More on the Fleebagger Rebellion—
Wisconsin Senate Minority Leader Jon Erpenbach admitted to Greta Van Susteren tonight that his fellow caucus members met secretly with the Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader today behind his back.
He did not even know about the meeting until the media contacted him!
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Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald met quietly Monday with one of the 14 Senate Democrats to discuss ways to bring the boycotting senators back from Illinois.
The Democrats fled Feb. 17 to block a controversial bill that sparked two weeks of protests at the Capitol.
Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, met with Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, at a McDonald’s in Kenosha on Monday morning, Cullen said. He said he presented a list of eight or nine proposed changes to Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill, and Fitzgerald came back with a counter offer.
“It was something,” Cullen said, “but it wasn’t enough.”
For his part, Fitzgerald said he believes some of the “Wisconsin 14” are growing weary of the protest. Democrats left Wisconsin to deny Republicans the required 20-member quorum to vote on fiscal bills.
“There’s six, seven, eight, nine of them that are starting to say, ‘Listen, we’re starting to look like we’re out of touch with what’s going on in Madison, and it’s time to get back,’ “ he said. “I think some of them feel like they’re boxed in and they can’t come back to the Capitol right now.”
UPDATE: Democrat Tim Cullen worked out a deal with Fitzgerald so that the fleebaggers could return to Wisconsin.
The Gazettextra reported:
The 14 absent Democratic state senators will not be back in the Capitol today despite an effort Monday to work out a deal with the Republican side, Sen. Tim Cullen said.
Cullen, D-Janesville, said Monday he was working with “a highly placed Republican” on a deal.
The Democrats met for more than five hours Monday night. There was an offer, a counter offer and a counter to the counter, Cullen said, but no deal as of 9:30 p.m.
Asked if a deal might be worked out for the Democrats to return Wednesday, Cullen said: “I remain optimistic each day.”
Cullen would not reveal the name of the Republican or details of the deal, saying it would be counterproductive to negotiate in public.
The senators have been staying away from the Senate chamber since Feb. 17 to stall action on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill. Without the Democrats, the Republicans lack a quorum needed to pass fiscal measures.
“These are the most serious negotiations that we’ve had up till now,” Cullen said Monday afternoon.
Senate Republicans on Monday stepped up pressure, requiring the absent senators’ aides get their pay authorized by Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.