Local legislators share brat summit experience - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Local legislators share brat summit experience

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Close to 100 lawmakers gathered at the Governor's mansion Tuesday afternoon to try and put their differences aside.

Governor Scott Walker says he called for the summit to try and bring Republicans and Democrats back together after more than a year of political contention.

"Just the fact that it got so much coverage and was so much in the consciousness of the news media for example I think is telling about Wisconsin politics," Democratic State Senator Jim Holperin said. He attended the barbeque.

Also in attendance, Republican State Representative Jerry Petrowski. 

"I think there were a variety of discussions about a whole variety of topics, but it mainly was a real friendly kind of backyard barbeque. That's really what it was," he said.

Lawmakers, their families and staff members gathered with the Governor for brats and beer. Walker said he planned the event to ease tension after a contentious fight over collective bargaining and a recall election.

"I hope that this event, and I think it will, turn us in a different direction," Holperin said. Adding, the picnic was a good idea. "There were some good conversations among members of both parties. The Governor was frying brats and made time to talk to anybody that wanted to talk to him."

Petrowski agreed. "I think the reality is developing friendships and dialogue that I think are helpful to everybody," he said.

At a stop in Fond du Lac before the cookout, Walker told reporters he hoped the event would make a difference. "We don't have any false pretense to think that everything is suddenly going to be magical after today, but it's a great start."

And those we talked with agreed.

"I think it was very positive, and I think it's a good first step," Petrowski said.

"But as a symbol it was a good symbol and I think a step in the right direction for relations between the legislature and Governor's office and all of state government," Holperin added.

The Governor served many Wisconsin favorites at the event, including brats from Trig's and a cheese plate from Cheddars. The Governor's office says all of the food was donated.

 

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