Prediction From Caffeinated Politics About Wisconsin Politics

Unless there is a compromise on the budget repair bill, and in light of the state budget to be unveiled Tuesday, I expect bigger crowds next Saturday at the State Capitol.

This political storm is just starting to ramp up.

After the past two weeks one thing is very clear.  The voters and citizens of this state are mighty pissed!

Within the political ranks of Wisconsin from either party no one has ever witnessed such lunacy which now passes for governance.   The seasoned and mature minds are just shaking their heads and wondering WTF!

On Sunday I had to smile at the words penned by Doug Moe in the Wisconsin State Journal about his conversation with former Governor Tommy Thompson.  Every reader of the column knew that Thompson was being a gentleman and biting his tongue when he spoke of the outrageous issue that now confronts this state.  

The line that just rang with understatement and made me howl was Thompson saying “It possibly could have been handled better.” 

Thompson would never have let himself get so mired in the muck and distracted as Scott Walker has done.  No politician worth his salt dives into an empty swimming pool…and then wants everyone else to take the plunge too!

Governor Walker is not up to the job that he was elected for in November, and not intelligent enough to understand that fact.

The chaos and divisions that are being created within our communities and workplaces as a result of the ideas and plans being hatched by his administration must end. 

Someone has to tell Walker, and get him to listen.

It is quite obvious to anyone that takes the time to look out the windows of the State Capitol that the people of Wisconsin are not willing to follow Walker.

They want a change in direction, and they want it now.

The people are in NO mood for the games that Walker and his allies are playing.  In just a few weeks the conservatives have over-played their hand.

The question I will be looking to find an answer for this week is if the Republicans are listening to the people of this state?

Will the legislative members of the GOP have a heart-to-heart chat with Walker?  Will they advise Walker the hokum that is being spun is not what the people of Wisconsin bought when they elected the GOP last November.

The Republicans had better wise up and sit down for a chat this week with Governor Walker and settle a few issues.

If not the people of Wisconsin will come back to Madison next weekend for a chat of their own. 

The people intend to be heard.  They intend to win this policy battle.

Wisconsin State Capitol Protest A Moral Issue

This is one of those moments that defines who we are as a people…..Wisconsin is speaking.

Dozens of ministers, rabbis, and priests joined workers and students from across the state, saying they would risk arrest to protest the closing of the State Capitol to the public Sunday.

“I think that this action tonight is silencing the peoples’ voice,” said Rabbi Renee Bauer, of the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South-Central Wisconsin. “Silencing the minority, or the people with less power, is a real moral problem. This feels like it’s about shutting down the peaceful demonstration one step at a time.”

Other religious leaders agreed.

“This is a critical moment for Wisconsin and for so many states,” said Rev. Leah Lonsbury of Memorial United Church of Christ in Madison. “Clearly, this is about far more than a budget.

“It’s a moral issue, and the rights at stake here are so basic to our common good and our common humanity, to the very idea of justice, that we are willing to risk arrest to protect them and have our voices be heard. Our faith calls us to stand with the vulnerable and speak truth to power. This is what we are called to do.”

Protesters Can Stay The Night At Wisconsin Capitol

It is also reported that State Senator Dale Schultz will cast a vote NO vote on the budget repair bill.

Watch Live From Inside The Wisconsin State Capitol As Attempts Are Made To Shut Down Protests

Watch it here.  (Site has been down since roughly 4:30 P.M.)

Protestors will be able to stay in Wisconsin State Capitol Sunday night…..the people will win this battle!

UPDATE

7:00 P.M.

fiona_bowden: RT @LegalEagle: Pointing at Fox cameras, EVERYONE is yelling “Fox News lies.” #wiunion

KatieGrady: RT @WORTnews: Speakers in rotunda announced that Ian's will be bringing pizza to the Capitol tonight #wiunion

rollingingraves: RT @micahuetricht CONFIRMED pizza embargo has been breached. Slice in my mouth right now. #wiunion

6:30 P.M.

caradox: Woot! RT @scoutprime: BREAKING-Announcement protesters can stay the night. #wiunion #solidaritywi

plcorbett: RT @motherjones: RT @PatSimmsWSJ: #wiunion. Capitol police chief expected to give update in Rotunda shortly.

edcetera: RT @LegalEagle: #reportfrominside: Just announced that Dale Schultz has decided not to support the bill. crowd goes wild.

Picture taken a few minutes ago inside Wisconsin State Capitol.

6:00 P.M.

tirayk: RT @motherjones: Well, folks, we seem to be at a stalemate right now. Cops not moving, protesters just doing their thing

khazelton: v @MikeElk Governor Scott Walker lives on Lake Mendota protests to walk across frozen lake to protest outside his house #wiunion

problembear: RT @motherjones: Still a few open tho RT @MikeElk: Police not letting protestors use bathrooms – telling them they must leave Capitol to go) #wiunion

WORTnews:
Capitol Police Chief Tubbs also confirms that they have no plans to arrest or forcibly remove peaceful protesters tonight #wiunion [via Twitter]

AmyTidd: RT @MarinaPepper: RT @legaleagle: Help spread the word, we're still here & we did not go quietly into the night,

Ivanroberson: RT @all_a_twitt_r: with both live video feeds inside Madison Capitol shut down by police, we have only cell phone, twitter and twitpic media coverage #wiunion

fishfarm74: RT @elephantsgerald: Dane County Sherriffs say will NOT arrest #wiunion who say their are expressing 1st amendment when prompted by police – spread the word

EnviroChem: RT @allysonivy: MT @MikeElk: Women sit in a knitting circle to stop arrests #wiunion http://yfrog.com/hsp09rj via

sherripark: RT @LegalEagle: Love this!!! Free coffee for those of us still outside! #wiunion http://twitgoo.com/1zznli

5;45 P.M.

MikeElk: People inside of Capitol now singing this land is our land… too many tears in my eyes #wiunion

Potty Update…..

elephantsgerald: RT @WEAC: RT @gl33p: Update: The Potty is Open! All bathrooms on the 1st floor railing level are open. 1 men, 2

rollingingraves: RT @RagingLibrulPDX: RT @jennnnie: Ian's pizza just got their biggest order ever: $3K from US Rep Keith Ellison to be delivered to #WIunion protesters @ Capitol

hannah4peace2: RT @dysolution: They are denying access to restrooms. #wiunion

rappinamyB: RT @PatSimmsWSJ: #wiunion Command spokeswoman Peg Schmidt says there will be no forcible removal of protesters from the Capitol.

micchiato: RT @MikeElk: Fmr Madison Mayor Paul Soglin inside Capitol vows to be arrested with protestors #wiunion

ryflinn: RT @micahuetricht: Firefighters, teachers and students literally hand in hand right now. Like Seattle. Totally incredible

5:30 P.M.

EmperorNorton: RT @socialgumbo: RT @millbot: There are firefighters and off duty cops on 1st flr rotunda waiting with group planning to be arrested. Awesome. #wiunion

“We Shall Overcome” being sung in the Wisconsin Statehouse.

cathysherwin: RT @evale72: Police and firefighters with us will NOT be leaving the building; in for long haul. #wiunion

thehallemander: According to CNN reporter who interviewed Police Chief “People will have to try real hard to get arrested” #wiunion

nicknicemadison: RT @LegalEagle: #reportfrominside An elderly man in wheelchair sits in an alcove on first floor #wiunion

5:00 P.M. 

The crowd is not too much smaller on the first floor of the rotunda and the drums are still being beat, but the energy of those seem determined who remain.    There may have been too many on the web site that was linked above to allow for it to keep up….but that is not confirmed.

4:30 P.M.

The site has went off the air.  Police must have moved in.

4:20 P.M.

The Whole Is Watching” is being chanted by the protesters that are assembled for the most part on the first floor. The police are standing in the middle of the rotunda on the ground floor. We all know the police are with the protesters and have been put in a tough place. The National Anthem has just broke out among the crowd.

There is a heavy police force in the building and on the lower floor of the rotunda. The first floor rotunda is filled with people.

With thousands in the Wisconsin Statehouse, and many more outside police are telling protesters to leave the building or be arrested.  Drums are being beat, and thousands are singing “Solidarity” in the Statehouse.

###

Let us try to keep the State Capitol open for those who are working to make sure that Scott Walker and Company will not be able to destroy the very fabric of Wisconsin.

Saying Thanks To Wisconsin Democrats At Wisconsin Statehouse

There were so many things to see, and be amused at on Saturday while at the Wisconsin State Capitol that it would be impossible to mention them all on this blog.  One of the more uplifting moments was when I saw on many doors a long series of notes saying “thanks” for the hard work.  Needless to say the notes were left at the doors of Democrats.  In the case below the notes were left for one of the best, Representative Brett Hulsey.

What Will Happen To Wisconsin Capitol Protestors?

These are the final hours, if all the reports are true, for the protestors who have been camping out in the Wisconsin State Assembly.  It has been reported for days that the police will remove protestors starting later this afternoon, and then begin cleaning the building soon thereafter.  The protestors will not be allowed to return to stay.

Over the past days I have chatted with folks who have set up a space in the statehouse with a sleeping bag and high ideals about what they hope to accomplish, and what makes them so determined to make a difference.

Though they all are worthy of a blog post it is Dan Framsee that leaps to mind when I think of the amazing faces under the dome.

Framsee has been living at the Capitol since the protests started, his air mattress and few belongings which included a guitar, located on an interior wall of a hallway.  I suspect he chose his space to have some calm from the high volume of traffic, yet even his location was not immune to the energy that is dominating the building.  After speaking with Framsee it was clear he was dedicated to the cause, noise or not.

This young man who appeared to be in his early 20′ s works for Alto Clef Productions in Madison, which has done  design work for Ian’s Pizza.   Along the back of the wall where Framsee sleeps at the Capitol were drawings to make it appear that he was indeed ‘home’. 

Framsee spoke about the need to stop the budget repair bill, and his willingness to be dragged from the Capitol if it came to that in order to make the point more directly.  He was going to make sure his guitar was safe prior to Sunday afternoon, and then wait until he was forced to move.  And then be removed by police.

Those who use derision to paint the protestors with one large paint brush are just wrong.    They are not just young people with nothing better to do, or college kids just wanting to party.   In fact, I found no one that fit such a profile these past two weeks in my conversations.

The men and women who stayed overnight at the Capitol are strong-willed, courageous, and principled.  They all deserve our praise.  It is in part due to them being at the Capitol day after day, and night after night for this vigil that more and more citizens have come to see the many pitfalls of the budget repair bill.

On behalf of countless citizens around Wisconsin, thank you!

Republican State Senator Mike Ellis Lifts My Sails. Will Republicans Agree?

Every now and then one of those moments in politics lifts my sails, and lets me know that in spite of everything that seems to be happening for the bad, that there are still some decent folks around doing good.

Such was the case in Madison recently when the Senate Democrats decided to leave the state in order to prevent a vote on the budget repair bill.  It was then that Republican State Senator Mike Ellis made a decision to be a good human being versus a partisan politician.  We should all applaud his actions.

History is littered with these kinds of stories that I print below from the Wisconsin State Journal, but as we all know they are too rare in contemporary times.  So it is with real pleasure I post something good and uplifting that reaffirms my views about the better angels around us.

I hope that the Republican Party and the elected members of the State Legislature can see the humanity in this story, and feel as good about it as I do.  If we still have some comity between state senators of differing parties as this story proves, than we may come through this present storm all right.

At 8 a.m. Thursday, the Senate’s Democrats agreed to flee to Illinois, leaving the Senate one member shy of the 20 senators required to vote on budget-related bills.

It was the third pivotal decision – MTI’s call for protest and the Democrats’ continuation of testimony were the others – that blocked rapid passage of the budget-repair bill and accelerated an already historic set of events.

But there was a problem: Sen. Tim Cullen of Janesville didn’t participate in the vote to leave Wisconsin. He was helping the family of former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Bill Bablitch notify the media of Bablitch’s death.

When he heard the plans, Cullen called Senate President Mike Ellis, R-Neenah, to ask if he could enter the Capitol without being detained.

“He said fine, come in. There’s no problem,” Cullen told the State Journal.

Ellis, who runs the Senate, cautioned Cullen to leave by 11 a.m., when the Senate was scheduled to consider the bill and he would be forced to institute a “call of the house” to try to compel the 14 senators back to the chamber.

Cullen said he later got a call from Ellis as he drove south toward Illinois: “Did you get out of here?”

When assured that Cullen was out of Madison, he said Ellis responded, “Good. I just wanted to double check.”

Ellis could not be reached for confirmation on Friday.