Last year, Republicans walked out of the Indiana Statehouse over the crucial issue of gay marriage. There was a minor backlash against these legislators, mainly on the basis of getting priorities straight. Budget and property taxes first, everything else second.
Since then, the GOP has taken over control of both houses and the governor's office. Obviously whatever backlash there was over that walkout had no lasting effect. Perhaps that is the thinking behind the Democrats walking out yesterday. From the Indy Star:
House Democrats offered a prelude Monday to the legislative showdown that could gridlock bills today -- a crucial deadline day for the General Assembly.
At stake are bills that would require Indiana to observe daylight-saving time, give Gov. Mitch Daniels his own special prosecutor and help fund a new stadium for the Indianapolis Colts.
But there's no telling when Democrats will come to the floor to work today.
Monday, they stalled for nearly seven hours because of a crush of last-minute amendments, one of which would steer control of a Colts stadium project toward the governor.
I kind of like gridlock, generally. It means that taxes won't be raised. There aren't any tax cuts or budgete cuts on the table, so why not just wipe out the whole session? Well, mainly because the people voted to put these Representatives in the seats to vote on legislation. If the Dems don't like the proposals, they should simply vote against them.
In the Star's follow-up story today, the Dems gave a first impression that they would do business, but then went back to playing games:
Democrats showed up about 9:20 a.m., voted to register their presence and heard a rambling speech to the entire chamber by House Minority Leader B. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, before retreating behind closed doors 16 minutes later.I have to think that Libertarian reps would be far more valuable to the process.