As Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald insists Democratic lawmakers who fled the state are in danger of burning bridges, some of those furloughed Democrats think the extreme move could actually mend bridges.
Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, speaking via phone from Illinois, said he thinks, “this could give us an opportunity to work better with our Republican colleagues, given that some of them are more moderate, and are looking to step away from this extreme legislation.”
Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, for example, continues to push for an amendment to Walker’s bill that eventually would bring back collective bargaining rights. Walker has said that isn’t a solution he would consider.
The prank phone call, Larson said, “will open the door for them to step away and let cooler heads prevail.”
While the relationship between Fitzgerald and Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller has grown testy since Democrats left town, Miller said he doesn’t think he will have a problem resuming business as usual once the collective bargaining issue is settled.
“We have respect for each other’s integrity,” Miller said. “We are both committed to keeping the operations of the institutions intact. And I think when this is resolved, we will be able to restore that.”