democrats will have a problem raising the money, do you?

In the meantime, the Republicans might want to consider, you know, actually negotiating with the Democrats.

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Susan Madrak

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