Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vinehout praised for candor in Leader-Telegram editorial

State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) gets praise from her hometown newspaper for speaking out against the Democratic Party's leadership attempting to force her to accept a bad budget:

Most news releases and columns from state lawmakers repeat the party line so carefully that you know what they say before you even read them ... if you read them at all.

But along came state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, this week with a column, "Change the Culture in the Capitol," that is jaw-dropping in its candor and criticism of the way things work in Madison.

"This week members of the Assembly are scheduled to vote on the budget," Vinehout wrote. "Behind the scenes members are told, 'This budget is bad. We need to pass it as quick as possible and get out of town.'

"In the Capitol, the culture is one of a few making the decisions and the many having their arms twisted to go along with the deal," she added.

Anyone paying attention knows Vinehout's analysis is pretty much right on. What's highly unusual is for someone on the inside to admit the hypocrisy her colleagues try so hard to gloss over. It's doubly refreshing coming from someone in the majority party.

We discussed the Vinehout statement against her party's leadership as well as the unusually strong statement to the contrary from Majority Leader Russ Decker's legislative aide Carrie Lynch.

We'll see if the independence of mind for which she is being praised translates into a rejection of the proposed state budget.