Indiana – Day 2

Quick recap – on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 “Right to Work” legislation was introduced into the Indiana House. The goal of the Republicans – pass it by February 5 before the Super Bowl comes to town.

In a move that was no doubt based on Governor Mitch Daniels’ realization that the new draconian security measures at the Indiana State Capitol might hinder the voices of the people from being heard and less on the whipping he was taking in the press (insert dubious look here), the path has now been cleared for all those who wish to enter the Capitol to protest the “Right to Work” legislation. And hundreds showed up this morning to take full advantage of the displaced security rules, chanting “our house” and “no right to work.”

However, there were few Dems to be seen in the House. In a movement that started yesterday, the Indiana Democrats have stayed in caucus to discuss the legislation and effectively slow the process of the bill down. Until at least seven Democratics appear, the House does not have the two-thirds needed to conduct business. The Senate has a Republican majority and can move forward.

The Democrats have made it clear that the bill’s process needs to be more thoughtful with hearings held around the state, an idea the Republicans promptly rebuffed. The insistence by the Republicans to push the bill through irritates House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer. “We don’t need to ram it through in three days,” he told The Indianapolis Star, referring to the joint committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow. “It’s the quick hit. It’s the rushing it through. We’re willing to sit down and try to work out a reasonable agenda with the state. But first they try to deny access to the building, and the public wouldn’t stand for it. Now they’re trying to rush it through.”

It’s been speculated that the impetus behind getting the bill is to remove the protestors and media attention from the issue before the Super Bowl comes to town. But the fact that in 2011 the NFL’s Players Association denounced “Right to Work” is doubtless causing some Republican sleepless nights.

What a pretty picture for the national media – professional football players carrying “No Right to Work” signs and marching with other union workers in front of the Indiana State House . . .

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