I'm not going to lie, I'm a little surprised with the vote on minors drinking in bars. In case you haven't kept up, in Wisconsin two year olds can drink in bars as long as their parents are present. It is encouraged in some bars and in some parts of the state more than others.
The Assembly just passed a bill to make alcohol consumption by minors under the age of 18 illegal, regardless of parental consent. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kim Hixson (D-Whitewater). All Democrats except DINO Bob Ziegelbauer voted in favor, a long with four Republicans. I guess I'm more surprised that Democrats, including Marlin Schneider, were united more so than I am that the GOP was relatively solid in its opposition.
The GOP has a philosophical argument it can present: It's better when families decide what's right for their kids. Ironic that the party that supports the War on Drugs, and who put thousands of small-time drug offenders behind bars in the last decade, would go so easy on the most deadly drug of them all. Luckily for them drinking is the deadliest because it's the most popular. And most likely to be supported by votes.
I would have expected a few Democrats to defect. Especially Marlin Schneider, who not only was the only vote against the OWI legislation last year, but is publicly pissed off at his party leadership. In addition to telling me that Tom Nelson should step down, he told Wispolitics that he had switched his vote on an amendment and was disappointed that the favor was not returned by the leadership.
Anyway, as somebody who has spent time in European drinking cultures, I think starting them young isn't necessarily a bad thing. Freshman year exposed me to the horrors of inexperienced drinkers and the horrible flavored vodkas they tend to favor.
I hope to see some news coverage of this. Some quotes from some lawmakers would be good.