This is probably not the face of democracy that Senator Luther Olsen is hoping to convey to the voters that are about to have a say on recalling him from office.
Plainly put there was no reason for supporters of Senator Olsen to be in the room when the announcement of Representatives Fred Clark’s candidacy for State Senate was announced. That Olsen’s supporters did show up was only for the sake of mischief, which they need to be slapped down for.
Republicans have talked about ‘union thugs’ over the weeks of the collective bargaining dispute. What in hell do you call those thugs who act on behalf of Luther Olsen?
Tensions were high and one man’s camera was busted in Baraboo on Thursday as supporters of Republican Sen. Luther Olsen — who is facing recall — disrupted a press conference organized by Democrats.
A room in the Baraboo Civic Center — which was rented by Sauk County Democrats — was packed with backers of Rep. Fred Clark, D-Baraboo, who announced his intention to run for Olsen’s Senate seat in the upcoming recall election.
As Sauk County social worker Jill Ellinwood introduced Clark at the podium, a few of Olsen’s supporters forced their way into the packed room and the groups traded insults.
Clark took the podium, and during a pause in Clark’s speech a tussle broke out in the back of the room.
Chuck Goranson of Portage said he was trying to take a picture when one of the Olsen supporters “reached up and grabbed the lens and twisted it.”
The lens on the small handheld camera no longer functions, Goranson said. But he doesn’t plan to file a police report.
Olsen’s campaign spokesman, Jeff Weigand, denied that his group caused a disturbance inside the Civic Center.
One can only wonder if Olsen’s campaign will be more forthcoming and candid with the voters in the recall election than when trying to describe the event on Thursday.