I observed the entrance to a festive farce, the Beer and Brat Summit at the executive residence in Maple Bluff.
I hear that 34 lawmakers declined to squirt the mustard with Walker and at least 4 made it known they disapprove of the event. Either because the press were informed that they were excluded, or despite that fact, they ramped up their presence at the mansion even sending 2 news helicopters that relentlessly circled overhead and at least 8 news vans – more than I have ever seen in 1 location for a political event. The chop chop of the blades made me feel like somebody was supposed to be medflighted out.
Perhaps 30-50 protesters were there. Most of them were people I’ve seen at the Capitol.
I overheard and taped Rep Suder and Sen. Jauch as they spoke to the press.
Sen. Jauch: “This is a very small token effort. We need to do more of this but we need to do it in a serious way. If the governor is committed to bipartisanship then he needs to have a real summit on some of the key issues and bring us together and keep us together until we come up with real, meaningful solutions. I was here during the spearfishing controversy the last time the state was deeply divided – very polarized – and Senator Dan Inouye, came to this residence. He invited legislators, met with Governor Thompson and led the way towards real resolution. That’s a meaningful conversation. This is a symbolic picnic.”
Rep. Scott Suder use the word “bipartisan”. As he was standing next to me videotaping, Arthur Kohl-Riggs leaned over and asked me in a very loud voice how many people need to collaborate for it to really mean bipartisanship.
Marty Beil, Executive Director at Wisconsin State Employees Union, was also there to talk to press. He’s not known for subtle commentary. When a reporter asked him why he showed up there he answered, “I want people to see that we’re not gone. I want punks like Suder over here to see so he knows that we’re here for when he runs in the fall for reelection. These guys need to know that we’re watching them every second of the day and we’ll continue to do that. ” He repeatedly called Suder “punk”.
I remained mostly silent but at one point I couldn’t help myself: I let out a hiss when Scott and Jeff Fitzgerald approached.
The event got under the skin of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union too, but for the simple reason that it incorporated beer. I didn’t know that WCTU existed in this day and age. They’ve been disapproving of alcohol consumption since they successfully and briefly rendered alcohol illegal during Prohibition.
I wonder if the concept of an indicted Scott Walker gets under the skin of the GOP party members? Borrowed from JSOnline: “One [protester] repeatedly sang “Who’s John Doe?” in an operatic voice, referring to an ongoing secret John Doe investigation of Walker aides going back to his time as Milwaukee County executive. Another held a sign that said, “Healing begins with indictment.”"
The possible, or should I say “likely”, indictment of Walker is the comeuppance that we wait and even pray for now. I can find nobody who believes Walker has authentic plans for bipartisanship. Do you believe it?