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Saturday, June 13, 2009

 9:57 AM 

Nelson goes straight from budget to convention


Rep. Tom Nelson, D-Kaukauna, is the first of an assuredly exhausted Assembly Democratic caucus to make it to the Green Bay convention. But even though his hometown is on the way from Madison, the majority leader wasn't able to catch any sleep after the budget vote at about 5:15 a.m.

"I cleaned up my office a little bit, thanked my staff, collected my belongings, got in my car," Nelson said of his morning after the Assembly passed the budget bill. He said he expected at least three other Fox Valley Assembly Dems -- Jim Soletski of Green Bay, Ted Zigmunt of Francis Creek and Penny Bernard Schaber of Appleton -- to eventually make it up to the convention.

Nelson said last night's work culminated an entire week of diligent work by Democrats in more than 60 hours of caucusing and chided Republicans for offering no solutions during a difficult time for the state. He accused them of doing nothing more than "taking pot shots at Democrats" and "armchair quarterbacking."

"We knew in November that whichever party won would have to make some tough decisions," Nelson said. "And that the end product would not be without controversy."

Nelson said each member of his caucus had input on the budget bill and added that he got to know his colleagues "very well."

"I think if I were to compare this last budget week, it would be a combination of band camp and math camp," Nelson said.

Listen to the interview here.

-- By Andy Szal

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