[The Brazil Times nameplate] Partly Cloudy ~ 59°F  
High: 58°F ~ Low: 45°F
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Democrats explain boycott

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Patrick Bauer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- As pressure mounts for Indiana Democrats to end their Statehouse boycott and get back to work, some members of the exiled caucus are holding town hall meetings to explain to their constituents why they are holed up in an Illinois hotel.

The longer the Statehouse standoff drags on, it seems, the more work Democrats are doing to explain their side of the ongoing impasse.

Republicans who control the House say they're also getting more pressure from their constituents to do something to bring back minority Democrats, who left the state Feb. 22 to protest what they call a "radical" GOP agenda and deny the House the quorum it needs to conduct business.

Republicans say they refuse to be bullied into killing bills outright and have vowed not to hash out a back room compromise. Democrats will be fined starting Monday if they do not return when GOP leaders again try to convene the House, but Democrats said it's doubtful they'll be back.

As the standoff drags on, many voters want a resolution soon.

"The longer it goes on, the more heat there is, not just for Democrats to come back, but for the Republicans to negotiate," said Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson, D-Bloomington. "The public temperament for these kinds of things ... there is a finite end to it."

Both Republicans and Democrats feel they are in the right, of course. And when they hear from their individual constituents back home, they are often validated because they're hearing from some of the same people who elected them in the first place -- people who share their views on politics.

Brian Bosma
Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said residents he talks to are growing more annoyed at Democrats.

"We are getting inundated by members of the public who want us to deal very harshly with and take immediate action against the Democrats," Bosma said. "My e-mail box is completely packed. We're getting calls constantly. Taxpayers are frustrated."

Democrats, meanwhile, say more people are backing them as they learn about Republican proposals.

"We're getting increasing support," said House Minority Leader Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend. "People have had time to know what these bills do."

Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, said people in his pro-union district rally behind him when they hear Democrats are fighting for the working class.

"Those things resonate in my area," Brown said.

When making their cases to voters, Republicans have an easier message as they explain their side of the story: They simply want Democrats to come back and do their work.

Democrats, on the other hand, started the boycott after Republicans pushed a contentious "right-to-work" bill that would have prohibited union membership from being a condition of employment. That bill is now dead. Democrats are also concerned about other bills they consider an attack on labor unions and education, but they don't have a clear list of demands they want before they return to the Statehouse.

"The Democrats have a very tough message," said Brian Vargus, a political science professor at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. "They started with right-to-work. Now they're down into much more policy details."

So it makes sense that Democrats are making extra efforts to connect with constituents.

Rep. Kreg Battles, D-Vincennes, held a virtual meeting last weekend with constituents gathering at Vincennes University. He said Democrats are answering e-mails, calling into constituent meetings and talking to reporters to help explain the boycott.

"We are in constant contact," he said.

Thursday, Democratic representatives from Indianapolis held a town hall meeting using the online video-calling web site Skype. House members sat in their Urbana, Ill., hotel, while constituents gathered at a Baptist church in Indianapolis.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

The republicans say they talk to thier constituents about the issues before them and they all say that they are behind them , somehow i dont thing this is true because i am one of those citizens and i do not support thier decision. so my question to them who are they talking to because it isnt us , it Mitch Daniels telling them what to do. Also i want to go one step further and say why dont they make a working mans wage and forgo free medical care and pensions that are fully funded by us Taxpayers that have no say anymore . ITs about time we have a real non violent revolution and take back our country from these so called politicans and do something right and sensible for the working man

-- Posted by brazil citizen on Sun, Mar 6, 2011, at 10:11 PM

Wonder if I could afford to stay in a hotel when things don't go my way? If our reps were living on the working man wages they couldn't afford to do this. I am sure they are not getting paid for the days they are absent, LOL.

-- Posted by sew&sew on Mon, Mar 7, 2011, at 6:55 PM

People have short memories. We fought two world wars against fascism .It is trying to raise its ugly head again especially in this state where people can't see past their nose.

-- Posted by grays on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 7:34 AM

Well said, grays, well said!!

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 10:55 AM

Put your big boy panties on and go back to work. Yes they are getting paid for being absent, yes they collect something in the neighborhood of $165 a day per diem, yes we are paying for their benefits while they sit in a hotel room acting like spoiled brats! Fine them, take away their monies! Do something to make them accountable for their actions...or lack thereof! If a common ordinary person did that to their employer they would have been fired! This is a disgrace and I hope voters remember this when it comes to election time again. I don't care if you are a Democrat or Republican....do YOUR JOB!!!! You answer to us!!!!

Then on the other hand, if they were in a union, they would be protected by some union rule or law. Unions were good in their time but with all the rules and regulations that govern the working people they have LONG outlived their usefulness....merely my opinion. Having worked in a union shop, which by the way, no longer exists because the union priced themselves right out of business.....just sayin'! I DO believe I have the RIGHT TO WORK as a non-union employee.

Have a great day now that I have given someone something to get totally titillated over!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 12:06 PM

Good one notanative! Fire 'em all....even the rat! Oh wait....they are all rats! Fire 'em all!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Wed, Mar 9, 2011, at 11:24 AM

I believe this particular toupee was purchased at the "Gene Keady School of Hair Design".

Patrick Bauer .. taxpayers ARE frustrated! Get off your lazy bum and go to work!

-- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Mar 14, 2011, at 11:40 AM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: