This Wisconsin State Senator, the first I spotted, was quite cordial. It seems I caught the profile of a second one behind him. It's Chris Larson, according to ABC News in an interview from Harvard after I left. Looking at the Senators' home pages, however, it looks more like Robert Jauch. The one standing behind the loquacious Senator looks like Milwaukee Senator Tim Carpenter, according to WQOW's identificatio . If the TV station ID is correct, Senator Carpenter needs a new photo on the official Senate web page.
I got a tip from the Northern Illinois Tea Party that the missing Wisconsin State Senators were meeting at the Heritage Inn and Suites at the intersection of Routes 14 and 23 in Harvard.
This Wisconsin State Senator arrived while I was talking with the first one I spotted. She didn't want to have her picture taken.I think she is Milwaukee's Lena Taylor.
Silly me, I went looking for legislative license plates in the parking lot.
None were to be found, but there were a number of Wisconsin plates with very low parking sticker numbers on their front windshields, so I guessed the tip was a good one.
(One of the Senators told me later that Wisconsin legislators don’t have legislative plates–probably a good move, if you don’t want to make it easy for people to identify one’s car.)
I didn’t see any individuals in the lobby dressed like the political class, so I decided to ask the desk clerk whether any Wisconsin State Senators had checked in
After the desk clerk got off a pretty long call at 11:20, I recognized the white-haired gentleman who didn’t want to talk to the Rockford Tea Party videographer asking why he and his colleague driver were had fled Madison.
This is the fourth Wisconsin State Senator I saw. He is Senate Assistant Minority Leader Dave Hansen and is from Green Bay.
With me he was more congenial, especially after I introduced myself and told him I had served 16 years in the Illinois House.
When he asked why I was interested in his and his colleagues’ presence, I told him I wrote a political blog named McHenry County Blog and he was in McHenry County.
He told me his knowledge of McHenry County pre-dated my own. He goes back before 1958, but, unfortunately, he wouldn’t tell me how.
I asked him why he and his colleagues had not been evoking Abraham Lincoln’s jumping out the Old State Capitol’s window to break a quorum in Springfield back in the mid-1800′s.
Several of the Wisconsin State Senators parked their cars behind the motel and entered through one of the back doors. The woman said she was married to Doug Kane, whom I served with in Springfield. Through a process of elimination, I believe she is Caucus Vice Chairperson Kathleen Vinehout or Alma. (If so, my photo is better than her official one. If she asks, I'll enlarge it and send it to her.) Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller is on the right. He lives in Monona when he is not in Illinois or Madison.
He replied that was one of the reasons they had come to Illinois. He was really quite elegant and I wished I had had a tape recorder so I could do justice to his rhetoric.
This Wisconsin State Senator Julia Lassa from Stephens Point drove separately. She is Caucus Chairperson.
He said the Senators had been meeting with reporters and, indeed, I learned later that a TV truck had been at the motel Monday night.
He asked me not to identify the location, so the group could continue helping out the McHenry County economy.
I told him I pretty much had to say they were in McHenry County, which seemed OK with him as long as I was not specific as to the location.
He said that the Senators didn’t want a crowd of sign-carrying demonstrators outside of the motel.
I told him I didn’t think local tea party people could mobilize what he envisioned.
But since arriving home, I’ve been told that a caravan of State Senators was seen heading south on Route 23, so I guess there is no harm in revealing the Harvard location.
Where will they spend tonight?
They could stay in Crystal Lake and attract no attention. Lots of out-of-the way motels. And just twenty to twenty-five minutes farther from Wisconsin.
State Senator Fred Risser looks a bit startled in this photo, but he wasn't trying to stop me from taking his photo.
Woodstock, McHenry and Richmond might aspire to host them as well.
Close to the Illinois-Wisconsin border and no one would be likely to find them.
Since they were heading toward State Rep. Jack Franks’ law office south of Marengo, maybe they arranged to meet in its conference room.
As I stopped to take a photo of another license plate on a car parked behind the motel, someone pulled the shades in a first floor room.
Guess it could have been where the group was meeting.
A lone demonstrator, Mary Alger of the Crystal Lake Tea Party, arrived as I had to leave for a luncheon appointment.
As I was leaving the parking lot, who should I run into but Crystal Lake Tea Party honcho Mary Alger. She was holding this sign saying, “Il Tea Party Finds Wisconsin ‘FLEE’ Party.”
Subsequent information arrived telling me that a representative of the Northern Illinois Tea Party arrived, starting asking questions like
“Do you know any reason why you shouldn’t be recalled for your failure to fulfill the duties of your office?”
and was asked by the desk clerk if he were a paying customer and, if not, to leave.
Three cars pulled up.
She called the Harvard Police.
= = = = =
Considering who was at the motel, the signs on the Coke machine next to the pool might be considered ironic. I’ll bet Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker would think so. Take a look.
The signs are in poor focus, but they say, "Out of Order."
Do you think the Wisconsin Senators will end up in this Illinois border town
Latest McHenry County Blog here.