Government and Political Roundup: Protestors at the State Capitol have it great compared to other statehousesWisconsin News
-- Protestors at the Wisconsin State Capitol have it great compared to those at other statehouses.
Protestors at the Wisconsin State Capitol have it great compared to those at other statehouses. The State Journal of Madison surveyed officials at all 50 state capitols, and found that nearly half don’t allow protests at all. And of the 26 that do, all but six require permits for even small demonstrations. Wisconsin’s new Capitol police chief, David Erwin, has recently decided to enforce long-running rules for protestors. It resulted in numerous arrests and a blowback by protestors in the form of bigger crowds for the daily noon-time sing-alongs by the Solidarity Singers – a group that has fought off requests to get a required permit. Stephanie Marquis of the state Administration Department says the State Journal survey proves that Wisconsin’s requirements for protestors are reasonable and quote, “much more generous than elsewhere.” Colorado is among a number of states that only allow protests outside their Capitol buildings. Ohio charges 50-dollars for a demonstration permit, whereas Wisconsin’s permits are free. In South Dakota, no protest can last more than three days in a row. The Wisconsin chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has said that the Capitol’s protest rules infringe on free-speech rights. When asked about the stricter limits in other states, Stacy Harbaugh of the A-C-L-U said they’re not as important as the Wisconsin Capitol’s history as a hallmark of First Amendment activity. Her group and others were concerned that the protest permits would be rejected for causes the government doesn’t agree with. But of 400 permit requests, Capitol Police have turned down only three. Two were due to scheduling conflicts, and one sought to reserve property outside of the Capitol’s jurisdiction. The permit rules came after the massive protests 19 months ago against the law which limits public union bargaining.
Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan says more able-bodied Americans have become dependent on government in the last four years under President Obama. But in a long interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the House Budget chairman from Janesville dispelled the notion that people on government programs are there by choice. Ryan was responding to Mitt Romney’s comments at an earlier fundraiser, stating that the 47-percent of Americans who don’t pay taxes have a “mindset” and feel entitled to things like health care. On a Saturday night flight from Georgia to his Janesville home, Ryan told a Journal Sentinel reporter that he rejects the notion that the so-called “producers” who pay taxes are Republicans, and the “takers” on government aid on Democrats. And Ryan said economic growth is the key to prevent it from happening. Ryan also took issue from conservatives who say he’s been too vague during his campaign. He said there’s a lot of time left in the campaign to talk about more specifics. And Ryan said Romney took a big step by naming him as the vice presidential choice, because he already proposed a host of specifics in two federal budgets. Ryan said he also takes issue with fellow Republican Governor Scott Walker, who has said that Romney has not let pump passion into the campaign. But Ryan says he’s never been told by Romney to quiet things down, or do anything differently. He also believes he’ll add a few points to the Republican vote in Wisconsin because quote, “I’m the hometown guy – people know me.”
Michelle Obama is about to make her second trip to Wisconsin this fall. It was announced during the president’s visit to Milwaukee on Saturday that the First Lady would be in the Appleton area – but no other details were immediately released. It was a month ago yesterday when Michelle Obama held a campaign rally in Milwaukee, and met privately with surviving relatives from the August fifth Sikh Temple massacre in Oak Creek.