Fresh off the heels of the "Wisconsin 14" returning to Wisconsin after their three week stand against Republican efforts led by Fitzgerald and Gov. Scott Walker to cripple Wisconsin's public employee unions, Fitzgerald fired off an email to his Republican colleagues in the State Senate advising them the 14 Democratic State Senators were still in contempt of the Senate, despite the fact that those Senators had returned to Wisconsin. Fitzgerald went on to note the votes cast by all 14 Democratic State Senators in committees would not count, a fact that's dripping with hypocrisy, given that during the time the Wisconsin 14 were out of state, Fitzgerald urged them to return and "do the jobs they were elected to do." Apparently Fitzgerald was only interested in having the 14 Democratic State Senators do their jobs when he was trying to ram through drastic changes to collective bargaining and union organizing for public employees, but once he didn't need those 14 Democrats to ram through his union-busting legislation, Fitzgerald wanted to prevent Democratic State Senators from doing their jobs.
Sen. Fitzgerald later lifted the voting block on the 14 Democratic State Senators, with Senate President Mike Ellis saying, "The name of the game is moving this state forward, putting this stuff behind us." While Sen. Ellis' statement about putting "this stuff" behind us sounds great, I'm betting it won't be easy for the 14 Democrats in the State Senate - or the hundreds of thousands of public employees - to put the loss of their collective bargaining rights and the weakening of their unions behind them.
As if Sen. Fitzgerald's stated intention to deny Democratic State Senators the right to vote wasn't arrogant and spiteful enough, Fitzgerald also released a statement shortly after the 14 Democratic State Senators returned in which he called them "the most shameful 14 people in Wisconsin." That statement earned Fitzgerald a "pants, undershorts, and legs on fire" designation from Jim Stingl of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, no small feat to be sure (emphasis mine):
Let's review. Fitzgerald is a sore winner who went way overboard in defining his colleagues from across the aisle as "most shameful." That put 'em up there with sexting blackmailers. And thieves who steal brass cemetery vases from the dead. And child care cheaters who live in mansions. And pedophile priests.
We rate this one pants, undershorts and legs on fire.