What Happens When Obstructionist Wisconsin Republicans Are Stepped Over?

The people win.

The state Senate overwhelmingly voted Tuesday to help curb costs for cancer patients taking chemotherapy pills and the Assembly speaker said his house would consider the bill Thursday — but also held out the possibility Republicans in his house could make changes to it that could kill the measure.

The proposal — approved 30-2 by the Senate — would require health plans to provide the same coverage for expensive chemotherapy drugs taken as pills as they do for the expensive chemotherapy administered through IVs. The pill form can be taken at home.

“Oral chemo is the wave of the future,” said Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), a breast cancer survivor and lead author of the measure. “In a big way today we’re bringing our statutes up to speed of the technology of this drug.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney To Resign Soon

Jay Carney

CP welcomed Jay Carney with enthusiasm when he started his job as White House Press Secretary.  I think him smart, witty, and sensitive to the needs of the reporters.  I wish he would stay in his job, but am certain we all will see more of him in the months to come in a new role.

I have long thought, other than the job of president, the next best place in the White House to work would be as press secretary.  Never a dull day.  Or moment.

Mr. Carney will resign in the spring. This comes on the heels of a Daily Caller report three days ago suggesting as much. An exact time is still fluid, as Carney is still in the negotiation stage of his next job. Whatever that position eventually is, it will be a considerable step down in terms of degree of difficulty…because being a White House Press Secretary is arguably one of the toughest white collar jobs in the country.

It’s a job that includes fielding a barrage of questions from a press corps five days a week whose sole mission is to seemingly make you contradict your boss and/or force you to lose your cool with the cameras rolling. It’s also a job that keeps track of numbers like this: As of June of last year, Yahoo News stated Carney has responded in some variation of “I don’t know” over 1,900 times since his first day on the job. Yahoo also reported that Carney had sidestepped a question an estimated 9,486 times. Talk about scrutiny.

It’s also a job where in certain instances, invalid truths must be spun… and a thankless one when you’re called a liar on a daily basis. And it isn’t a distinction relegated to press secretaries on one side of the aisle.

Wisconsin Cancer Drug Bill Might Have Problems In State Assembly Due To Campaign Donations

As readers to this blog know I am rather hot on the topic of the oral cancer treatment bill as it is a very important measure that will allow those who require this medical help to get the insurance coverage they need.  It is that plain and simple.

To me this is a moral issue.  This is why I care about politics because through the political process we have the power to do good.  So when I read about the corrupting influence of money in the process it makes me upset.  We can, and must do better.

Mike McCabe wrote the following on Facebook this morning.

The cancer drug bill is being blocked in the state Assembly too, despite the fact the legislation is supported by at least 61 of the Assembly’s 99 members, including all 39 Democrats and 22 Republicans.

Assembly Republicans have received nearly $287,000 in political donations from interests opposing the legislation. The top recipient is the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee ($43,700), the leadership PAC controlled by Speaker Robin Vos. Vos himself is fourth on the list of leading recipients, with $16,400 in donations from bill opponents to his personal campaign committee. Another opponent of the cancer drug bill, Representative John Nygren, who is co-chair of the powerful Joint Finance Committee, is second on the list of recipients

Wisconsin State Senate Feels Heat, Then Sees Light Over Cancer Treatment Bill

There was no doubt how the rank-and-file voter felt over the stalled oral cancer treatment bill that seemed so mired in political muck that nothing could free it for a vote in the Wisconsin State Senate.  Many around the state were shocked and angered to learn that Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald was holding up the measure simply because there was not ‘a majority of the majority’ that supported the measure.  There was, however, enough overall senate support to pass the bill to the assembly, where there are 42 co-sponsors.

Then something quite democratic happened in this state.

People started calling their representatives, newspapers editorialized about the bill, bloggers added to the dialogue, and neighbors talked among themselves which only added to more calls to elected officials.  That is after all the way the process of government is supposed to work when those in office fail to do the best for their constituents.

Admittedly, it does not always work that way.  The lack of any hearing on the proposal for reforming the way Wisconsin draws our political boundaries after each census is one obvious example of where elected officials seem to delight in scorning the voters who want to find a better way forward on that matter.

But when it comes to cancer and health care needs there was no missing the angst that came pouring in from all areas of the state when politics started to play games with the lives of those most vulnerable.  There was no way that the entire Republican Party was going to allow for the narrow interests of Fitzgerald and a few others who feel more comfortable siding with the insurance industry than cancer patients run the show until there were no more session days which the bill could be acted on.

Now after the voters have made some feel the heat it seems many in the state senate have seen the light.

In a turnaround, some state Senate Republicans are preparing to turn against their leader if necessary Tuesday to force a vote on a bill to help cancer patients that has been stalled all session.

Bob Delaporte, an aide to Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), said Darling or another Republican would call the vote to the floor Tuesday, almost certainly assuring its passage. He made the announcement just before Democrats were to hold a news conference describing their plans to attempt to force the bill to the floor.

Forcing a vote on the bill also has strong support from Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah).

“I want to get this bill to the floor and voted on,” Ellis said.

Once again it has been proved that the tight reins of the voters on politicians is a good thing.  I think we should use our power more often, and maybe in time those we elect will just start doing what we expect of them in the first place.

OK, I am laughing, too.

But for now let me say how proud I am of those who have fought for, and advocated for this bill from all over the state.