Assembly Democrats move their offices outdoors | Wis.Community

Assembly Democrats move their offices outdoors

This is one of the coolest and most visually affecting moves I've ever seen the Democratic Party make.

When Gov. Walker and his cronies decided the best way to defeat the protests was to "lock down" the state Capitol, the law of unintended consequences once again proved embarrassing to Republicans. Sure, they have managed to reduce the 24/7 crowds living inside the Capitol, but at a huge PR cost. That cost increased this week when former Democratic Rep. David Obey, State Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirely Abrahamson, and a Democratic assemblywoman were unable to get into the Capitol to do business because they didn't have proper ID. Does this sound like George W. Bush's America, or what?

More bad PR when the GOP tactic prompted a judge to issue a restraining order opening the doors again. Nevertheless, the Walkerites persisted, ignoring the order, apparently in viiolation of the state constituion.

And here's the moment of beauty: According to an online dispatch from Madison's superb The Progressive magazine (URL below), a group of Democratic legislators in the Assembly who have offices on the Capitol's first floor opened windows and moved their offices outdoors, complete with desks, chairs, phones and flags, so constituents could actually meet with them.

Hey, hey, heavy-handed Republicans: It's still the peoples' legislature and the peoples' building.  And if you won't let anyone except your pals use it, well, then, we'll create a capitol on the lawn.

Said one Democratic legislator to constituents who took advantage of his open-air office: ""You guys couldn't get into our offices, so we're bringing our offices to you.” Meanwhile, Rep. Fred Clark of Baraboo, another Democrat who climbed out a window, said, "There is absolutely no reason for the kind of lockdown that is happening now in the Capitol. My constituents can't get in to see me. People couldn't get in to attend hearings, to see us, or to see the governor's budget address last night -- there were empty seats in the gallery. There's no excuse for that. I had to climb in the window to get in here yesterday, because I left my I.D. at home."

Here's a cool photo that ran in The Progressive magazine, which covered this story originally. It shows a Democratic legislator holding office hours on the walkway outside the Capitol, complete with desk, guest chairs, flag, and a phone. Hats off to The Progressive for covering the heck out of this:

Link to full article:


March 3, 2011 - 7:57pm