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Post-election legislative tradition arrives -- moving to a new office

Well, it's the weekend after Thanksgiving and for most of us that means we're nursing a pretty bad tryptophan hangover and more than a few bruises from our Black Friday battle royale at Target.

Well, it's the weekend after Thanksgiving and for most of us that means we're nursing a pretty bad tryptophan hangover and more than a few bruises from our Black Friday battle royale at Target.

But if you think the scrum over a half-priced XBox 360 is dangerous, you should check out what's going on in the Capitol. It's like a Legislative edition of "Flip This House," as the lawmakers scramble for the best office space in the wake of sweeping Republican victories in the Nov. 2 elections.

Also, join us as we have a moment of silence for passenger rail and give our readers a heads up on what could be their last chance to enjoy gubernatorial opulence.

We begin with:

Don't let the door hit ya

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Boxes are being packed and garbage cans stuffed as lawmakers clean out their offices and wait to hear about their new digs. We hear the new GOP majority didn't waste any time after Election Day, and quickly got to work researching important details -- like which legislative offices are biggest and have the most windows.

Republican and Democratic leaders already know what offices they'll be calling home, which may explain why it seems the incoming co-chairman of the Legislature's finance committee, Rep. Robin Vos, R-Caledonia, has been making frequent visits (measuring for drapes?) to Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan's office.

Offices get picked by seniority, meaning the smallest office near the loudest bathroom will likely go to a Democratic freshman.

It ain't dead yet, but....

This week, the Madison-to-Milwaukee passenger train inspired a gathering that is typically reserved for crime victims.

Union members and train advocates gathered Tuesday for a candlelight vigil at the Talgo train manufacturing plant in Milwaukee. The event, co-sponsored by the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, Citizen Action and Voces de la Frontera, aimed to draw attention to what supporters say are the thousands of jobs and dollars lost if the project is killed -- and to keep the candle burning for the $810-million federally funded rail plan. Gov.-elect Scott Walker remains committed to stopping it.

It's a governor's Christmas, Charlie Brown

Governor Jim Doyle and First Lady Jessica Doyle have announced this year's schedule for the holiday tour of the governor's residence. The fun begins Dec. 8 and features six holiday trees, each decorated to celebrate a Wisconsin group or theme. For example, the Tribute to Our Troops tree honors Wisconsin servicemen and women, while the Tree of Tomorrow features agricultural and environmental groups.

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Hurry, because next year, under cost-conscious Gov.-elect Scott Walker, it may be a more subdued celebration. We have visions of Charlie Brown Christmas trees featuring themes like the Furlough Fir (covered in shredded union contracts) and the Brown Bag Tree (weighed down by brown bags bearing catchy frugal slogans and stuffed with ham and cheese sandwiches).

One thing is for sure -- we don't expect to see any train sets next year.

Copyright (c) 2010, The Wisconsin State Journal/Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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