On the Capitol: Rep. Nass -- Rep. Testy?

2011-09-23T16:30:00Z 2012-05-22T17:47:46Z On the Capitol: Rep. Nass -- Rep. Testy?MARY SPICUZZA and CLAY BARBOUR | Wisconsin State Journal madison.com

We used to call him "Rep. No" because of his opposition to, well, just about everything. But Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, has been on such a tear lately that we may need to change his nickname to "Rep. Testy."

It's not that the Whitewater Republican doesn't bring up good points. But recently, he's seemed obsessed with assigning blame and getting people fired.

A few weeks ago Nass got into a press release war with state Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, over security spending during the Capitol protests. The conservative lawmaker accused the Madison Police Department and Dane County Sheriff's Office of not doing enough to earn repayment from the state.

Then he accused the Dane County District Attorney's Office of being soft on protesters.

Now the Republican is targeting Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs — aka the Protest Whisperer.

Nass wants Tubbs canned. He says the chief, who many believe played a major role in keeping the historic protests peaceful, is partly to blame for protesters in Madison becoming more aggressive.

The statements came just days after a well-known protester followed state Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, into a Downtown bar and poured beer on his head.

Nass is calling on the state Department of Administration to investigate Tubbs' actions since February and possibly remove him from his position.

"It's dereliction of duty right now," Nass told the MacIver Institute, a conservative think tank.

However, some protesters recently have accused law enforcement of being too rough on them. We'd suggest Nass and protesters meet up over a beer to discuss proper policing techniques, but somehow we suspect that would end badly.

Holding court

Speaking of testy, there is a fight brewing in the Joint Finance Committee between two prominent legislators. State Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, said this week that she thought state Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, should be removed from the committee for being disrespectful during meetings.

Darling, the committee co-chairwoman, made the statements on conservative talk show host Charlie Sykes' program. "She doesn't feel like she has to respect the voice and the opinions of the chair," Darling said. "She can call people liars. This level of disrespect for the process, disrespect for rules of law and disrespect for the process of doing legislation for the people of Wisconsin is a concern."

The hard feelings stem from the latest budget committee meeting, where Darling and Taylor got into a heated back and forth. Taylor is known for holding the floor for a long time when making a point. The practice often frustrates her Republican colleagues (as well as reporters on deadline).

During the latest dustup, Taylor ignored multiple attempts by Darling to get the meeting back on track, which led the chairwoman to pause the proceeding several times in an effort to restore order.

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