THE BARRETT FACTOR
An interesting tidbit from the Weekly Standard's excellent analysis of what happened here in Wisconsin:
There was more good luck on Monday. In an interview with radio host Charlie Sykes, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, who had lost the governor’s race to Walker last fall, pushed the Republicans to try to move forward without the Democrats. Barrett, working on the mistaken assumption that the 5-and-12 would require a separate vote, said:
Barrett: You could vote on those without those missing senators. You could vote on those tomorrow morning. You don’t need 20 senators to vote on those changes to the collective bargaining. Again, if someone really wanted to end this standoff, the way you would end it is simply have a separate vote.
Sykes: Would you favor that?
Barrett: I would certainly favor that.
So on Wednesday, when Walker spoke to Republicans in the senate, they not only had a legal opinion endorsed by three nonpartisan legal agencies, they also had political cover provided generously, if inadvertently, by the state’s most prominent Democrat.
In a late afternoon vote, senate Republicans passed the tweaked budget repair bill and sent it back to the assembly, which had passed the original version, for its approval on Thursday.