For the second time in a week, Minority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald has made it clear to Speaker Sheridan and the rest of the state that he really doesn’t much care to work on much of anything, especially not the budget crisis.
Since he was elected the newly leader of the Assembly, Speaker Sheridan has made several meaningful gestures towards bi-partisanship in an effort to bring the minority party into the fold’a total 180 from previous GOP majority leaders Mike Huebsch and John Gard. Sheridan kept the Republican-appointed Chief Clerk, named a Republican staffer to the lead staff role on Joint Finance, and has said repeatedly since being named Speaker that he wants to meet with Fitzgerald about the budget and how the two can work together.
Sheridan doesn’t have to do any of this. He could just ram through a budget with the votes in his caucus. But he’s gone out of his way to hear ideas from all sides, and is working to get beyond the hyper-partisan ship that had locked debate in the Assembly for the past fourteen years.But Jeff Fitz refuses to have any of this ‘bi-partisan working-togetherness.’ Last week, Fitzgerald said ‘I don’t have to solve [the budget] problem. Obviously, that’s the Democrats’ problem.’ Now today, after Speaker Sheridan announced his desire to meet with Fitzgerald later this month, Jeff Fitz accuses him of playing politics. Ah, conservative obstruction, er, leadership at it finest.
Just how many overtures does Speaker Sheridan have to make to the stubborn Fitzgerald before he gets the point?
Only time will tell how long Fitz holds his breath and stamps his feet. Apparently he’s already forgotten about the $5 billion deficit, still rising unemployment, and skyrocketing health care costs. Oh that’s right, he’s just a job, and a great health care plan that the people of Wisconsin generously provide for him.