Monday, March 19, 2012

Carpenter Says Special Session Mining Deal Still Possible, But...

Here is the video with remarks by State Sen. Tim Carpenter, (D-Milwaukee), on WISN-TV Channel 12's Sunday "Upfront" program with Mike Gousha.

Carpenter was said to be the swing vote who backed away at the last moment from siding with 16 Republicans, sending the mining bill to a 17-16 defeat, but Carpenter said on the program his was a vote against secrecy and process.

And the entire process was toxified by secrecy and bad process - - from the Assembly's closed-door-no-sponsor-industry-crafted bill drafting to Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald's 11th-hour disbanding of his own special mining committee established as the antidote to the Assembly's ugly process - - and then his full embrace of the Assembly bill for the hurried and botched floor vote that failed. 

“We didn’t vote against mining; we voted against the Joint Finance version,” said Carpenter, who also criticized Gov. Walker for staying on the sidelines.

So point well taken about process and secrecy and bad leadership- - but are these remarks now that the Legislature is out of session a trial balloon for a new mining bill or Partisan Politics 101?

It's not clear if Carpenter really believes a special session and amended bill is a serious possibility (GOP Senator Pam Galloway's sudden resignation last weekend means the GOP/mining bloc would need to find another Democrat to join Carpenter) or if he used the appearance on "Upfront" to criticize Fitzgerald and Walker's leadership - - as both Republicans facing recall elections.

If Carpenter wins the April 3rd election for Milwaukee City Treasurer, he's basically done with the issue, so maybe his "Upfront" appearance was his State Senate media swansong - - a pox on Scott Walker, Scott Fitzgerald and the dysfunction that is today's GOP-run State Capitol.

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