Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dateline Madison - Not Over Yet

Day 9 of the People's Revolt against Governor Scott Walker in Madison, WI, is half over. The rallies are smaller as people return to work and their life, but nevertheless, there is a noteworthy presence of peaceful protest. The crowd was much more spread out today, so it was difficult to make a headcount guess, but I will anyway. I estimate 4,000 inside the Capitol, and another 4-6,000 outside.


The real story continues to unfold as We The People read the bill and learn - as Paul Harvey would say - the rest of the story. Among the things in the bill is a section that gives the Gov. the authority to sell off public utilities, for any price deemed appropriate, with no bids required. Can you say an unabashed play to sell state resources at fire sale prices to whichever big corporate interest wants to pillage Wisconsin? And frankly, the Koch brothers have both an interest in WI power plants, and the wherewithal to make a deal like this happen. Even if no buyer is lined up (which I doubt) this is a bad deal for Wisconsin.


Despite false reporting to the contrary, the protest has been non-violent and pretty friendly. People say "Excuse me" when they bump into me while we are jammed in like sardines in the rotunda. If this is what Fox News wants to call "rioting", then I would love to see such riots in Madison every day! Everyone is helping everyone.

Today added a new twist to the protest as focus expanded to include Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, a business group that is often at odds with Liberals in Wisconsin. It is clear from their Legislative Agenda that they support the Governor. At the protest outside the Monona Terrace Convention Center where WMC was having their annual conference, a number of Wisconsin speakers shared their thoughts, including Ben Manski, Andy Heidt, and John Nichols.

John Nichols speaks to the crowd

Nichols had much to say about the breaking news that Gov. Walker took a call from a reporter pretending to be billionaire David Koch (Walker has refused calls from WI Dem Senators and most others since the protests began, so his choice to take this call was...interesting). The transcripts are on YouTube (two videos), and are pretty disgusting for a state that prides itself on clean government. The second contains statements so damning that a criminal investigation seems possible.

We are not done here.

There are more photos in a SLIDE SHOW. The newest images are first, and the set contains photographs back to the start of the rallies. Moving your mouse over the image will bring up controls so you can pause to read some of the signs. At any time you can hit the space bar to stop and start the slide show.

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