Democracy in action, baby. Peacefully and without violence, Wisconsin protesters made their voices known to Wisconsin State Rep Warren Petryk, keeping him from an Americans for Prosperity (read Koch brothers)-funded rally for Gov. Scott Walker. Video and story courtesy of local Eau Claire station WQOW:.
Representative Warren Petryk was scheduled to speak at the Americans for Prosperity rally in support of Governor Walker Saturday morning. But he didn't make it there.
The 93rd Assembly District Republican was stopped in a nearby parking lot, as protesters asked him questions. He didn't make it inside the Eau Claire hotel in time for the rally.
Emotions ran high in that parking lot. One retired school teacher was visibly upset, as she told Petryk she felt workers' rights were being taking away without proper debate.
"I felt like he listened to me," said Rozanna Bejin, of Eau Claire, afterward. "He said he was going to call Scott Walker. My request was that Petryk talk to people in the assembly and the senate, all of his colleagues, to people sit down and talk to the 14 Democratic Senators who are in Illinois."
The conversation ended with a hug between Representative Petryk and Bejin.
Despite the bravado of Walker and State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald that it is the missing Democratic Senators who are close to caving, I think these protests are truly making the Republicans sticking around far more wobbly...especially since even the most right-leaning polls show they are not getting the support from voters.
Yet another poll in Wisconsin, this time commissioned by a free-market think tank, the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, shows voters disapproving of Gov. Scott Walker, and saying he should compromise on his budget proposal and its anti-public employee union provisions. Furthermore, the key groups with whom Walker is jousting -- Democrats in the state legislature, public employee unions in general, teachers' unions in particular -- all have significantly better favorable ratings than he does.
Eight of the Republican Senators have been targeted for recall efforts. Since the focus on union-busting has everything to do with marginalizing the Democratic vote and therefore aiding Republican control of the state and most politicians' first and foremost priority is to stay in office, it should be interesting to see who else falls by the wayside.