Yesterday at the Capitol, during the Solidarity sing-along, Leslie Peterson tried to take a picture with a red heart balloon. Capitol Facilities Manager Ron Blair saw this and lept into action!

As soon as she pulled it out, someone came up behind her and repeatedly stabbed the balloon with a blade. “I’m sick of fishing these off the ceiling,” said the man with the round glasses and handlebar moustache as he walked away.

Shaken up by the sneak attack on her property, Leslie asked the man for his name and identification. He did not respond to her so she asked him again, saying that she was going to file an incident report with the Capitol Police. At that point, he allegedly grabbed her and slammed her up against the door of a women’s bathroom. “I saw blood all over him and me. I didn’t know if he still had the knife, or whether or not I had been stabbed,” said Leslie.

The man, who was later identified as Ron Blair, assistant director in the Wisconsin Department of Administration in charge of facilities management at the Capitol, then ran out of the Capitol and into a building across the street. He later told reporters that the blood all over the stairs and floor in front of the Supreme Court was from an earlier fall he had taken on the stairs. However, Leslie reports seeing blood only after he slashed the balloon.

While if you or I had attacked a woman from behind, with a knife, in the Capitol building we would be sitting in prison, but Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs is investigating. There is word that these balloons can do damage to the paintings in the Capitol, but that information appears to come from Blair himself, so take that FWIW. Blair was in the news recently for recovering the infamous \"Capitol Balloon\". Blair has been hard at work removing tape residue, AND he hates peanuts. In case you dont believe me we have footage of Ron Blair actually taking the tape off:

While there are reports that Ron Blair likes to hang out at the Governors Mansion and is Tonette Walkers personal concierge(on our dime), there are also reports that Mr. Blair is a reasonable man. What this shows here is the division that the Walker administration and the republicans have brought to our state. Reasonable man or not, he knows that if your in with the Walker’s your in and if you question anything they do you are out. It is sad that this is how Scott Walker and the Fitzgerald family have chosen to govern our great state and let’s make sure and send a message via the recalls that this will not be tolerated.

Finally the full rundown of republican thuggery right here.

PS: If you would like to let Ron Blair know what you think of his knife attack on the red balloon and Ms. Peterson:

Ron.Blair@wisconsin.gov or Office # 608-266-3660

59 Responses to Republican Thugs VII – 99 Luft Balloons edition

  1. Charles James MITCHELL says:

    Thanks muchly for writing this article.

    However, PLEASE make an effort to use correct spelling and punctutation. Every distraction from reading the content of your article means that someone is working to understand it and the desire to communicate relies on someone else’s ability to interpret what you wrote rather than what you meant to write.

    • JCG says:

      1) It’s kind of douche-y to use all 3 of your full given names in an informal setting. It’s doubly douche-y when you put your last name in all caps.

      2) It’s way douche-y to use the phrase “thanks muchly”. Under any circumstance.

      3) It’s both ironic and douche-y to fail to properly separate the clauses of your third sentence with a comma, especially when the purpose of said sentence is to take someone to task for improper punctuation. It made your point awfully tough to comprehend, don’t ya know.

      —————————–

      TLDR; You’re a pretentious douche.

  2. i gotta say, the guy looks like a reasonable wisconsin character. mayhaps he really is just tired of fishing them off the ceiling.

  3. Jeff Simpson says:

    As someone who has two kids who love balloons, all he has to do is wait another day or two and they will be on the floor. If not maybe he could find out who supplies these balloons and get an endorsement deal. I want to buy my balloons from there!

  4. Here’s the spin from the DOA.

    http://host.madison.com/news/state_and_regional/article_4350d344-a186-5431-b8f4-e396f348049f.html

    Turns out it was just a lunch hour spat over a balloon popping.

    Or, if you’re of a civic and rule of law mindset, maybe assault and battery and reckless endangerment?

  5. T. says:

    I actually don’t think this was politically related like the time the tea party members chipped the tooth of some solidarity singers. I do think what he did was extremely unprofessional though, if you have to keep not — the balloons are a type of aluminum and could destroy oil paintings and scratch the very top of the ceiling. Think of it along the lines of a thin sheet of metal repeatedly bumping against another metal, scratching it or ruining the oil.

    I won’t even go into how horrible the heat wave has to be too – however It doesn’t change the fact that he used a knife to pop the balloon to begin with a knife and that was a stupid decision. But still, I don’t think it was anything politically related or motivated compared to other things I’ve been hearing about around the state.

  6. CJ McD says:

    The dude is freakin lucky he didn’t cut her in his manic effort to “pop a balloon”.

    As Steve carlson mentioned, “… if you’re of a civic and rule of law mindset, maybe assault and battery and reckless endangerment?”

    Absolutely. In addition to immediate dismissal.
    Had that happened in any other workplace, someone attacking someone else or their balloon, or whatever with a knife, they would be dismissed immediately. Completely unacceptable behavior in ANY workplace. That’s before he physically assaulted her. And then he LIED about what happened. Someone could have seriously, seriously been hurt. Luckily a bit of karma intervened.

    What creeps me out is how this story has been buried in the news. We’ll have to wait for John Stewart, Steven Cobert and Rachel Maddow to shed some light on it. Because our local papers sure aren’t doing diddly on coverage.

  7. Jeff Simpson says:

    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_ce3f9b96-b7d5-11e0-86b3-001cc4c002e0.html

    The Department of Administration issued a statement Tuesday saying the investigation is under way. The statement said the employee did not come to work on Tuesday and won’t be at work until further notice. The statement did not elaborate and a DOA spokesman didn’t return a message.

    http://bloggingblue.com/2011/07/19/the-supreme-court-is-not-a-workplace/

    Isnt that what was asked of David “Ike Turner” Prosser? “Will not be at work until further notice”

    • JCG says:

      The balloon probably threw itself into the knife. Why isn’t the balloon, then, on administrative leave pending investigation as well? Clearly that’s the only reasonable solution, but you liberals just like to jump to conclusions.

  8. Jeff Simpson says:

    Here is Ron Blair getting testy with the loony law professors paramour/commenter meade (who promptly threatens to sue):

  9. Money Talks says:

    I have a thoughtful I idea, how about if everyone just grows up in this state. If people want to bring balloons into the capital let them, no one would even know if people did not over react to these type of things. They best friend the protesters have are the people annoyed by their antics, just ignore them, there is no news coverage any longer you only read about them when someone does something stupid, like try and pop a balloon.

  10. Roland Moore says:

    Whether or not this is a criminal incident, it is definitely a “civil” one and is covered by tort (negligence) law under the concept of assault and battery. The lady should see a lawyer and file a civil lawsuit against the attacker. She could ask for nominal monetary damages and the lawsuit would be on record against this horrible individual.

  11. Zach says:

    Do we know with absolute certainty that Ron Blair is a conservative?

    It’s a question that bears answering, because his Twitter feed doesn’t scream “I’m a conservative!”

    • Laurie G says:

      with all due respect…personally, as a woman who was taught to fear those who come up behind you with a knife….being a conservative is not the issue here.

      • Zach says:

        I’m in full agreement there, but the title of the post is “Republican thugs.” I’m simply asking a question about how certain we are that this man is a”Republican thug” and not simply a state employee who snapped and acted out in a grossly inappropriate manner.

        • Laurie G says:

          True….the title does say “Repug Thug…”

          I just hope that this individual has charges brought against him. I, as you, am a public employee, and we do not even allow knives in the public areas of the public buildings, let alone someone to use it against a citizen (or his/her balloon.)

          • Ed Heinzelman says:

            “…and we do not even allow knives in the public areas of the public buildings…”

            What about after 11/1/11? I believe knives are included in the concealed carry bill.

  12. Jeff Simpson says:

    As i pointed out in the post, he has worked his way up in the walker administration and he would not be there if he was not a walker kiss ass. The rumors are that he is a huge brown noser who works directly with Tonette Walker in spending our money.

    I also feel rather he is republican/democrat/never voted in his life, that the republicans have divided this state so thoroughly that they have set the atmosphere for these events 100%. Not only in actions but also in the fact that they have yet to prosecute! So i stand behind “republican” thugs.

    • Zach says:

      So Jeff, if I happen to get a promotion during my time in state government and Scott Walker happens to still be governor then you’ll consider me a “Walker kiss ass?”

      • Jeff Simpson says:

        If you go ballistic on someone who just wants to take a picture with a red heart balloon you will be part of the “republican thug”series…

        • Zach says:

          Ah, so it doesn’t really matter whether or not the person is actually a Republican or not; you’ll just call them a Republican thug because you can.

          Gotcha.

          • Jeff Simpson says:

            He obviously isnt a democrat and I doubt he is an “independent” . I think there is enough evidence that he is on the Walker side if he declares as much or not.

            • Zach says:

              And what leads you to conclude he’s “obviously” not a Democrat or an independent?

              What’s your evidence, other than his behavior during this incident, behavior which could certainly be explained in any number of ways that have nothing to do with his partisan affiliation, if he even has one.

              • Jeff Simpson says:

                The fact that he attacked someone with a heart shaped Balloon(which has become a symbol of the protestors). Maybe he truly is sick of fetching them off the roof, and maybe he just snapped.

                The point is this is the climate in WI these days. Fitzwalkerstan has successfully created divisions within the state, heck even within neighborhoods, communities and families. Divide and conquer. These stories were not coming out of the Thompson/Mccallum/Doyle years. That is why I believe it belongs in this category.

                Also irregardless of his beliefs what he did was ridiculous and uncalled for,

                • Locke says:

                  These stories were not coming out of the Thompson/Mccallum/Doyle years. That is why I believe it belongs in this category.

                  The link YOU posted about the peanuts – from 2009 – seems to directly refute that.

                  I won’t argue with you that it’s become an even more caustic political environment. (Though I’m sure to you, it’s all the Republicans while I see no substantial difference between the parties). But in this case, you’re seeing things that aren’t there and are grasping at straws to support claims with no factual basis.

                  • Steven Reynolds says:

                    Here’s a rule of thumb. . . any time someone says he sees no substantive difference between the parties, it is a lock that the person writing that is a Republican ashamed of what his party has done but afraid to admit it.

                    • Locke says:

                      This is exactly the type of posts I’ve not been responding to any more. Mostly because my inclination is to respond along the lines of, “bite me” or worse, and nothing good can come of it.

                      Simply put, you’re wrong, Steven.

                      But since you like rules of thumb, I’ll give you one of my own. As a general rule of thumb, anyone who thinks that either party is cleaner, more ethical or different in any meaningful way is unwilling to open their eyes and prefers partisan blindness.

                    • JCG says:

                      @ Locke:

                      …anyone who thinks that either party is cleaner, more ethical or different in any meaningful way

                      Cleanliness, ethics: couldn’t agree more. Different? No. I don’t know that there’s ever been a bigger difference between the parties.

                  • Jeff Simpson says:

                    Locke do you really see NO difference between the parties???

                    • Locke says:

                      As far as the current hyper-politicized, scorched-earth, win-at-all-costs environment that we’re in (which was the context I used in setting up that statement) I absolutely seen no difference. It’s been a continually escalating “we’re justified in doing this because they did that” that I’m just sick & tired of. When my kids try to pull that, they know exactly what the first words out of my mouth will be: “I don’t care who started it, both of you go to your room.”

                      If only I could send the R & D parties to their room without dinner.

            • Steven Reynolds says:

              The guy was put on leave by someone in the Walker Administration, an act that argues he is either an independent or a Democrat. Otherwaise he would likely have either been given a raise, if he could prove he never went to college, or gotten a job with the Koch brothers.

              • Locke says:

                I can’t help but laugh out loud at this post. So let me get this straight…

                This guy has a history of reacting harshly over things like this. Jeff posted his email & phone number for people to really let him have it – presumably, calling for his head or at least some sort of punishment. And you use the fact that he was put on leave by “someone in the Walker adminstration” as a show of proof that he’s an independent or Democrat?

                Apparently, even when you essentially agree with the Walker Administration on something they’re still wrong.

                • Steven Reynolds says:

                  Locke, you take things too seriously. My comment was tongue in cheek. Your comment about seeing no difference between the parties as far as scorched earth tactics go seemingly was not tongue in cheek. Your comment was whackdoodle. There are numerous examples both local and nationwide to show Democrats compromising and the Republicans being intransigent. . . would you like a list of examples in just the first half of this year?

                • JCG says:

                  Locke, I’m pretty sure Steve’s tongue was firmly planted in cheek.

            • Super Id says:

              “He obviously isnt a democrat”

              Ron blair just donates to democratic candidates, Such as Dan Naylor , because it’s a republican thing to do?

              http://www.wisdc.org/index.php?module=wisdc.websiteforms&cmd=searchadvanced&filter=+Search+&contributor_name=Blair%2C+R

    • Locke says:

      he has worked his way up in the walker administration and he would not be there if he was not a walker kiss ass.

      Let’s see…from the links you posted:

      July 2, 2011, he was listed as “assistant director of the Division of State Facilities

      April 6, 2009 he was Assistant Facilities Director.

      Doesn’t seem like a hell of a lot of difference there, and if I’m not mistaken, some one else was in the governor’s mansion in 2009. Maybe it was a conspiracy – Doyle and Walker conspired to get Ron Blair in place just for this reason.

      The guy seems a bit heavy handed – of the “don’t you dare step on my grass” sort. But but it just has to be driven by his political views. You go around trying to pound screws in with a hammer, don’t you?

      • Zach W says:

        It’s not often that you and I agree, but this is one of those times.

        • Jeff Simpson says:

          Ok a few kids dress up like Zombies and silently protest the governor by standing up and turning thier backs and the outrage was amazing, even to go so far as this was the final straw. It was the end of all protestors and all unions because of this “horrible” thing the kids did.

          Now a high ranking Capitol worker attacks a woman and pulls a knife, and its – he is acting alone, party had nothing to do with it, lets wait and see the facts etc….

          There is a pattern in the last few months of violence and especially against women and unless people start getting punished for it, it will get worse.

          • Super Id says:

            Jeff, it’s not apples to apples. The problem that people had with the zombie protest was the protesting was at the special Olympics. Call me old fashioned, but using the special Olympics to make a political protest is offensive and distasteful on many levels.

            A worker popping balloons with a knife is inappropriate but before we are going to accept your accusation that this is a rethuglican act, you first need to establish that the worker was a republican. You have yet to provide evidence to establish that accusation. Second, you need to establish that his political beliefs caused the incident.

            As it currently stands, it sounds like a pissed of janitor that is tired of doing annoying extra work, who dealt with his frustrations in an inappropriate manner.

            If you want to connect it to walker try a different angle like: the walker administration cut the budget too much leaving the department of facility administration understaffed and overworked…. Etc.. Something like that, you get the idea. In my opinion that would have been a more supported, but still attenuated, argument

            • Jeff Simpson says:

              I agree that it is not apples to apples, because the Zombies seem to have drawn more ire than blair.

              The zombies were there to peacefully protest the Governor who slashed services to the special olympians yet showed up for a photo op.

              Blair attacked this woman for wanting to take a picture of herself with a balloon.

              One last thing its not just that Blair “popped a balloon” he not only did it so recklessly he cut himself in the process, he grabbed the lady and threw her into a wall. That has been overlooked.

              • Zach W says:

                What Ron Blair did has been overlooked because you wanted to label him a Republican thug without any tangible proof. If you had instead just reported on the story (as I did earlier the same day), perhaps folks wouldn’t have overlooked what he did.

        • Locke says:

          Zach, I’m quite certain you and I would agree on most things that come up in every day life. We simply disagree on many political issues.

    • Wingnut says:

      “The rumors are that he is a huge brown noser”

      Did you point out the Doyle brown nosers over that period when you guys had control?

      During the years of the Doyle administration, I never heard Republicans say he had “divided the state.” Could it be that the Republicans believed that they had lost the election and it was not appropriate to occupy the Capitol, begin recalling Democrats, and blame every little thing on the Governor?

      • Jeff Simpson says:

        Had they ridiculously attacked someone at the Capitol for having a balloon and had I been writing here I absolutely would have.

        Its not appropriate to occupy the Capitol(the people’s house)? Tell that to scooter jensen.

  13. CJ McD says:

    Drop the Republican thug and replace it with Capitol Facilities Manager Thug. The man is clearly agitated. I can understand that with all the events happening at the Capitol. He and his staff have probably had more work to do than they’ve had in a long time. No more cushy, cushy. Still, going at your problem with a knife is not a good idea. Just think of all the things that could have gone terribly wrong.

  14. Jan Tessier says:

    Anyone who says there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats is saying that all of them share the same philosophy, which is bullshit. The Republican philosophy for the sixty-some years has been to limit the federal government’s control over business, promote capitalism, do away with civil rights, and create a feudal state in which the richest control the power and the people are relegated to low-paid slaves. Democrats have never promoted any of those ideas, but I will say that many of them have allowed their Republican counterparts to have their way with the country. I’m not impressed with the majority of Democrats in the House and Senate. I think that most of them are in thrall to money as much as their right-wing colleagues. Some of the Democrats are even idiots, such as Anthony Wiener and the recently retired Wu in Oregon. There ARE, however, a handful of courageous Democrats, and one very courageous Independent, who work tireless for the rights of citizens and who oppose the Republican agenda vehemently and loudly. Unfortunately, they don’t get the press the idiots get.
    There is a difference between the parties. If you want to make the case that all Republicans and many Democrats seem to be helping destroy our country, I’ll buy that. You can dislike them all, for all I care, just don’t state something that isn’t fact. The parties’ philosophies are completely opposed to one another—whether or not the members themselves follow the philosophies faithfully.

    • Locke says:

      Oh there certainly are different and sometimes opposing philosophies. I don’t at all grant that they are always completely opposed. There are high character individuals on both sides – and in the big picture they agree with each other on 90% of the most important issues. Things like the importance of family, that it’s good to try and help others, that our personal freedoms and liberties should be protected, etc.

      And I do I very much enjoy discussing & debating with those who have different standards for the extent to which one thing is more important than another that becomes necessary in the real world of less than infinite resources.

      But for the most part, the philosophies are secondary at best for the Republican & Democratic Parties. Simply a means to an end – to generate money and votes.

  15. Mike Mikalsen says:

    Jeff, Ron Blair was there in the same division and position under Gov. Doyle. I can’t believe how you rely on rumors to produce your blog posts. He is not a GOP staffer as you allege based on rumors.

    Jeff for you the truth is the enemy in your warped partisan mind.

  16. Jeff Simpson says:

    I never said he was a GOP staffer what I said was, the rumor is that he likes to hang out at the Govs mansion and take Tonette on her Spending sprees. I referred to it as a rumor. One thing we know is that she likes to spend our money, we just dont know if Blair is the person helping her or not.

    Secondly, What I have also said, although it appears by some posts on here that I am not making my point clearly, that ever since Walker and the republicans took over, there has been a huge division in the state setting the stage for things like this to happen. They have set out a divide and conquer strategy and it is working very well for them, unfortunately people actually get hurt in the process. I dont care who he has voted for, or who hired him, he attacked a woman for wanting her picture taken with a red balloon. That is the atmosphere that the Walker Administration and the republican majority has fostered. It started with the Governor himself advocating violence and it is still going on. I have no doubt that I will have another installment of republican thugs soon.

    One last thing that is disturbing is how much of the violence is aimed at women. There seems to be a pattern.

    • Wingnut says:

      Exactly how is Tonette spending OUR money?

    • Zach W says:

      Jeff, whether Walker and Republicans have set out to divide us, don’t you think you flying off the handle and labeling someone a “republican thug” without any real proof only serves to deepen those divisions?

      • JCG says:

        I agree. On this one, Jeff, there’s just no “there” there. Moreover, it serves to weaken the argument when there;s something blaringly legit to go after.

        And we have to separate career civil servants like Zach and Mr. Blair from political appointees in our analyses.

        There’s plenty of true Republican thugs out there to continue your otherwise excellent series on exposing their rhetorical hypocrisy. Go after those ones.

  17. Jeff Simpson says:

    OK after much rethinking of this and the new info that came out I will amend it a bit. It appears that Blair is not an ideological tool. As we know from past precedence, as Steven noted, had he been a strong member of the walker admin he would never have been arrested.

    However I do stand by my assertion that Scott Walker, the Fitz family and the rest of the republican majority have bred this kind of atmosphere within the Capitol and the entire state. And adding to that, which I have not brought up yet, is the fact that his boss, Mike Huebsch might be the most in over his head appointment of Scott Walker.

    He even admits it http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/Gov-ScottWalker-Wisconsin-Huebsch-budget/2011/04/24/id/393889

    So i do stand by that this fits in the republican thug series but not for the reason i originally posted.

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