What is the difference?

Yesterday in Madison, they debated the \"Keep Wisconsin from voting act\" in committee. During this committee hearing, there were two events that happened and I am trying to figure out the difference between the two.

Event number 1. Protesters disrupted the meeting.

Protesters disrupt meeting

Three protesters hijacked the Joint Finance Committee, forcing it to go into a recess after they moved in front of the committee table and tried to hold their own “people’s finance committee.”

The protesters refused to move when asked by Senate Co-Chair Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, and tried to conduct some sort of quasi-meeting. The disruption came right after the committee adopted a motion.

Dem Sen. Bob Jauch pleaded with them to get out of the way and let the meeting proceed.

“I’m on your side for chrissake,” Jauch said.

After several minutes, Capitol Police officers came into the room and escorted the three protesters out.

Assembly Co-chair Robin Vos said he wanted the police to get the names of the individuals so he can press charges.

After the incident, Jauch said the behavior was “indefensible.”

We can all come to a bi-partisan agreement that yes these are public meetings, the public should be heard and there is no excuse for disruptions. Robin Vos wants to make sure and press charges for those who interfered with the people being heard.

This brings me to event #2(which was not an event so much as something that happened all day): This from a LTE in the Captimes today:

Dear Editor: I attending the hearing of the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Election and Campaign Reform on April 27. Sen. Joseph Leibham, R-Sheboygan, presented opening remarks that were precise and informative. Rep. Jeff Stone, R-Greendale, also presented interesting opening remarks.

I was both appalled and shocked by the continual talking and laughing that went on both by Stone and Rep. Don Pridemore, R-Hartford, during the proceedings. If this was indeed a public meeting at which views from many perspectives were to be listened to, I cannot understand how all this visiting could have gone on. By their actions, the lawmakers implied that they did not need to listen to the views offered by an attorney for the Board of Regents, representing 182,000 students, or a Dane County supervisor or a representative of the state League of Women Voters.

Some of the committee members, such as Pat Strachota, R-West Bend, were taking copious notes. Obviously, neither Stone nor Pridemore had the time to take many notes.

It is an absolute shock to me when so little respect is shown to the presenters at a hearing at the Capitol. If democracy is not put into place at a public hearing at the Capitol, where should I look for representative government in our society?

So let’s be clear: Do not let assemblymen be heard, go to jail. Assemblymen do not let the people be heard its all in good fun?


Related Articles

1 thought on “What is the difference?

  1. I want to clarify here in case it was not clear. I think disrupting the meetings is the wrong thing to do. I think the people who do it should be punished and kicked out of the meetings absolutely. I also think if the elected officials who run these meetings treat the people testifying with such disrespect they should also be punished regardless of party. I truly do not see the difference except that the elected officials should be held to a higher standard.

Comments are closed.