Wood Unable to Force Floor Vote on Own Expulsion
I’ve long thought that the move to expel Jeff Wood (I-Chippewa Falls) was useless, and that the guy should save us all from it by simply resigning. Since Jeff Wood continues to prove he’s a amoral jackass by not resigning from the State Assembly, this little move doesn’t come off as a shock to me.
Rep. Jeff Wood early Friday morning failed in an effort to force a decision in his ethics case at a moment when the lawmaker leading it was preparing for his mother’s funeral.
The Assembly deadlocked 47–47 and did not take up the possible expulsion of the independent from Chippewa Falls, who racked up three intoxicated driving charges within a year. The vote required a two-thirds margin. If expelled, Wood would be the first lawmaker ousted from the Legislature by his colleagues in nearly a century.
Wood tried to compel a vote on his possible discipline at a moment when the lawmaker leading the effort against him, Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), was absent getting ready for his mother’s funeral to be held later Friday.
Democrats who voted to take up the matter said they wanted to vote for a lesser discipline than expulsion such as censure. Republicans said they would take the matter up on Tuesday when Nass returns.
Nass aide Mike Mikalsen denounced the move as “despicable,” saying Democrats and Wood put Republicans at a disadvantage because Nass knows more about the issue than other GOP colleagues.
“There was a decision to play politics while he was mourning the loss of his mother,” Mikalsen said.
Wood said on the floor he wasn’t trying to shut out Nass and instead wanted to resolve the matter ahead of a scheduled no-contest plea in one of his intoxicated driving cases Monday. He said it was a bad precedent for the Assembly to expel a member for conduct unrelated to his official duties.
“I’m not making excuses for what I did. I’ll face the consequences in the judiciary. But that’s the appropriate place for it,” said Wood, who declined to answer questions afterward.
What’s amazing in all this, is that in this entire time, neither Nass or Wood have squared off publicly about the expulsion measure. You can see the 47–47 roll call here.
But to try to get to the floor on the eve of the night Nass is trying to bury his mother…classy move from an admitted drug addict.