Protesters vacated the Wisconsin Capitol building last night under an agreement that the building would then be fully opened again to the public within 48 hours. Some of the protesters had not left the building for over a week to stand against Governor Scott Walker’s anti-worker budget bill. The Nation’s John Nichols joined the MSNBC’s The Ed Show to report on the situation in Madison and the future of the 14 Senators who left the state to prevent Walker from forcing the bill through the legislature.
Walker ramped up threats against those Democratic senators to return to Wisconsin yesterday, issuing an order that they could be forcibly detained. But if the senators returned now with the building closed, citizens would be excluded from the debate, Nichols says.
Nichols warns that the senators should take caution in any agreement to return, because Democratic Assembly members have been frustrated with the way Walker has treated them throughout the process. “The Assembly members thought that they had deals for an open, honest and free-wheeling debate but at the end of the day they ended up with a 17-second vote in which most Democrats were not allowed to vote on this fundamental issue,” he says.