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Public Statements

MSNBC "The Ed Show" - Transcript

Interview

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Date:
Location: Unknown

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Senator, good to have you with us tonight. How do you react to--how do you react to the threat of being arrested? You taking it seriously?

STATE SEN. LENA TAYLOR (D), WISCONSIN: First of all, Ed, it"s very good to be with you. Thanks for keeping our voice alive.

I don"t take the threat seriously for a number of reasons. The first is that they have put a lot of extra language in that resolution, but they know as well as I know the sergeant does not have the authority to arrest us and there"s nothing that we"ve done criminally or civilly wrong, illegal. So, there is no authority for them to be able to arrest.

What they can do is say that we"re in contempt like they have done in the Senate. But that doesn"t reach over into having law enforcement then coming to enforce what the Senate wants. That"s completely ridiculous. But more importantly, it"s bully tactics. It"s threatening. It"s petty.

And, really, if they spent the amount of energy they"ve spent trying to figure out how to threaten us, and how to force us back, instead to sit down and figure out how to talk, do what we need to do for the Wisconsin workers and to put Wisconsin on the right track, and to hear from the half a million people who have come to the capitol--we"d be in a better situation now.

SCHULTZ: Lena, how concerned are you and your 13 other colleagues about the way your staffers are being treated? How they are being threatened and moved around and such stuff as that, that, you know, that"s got to be a pretty unsettling situation. Does that affect the group?

TAYLOR: It really does. It"s very sad, Ed. We"re very concerned.

I mean, we have staff that have been with us for long periods of time. They have a supervising senator that has come into the office. Some have been, you know, very cordial and haven"t been mean in any sense, and that"s the experience that my office has had. But other offices have had senators coming in demanding that visitors leave.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

TAYLOR: They have threatened to take the budget. They haven"t allowed them to fax or copy. I mean, it"s really is--it really is--it"s sad to see them do this.

SCHULTZ: Is there a deal on the table--is there a deal on the table? Are you close to a deal?

TAYLOR: There"s been more conversation, but we"re not close to a deal. And the governor spoke about in the clip that you showed that there are individuals who want to leave and there are the reasonable ones in the group, and then those are not--listen, we all want to come home. We"ve been waiting on our governor the stand up and be a leader since the day we came.

We were ready to dart right back to Packer land, you know, and get out of this Bear country, you know? But it wasn"t something that we could get done because our governor spent more time coming in front of the cameras talking about what he won"t do instead of trying to sit down and do what needs to be done for the Wisconsin people and show leadership.

SCHULTZ: It seems interesting, every time some rumors are--circulate about a deal, or something comes up, he very opportunistically calls a press conference and goes and makes you folks the villain in all of this. It"s really a pattern of behavior, no doubt.

Senator Taylor, great to have you with us tonight.

For more, let"s bring in Reverend Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network.

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