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Posted at 01:43 PM ET, 03/08/2011

Report: More Wisconsin Republicans wavering in support of Walker

Two Wisconsin newspapers, the Milwalkee Journal Sentinel and Green Bay Press Gazette, are now reporting that two more Wisconsin GOP Senators are wavering in their support for Governor Scott Walker:

In an interview with the Green Bay Press Gazette, Sen. Rob Cowles said Monday that his Republican colleagues should be prepared to meet Democrats halfway on aspects of the collective bargaining bill that don’t help balance the budget or save taxpayers money.

“The important part is the monetary concessions. That’s the part that helps balance the budget. The other things are less monetary in nature,” said Cowles, co-chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.

“It’s the challenge of the Senate to go through those and find a conclusion on items that have little or no connection to finance.”

The Journal Sentinel reported Monday that Sen. Luther Olsen of Ripon also favored some negotiation with Democrats.

“They’re in the minority but holding some cards so you’ve got to negotiate, you can’t give up the whole ship,” Olsen said.

Olsen said he’s forwarded to the governor undisclosed ideas for compromise.

A couple of key points. First, note that GOP Senator Cowles is endorsing the three core union arguments: that unions have already made the fiscal concessions Walker has asked for; that the rollback of bargaining rights won’t have any meaningful fiscal impact; and that Republicans should compromise with labor and Dems.

The push for compromise is also being endorsed here by GOP Senator Olsen. Recall that GOP Senator Dale Schultz recently called for compromise, too, so that brings the total GOP Senators who want Walker to drop his opposition to compromise to three.

Also key: Olsen reveals that he’s suggested ideas to Walker for a compromise. Senate Republicans are said to be caucusing today, and while some Dems think Republicans will stand firm, it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that Republicans will today be debating whether to find a way out of the standoff.

More when I learn it.

By  |  01:43 PM ET, 03/08/2011

 
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