Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Reporting live from day 101 without a state budget here in Wisconsin, and the natives are getting more than restless. Jesse Russell over at dane101 has issued a call to arms to stand vigil at the capitol this Friday with signs letting legislators know what we think of them. Governor Doyle has said he will call a special session next week if a budget is not agreed upon by this Friday (wait, this sounds familiar). And Republicans, having nothing better to do I guess, are crying foul over emails sent to low-income UW students by state Democrats via UW officials asking them to participate in a press conference this morning calling on legislators to complete the budget. These students are currently in limbo, waiting to hear whether or not they'll receive their Wisconsin Higher Education Grants.

There's some merit to the charge in that I don't know that it's entirely proper for university officials to send out partisan solicitations to students who fit a certain criteria made known through what I presume are confidential lists. The better option would have been for Doyle's people to have made a blanket press release to students, asking any interested parties to help out. Whether or not the emailing thing is an actual breach of ethics, I don't know. It is a little shady, but sharper minds than mine will figure it out in the end.

Still, I'm hoping all involved parties deal with the more pressing issues first, and leave this for once we have an actual budget passed. Maybe having the lure of another Democratic witch-hunt in the offing will be enough to light a fire under state Republicans and get them to help move this process along. Then the only question is, what will it take to get Democrats moving, as well?

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