Third day of mass arrests in WI’s capitol – my notes from the road

I am in Michigan for a wedding now and this weekend and I’m writing this post on my phone. Apologies for the rough formatting.. 

I’ve been checking facebook and twitter the whole drive up for updates on today’s activities at the capitol building.  I’ll share with you what I’ve located on the net.

From WPR “DOA issued a statement saying it had issued 17 tickets on site for gathering without a permit. The DOA 14 people “will receive” citations “from video.” In the past, police have mailed tickets to protesters whose identity they already know.”

WPR’s story includes comments from Brian Standing and Bart Munger.

There was much speculation online and on site today regarding a wedding that was scheduled to be at the capitol today. Would it be disturbed by protest? Did it even happen?
WPR offers us this information:
“The DOA also produced a copy of a permit application for a wedding that was scheduled to be held either inside the rotunda or outside if the weather was nice. DOA says the wedding party chose to get married outside today even though it was occasionally drizzling at the noon hour. It’s unknown at this time whether the wedding party made its decision because of the protesters.”

From Arthur at SSWIDTMS: “Police started warning random groups of onlookers that if they didn’t immediately disperse they to would be arrested. Many of those warned were tourists visiting from out of town.” VIDEO

Teamster Nation caught the fact that a child was arrested.

Franciscan Friar Phil Gerbac announcing happily “arrest me” in the rotunda’s center. (very brief video).

Minister Carter Dary suffered a heart ailment while protesting (that’s a video link). I got word that he is in the hospital but is in good spirits and has further testing scheduled tomorrow.

Letter to DOA’s Mike Huebsch from Sen. Risser and Rep. Taylor.

Ryan Wherley says in his post that by cracking down on singers “Scott Walker and Mike Huebsch made a HUGE mistake.”

He notes an important shift present in 2013 that I’ve been thinking about too:

“It felt like the Uprising of February 2011 all over again, with one major difference. Two years ago, we were a disparate group of individuals marching for a similar cause, but unknown to each other. But now, we’re friends and family. Everywhere I looked were people who’ve stood alongside each other on the front lines in the fight against a tyrannical leadership for the past 29 months. If people were afraid, they didn’t show it, because they knew their brothers and sisters surrounding them had their backs.”

We said “brothers and sisters” in 2011 without fully experiencing what we were talking about. Now we are “there” more fully.

Greg Gordon spoke about this week’s mass arrests tonight at 7:30PM Central on a Detroit radio program called The Tony Show. Hopefully a podcast of his interview will emerge shortly.

Footnote:
That’s all the typing I want to do on a smartphone tonight (Relieved I was wise enough to get a model with a keyboard). I am not scared of what’s happening in the rotunda. I would be more frightened for us all if we were pretending everything was just fine after 2 years of watching Walker’s kleptocracy unfold. That would be madness.

On the Timothy Russell plea deal and sentence. Judge Hansher: “I have some questions here”

All image rights reserved by the blue cheddar blog

A brief dispatch I’m filing from a bench outside the Milwaukee County courthouse which will be fleshed out in a few hours
with a description of the courtroom scene and more:

Today prosecutor Bruce Landgraf recommended a sentence for former Scott Walker aide Timothy Russell and also offered up a plea deal. Landgraf recommended a sentence of 30 months of initial confinement and 30 months of supervision following that for 1 felony count of embezzlement of over $10,000 (Russell was initially charged with three counts of theft in January of 2012). Landgraf said the sentence is intended to be the “full settlement” of all charges in Russell’s criminal complaint.  Prosecution also requested that he pay restitution of $28,000.

Judge David A. Hansher recited a litany of clarifying questions to Russell to make sure he realized he will lose the right to vote while carrying out his punishment and he waives rights to a jury trial and similar.

The only thing the judge offered outside of the boilerplate questions he was required to ask: he requires a pre-sentencing investigation.
“I have some questions here.  There are some things I’m not sure about.”

Remember that the Kelly Rindfleisch pre-sentencing hearing is what divulged numerous details that implicated Scott Walker directly in the illegal comingling of county employee and campaign worker time and activity — or certainly that’s what it looked like given that Scott Walker himself was included on the damning emails revealed by Landgraf. Thus the judge’s questions and interest in further investigation assure us that there will be more revelations and implications to come.

Russell’s bail remains the same.

Video: Wisconsin GOP Booze Cruise walks through protester gauntlet

This video is from Arthur’s YouTube channel Arthurkr222, by the way.

The people who were actually at this rally called the GOP fundraiser a booze cruise last night. Now that I’m seeing this video, I understand why. Watch!

Highlights:
1:41 mark – Paul Ryan coming through and Arthur saying “You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”

1:35 mark – Protesters say “Wisconsin’s not for sale.” A Republican man walking through says “Yes we are!” Repeatedly.

1:45 mark – A woman spots Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and starts chanting “Recall Kleefisch” and others join in. Arthur calls out, “I just want to marry my toaster. That’s all I want to do, Ma’am. You won’t let…”

(If you don’t get the joke, back in October 2010, Kleefisch said she opposed rights for gay people to marry because it is as absurd as marrying a table or a dog:
“This is a slippery slope in addition to that — at what point are we going to OK marrying inanimate objects? Can I marry this table, or this, you know, clock? Can we marry dogs? This is ridiculous.”)

2:33 mark – Miles recognizes a sloshy Represenative Kramer and calls to him with a megaphone. Bill Kramer is from conservative Waukesha and serves the 97th Assembly district. Arthur then does a brief interview with Kramer asking.
“How do you justify the extraordinary session for the redistricting?”
“When was the last time we were in extraordinary session before the budget process?”
and lastly
“Are you drunk sir?”

Kramer’s response is “”Ebberry redistericting is done ‘strawordary sessyun.””
[That’s an excellent translation of the local dialect “Wisconsin GOP BoozeCruise” by @gnarlytrombone that I won’t try to improve on.]

Subscribe to Arthur’s YouTube channel if you like video like this.

Photo Swiped From: Teamster Nation

Photos, Tidier notes, and Twitterati from the “Organizing the Occupation” panel

Photos from the NOI 5/12 “Organizing the Occupation” panel at UW Madison, with my notes. Reminder:  I am usually only paraphrasing the speakers. Skip to the end for the twitterati contact info.

I’ve heard NOI is making a video of the panel available later this week.

[nggallery id=2]

My notes from “Organizing the Occupation”:

5:10pm

Tom Foley is introducing the concept of Scott Walker’s entry into the political scene of WI right now. We are in the Union South Bldg. of University of Wisconsin at Madison in Wisconsin

On the panel is Melissa Ryan, New Media Director of NOI. Also here is Senator Larson, Emily Mills, Chris Liebenthal, and Max Love. Emily Mills is a blogger with Isthmus, a co-editor of blog dane101, and a musician. Chris Liebenthal is a Milwaukee County social worker, activist, and avid blogger at multiple locations –  though he’s best known as the man behind Cognitive Dissidence.  Max Love is a UW student who helped organize protest and occupation at the Capitol in Madison. He’s with Badger Impact and he’s blogging the unflagging protest of UW Madison’s community at tenacious transparency. Moderating is Tom Foley who blogs at  illusory tenant with a mix of biting humor and legal acumen.

Senator Chris Larson was elected in Fall of 2010 and was amongst the 14 Wisconsin Senators – the “Dem 14” or “Fab 14” – who left for Illinois on February 17, 2011 to halt action on Scott Walker’s regressive “Wisconsin Act 10”.

—————————————

Sen. Larson: We took a page from Egypt in use of technology. …. you can literally check on your politicians’ facts while they are speaking  [happened last night while a rep in the Assembly Continue reading

Fishing with the Governor? Yes! Workers’ Fishing Opener AND Boat Parade, Lake Wissota Wisconsin

Would you like to enjoy a flotilla of solidarity and fishing near

beautiful Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin?

On Saturday May 7, supporters of union rights will enjoy a Wisconsin fishing opener for Workers. This event happens to coincide with Scott Walker’s visit to Lake Wissota! (By the way, as a bored teenager I used to ride to Lake Wissota to swim and loiter.)

Fishing runs 8AM – 11AM.

The boat parade commences at 11AM.

A cookout is at noon.

A “Governor’s Fishing Opener” is an annual tradition in Wisconsin. This is the 46th such event.

Click “Like” on the facebook page HERE for more details and continual updates.

The Ed Schultz Town Hall, Barrymore Theater, Madison, Ground Zero in the Wisconsin Movement.

I joined 1,300 people in the Barrymore Theater last night. This crowd needed absolutely no assistance in warming up. While we waited for start, one audience member in the front in green face paint and a fright wig, stood up to lead the chant “This is what Democracy looks like”, while a cowbell waving member clanged along.

The crowd was noticeably over 30-years-old and mostly white–a demographic that fits with Madison, Wisconsin. However I feel qualified to state that the mix of cultures and styles brought to the Barrymore by the Ed Schultz crowd was uniquely non-elitist and non-cocktail swilling – as the downtown Madison crowd is characterized by the local GOP.

The format of the evening was billed as “town hall” with microphones at either side of he theater, and so I expected to hear hours of testimony. Instead, we heard a series of brief pointed speeches followed by a conversational exploration of the events that have transpired in Wisconsin since February 11 of 2011 when Scott Walker unveiled Wisconsin Act 10.

The crowd was stacked with those absolutely committed to jumping through all of the hoops required to get there – and thus  -the energy level they brought to the evening was red hot.

To guarantee entry into this event, hundreds waited in line first at noon, and then again later at 4:30PM, and following, they waited inside the theater. We listened first to John Nichols, Stu Levitan, Ruth Conniff, and a representative from PR Watch, and finally, we saw the man of the hour, Ed Schultz.

I didn’t count how many times Ed was thanked for Continue reading

Recount inevitable BUT Unofficial tally and now Rep. Mason announces: Kloppenburg wins by 233. Results Mapped.

Much of Wisconsin has been on the edge of its seat waiting and watching and refreshing the screen at MJS or AP hoping to see Joanne Kloppenburg win.

Based on tweets, a precinct in Milwaukee and the Lake Mills numbers are what we have been waiting for.

And at 12:49PM, a tweet:

“Cory Mason, state assemblyman on FB: Jefferson County in, Kloppenburg wins by 233! #wiunion#wivote #WEareWINNING “- from 2NewEarthRising New Earth Rising  and @PhilipStl:

I am pleased. But I’m not dancing, only because –

1) I’m terribly fatigued and

2) We know there is going to be a recount.

3) I wanted Joanne Kloppenburg to not just win, but *soundly* win.

BUT I know full well that what’s been pulled off by Joanne Kloppenburg and the people of Wisconsin is stunning.

Joanne was not supposed to make it this far.

I hope Joanne Kloppenburg and ther campaign team are feeling some pride in the midst of all of the other emotions they must be experiencing today.

By the way, I don’t blame either candidate for calling an inevitable recount. You’d have to be insane not to demand a recount when your opponent wins by around 0.01 percent of the total vote.

Here is a link to the laws and procedures governing recounts (I will be writing a summary in a bit): Election Recount Procedures from G.A.B.

And below is a map from the It’s Academic blog.

You know I want that whole state to be cobalt blue.

Numbers used were compiled by AP and current as of 11:11AM CST.

Why we should be like the man who got dragged out of Wisconsin’s Capitol

Police drag a protester out of the Wisconsin Assembly chamber. (Carolos Javier Ortiz / EPA / March 10, 2011)

Please note: I advocate non-violent civil disobedience and only as a last resort.

My boyfriend laughed when he saw this. I didn’t.

I’ve never really identified with letting yourself get dragged out of somewhere, breaking rules, and even risking arrest until this photo came along. But then, I’ve never lived through something like these last 3 weeks in Wisconsin.

When I see this image, I know some people just won’t get this guy.

I do get it. I feel anger, sorrow — and I feel a sense of determination. I think this guy did the right thing and I want to be more like him.

Obviously he’s peaceful.  But breaking the rules. Right now the rules are being rewritten by Walker rapidly to break the public. And when the Wisconsin GOP can not rewrite the rules fast enough, they break ’em.

Just in case you have been watching FOX news up until now I will elaborate. Walker’s administration has violated  the  public and the state and federal constitutions by

  • restricting use of recording and audio devices to include cell phones in the meeting chambers of Wisconsin’s Capitol
  • closing the Capitol building to its public or applying arbitrary rules to accept some and restrict others
  • attempting to require a permit on Capitol grounds when law states that an unlimited number of citizens may assemble there without permit
  • conduct government meetings without even the 2 hour warning required under emergency conditions

Wisconsin’s Capitol building is the public’s. It is where we send people to serve the public, and where now they try to dismantle our public unions and even our public services.

I don’t know that we should all get dragged out by state troopers.  But if  enough of us do not feel so moved to take some additional risks right now, we will be singled out, picked off, and our movement is done.

“Risk” or “rule breaking” may mean breaking social norms by speaking up about politics. Stepping up to a leadership position. Risking confrontation.

Finally, the current  governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, will be gone in 2012. He will either be deposed by a recall or on an express bus to D.C. For all I know, he could be serving time in prison. When he’s gone, I am resolved to be in my Capitol once again drumming with thousands of other regular citizens. And this dragged out protester?

He will stay just as long as he fucking likes.

Insulting Letter to Dem. Senator Mark Miller from Scott Fitzgerald

Scott Not-Afraid-To-Be-A-Royal-Prick Fitzgerald: Republican Majority Leader, Wisconsin State Senate


March 7, 2011

Sen. Mark Miller

Parts Unknown, IL

Dear Senator Miller,

Thank you for your hand-delivered letter with an offer to meet, in Illinois, about the business and future direction of Wisconsin.   Let’s set aside how bizarre that is for a moment.

As you know Continue reading

Democratic Senator Kathleen Vinehout says she’ll “talk turkey” with the Gov.

“Senator Miller and Senate Democrats have offered Governor Walker numerous compromises.  Labor leaders have provided financial concessions the Governor requested.  Hundreds of thousands of people have voiced opposition to the “budget repair bill.”  The people of Wisconsin want our leaders to work together.  My colleagues and I want to make this happen.  If the Governor doesn’t want to meet with Senator Miller, I am ready to meet with him and reach a compromise that moves us forward.”

This came to me via Steve Hanson. (Thanks Steve.)

Questions on this should go to:

Linda Kleinschmidt
Chief of Staff

Office of State Senator Kathleen Vinehout
3 South State Capitol – PO Box 7882
Madison, WI  53707-7882
608-266-8546
1-877-763-6636


Senator Vinehout’s wikipedia page

Kathleen Vinehout’s Official Page

Scott Walker’s Nightmare: Explosion of Solidarity Weekend Events

Saturday March 5th, Noon to 4PM, Capitol King Street Entrance: Madison’s We are Wisconsin Rally

MUSICAL GUESTS:
MICHELLE SHOCKED and JON LANGFORD of the MEKONS and RYAN BINGHAM
SPEAKERS: Continue reading

The Republican sneak vote mapped.

From the Acceity web journal

Here’s the vote from last Friday February 25 mapped out by Josh Wachuta at Aceity.

I’m assuming the grey non-voting areas are matched with the Democrats who were too slow on the uptake. As you recall, this was a sneak voice vote that occured in seconds. It was orchestrated by Republicans to deliberately exclude Democrats.  It passed the Assembly version of Walker’s “Budget Repair Bill” at 1AM after a 60+ hour marathon session.

Here’s the vote roll. If you’re still not sure which of these men and ladies represent you in your district, plug your address into Who Are My Legislators?

If you’re not happy with how your Assembly Representative voted, give ’em a piece of your mind. Godspeed.

Here’s Josh’s twitter home.

Feb 24: Noon Vote, Firefighters, Koch Brothers, Amy Goodman

Forgive me for this is a post dashed off quickly. But I want to make sure people know about these events of note for today:

11:30-ish A much-rumored huge gathering of fire fighters will occur at Wisconsin’s capitol. I did call a local firehouse to be told only that it was fairly spontaneous and will be large. Firemen will met at Station Number 1 – 316 W. Dayton St. – 11:30am & following, march two short blocks to the Capitol.

12 Noon- The projected time of an Assembly vote on their version of the earlier Senate version of the Budget Repair [or “Disrepair”] Bill that was the cause of an earlier departure of our 14 Democrat Senators for Illinois.  You can watch events unfold live at Wisconsin Eye – a non-profit “CSPAN” for Wisconsin. Continue reading

Independent Egyptian Unions Express Solidarity with Wisconsin Workers

Please read this—

TRANSLATION: (The poster in the background shows photographs of some of the recent young victims of the Mubarak government. The writing says they are among the martyrs of the 25 January Revolution.)

KAMAL ABBAS: “I am speaking to you from a place very close to Tahrir Square in Cairo, “Liberation Square”, which was the heart of the Revolution in Egypt. This is the place were many of our youth paid with their lives and blood in the struggle for our just rights.

From this place, I want you to know that we stand with you as you stood with us.

I want you to know that no power can challenge the will of the people when they believe in their rights. When they raise their voices loud and clear and struggle against exploitation. Continue reading