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03-04-11, 12:04 PM #1
Missing Wisconsin state senators share stories of life on the lamAt 8 a.m. Thursday, all but three Democratic senators met at the Democratic Party headquarters on King Street. They were expected to be in the Senate at 11 a.m. to vote on the bill.
Some, like Risser, suspected they might be leaving the state and had packed a bag beforehand.
The Democrats sat with their coffee and listened while Miller told them debating with Republicans or slowing down the bill were not options. Neither was negotiating, he said.
While everybody agreed that they needed to leave the state, there was concern over how it would play out.
“What’s going to be the reaction around the state? Would people think it was some high school sort of juvenile prank?” recalls Erpenbach.
But Erpenbach says they all decided that as time went on, and the truth of what was in the bill started to come out, “it would be well understood why we were doing what we were doing.”
“We were making sure that everybody saw what was really in there,” he says.
A few blocks away, Jauch was sleeping in his Madison apartment. After only four hours of sleep, he was awakened by Risser and told to pack a bag.
“I told him to call me back. I was tired,” Jauch says. “I stayed in bed for another 45 minutes or so, then I packed my bag and went down there.” By the time Jauch arrived, the Democrats had decided if they were going to leave the state, they had to leave fast.
Like a football team readying to take the field, the senators put their fists together in a circle and shouted, “We’re in.”
Then, they were gone.
This past Saturday, Risser was sitting quietly in the lobby of a Country Inn & Suites in Gurnee, Ill., reading a book about Abraham Lincoln. Wearing a trench coat and red beret, the 83-year-old hardly looks the part of the fugitive.
Though he is not staying at the hotel, he arranged to use one of its conference rooms. He offers coffee to a reporter as if the hotel were his own home.
Roughly 45 miles south, Erpenbach is doing the same from his hotel in downtown Chicago. While Risser says he feels upbeat because of a recent visit from his wife, who came to bring him fresh clothes and other necessities, Erpenbach looks exhausted.
His hair is tousled and his clothes are rumpled. This is the fourth hotel he has been to in nine nights in his effort to stay ahead of the folks trying to track him down. He is registered under a fake name. “I hate all this James Bond stuff,” he says.
His parents, he says, are paying the bills. He grabs a cup of free coffee from the hotel lobby. He’s been living off of it and other freebies.
He says a hotel maid handed him a stick of deodorant from the house-cleaning cart a few days ago. He’s also grabbed a few little tubes of toothpaste. The other night he got a real deal for dinner. Turns out, happy hour is easy on the wallet. He got five “slider” hamburgers for five bucks.
Friday night, he says, was the first time in a week he had a few moments to himself. He did his laundry, ordered pizza for dinner, and stayed in his room.
He’s been living on the contents of what he stuffed into a duffel bag before making his escape: a couple of pairs of pants, a few pairs of underwear (so few he had to buy extras at a discount store) and his toothbrush.
He didn’t even have time to grab his laptop. Instead, he’s checking work e-mails and reading bills on his cell phone. He says since he’s been in Illinois he’s received close to 10,000 messages from constituents, reporters and colleagues.
The added expense of living on the lam — while no longer being able to access their paychecks through direct deposit, thanks to a move by Senate Republicans — has proved a hardship for the senators. Jauch, born and raised in Wheaton, Ill., has been able to stay with friends and relatives a few nights to offset the expense of hotels. His wife recently drove more than 400 miles from their home in northern Wisconsin to bring him more clothes and $300.
That was more than a week ago. He hasn’t seen her since.
Erpenbach saw his son over the weekend for the first time since leaving Wisconsin. Sen. Julie Lassa, who is six months pregnant, also spent the weekend with her two young children for the first time since leaving the state.
“Of course I miss my kids,” Erpenbach says of his daughter, 15, and son, 18. “But we’re not going home.”
03-04-11, 12:36 PM #2
What would happen to you if you didn't show up to do your job for 3 weeks? I'm ashamed of these people. Their actions are serving to undermine the foundation of democracy.For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.
03-04-11, 01:22 PM #3
They should be discharged/impeached.I'm your huckleberry...
Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!
You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.
I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
but every girl I found was either one way or the other...
03-04-11, 02:02 PM #4
Have y'all heard how much it is going to cost Wisconsin to clean up the capital building?
Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat
"Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway
The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com
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