Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

Browsing Posts tagged damage to Wisconsin Capitol

.Continued from “What’s (REALLY) Happening in Wisconsin?”


Since Wisconsin Republicans voted on Ash Wednesday, March 9, 2011 to limit union collective bargaining by passing the Budget Repair Bill , information blackout continues, and even people like me, living only 3 miles from the Wisconsin Capitol, are struggling to get all the facts.


I continue to be amazed at the lack of news or analysis provided by mainstream media concerning all of these events, as well as the radically liberal spin seen in articles which do appear.

Persevering in collecting facts during recent weeks, I am astounded at the lack of ethics permeating the actions of the left—of the union leaders and of the Democrats who represent them.  Some of these are documented further below, in the Background section.

Newest developments:

Republicans flee Madison for safety from angry mobs and death threats

Threat slipped under a Republican Senator's door

Fifteen minutes after their rushed March 9th vote to limit union collective bargaining, Republican legislators had to leave the Capitol building under police protection because they were being threatened by an angry mob.  They were told to get out of Madison as quickly as possible, since Republicans were unsafe in Madison that night.  The legislators filed out of the Capitol building past Democrat legislators in orange T-shirts, who reviled them, repeating phrases such as “Are you proud of yourself?” while Jesse Jackson (!) looked on.   Outside, the Republican senators were harassed by an angry mob .  Many Republicans received death threats , and some of their cars and homes were vandalized .  Little, if any of this barbaric behavior by demonstrators, was reported by mainstream media other than FOX.


Democrats stall, backtrack on promises and misrepresent to the media

The “14 Dems” who had fled Wisconsin in order to obstruct (in violation of Senate rules) the controversial vote for which they did not have a majority, have been idolized by liberal Madison, and by the liberal media which clearly favors the Democrats.  Media, Democrats and demonstrators routinely misrepresented the Governor and the Republicans.  Their portrayal of  Republicans as rigid and uncompromising tyrants was deceitful, because in actual fact numerous secret meetings were held near the Wisconsin-Illinois border between Democrats and Republicans from Feb 28 through March 9.  During these meetings Democrats made numerous promises to compromise and to return to Madison, but reneged repeatedly, and ultimately it became apparent that Democrat leaders were stalling, were backtracking on offers, were being disingenuous, and were not negotiating in good faith.

The final blow to Republicans was a letter sent by minority leader Mark Miller (D) to Governor Walker, accusing the Governor of wanting to “keep lines of communications closed,” which was released first to the media before being delivered to the Governor’s Office.  In light of the secret negotiations going on for 10 days, during which Republicans traveled regularly to the Illinos border for meetings, this letter represented an outright betrayal and lie.  This was what compelled the Republicans to move forward on the vote in the absence of Democrats on the evening of March 9th.

The Budget Repair Bill is Passed

The vote was conducted in the Senate in the evening of March 9th, the Assembly approved the bill on March 10th, and Governor Walker signed it on March 11th.  It could have been published by the Secretary of State Doug La Follette as early as by March 15th , the last step before implementation of the bill .

Democrats Desperately Try to Stall Publication of the Budget Repair Bill

However, Democrats (representing union leaders) have launched a number of stalling tactics of dubious validity during the past week (March 10-18), attempting to delay the publication and implementation of the Budget Repair Bill.  There is little doubt that the vote was legal and that the law will stand, but by stalling implementation of the law, Democrats are buying time for  unions to rush through contract extensions and pay raises.

Incidentally, the rushing through of union contracts does NOT benefit all union members— instead, it benefits only the union bosses and senior union members, at the expense of junior members.  When union contracts with generous benefits are negotiated in lean fiscal times, the budget is used up to pay the senior member’s generous contracts, and junior members are then laid off as the money runs out.  By negotiating generous benefits, the union leaders are feathering their own nests at the expense of the jobs of their own young union members.

The stalling commenced immediately on March 10th, with the Democrat Secretary of State stating that he plans to wait the maximum 10 days allowed before publishing the Budget Repair Bill, delaying publication until March 25 (in place of March 15).  Next, several Dane County and City of Madison officials, including  Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz  and Dane county Executive Kathleen Falk, filed complaints with the Dane County District Attorney alleging that Wisconsin’s Open Meeting laws were violated when the Budget Repair Bill was passed.

These actions were taken despite the fact that the the Open Meetings law was not violated at all.  Governor Walker ensured, prior to the vote, that the procedures adopted satisfied all relevant rules and statutes.  Legal opinions from three nonpartisan legal agencies were obtained endorsing the procedures used, and even respected Democrat Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett had indicated that a separate vote without Democrats would be valid.  Democrats were filing invalid accusations simply to buy time.

On March 10, the day after the Budget Repair Bill was passed, James Troupis, an attorney for Fitzgerald (the Senate Majority Leader) explained to Vicki McKenna on WIBA radio that the Open Meetings law was not violated and even does not to apply to Senate proceedings, “since the Wisconsin constituti­on is quite explicit in providing the Legislatur­e with independen­t authority.”   Jim Troupis indicated that the vote had satisfied all pertinent rules—the Wisconsin Constitution, the Open Meeting law (which itself states in section 19.87 sub 2 that no provision which conflicts [with Senate rules] shall apply), and the Senate rule 93.


Nevertheless, one week later, on March 18th, liberal Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi issued a temporary restraining order, barring the publication of the Budget Repair Bill , claiming the violation of the state’s open meetings law.  The judge has not ruled on the claim, and is now on vacation!


The Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker released a joint statement condemning the judge’s decision:

“Dane County always seems to play by its own rules, but this morning, we saw a Dane County judge try to re-write the constitutional separation of powers… We fully expect an appeals court will find that the Legislature followed the law perfectly and likely find that today’s ruling was a significant overreach. “

One more motivation has been suggested (WIBA, March 21) for the desperate and dubious stalling tactics being exercised by Democrats on the Budget Repair Bill during the last 10 days –  Democrats are attempting to stall the Bill for a sufficiently  long time to effect the recall of the Republican Senators who voted for the bill — the newest bizarre strategy for instituting  minority rule and defeating the democratic process with stalling and bluffing.


Election 2010

At the outset it is important to point out that in November of 2010 the citizens of Wisconsin elected Republicans into power— not only to the Governor’s mansion, but also into both houses of the State Legislature  .  Wisconsin, previously a Democrat stronghold, suddenly went “red” in the last election.  Voters appeared to be motivated by a desire to cut spending, to cut deficits, and to avoid passing on crippling financial burdens to future generations of Wisconsinites– the “Tea Party” philosophy.  Conservative is the new Liberal .

Madison, the Capitol City of Wisconsin, historically very liberal, locally referred to as “Moscow on the Mendota (a local lake),” was now a radically liberal island surrounded by a much more conservative sea of Wisconsin Republicans.  Madison is the home of 40,000 liberal college students on a campus adjacent to the Capitol building, home of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and Madison is so entrenched in liberalism that only Democrats can be found as candidates on Madison Mayoral ballots.

Wisconsin pulls in their belts

Now that the newly elected Republican Governor and Republican houses of legislature have embarked on fulfilling their campaign promises to reign in the reckless and out-of-control spending of the previous Democrat administration, numerous state employees have suffered cuts in salary and benefits—including my husband, an engineering professor at the State University, UW Madison .  Despite my husband’s status as a Wisconsin Distinguished Professor and a global reputation in automotive research on engine efficiency and emission controls, he has not even received a cost of living increase in about 7 years.  Last year, he had the equivalent of a 5% salary reduction in the form of a mandatory furlough, and just recently we received notification that his take-home salary would be reduced by an additional 10%, in the form of reduced benefits (previously paid by the employer, the state of WI, and now paid for by us).  Unquestionably, this will affect our entire future.

We have not complained, because we saw the reason behind the pay cuts.  If the salary and benefits of senior members of the University community like us were not cut, then junior members (those without tenure) would be the first to lose jobs, to allow us to continue to enjoy our comforts.  Our duty to pull in our belts when financial times are tight, rather than watching the young people around us become unemployed.

Unions not out for the common good

Teachers? or Union Power?

This is the crux of the matter—willingness of senior members of organizations to take cuts so that junior members would not have to be laid off.  The willingness to put the common good before the personal good.  This is what the union leaders of Wisconsin (and of America) seem unwilling to do.

The unions of Wisconsin enjoy many benefits and have been extremely privileged.  There are dozens of states without Wisconsin’s collective bargaining for public employees, and in fact most federal workers do not have collective bargaining rights.  We value our teachers in Wisconsin, and they deserve the great treatment they had while the economy was good.  However, now that financial hardship is upon us, teacher union leaders do not have the same philosophy that most Wisconsinites have of sharing the sacrifice across the board.  They have been rushing through contract extensions before the new budget cuts are made, and have even been attempting to force through pay raises as well.  Meanwhile, typical non-union Wisconsin workers earn about 30% less than union workers in the same jobs, and are not complaining about the necessary belt-tightening.

This is not a uniquely Wisconsin phenomenon.  Unions across America have been hustling to make similar changes in advance of the budget cuts which Tea Party activists demanded in the last election, and union leaders have seen this battle coming.

Union bosses mobilized their resources to fight in Wisconsin – Madison is one of the first places these legislative fiscal reversals have come up, Madison is a liberal union-supportive environment, and Madison is filled with graying radicals and leftist college students.  Madison could be relied upon to provide numerous protesters downtown, adjacent to the campus. With the organizational help of the Democratic National Committee, the rallies in Madison were huge these past several weeks, and also included protesters bused in from across the entire nation.

What most demonstrators did not and still do not realize, is that even now, as Democrats continue political maneuvers to stall the implementation of the new restrictions on union benefits, union leaders are continuing to rush through more contract extensions which will ensure the senior union members continued comfort and benefits at the expense of laying off junior union members — who unknowingly have been out at the Wisconsin Capitol demonstrating for the union bosses.

The informational black-out; facts unreported by media

Wisconsin Capitol grounds damage

Demonstrations in Madison anything BUT peaceful

The demonstrators at the Wisconsin Capitol during the past month were loud, aggressive, unruly, and they violated many Madison ordinances.  They damaged the Capitol building, littered the downtown, destroyed the grass and Capitol grounds, brought ammunition onto Capitol grounds, harassed Republican senators, and paraded vulgar signs in and around the Capitol in front of young children. This past weekend I personally witnessed Democrats with bullhorns yelling vulgar language at Majority Leader Fitzgerald outside the Capitol building, while children in strollers were wheeled by.



City agencies assist unions and help thwart the Governor and Legislature

The Madison City government, Madison police, Madison firefighters, and Madison media all collaborated to facilitate the union protesters and to misrepresent the belligerent and threatening tone of the demonstrations to the outside world.

The Mayor sided with the demonstrators, instructed Madison Police not to remove the demonstrators violating Capitol visiting hours, and allowed false statements to be published on the City of Madison website which proclaimed that all demonstrations were peaceful and respectful.  They were not.

The Madison Police, whose unions are exempt from the proposed legislation, still sided with the unions and stopped ticketing cars downtown for parking violations, did not arrest demonstrators for violating Capitol hours, for destruction of property, for harassment of Republican Senators , for defacement of property, for littering, and for numerous other legal infringements.

One Republican Senator was pursued and harassed by a crowd of 200, and not one policeman was in sight to protect him.  Eventually, firefighters arrived to escort him away from the barbaric crowd.  FOX was the only news channel to report on this incident.

Media misrepresents events in Madison

The media misrepresented the belligerent and threatening behavior of the protestors, and misrepresented the issues at the heart of the dispute, casting union protesters in a favorable light while vilifying the government which was trying to carry out the work it was elected to do.

The media glorified the 14 Democrats who fled Wisconsin to prevent the presence of the quorum needed to pass the legislation, while failing to report on the duplicity and outright dishonesty of the Democratic negotiation tactics – which included numerous secret meetings with Republicans near the state border, numerous promises to compromise and to return to Wisconsin, followed by numerous reversals and failures to live up to promises.

Unions are out-maneuvered by the Governor

When Governor Walker finally realized the duplicitous nature of  Democrat “negotiations” which were only being used for stalling, he outmaneuvered the Democrats by rewriting the budget repair bill. Appropriation of funds was removed so that the bill would not require a quorum to pass, and could be passed without the presence of the 14 missing Democrats.  On Wednesday, March 9th, senate Republicans passed the new budget repair bill.  On Thursday, the Assembly approved it.  Prior to Wednesday vote, the Governor had the procedure endorsed by three nonpartisan legal agencies.  The Mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett, a prominent State Democrat, had also expressed agreement that the vote could be taken without the 14 missing Democrat senators.

The rest of the news from the last 10 days has already been reported above.

Where to from here?

The only remaining question is whether the citizens of Wisconsin, as well as citizens across America where similar tactics are being used by union bosses, will withstand the lies and misrepresentations and sustain their resolution to repair the economy both in Wisconsin and nationwide.

Hateful and threatening images remain

(vulgar images have been omitted):

The chalk outline is customarily used to indicate where the murder victim once was.

Teachers? or Socialists?

Message scrawled on Republican Senator's window at the Wisconsin Capitol

Peaceful and Respectful Protest?

Freedom to trash the Wisconsin Capitol? Or freedom to subvert democracy?

Graffiti and chalk body outlines all over the Wisconsin Capitol grounds


It is with hesitation that I embark on discussing the behavior of liberals, particularly in reference to recent labor disputes at the Wisconsin State Capitol, which is located 3 miles from my home and 3 blocks from my parish Church.   Most often I try to avoid criticizing the behavior of others, keeping in mind the Biblical counsel:

How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.   – Luke 6:42

But events at the Wisconsin State Capitol in recent weeks have culminated in a situation that commands some discussion.  The pursuit and cornering of conservative Senator Grothman by 200 aggressive liberals, ultimately requiring his rescue by firefighters, was broadcast on FOX news, but was glossed over by most liberal media last week:


This shocking event, which included shouting, intimidation, chanting “shame,” bleeped vulgar

No violence? Hmmm...

expletives, drum beating and blowing of whistles, reflected the general uncivilized aggressive attitudes displayed by demonstrators at the Wisconsin State Capitol during the past 3 weeks.  It is a situation that could easily have caused injury and/or heart attack to the elderly Senator, and is at very least shameful in the lack of respect with which an elected representative of the people of the United States was treated by an angry liberal mob.

This shocking treatment of Senator Grotham by liberals illustrates quite a double standard, particularly when compared with the criticism conservatives suffered recently from liberal media regarding the use of crosshair imagery during the last election, particularly after the shooting of Representative Giffords, and at least while liberal media still thought that the shooter could be tied to conservatives.

The ultimate question with which I struggled for 3 weeks before writing this post, and with which all conservatives in America must struggle, is how does a reserved conservative like me, who tries to live by the golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) and by the rule of forbearance (assume the best imaginable explanation for another’s behavior), how do we deal with vocal and liberal opponents who do not feel constrained by the same behavioral guidelines that we respect and revere?

How do you win a battle against opponents who use aggressive tactics which you consider immoral and which you yourself refuse to use?  Should we remain the silent majority?

So far this past month, liberal supporters of Wisconsin unions have broken a number of rules and regulations which are generally essential for the orderly operation of society, and which have never been observed in conservative demonstrations such as those involving the Tea Party or Pro-Life:

  • 14 legislators have left the State of Wisconsin so that police could not force them to attend State legislature voting sessions that they are legally obliged to attend.  These senators are sabotaging democracy and showing no respect for the people’s choices during the November 2010 election.  They are advocating rule not by the majority, but by the loudest and the most aggressive.
  • Thousands of Madison teachers have not only gone on strike, depriving children of education, and have lied fraudulently about their motives, claiming to be sick.  They are teaching our children to lie.
  • UW Madison doctors have appeared downtown handing out sick notes to demonstrators, a clear violation of medical ethics and a willful deception and cheating of the taxpayers by medical doctors.  They are also teaching our children to lie.
  • Thousands of demonstrators have refused to leave the State Capitol at closing time, sleeping inside the Capitol and making it impossible for maintenance staff to do their work.  Maintenance staff have indicated their fear of the crowds, not feeling safe in doing their work.
  • Police unions, whose jobs were unaffected by the proposed budget cuts, sympathized with the teachers unions, and stopped ticketing vehicles which were illegally parked downtown, as well as refusing to protect legislators like Senator Grothman from aggressive crowds.  Liberal media gleefully claimed “peaceful demonstrators” and “no arrests” each day, when in actual fact Madison’s police appeared to be on strike were not performing all their duties.
  • Over the course of the 3 week demonstration, some claim that the demonstrators caused $7.5 million damage to the stately Madison Capitol building

    Wisconsin State Capitol Building

    which was constructed of 43 types of stone from six countries and eight states around 1910.  The $7.5 million damage is larger than the original cost of the erecting the Capitol in 1910 ($7.25 million).

  • The Capitol building, probably for the first time in its 100-year history, began to stink.
  • Demonstrators have been imported into Madison by unions all over the U.S., from as far away as California.  President Obama has also sent supporters and has voiced support for the unions, despite the fact that the President’s own federal workers do not enjoy the luxurious privileges the Wisconsin unions are trying to maintain for themselves. Wisconsin taxpayers are now the victims of the entire nation’s belligerent union hierarchy.
  • Homeless people have abandoned local Church shelters in favor of  living in the Capitol building, where free pizza is provided by out-of-state union bosses.
  • Union demonstrators have abandoned all rules of professionalism and civility.  Posters and

    Sign with crosshairs over Governer Walker's face

    chants reflect violence, hate and vulgarity, totally eclipsing the “crosshairs” controversy following the shooting of Representative Giffords this January.  Signs have routinely compared Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Hosni Mubarak and showed the Wisconsin governor with a cross-hairs rifle sight over his face .  Fourteen of the “100 best posters at the Wisconsin Capitol” are too vulgar to show on this website  . One sign reads “Hey, Walker, WI Ranger, who’s gonna wipe yer ___ when U have a stroke???”

  • Live ammunition was found stashed outside the Wisconsin State Capitol by police.
  • Residents and groups surrounding the Madison Capitol building have suffered poor treatment from demonstrators.  Our Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, part of Madison’s downtown Catholic Cathedral Parish, has struggled to keep parking open for Church members.  When approached by Church staff with requests not to use our parking lot, demonstrators use vulgarity and tell Church staff to “get a life.”   Police do not help either, they have stopped ticketing downtown.
  • Demonstrators have not been acting like teachers, but more like angry mobsters.
  • Demonstrators, as well as the liberal media,  have misrepresented the issues, exaggerating and misquoting the Governor’s terms and failing to explain the rationale behind both points of view—pro-union and pro-balanced budget.  Truth seems to have no role in this debate, and liberal media does not seem interested in discussion. Some representative photos from Vicki McKenna.
  • While 60,000 liberals skipped work, demonstrated and trashed the Wisconsin Capitol, 126,000 conservatives signed an online “Stand with Walker” petition, went to work, took care of their children who were abandoned by teachers, and prepared to pay for the damage the demonstrating minority was causing.   Incidentally, there are only about 100,000 union members in Wisconsin, in contrast to the 5,000,000 taxpayers who do not have union benefits and are paying their bills.

It is an established fact that some demographic differences exist between liberals and conservatives.    The differences are primarily philosophical, NOT racial or ethnic, as liberal media would imply:

Liberals Conservatives
Do not attend Church often 43% 25%
Are married 44% 77%
White, born in U.S. 80% 80%

– Wikipedia

The increased Church attendance and respect for marriage indicated above in conservatives reflects their willingness to conform to the Judeo-Christian values

Ten Commandments

encompassed by the Ten Commandments, on which our systems of law have historically been based.   It is easy to see the projection of this voluntary self-restraint onto acceptable codes of public behavior, which translate into the peaceful and dignified political gatherings and respect for public property characteristic of Tea Party and Pro-Life gatherings nationwide – particularly in the January 2011 March for Life in Washington DC (just 2 weeks prior to the union demonstrations at the Wisconsin State Capitol), where 400,000 people gathered peacefully to show their support for Life, but which Madison’s liberal media did not mention at all.

This past month, the converse, a distinct LACK of voluntary self-restraint, lack of peaceful and dignified protests and lack of respect for public property, has been observed in downtown Madison during the union protests.

These recent events in Madison are by no means unique.  In my 20+ years living as a conservative in liberal Madison, I have personally witnessed numerous times a dramatic difference in the demeanor of liberals and of conservatives in the public square.

Vigil for Life, Fewb 2010

One year ago at a Pro-Life rally in February of 2010, I observed over 1,000 reserved, well-dressed and well-behaved pro-lifers at Madison’s Library Mall standing in the winter cold,  listening quietly to pro-life speakers (which included Senator Grotham), while 20 -30 liberal student radicals, rallying to the campus-wide spam invitation issued by student socialists, yelled, chanted, attempted to disrupt speeches, performed lascivious strip-tease in a nearby raised platform in front of children, and were finally restrained and led off by police. Madison’s liberal media did an abysmal job of reporting this event, failing to report the difference in numbers at this event (1,000 versus 25), and failing to report the difference in demeanor of the two groups.  To read the brief Madison newspaper report, it would seem that opposing groups of similar size confronted each other briefly downtown.

This 40:1 ratio of civilized well-behaved citizens to loud disruptors at the Pro-Life rally above is similar to the 50:1 ratio of Wisconsin citizens who work and pay the bills to protesting union workers at the Wisconsin State Capitol last month (5 million to 100,000).  Yet again, the minority is attempting to control the majority by intimidation.

Another recent contrast in the demeanor of liberals and conservatives is illustrated by my blog post on the Madison pro-marriage rally of  Aug 1, 2010 .   During the pro-marriage rally, Catholic Bishop of Madison led conservative attendees in praying the “Our Father,” while hundreds of liberals surrounded them yelling and chanting, disrupting the prayer and attempting to approach the podium where the Bishop was standing, again restrained by police.

I refrain from using the political labels Democrat or Republican intentionally.  I include myself among numerous conservative independents who have never belonged to one political party, and whose beliefs are not in line with one party platform.  However, I must say that in recent years I am finding myself (steered by my Pro-Life views) most often in sympathy with the Republican Party.


In addition, the uncivilized and inconsiderate behavior of liberal Democrats in recent years, observed in numerous situations similar to those described here, has struck me as threatening democracy and attempting to replace democracy with mob rule.  No society can function like this.   Any rational person must ask—why did the Republicans NOT walk out of Congress and the Senate when ObamaCare was on the table, but the Democrats DID walk out when they did not like the legislation being discussed in Wisconsin?  How can democracy function when minority legislators hijack the democratic process by refusing to follow the rules?


The seeming readiness of liberals to break ALL rules – State Capitol visiting hour rules, legislative rules, teachers sick leave rules, medical ethics rules, rules of cleanliness, rules of polite and respectful discourse, rules of civilized language and behavior in front of children, rules regarding use of live ammunition, and common sense rules about public behavior – the breaking of all these rules makes discussion impossible.  The demonstrators do not appear at all interested in discussion of the common good.  They only seem interested in keeping their comfortable privileges by any means necessary, be that bullying, trashing Wisconsin’s State Capitol, or mob rule.

This is not the America we love and that our military risks their lives to protect.

It is time for the silent majority to become even MORE active than they were in November 2010.

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