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Posts Tagged with ‘Wisconsin’

Recalling Walker

January 16th, 2012 by

Nearly a million Wisconsinites sign recall petition, I shake some of their hands

[UPDATE 1/17/12: 1.1 million recall signatures turned in.]

So Santa Claus Steve flew me out to Wisconsin. He thought I should do a little tour and pump up petitioners during the last leg of the recall effort. And who am I to argue with Santa Claus Steve?¬†People like me here. OK, most people like me here. In Milwaukee there were two women collecting recall signatures right in the airport. Santa Claus Steve introduced me as David Koch. I tried to make him stop doing that, but he wouldn’t.

The Capitol rotunda during the daily noon singalong

The recall petitions get turned in to Madison and officially tallied on January 17th (unfortunately, I have to be in Buffalo to fight for the Freedom of the Press¬†– the WordPress, but still). I’m not privy to any official recall numbers, but between you and me, Wisconsin absolutely crushed this thing. 540,000 signatures are needed to trigger a recall election; I’d be surprised if the final number weren’t more in the 1 million neighborhood — each for Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch.¬† (more…)


Madtown @ Nite

March 10th, 2011 by

Live from inside the Capitol in Madison, WI

Madtown @ night 002

MARCH 10, 2011 (2:55 am CST)–So I couldn’t sleep. I went back to the hippie crash pad, had some “medicine,” and now I’m back inside. There are no police posted at the doors. A few hundred people come and go as they please. Many now are dozing off on the floor or chatting quietly. The drumming has ceased, for the night. I hope.

The shame from last evening is still echoing through the halls. My fucking foot is asleep. Pins and needles. I’m splayed out on the marble. I think Trotsky’s starting a sexual revolution somewhere.

It’s weird being in here at night. It’s a beautiful pigsty, indeed, and witnessing the peaceful occupation is like a bizarre piece of performance art. It’s a sleepover. I had free pizza. Mother Democracy’s letting us stay up late and play. We’re going to feel like shit tomorrow.

What happened earlier is disgusting. If you’re not up on the deal: The pig-fucking Senate Republicans pig-fucked Wisconsin. They stripped the anti-collective bargaining bit from Walker’s budget “repair” bill and voted on that issue alone. They did this because budgetary legislation needs a special¬†quorum–they need 20 Senators, which is why the 19 Republicans have thus far been stymied by the 14 Senate Dems in exile. Non-budgetary matters only need 14 to achieve a quorum, so they pig-fucked it through. It’s illegal, strong-arm, third world bullshit. And that’s where we stand.

All the cries of “Shame!” in the world won’t stop the assembly from¬†throttling through this pig-fucking mess. It’s nearly certain that the nation will wake up, go to work, and hear the news that collective bargaining is dead in Wisconsin. And if you believe one pig-fucking word out of Scott Walker’s¬†putrescent maw, you know he thinks of himself as the first domino in a line that will mark the end of workers’ rights in America.

But the fight is not over. Sleeping out here tonight is an experience, but the only recourse left for the people of Wisconsin is a recall of Governor Walker and his Republican¬†colleagues in the Senate. The Gov recall requires that he be in office for a year first, so this may call for more immediate and direct action. “General strike!” people chanted outside last night. That may be exactly the ticket.

I’m too wired to sleep. But I have to go walk around.

UPDATE (3:17 am CST):

Most have cleared out of the building. Fewer than 100 remain. I found an electrical outlet, so I’m going to take a nap, and recharge.

UPDATE (4:35 am CST):

There are very few people left. Some are snoring. The bathrooms are open. We’ve not been asked to leave, but if you do, you can’t get back in until 8 am. I’m dying for a smoke. Sleep instead.

UPDATE (6:45 am CST):

I never did sleep. I left the Capitol and now I’m just wandering. Ain’t we all.


CLARIFICATION: The phrase “pig-fucked it through” was meant to describe how the¬†Republicans violated the Open Meetings Law. That was the illegal act mentioned above, not that the collective bargaining bit was removed from the budget and voted on separately.

And “Paul from England”: EAT MY FUCKING SHIT. I’m tired of you faux-sensitive assholes being more offended by words, which are completely arbitrary, than you are by billionaires and their government cronies putting profit before people at every turn. You, sir, are an asshole.



Smash Wednesday

March 9th, 2011 by

The Wisconsin Senate Republicans ram through anti-collective bargaining measure by removing it from the budget repair bill.

State Assembly Democrat Brett Hulsey explains to The BEAST what the hell happened:

The Assembly will vote on the measure tomorrow. As of this writing, the Capitol has been overrun by protesters. Capitol police initially let in somewhere between 500 – 600 people, and then locked the doors. But as hundreds of outraged people swarmed the Capitol, police started letting people in again.

“Whose house is this?” everyone screamed. “Our house!” they responded.

We’ll have more video and updates as things unfold.


Madtown is proper pissed off, and for good reason. Right now (10:23 pm CST) the area around the Capitol is crowded with people, honking cars and a generally tingly feeling of democracy in action. It’s history. It’s exciting. It’s slightly chaotic. And it’s not known what will happen tomorrow.

People have completely occupied the Capitol with the intention of holding their ground and having their voices heard during tomorrow’s vote.

My cameraman, Trotsky, has had his “medicine” and everything’s cool on our end. For now. Check out the video he shot:

We don’t know if sleep is in the cards tonight. It’s time to hit the streets and see what’s what.

Stay here for the latest.




March 4th, 2011 by

The Front Lines of America’s Class War

(Photo: Ed Beck)
(Photo: Ed Beck)

Part One: Buffalo to Wisconsin

Last Saturday about 250 Cheeseheads-in-solidarity huddled on the freezing steps of City Hall in Buffalo. It was cute and toothless, like a kitten with leukemia. I’d say it accomplished nothing, but it did have the effect of making us all very cold. (more…)


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