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Monday, December 5, 2011

Scott Walker makes people pay for free speech

The irrepressible Charles Pierce is in Wisconsin reporting on the recall efforts and a new scheme to repress First Amendment rights for people who want to express their disapproval of worse of the continual flow of schemes to screw the people of Wisconsin. The good news is it looks the 540,000 signatures needed to trigger the recall will be comfortable exceeded. The bad news is it will take more than a recall election to undo the damage already done.

This day's new rule was a doozy. Henceforth, according to the governor's office, anyone wishing to stage "an event" in the capitol would have to pay for the cost of the capitol police at a rate of $50 an hour, per officer. Moreover, the people organizing the "event" also would be liable for any clean-up costs. (Walker's administration already has been caught inflating the cost of cleaning up after last winter's mass demonstrations at the capitol.) You might also have to post an insurance bond in advance. Yes, in Scott Walker's Wisconsin, your First Amendment rights come with a security deposit. And thus did Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, securely armored in bureaucratic chickenshit and surrounded by aging veterans functioning as human shields against the people who have come to believe him a walking pustulation, inaugurate the festive holiday season in the people's capitol building.

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