Democratic lawmakers end 6-week boycott
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana House Democrats who fled the state nearly six weeks ago to protest a Republican agenda they considered an assault on labor unions and public education returned to the Statehouse on Monday after nearly six weeks in Illinois.
Minority Leader Patrick Bauer said he and his fellow Democrats ended one of the longest legislative walkouts in recent U.S. history after winning concessions from Republicans over recent weeks on several issues.
"We're coming back after softening the radical agenda," said Bauer, D-South Bend, whose return was greeted by cheering union workers. "We won a battle, but we recognize the war goes on." What Democrats actually achieved with the walkout is a matter of debate.
Republicans vowed throughout the standoff that they wouldn't remove items from their agenda, and by and large they won't have to. The only bill actually killed by the boycott was a "right-to-work" proposal that would prohibit union representation fees from being a condition of employment.
Sexting ex-prosecutor won't face charges
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A former prosecutor accused of sending racy text messages to a domestic abuse victim is not going to face criminal charges, the Wisconsin Justice Department announced Monday.
State investigators looked into allegations from more than a dozen women that former Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz committed sexual assault and misconduct in office, the department said.
"His conduct appears to fit the connotation of 'misconduct' and demonstrates inappropriate behavior but does not satisfy the elements required to prosecute," wrote Assistant Attorney General Tom Storm.
Kratz resigned from his $105,000 per year position in October after the Associated Press reported he had sent 30 text messages to a domestic abuse victim trying to strike up an affair while he prosecuted her ex-boyfriend on a strangulation charge.
Kratz, who was 50, called 26-year-old Stephanie Van Groll "a hot nymph" and asked if she was "the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married DA."