Madison — Republicans on a state Senate committee approved a bill Tuesday to require voters to show ID at the polls, in their latest effort to entice Democrats to end their boycott of Senate proceedings.If I had been in charge, I would have declared that his voting by phone was legal, declared a quorum of the Senate present by law, and passed Walkers reforms.
The committee made significant changes to the bill in a meeting that included a bizarre element. Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) participated in the meeting by phone, but Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), the committee chairwoman, refused to let him vote because he and the 13 other Senate Democrats left the state Thursday.
Senators routinely participate in committee meetings by phone and are allowed to debate, offer amendments and vote on measures. But Lazich said she wasn't allowing Erpenbach to vote because he had an invalid reasons for being absent.
"I won't extend courtesies for unethical behavior," Lazich told Erpenbach.
"Do you want the headline to be, 'Republicans won't let Democrats vote,' even though we've allowed that many, many times?" Erpenbach said.
Erpenbach's name was not called as the clerk took the roll, but he repeatedly yelled, "No!" over the speakerphone. The committee's three Republicans voted for the bill.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
The Madison Blues: No More Phoning It In
Panel backs voter ID; Democrat not allowed to vote by phone