Seriously? Office moves? Three-and-a-half months before an election?
Control of the state Senate could flip again in less than four months, but that's not stopping Democratic leaders from having a dozen senators - more than one-third of the body - move offices.
Republicans groused that the moves would cost taxpayers and disrupt staff, only to spark a new round of office moves after the Nov. 6 election if the GOP retakes the majority. Democrats countered that the costs are minimal and switching offices is routine after control of the chamber changes hands.
Office moves in the Capitol are common, but they usually happen after regularly scheduled elections every two years.
This time, Democrats are taking power because of a wave of recall elections, and they are doing so just 3½ months before the regular fall elections. Sixteen of 33 Senate seats are on the ballot in that election, meaning control of the Senate is up for grabs. The Republicans appear to have the advantage because the districts that are up tilt to their side.
"I don't understand why we'd do that," said Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), whose staff is packing up so that Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) can move into her office. "It's quite an interruption to what we have to do the next two weeks, but that's what they're forcing us to do."
Congratulations, taxpayers. That's the sound of you wasting money on staffers and pages who are needlessly moving stuff and offices that are paying to have dozens of phone numbers rerouted. Sadly, I called this the day after the election. Idiots with power can rarely help themselves.
On the plus side, kudos to Pat Marley for providing readers with a bit on insight on Capitol life.
Vinehout, for instance, is considered to have one of the least favorable offices. It is on the ground floor next to a restroom frequently used by homeless people and rafts of schoolchildren getting tours of the Capitol.
The majority party has the first pick of offices, with decisions made by individual senators on a seniority basis. The minority party gets the leftovers, with senators again picking spaces based on seniority.
I spent two-and-a-half years working in ground floor offices with direct access to the hallway. I routinely had to field questions from lost visitors and always went upstairs to use the restroom for precisely the reason Marley mentions.