Sen. Cullen supports the rights of Solidarity Sing Along participants to sing without a permit

Last week I highlighted statements made by Democratic State Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson, who stated his belief that Solidarity Sing Along participants should get a permit if they want to sing in the State Capitol rotunda.

At the time, myself and Doug from Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote Republican decided to email each and every Democratic State Senator to find out where they stand on the issue of whether the participants of the Solidarity Sing Along should be required to obtain a permit before exercising their first amendment rights.

A day later, I received my first response from State Senator Kathleen Vinehout, who made it clear she believes the participants of the Solidarity Sing Along should not need to obtain a permit to exercise their rights.

The majority of people in my district just last month learned about the arrests of people who come to the Solidarity Sing-a-long. When they ask me about this situation, I tell them that I understand why the folks who come to sing are not seeking a permit. They come to exercise the rights granted them in a democracy.

The freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, including spontaneous assemblies, and the freedom to petition our democratically elected representative are all fundamental rights in our democracy. It is important for all of us to exercise those rights or we risk losing them.

While Sen. Vinehout’s response was encouraging, nearly a week went by before another Democratic State Senator responded to my inquiry. Yesterday Jim Stoa from Sen. Tim Cullen’s office responded to my inquiry thusly:


Good morning. Sen. Cullen actually discussed this on the radio yesterday afternoon:

The issue is discussed at 24:45. Short answer: no, he doesn’t think they should be required to get a permit.

I hope this helps.


As I write this, Democratic Sens. Lena Taylor, Julie Lassa, Jim Lehman, Tim Carpenter, Mark Miller, Fred Risser, John Erpenbach, Nikiya Harris, Bob Jauch, Bob Wirch, and Jennifer Schilling have yet to respond to requests made by Doug and myself, and I’m not holding my breath that we’ll receive any response.


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7 thoughts on “Sen. Cullen supports the rights of Solidarity Sing Along participants to sing without a permit

    1. That is disappointing, and it’s disappointing that only two Democratic State Senators have bothered to respond, but their silence does speak volumes in my opinion.

      1. No worries! Senator Miller came to the Solidarity Sing Along today and voiced his support for and thanks to the participants and affirmed that he believes we don’t need a permit because of the rights clearly spelled out in the state and federal constitutions. I’m sorry it took him so long, but I’m thrilled that he came through for us!

    2. The lack of a response from Sen. Miller is surprising, based on his past responses and on the fact that he joined and addressed today’s Solidarity Sing Along. I hope the issue is not that he is comfortable with informally supporting (and associating with) the Sing Along but reluctant to send an official response containing a statement of support.


      I have a lot of respect for Sen. Tim Cullen and was very happy to read the response from his office. The entire podcast, in which he describes his attempts to reach a compromise while the “14” were in Illinois, is worth listening to.

  1. Senator Miller came to the SSA on Friday, the 13th, and thanked us and sang along to “14 Senators.” That’s an endorsement.

  2. Just for the record, we have asked the direct question “do the solidarity singers have the right to sing in the Capitol Rotunda without a permit?” of almost every elected guest recently. Sen. Tim Cullen answered properly (No permit). US Senator Tammy Baldwin was less straight forward in her response 9/12/13 podcast-segment 2 starting approx 10 minutes. Tammy made no commitment to sing or support.

    State Senator Jon Erpanbach was more clearly supportive, but Jon wanted no part of joining the singers some noon hour (even when offered the incognito option of wearing a “Bucky” Badger costume and using the Sen. Leah Vukmir’s “I am above the law” defense). Erpanbach appeared 9/13/13 also at approx 10 minutes into the podcast.

    Can’t wait until Mike Tate DPW appears in the “future”. Please keep listening and we’ll keep asking see Rep John Richards, Sen Kathleen Vinehout, and of course Sen. Chris Larson. #crute The Devil’s Advocates week days 4-5 pm The Mic 92.1 FM.

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