"The speaker's been patient. The voters have been patient. I'm trying to be patient. But this is outrageous behavior," he said. "Why do we hold elections if people aren't going to respect the outcome? Why do you run for office if you're not going to show up for work -- collect the dough and run?"
That original list of 11 bills House Democratic Leader Pat Bauer demanded be dropped from further consideration (including one already sent to the governor) has now grown to 23 (including a ban on funding for abortion clinics) according to the Star's Mary Beth Schneider:
The only communication between the two sides Tuesday came when Bauer sent a letter, delivered by courier, to Bosma asking for additional assurances that 23 bills that passed out of committee, but which never cleared a procedural hurdle to advance further because of the walkout, will stay dead.And Matt Tully visited the Democrats in exile and found them to be more dug in than ever and not making much sense:
Those include the so-called "right to work" bill that bans companies and unions from negotiating a contract that imposes fees on nonmembers; a bill banning any state or federal funds from going to Planned Parenthood; and some education and government reforms that were part of Daniels' agenda.
For many of the Democrats, this stalemate has become a cause. The walkout might have started as a protest of anti-union legislation. But the Democrats have begun to believe this impasse stands for something bigger.
"The whole experience," said Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan, Indianapolis, "I don't know how to explain it. It's been very powerful."
Added Rep. Bill Crawford, also of Indianapolis: "It has the appearance of a movement as opposed to a typical political battle." . . .
"It would be disastrous for us to back down now," said Rep. Charlie Brown, Gary . . .
Some of the Democrats' arguments make little sense. Indianapolis Rep. Gregory Porter, for example, was among a handful of lawmakers who told me they were protesting a bill that would allow the state to take over the state's worst-performing public schools. But the bill in question would only add to the landmark 1999 law that allowed such takeovers. Porter criticized the idea and said the issue would keep him in Urbana. But after being questioned, he acknowledged he co-authored the original bill that gave the state the authority to assume control of failing schools . . .
No endgame is in sight. Over and over, I asked Democrats what it would take to lure them back to the Statehouse. Some insisted Republicans would have to scrap huge chunks of their legislative agenda, which is unlikely. Others offered more ambiguous answers, vaguely demanding "compromise."
Yeah, Greg Porter can't even remember bills he has sponsored that are now law and you're paying him $115,000 a year for a no show, no work job at the Marion County Health & Hospital Corporation on top of his no show, no work job as a state lawmaker.