'Power' More Important Than 'Purity' in Complying With Law, Ed Schultz Tells AWOL Wisc. State Senator

Ed Schultz is a firm believer in the law. Most of the time.

On his radio show yesterday, Schultz demonstrated how he's willing to be flexible when it comes to legalities, especially if it helps those sharing his politics.

Schultz was talking with Democratic state senator Jon Erpenbach, one of the so-called "Wisconsin 14" who have fled the state to avoid voting on what they consider union-busting measures in Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget. After Schultz asked how the absent lawmakers were covering their expenses and Erpenbach said they were paying out of pocket, Schultz suggested this (audio here) --

SCHULTZ: You know, there are probably some people across the country that could fund you staying where you're staying or doing what you're doing until, I mean, this would be a real commitment on the Wisconsin 14 but I bet Americans would help you do what you're doing to block this attack on collective bargaining until it's legally time to recall the governor! I mean, who knows how, I mean, you guys are the linchpin in all of this.

ERPENBACH: Right, we understand, but I've had offers from people to put me up in hotel rooms and stuff like that or come and stay at their house and so on and the offers have been great but we can't accept it. We legally cannot accept it and I don't want the debate to be, oh they're staying at a resort or unions are paying for this because that's not the case at all. And I don't want to take away from the issue at hand and the issue at hand is the governor has a balanced budget, he needs to drop his assault on working rights in the state of Wisconsin. It's really simple. And so, yeah, we're paying for this out of our own pocket so people aren't wondering where we're getting the money.

SCHULTZ: Well, and I appreciate you saying that, and this is certainly not a strike against the way you think or what you're doing right now, but this is just my personal opinion, this isn't about purity at this point, this is about power. And ...

ERPENBACH: Oh no, I understand.

SCHULTZ: Yeah, yeah.

ERPENBACH: But again, the focus has to be, and will continue to have to be, on the workers in Wisconsin.

"This isn't about purity at this point, this is about power" -- as any troublemaker planted in a crowd would heartily agree. By the way, did you notice how liberals are suddenly less squeamish about surreptitious wiretaps, providing that a Republican governor is the target?

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts