Part 2. 100,000 Welcome the Dem14 Home: The Press Conference

I could say without exaggeration that I was riveted to the appearance and the words of the Dem14 at Saturday’s press conference.

Dave Hansen of Green Bay conveyed the most emotion of all of the Senators who spoke to us.

Sen. Dave Hansen

Here is a 2.5 minute selection. This is a recording I don’t get tired of.

I realize I am incredibly biased. In my eyes, what the Dem14 did was necessary and heroic.  The press in this room didn’t share my admiration for the Senators in front of them. It was difficult for me to hear them ask some of the questions that they asked. Maybe just 1 or 2 more softball questions would’ve been in order (I threw in 1) , like “How long did you discuss the decision to leave before you all resolved to do this.” and “Was there a moment when 1 of you almost had to come back for any reason at all – medical, family, other.” and “Did you actually fear that authorities  might turn you back from leaving?”

Discussion with Walker’s staff. No negotiation with Walker.

Sen. Risser said that the Governor never once negotiated with the Dem14. Sen. Hansen said that while Walker had 20 minutes to talk with what he thought was billionaire David Koch, he didn’t give 20 seconds of his time to any of the Democratic Senators. [instead he had Senators talk to staff.]

Another Snide Scott Fitzgerald Letter.

Another troll-like letter from Sen. Scott Fitzgerald was released  on March 12, the same day when the Dem14 came home.  One of the reporters asked each set of 3 Senators what their response was to it. It was obvious they had not read it. My opinion: What’s the point. Everything Scott Fitzgerald says and does is insulting and/or illegal.

Sen. Robert Wirch Cites Roman Catholic and United Nations Calls for Worker Rights

Senator Robert Wirch said that he is the third generation in his family to have worked as a factory worker at American Brass where he worked for 16 years. “I believe free workers in a free country have worker rights”. He called on Republican Senators that are Catholic to read Papal encliclicals that state that workers should have a right to a good wage and a right to form a union. He also cited the United Nations Human Rights Declarations which proclaimthat people everywhere have a right to form a union.

Sen Vinehout: 4 Affirm her  absence to every 1. Strike with Dollars

Kathleen Vinehout said that for every 1 email or call her office got against her absence & blocking of Walker’s bill, 4 were positive regarding her actions, since the absence of the Dems gave Wisconsinites time to review the legislation. A reporter asked her what she thought of a general strike, to which she said that she’s hearing that boycotts are underway,

” I think the people that we’re up against care about money and they’re very greedy and what would be as effective as a general strike would be to look at the companies and the products that these people manufacture and to say I’m going to decide with my own consumer dollars that I’m not going to buy these products any more…that is what I suggest the people do.”

Senator Spencer Coggs on Recalls

Sen. Coggs said, “Right now Republicans are walkin’ the plank..they all walked the plank with the exception of Schultz.” He said that in the 1st weekend 24% of the recall signatures needed to recall Sen. Kapanke were collected, and over one third of the signatures needed to recall Sen. Darling are already collected. “If we get half of those Senators recalled, Democratic Senators are back in charge.

Senator Bob Jauch on Obama’s Absence

Amy Goodman asked the same question of everybody,”Are you disappointed Obama was not here?” Bob Jauch said, “President Obama’s dealing with a problem called ‘Libya’.”

That’s actually a pretty good answer, in my opinion. Later Sens. Erpenbach & Taylor added that if he’d come, the Republicans would have made the discussion all about the 2012 election, not the people of Wisconsin.

Senator Jon Erpenbach on Scott Fizgerald.

A 2 minute recording worth listening to:

Senator Jon Erpenbach

I’m sure my face showed a flash of anger when one reporter crossed what I thought was “the line” by badgering the Dem14 on whether they would be reimbursed by their party or by the unions or someone else for expenses incurred during their absence. He asked Jon Erpenbach the same question 3 times.

The answer was that no reimbursement would be sought and Senators paid for their expenses out of their own pocket. End of story.

These are just a few comments pulled from this press conference. If you’re committed to the Wisconsin movement, I think you’ll want to view the entire event: HERE

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2 thoughts on “Part 2. 100,000 Welcome the Dem14 Home: The Press Conference

  1. Just after parking in the Monona Terrace ramp and dropping off a rider we’d picked up during the tractor parade back-up on John Nolen (guy was a retired judge !), we saw Senator Risser getting out of a car. Welcomed him home and asked him for a photo and which I will treasure.

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