Capitol Chaos: State Patrol Finds No Democratic Senators
MADISON - The Wisconsin state Senate sergeant at arms says Wisconsin state troopers have gone to the homes of multiple Senate Democrats but left after finding no one at home.
Troopers were sent Thursday morning to the homes of some of the 14 Senate Democrats who left town eight days ago rather than vote on a bill taking away collective bargaining rights from public workers.
Sergeant at Arms Ted Blazel says troopers knocked on the doors and looked around but left after finding no one at home. He would not say how many homes they went to.
Police can't arrest senators but Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he hoped the lawmakers would feel compelled to return if police showed up at their doors.
Fitzgerald says the police can't arrest them, but he hoped their presence would pressure at least one of them to return so the bill could be voted on.
Despite Democratic hopes that they can reach a compromise on the bill, Fitzgerald told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News" that no changes will happen.
"The only thing that we can talk to the minority about is how we proceed as a body once they return."
But Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach says all 14 are out of state and won't be returning Thursday.
Republicans are trying to vote on Gov. Scott Walker's proposal that would take away collective bargaining rights from public employees.
One of the missing Democrats claims that the 14 of them are closer and stauncher for their case.
"The 14 of us, I would say, are more united now than when we left Madison," Madison Democratic Senator Fred Risser told "Wisconsin's Morning News."
"We meet regularly. We're united in our efforts to try to protect workers' rights in our state."