We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

Same DYSfunctional & EXPENSIVE behavior by Walker Administration

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John Eyster
Friday, July 26, 2013

Same DYSfunctional & EXPENSIVE behavior by Walker Administration.

Believe it or not, for the second straight day, Capitol police arrested protesters in our WI State Capitol Rotunda. Believe it or not, there were MORE PEOPLE. What do YOU think?

I assert that the numbers will continue to INCREASE as long as the Walker administration goes the POWER – “letter of the law” route rather than the DEMOCRACY – “spirit of the law” route. Forewarned is forearmed! What do YOU think?

I have a sense that SCOTT WALKER missed his father’s sermons (he is a Preacher’s Kid – his father was a Baptist pastor in Delavan, WI) on The Apostle Paul’s advice articulated in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians (5:4-6) where he articulates the principle: The LETTER of the law kills, but the SPIRIT of the law gives life. I would assert that IF Scott Walker were to use the SPIRIT of the law, including the FIRST AMENDMENT of our US CONSTITUTION he would give life to others and gain life for himself. IF he chooses to enforce the LETTER of the law, he will “kill” others and “kill” himself politically. This is a NO-WIN situation! What do YOU think?

I have been very encouraged by and GRATEFUL for the OPPOSITION articulated by our STATE SENATOR TIM CULLEN (Senate #15) and STATE REPRESENTATIVE DEB KOLSTE (Assembly #44) to the Walker administration’s POWER-PLAY. What do YOU think?

If you want to see dramatic pictures and/or videos and/or read the articles from the situation in our WI State Capitol Wednesday and yesterday, I urge you to use the Wisconsin State Journal website. Here are the links to the articles reporting on Wednesday and yesterday which are complemented with videos and pictures.

Wednesday’s situation – “Solidarity Singers arrested in Capitol rotunda.”

Thursday’s situation - “Police clash with Capitol singers for second straight day.”

I was impressed to read in the WSJ article reporting on yesterday, “The demonstrators sang union and civil rights songs such as ‘Eyes on the Prize’ and never stopped, despite the steady stream of arrests.”

I join the cry of some of the demonstrators yesterday, "Shame! Shame! Shame!" Yes, SHAME! What do YOU say?

The statement from the DOA misses the real principle issue in this situation since the noontime singers are asserting that the FIRST AMENDMENT protects them. The WSJ reported this statement from DOA, "If the noontime singers would get a permit, then they could continue their activities without any arrests or citations. They are the only group being cited as they are the only group who has not applied for a permit for their regularly scheduled events at the Capitol rotunda. The question to ask is why they refuse to apply for a permit." Are the bureaucrats at DOA illiterate? The answer to that question has been answered numerous times by the noontime singers!

I look forward to the review of the situation by our judicial system. We need to be well aware of the judicial process by which WE THE PEOPLE of the US determine the legality of laws and their interpretation.

There is the July 9 ruling of federal judge William Conley blocked the administration from requiring a permit for events in the statehouse rotunda of 20 people or fewer but left the permit requirement in place for indoor events as large as this week's singalongs.

This is JUST a FEDERAL DISTRICT JUDGE’S OPINION/INTERPRETATION subject to appeals. The number 20 seems very small and arbitrary to me. What do YOU think?

What will the DISTRICT #7 US Court of Appeals rule? What will our US Supreme Court rule? Time will tell. I’m betting on the FIRST AMENDMENT. What do YOU bet?

I agree with Julie Young, quoted in the WSJ article, "If we don't stand up for our rights, we're giving them away. I feel we should be allowed to assemble in our house, and that's why I'm here."

I hope Scott Walker is reading the WSJ these days. I hope he notes the WSJ report, “The protesters were invigorated by Wednesday's arrests, and that brought many more people to the Capitol on Thursday.”

I agree with Paul Sopko Jr. who is quoted in the WSJ article, "The arrests, it brings people out of the woodwork. I believe it attracts more attention and brings more people here." What do YOU think?

The WSJ articles reports, “Sprinkled amid the protesters were several Democratic legislators, including Sen. Bob Jauch of Poplar, Sen. Tim Cullen of Janesville, Rep. Dianne Hesselbein of Middleton, Rep. Sondy Pope of Cross Plains, Rep. Chris Taylor of Madison and Rep. Melissa Sargent of Madison. None sang, with Jauch joking that his singing was bad enough to merit arrest.” I am disappointed that the journalist did NOT identify REP. DEB KOLSTE of Janesville who was there too. YOU can see her picture on her FACEBOOK page. She expressed her stance on her Facebook page,

“The arrests on Wednesday of a handful of the Solidarity Singers sparked the largest protest in many weeks today, and more people were arrested, including people from Janesville. The noon-hour Capitol sing-a-longs have been dwindling to a relative few participants. The crackdown pumped new life into the daily event and brought hundreds of people to the Rotunda to sing or watch.

“The police are following orders, but the orders are foolish. The picture of the police handcuffing a tiny, elderly woman on Wednesday made the administration seem like bullies. I am forced to conclude that the administration wants the protests to continue and wants them to grow larger. Apparently the administration believes that it is winning the battle of public opinion.

“Public opinion doesn’t trump the right to free speech in a public place.

“I don’t believe the arrests are constitutional. The singers gather without a leader and arrive by the ones and twos to express political opinions. I stood among the protesters and watched the arrests today, and they seem arbitrary.

“The protests have not disrupted business as usual in the Capitol. I personally don’t think the sing-a-longs were changing the minds, especially the minds of the legislative majority. I respect the effort and the commitment to free speech that they symbolize.

“I respect the police for following orders. I think those orders were wrong.”

I agree – the orders were wrong.” What do YOU think?

I also agree with Senator Bob Jauch. He questioned how much the extra police presence was costing taxpayers, saying that the money and the officers could be put to better use. I AGREE! Do YOU? TODAY – Friday, the 26th of July 2013,

I’m betting there will be EVEN MORE DEMONSTRATORS with a LARGER GROUP OF SPECTATORS in our WI State Capitol’s Rotunda today. What do YOU expect?

Here we go…

Mr. E.

Last updated: 8:25 am Monday, July 29, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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