Protest fails to sway Wisconsin lawmakers


USA Today
February 20, 2011

Sometimes they cursed each other, sometimes they shook hands, sometimes they walked away from each other in disgust.

None of it — not the ear-splitting chants, the pounding drums or the back-and-forth debate between 70,000 protesters — changed the minds of Wisconsin lawmakers dug into a stalemate over Republican efforts to scrap union rights for almost all public workers.

“The people who are not around the Capitol square are with us,” said Rep. Robin Vos, a Republican from Rochester and co-chair of the Legislature’s budget committee. “They may have a bunch around the square, but we’ve got the rest on our side.”

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After nearly a week of political chaos in Madison, during which tens of thousands of pro-labor protesters turned the Capitol into a campsite that’s started to smell like a locker room, supporters of Gov. Scott Walker came out in force Saturday.

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