I met with Speaker Vos (R-63rd) this afternoon in his office at the Capitol. He told me that while he is still a strong supporter there is no chance that our equal placement bill can be passed this year. The toxic fall out from the hatchet job on our author Joel Kleefisch concerning the child support reform bill is too intense for him to re-introduce anything regarding family law, including AB-211 (the clean EP bill) and it is too late to introduce anything else. He promised me that he would help get a bill drafted and introduced early in the next session. He thinks and I agree that there is no doubt the WI assembly will remain in Republican hands next term and he assured me he is planning on remaining as Speaker. He told me he is confident we can get our bill through his chamber next time but cannot vouch for the senate.
The Speaker recommended we concentrate on the state senate next year especially women senators and we can start by working on the candidates in November’s election. He said too many women in the legislature are divorced with custody of the kids so why would they vote contrary to their own interests? Another problem we face is the possibility that Wisconsin will have a Democratic woman (Mary Burke) as Governor next year and that would be bad for our business. Nevertheless, Joe and I will try and arrange a meeting with her soon while she is still accessible. We will also be working toward another meeting with Secretary Anderson to discuss the Department of Children and Families concerns that equal placement somehow puts women at risk.
It’s not that we have no experience of failure in the past but this time it really stings because we were soooo close. As Adlai Stevenson once said after a defeat, “It hurts too much to laugh and I’m too old to cry”. Please stay with us and keep checking our FB page and website. We will need to figure out how to regroup and proceed but we will not give up. Dads of Wisconsin will be holding a number of events over the summer to prepare the way for us come next term. We are looking for a couple of people who are serious about wanting to help. Contact me and we can talk.
Thanks to those of you who provided financial support even if it wasn’t much. Every 10 and 20 dollar donation helped. Please consider giving what you can as we go forward. We will need support to keep going through the summer and into next year.
Dads of Wisconsin