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  • Open Letter to State Senator John Erpenbach

    Posted by Dan from Madison on February 18th, 2011 (All posts by )

    My letter to my state senator below the fold, if you are interested.

    State Senator John Erpenbach
    Room 106 South
    State Capitol
    PO Box 7882
    Madison, WI 5307-7882

    Senator Erpenbach,
    This letter is to inform you and your staff about my disappointment and anger in regards to you leaving the state before a senate vote on February 17. It doesn’t matter whether I voted for you or not. The fact of the matter is this – I am now essentially disenfranchised. My elected representative is not present at the capitol building to vote on proposed legislation.

    You have made the reasons for doing this clear in televised interviews. You did it because you didn’t like the legislation. People can call you a sore loser since your party was drummed out in the general election, or make other accusations. I will do no such thing.

    I consider my rights as a law abiding citizen SACROSANCT. I am now disenfranchised. I will do everything in my power from here on to help your primary opponents, and general election opponents. I will volunteer for your opponents and donate money to their campaigns.

    You cannot apologize to make it right. You cannot undo this. You have crossed the line.

    Cross posted to LITGM.


    16 Responses to “Open Letter to State Senator John Erpenbach”

    1. Bill Waddell Says:

      Gee whiz … don’t hold back, Dan. Tell the guy how you REALLY feel.

    2. Dan from Madison Says:

      And that was the mild version. I have never been so furious at a politician.

    3. Lexington Green Says:


    4. Art Says:


      I feel your pain. My US Representative is Keith Ellison.


    5. Sydney Brillo Duodenum Says:

      Why wait for the next election – initiate a recall of your representative under the Michigan State Constitution, Article II, Section 8. Burdensome and onerous the rules may be, but if the actions of these Dems to avoid their sworn duty does not warrant a clarity determination to move forward with a recall petition, then base lawlessness is the law of the land.

    6. Lexington Green Says:

      Not Michigan. Wisconsin Const. Art. XIII, Sec. 12.

    7. Sydney Brillo Duodenum Says:

      That’s what I meant Lexington, but I’m blinded with rage and anger . . . and on a Friday no less!

    8. Dan from Madison Says:

      Art – try Tammy Baldwin on for size.

    9. Percy Dovetonsils Says:

      You forgot to ask Erpenbach how the food was at the Tilted Kilt.

      (Really, the whole Tilted Kilt meme should be repeated until it is indelibly painted on the Wisconsin dems. As Shannon noted in the prior, ridicule is a highly effective weapon.)

      BTW, Art,you pretty much “win” in the “horrid representatives contest.” And here I thought I was doing poorly having the Mell family syndicate (Dick the alderman, his daughter Deb the state rep) as my elected officials.

    10. Lexington Green Says:

      The folks who work at the Tilted Kilt probably did not want this controversy.

      Be sure to generously tip your waitresses.

    11. Shannon Love Says:

      Lexington Green,

      The folks who work at the Tilted Kilt probably did not want this controversy.

      Are you getting? They’re getting national exposure. Especially that picture of their head waitress. That’s money in the bank, baby!

    12. Scott Eudaley Says:

      I’m certainly not an expert on Wisconsin law, but I gather it is rather difficult to recall a state legislator, especially in their first year in office. Instead, I would do the following, if the governor can stretch the law to do so:

      1) Wait a week or so to let the protests die down, then give the lawmakers a deadline to appear.

      2) If they don’t show up, declare their seats vacant, end all payments to the holdouts and

      3) Schedule new elections for those seats.

      The governor should treat those senate seats as if the occupant had died or was no longer able to do the job and schedule special elections for the seats. This would force the senators onto the defensive, having to explain why they have abandoned their constituents and refused to do their jobs. If they want to fight the governor, they would have to go to court and, again, explain why their refusal to do their jobs doesn’t constitute an effective abandonment of their positions. Even if they win the court battle, the news reports (no matter how slanted) will not make them look very good.

      I’d be willing to bet such an approach would get at least one or two to break ranks. And if it does go all the way to special elections, all the Republicans have to do is pick up one seat to have a Democrat-proof quorum. The Democrats would have to win every election.

    13. Dan from Madison Says:

      Scott Eudaley – I am no expert on the legal end of these things, but I am thinking that your theory of treating the seats as if the representative died and scheduling special elections is the way to go. Fourteen districts in the state are disenfranchised until further notice. I can hardly believe this is happening. I don’t read much national news but I hope these people are getting killed in the media. Fat chance, I know. They are probably treated like freedom fighters.

    14. MadinMadtown Says:

      I talked to a couple of legal experts briefly at lunch and under Article 4 of Wisconsin Constitution there needs to be a quorum or two/thirds to expel a member. Here is the wording:
      Rules; contempts;(sic) expulsions. SECTION 8. Each house may determine the rules of its own proceedings, punish for contempt, and disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two-thirds of all the members elected, expel a member.

    15. newrouter Says:

      Madison – Tea Party groups plan to show their support for Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill as they scheduled a rally for Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at the State Capitol South Entrance.

      The event was announced Thursday by American Majority, a conservative group headquartered in Virginia with offices in several states, including Wisconsin.

      In a news release issued by state director Matt Batzel, the group said: “As the week has progressed, Wisconsin and the Nation have watched schools across Wisconsin close due to teachers participating in a ‘sick out,’ the unions busing people in from other states to inflate their rally numbers in Madison and legislators fleeing the state to avoid the vote on the budget repair bill. It’s time the voices of the Wisconsin people are heard.”

      Tea Party groups have held several well-attended rallies in the past in Madison, usually on April 15.


    16. Jean Sevel Says:

      I am appalled at the Democrat leaders
      of Wisconsin for leaving their posts to avoid a public issue. Healthcare workers would never leave their patients to attend a political rally.
      Shame on all you cowards!