Madison – After a wild and raucous night at the State Capitol, the scene inside the building Thursday morning looks just like it was a few weeks ago when protesters camped out overnight.
At 6:30 a.m., there were dozens of people who stayed the night and were camped out in various locations in the building.
Of particular concern to police are a few dozen protesters who spent the night in the antechamber of the Assembly. The Assembly is scheduled to go into session at 11 a.m. Thursday to consider the bill on collective bargaining that the Senate approved last night in mere minutes.
A number of protesters said they had no intention of leaving the area Thursday.
In spite of the fact that
there is a court order that the building would be shut after regular business hours, yet law enforcement did nothing to enforce that court order.
Ann Althouse has photos of protesters streaming in as law enforcement officers stand by. This is what it looked like inside the Capitol, as “Police officers simply retreated,”
the Democrats told the Republicans that there would be no further negotiations; the Republicans said “Fine” and took the bill to the floor; and the Democrats were left looking stunned, stammering, and standing there with their naughty bits in their hands.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, Governor Scott Walker explains Why I’m Fighting in Wisconsin
We can avoid mass teacher layoffs and reward our best performers. But we have to act now.
While it might be a bold political move, the changes are modest. We ask government workers to make a 5.8% contribution to their pensions and a 12.6% contribution to their health-insurance premium, both of which are well below what other workers pay for benefits. Our plan calls for Wisconsin state workers to contribute half of what federal employees pay for their health-insurance premiums. (It’s also worth noting that most federal workers don’t have collective bargaining for wages and benefits.)
The courage of the Wisconsin Senate conservatives cannot be understated. Before the vote, lawmakers were threatened with death and physical violence. After the vote, thousands of protesters stormed into the capitol building, ignoring announcements from police that the building was closed. Once inside, and at great risk to the public welfare, activists handcuffed some doors to the capitol shut. When security escorted the Senators to another building, a Democrat tipped off the mob, which then surrounded their cars and tried to break their windows as Senators returned home.
What next? Betsy has a forecast (emphasis added),
Governor Walker and the Republicans can talk all they want about the need for limiting union power to elect their bosses who will then turn around and give in to whatever the unions demands no matter how they are creating the destruction of local and the state governments. Their answer is to raise taxes so that non-public workers can pay for those state employees can keep their comfy benefits. Unless those non-public employees get motivated to come out for these elections, the unions will be able to overwhelm turnout.
That is why Governor Walker, as the most prominent spokesman, needs to be out there. Those legislators up for recall need to be out there also. They need to explain that the union solution is to raise everyone’s taxes so that there will be more money for public employee workers. The can point out how, in states that elected Democrats, like neighboring Minnesota and Illinois, the solution for deficits is raising taxes. Tell the voters that the choice is between their paying more so that public employees can get better salaries and better benefits than they do. Tell them, as Governor Walker does in his column, that the voters have the opportunity to make sure that the unions don’t mandate that, in times of layoffs, the better teacher keeps his or her job, not just the one who has been there longer. Put it in terms that they understand. And one more recommendation for Governor Walker, get more examples than your brother. Every time I see him or read him, he’s using his brother as his example. Mix it up a bit.
But the GOP is fighting now to keep their majority. And the union will be able to get their people out there. Notice how they were able to get hundreds of their members out to the state Capitol last night in a short period of time. Imagine what they’ll do with time to prepare for these elections. The fight is on.
Post re-edited to include omitted paragraphs.
More video from Ace’s Drew,