State Rep. Peter Barca probably never thought he'd be nostalgic for the days when Tommy Thompson was governor. But Gov. Scott Walker has shown him just how extreme Republicans can get.
"We keep waiting for Governor Walker to have a Tommy Thompson moment," said Barca, the Assembly minority leader, at an afternoon press conference Friday. "Tommy Thompson would never have let this chaos happen."
The press conference was called for Barca to condemn the Assembly vote approving Walker's "budget repair bill" very early Friday morning. Barca accused the Assembly of "serious violations" in passing the bill and said Democrats are considering legal action to invalidate its approval.
Barca was vague about what specific violations may have occurred, but said that Republicans cut off the vote once they had reached the 51 yes-votes needed for approval. He also said that members were denied the right to express concern about the vote. And he said, there is footage of some Republicans leaning over to vote for absent Republicans.
"This just never happens in Wisconsin," Barca said. Later he added, "Laws cannot be made by fiat. Laws are made through a deliberate process."
Although Barca said "We're unclear what is the best path to follow," he said Democrats are considering both judicial and legislative means of redress. "We'll explore every legal option."
But as Democrats consider their options in trying to overturn the bill, they're bracing for more bad news from Walker. Details of his budget proposal are expected to be released on Tuesday and Barca predicted it would include drastic cuts for schools, municipalities and counties.
"[Walker is] going to have a whole new group of people opposed to his agenda," Barca said, adding that local governments and schools "are not going to be able to make up the difference [in revenue] like he thinks."