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Senate Pres. Michael Ellis gives fiery floor speech

Sen. Michael Ellis

Sen. Michael Ellis

Sen. Michael Ellis, R-Neenah, is a forceful speaker. So it pains the senator to be relegated behind a podium, directing proceedings and fulfilling his duties as Senate president.

On Tuesday, though, Ellis could no longer stand back and listen to the debate.

Hearing Democrats criticize Gov.Scott Walker’s special session legislation, and Republicans counter with accusations of hypocrisy, Ellis stepped to the floor and joined the discussion.

Ellis delivered a fiery reprimand to Democrats and Republicans alike, saying, “There’s 5 million people in this state. There’s 18 percent either unemployed or underemployed. We need to set aside the gotcha game and let’s get on with getting the job done for the people of Wisconsin.

“They don’t deserve two more years of each party throwing mud at each other,” Ellis continued. “If you’ve got good ideas, bring them forward. We’re all in this mess together.”

Ellis suggested the debate over tax credits, which eventually passed in the Senate, was less than sincere.

“I know some of you are having a good time out there today,” Ellis said. “We don’t expect 50,000 new jobs in five minutes, but I can tell you this. As we move forward over the course of the next two years, we will right this ship. We will change the landscape of Wisconsin.”

The Senate president doesn’t often speak from the floor, but Ellis suggested that might not be the last time he does it.”It’s very frustrating having to stand up there – although, trust me, I enjoy it – and not be able to participate with my learned colleagues,” Ellis said.

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