Scott Walker smuggles ringers into the capital for the legislative session

The Awl's Abe Sauer is at the Wisconsin state house with press credentials, and he describes the scene after rogue governor Scott Walker defied a court order and violated state law by locking the public out of the capitol. But then something even weirder and creepier happened: a cadre of out-of-town ringers in suits were smuggled into the gallery through the civil defense tunnels to bleat their approval for Walker's budget proposal:
Walker entered to thunderous applause, though not from the Democrats, who refused to rise. At least two-thirds of the East audience galley was loudly applauding but they had nothing on the West coast. It was now clear who the men in business attire were. Nearly without exception, the west gallery was all men in black suits and, when the governor said something meaningful, they all rose and applauded, and they did it with verve and volume. I'm not saying these guys were not from Wisconsin, but if you know Wisconsin, you know for a fact that even for most businessmen, black suits are not part of the wardrobe. In general, the only time one will see a large gathering of Wisconsin men in black suits is at a funeral, or, apparently at a Governor Walker budget address.

Reporter Kristin Knutsen found evidence that many of these ringers may have entered through the capitol's access tunnels, noting the presence of the Division of Criminal Investigation--the same officers I saw upstairs outside the Assembly chambers following the address escorting unidentified men.

In Madison: Scott Walker Packed His Budget Address With Ringers


  1. So. . . bring in ringers – just weird and pathetic? Or does it serve some kind of purpose? I mean, anybody who bothers to watch the budget address must already have some awareness that Walker’s popularity is not currently at standing ovation levels, no?

    1. I love how everyone assumes they are ringers. How about people that were invited and felt a black suit was protocol. Hmm, everyone in Wisconsin isn’t a blue jean wearing person. It’s sad that everyone is reaching to find fault. How about the Democrats not rising when Walker walked in. If the Republicans ever did that to Doyle, there were be an unprecedented uproar from the left. So sad.

      1. Do you know what ringers means? If you’re invited through secret corridors while the outside door is locked, you’re a ringer.

      2. Obvious troll is obvious. Such specious rhetoric deserves no reply other than to be pointed out as such.

      3. ringers because they were given access to secret tunnels, inaccessible to those waiting in line to attend. There wasn’t even a lottery, they were hand picked attendees, thus, ringers.

        obvious troll IS obvious.

        1. A ringer is someone who pretends a lesser capability than they truly possess, i.e. a ringer in a fight. You need to find a better word.

          1. No, a ringer started as a term for somebody who pretends a lesser capability than they truly possess.

            Words evolve. Ringer initially referred to substituting a low-performing horse for a similar-looking (as in the term ‘dead ringer’) high performing horse. Then it referred to anybody pretending to have less than their ability. According to wiki (under ‘sports idiom’), it’s now used in general, for athletes entered into a competition under false pretenses.

            It’s not that big a jump to the usage here in this case. Most people know what was meant – that they were brought in under false pretenses to give a fraudulent impression of overwhelming support. Pretty much only the hopelessly pedantic or people who have a vested ideological interest in down-playing word play that portrays what Walker did as a sneaky trick would argue with the use.

          2. How does shill work for you?

            Or scenery?

            Or facade?

            Or patina of support?

            Or meat puppets?

    2. This sounds very reminiscent of those HBGary plans to sway public opinion through manipulating social media. I think the appearance of consensus, or in this case the appearance of a lack of consensus, can be very influential to those a bit outside of the action.

    1. It’s not that they were wearing suits that was suspicious. It’s the overall lack of tan cordoroy, plaid, super wide ties, non-functional cuffs, and elbow patches that give the ringers away.

      If you’re going to fake an adoring crowd, it is wise to at least attempt to have them pass as locals.

  2. Percentage of people who have faith in our gov’t: 10%
    Percentage of people who don’t think corporations wield too much power: 11%
    I mean, you subtract out the top 10% of income earners, that leaves pretty much everyone else.
    Who do they think they’re fooling with this garbage?
    Btw, anyone here about the new bill in town in Wisconsin? They want to outlaw prank calls, lol. Wonder why…
    Also, gotta spread the word about astroturfers:'astroturfing'_is_more_advanced_and_more_automated_than_you_might_think

  3. Q: How can you tell they’re not from Wisconsin?
    A: They don’t moo when they talk.

    Ringers. hokay.

    They must be ringers because … they just have to be.

    1. They’re ringers because “if you know Wisconsin, you know for a fact that even for most businessmen, black suits are not part of the wardrobe. In general, the only time one will see a large gathering of Wisconsin men in black suits is at a funeral, or, apparently at a Governor Walker budget address.” Oh, and “Reporter Kristin Knutsen found evidence that many of these ringers may have entered through the capitol’s access tunnels.”

      What “evidence?” Tracks? Shed fur? Feces? Bloody gloves?

      Lame. Just lame.

      1. “Reporter Kristin Knutsen found evidence that many of these ringers may have entered through the capitol’s access tunnels.”

        What “evidence?” Tracks? Shed fur? Feces? Bloody gloves?

        The fact that there were enough protesters outside that the entry of that many people in matching suits would have been noticed, and the tunnels to the parking garage are the only other way in?

    2. They were ringers because everyone protesting was illegally prohibited from entering. Do you know there is a hearing going on about this right now?

      They were ringers because local news channel 3 saw it. Witnesses saw them being brought in via bus and escorted into the tunnel from the parking garage.

      You have tens to hundreds of thousands of people, depending on the time, protesting against Walker, and there are standing ovations? You have that same number outside in the cold, but the place is full of suits?


      1. secret entrance. = favored status. != ringer

        bus. = they came from (gathered/assembled) elswhere. != out of state or were not whom they claimed to be.

        giant protests outside != everyone agrees with the protesters.

        disagreement != evidence of perfidy or deceit.

    3. They must be ringers because … they just have to be.

      They obviously were, since none of their faces rang a bell.

      (More seriously, in each and every one of the posts BB has put up about this Wisconsin matter, there’s been at least one person who’s argued on the side of Governor Walker and against the unions. It makes you wonder.)

      1. Actually, I’m fine with having some opposition voices about. Most of them have been pretty reasonable today, even.

        I’m actually rather hostile to many unions – mostly on the “our way or the highway” grounds. As in, I can’t move my monitor, because that’s a union job. But! It takes weeks to get a union guy to do it! Mandatory membership in anything strikes me as horrendously wrong. “If you want a living as a pipe fitter (or whatever) in this town, you’ll pay your union dues, boy.” Even worse if the company deducts them automatically for you >.>
        Monopolies are bad, and that’s all unions strike me as – a labor monopoly.

        That being said, I *can’t* bring myself to argue for outlawing unions – history shows how badly things go without them. I suspect Walker probably knows this as well.

      2. Makes you wonder…about what?
        That not everyone agrees wholeheartedly with you? That people may hold opposite opinions? Or that we’re secretly anti-union, GOP/Koch Inc. thugs in disguise?

        Wow, that’s not paranoid or anything. Lemme know when we’re allowed to disagree with your talking points, dude.

        Or let me know when we start talking about retarded conservatives trying to hammer down Gay marriage rights or anti-immigration bills. I’ll agree with you all day long then.

      3. there’s been at least one person oh noes!!…

        If you enjoy threads where ideological conformity is sternly enforced, there are the likes of Democratic Underground, or Free Republic. Check ’em out.

        1. Wally Ballou, it is time you knew of Wally Badarou :

          He too has a groove, and he too seems to appreciate the needs of the “chief inspector”.

  4. I have to admit I have a certain amount of admiration for Walker right now. He’s transparently trying to shift focus away from himself, and so far refusing to admit defeat. It reminds me of the one Christian protester who was regularly outside my city’s local Planned Parenthood, come rain or shine, with a posterboard of the Virgin of Guadalupe zip-tied to his walker. An obviously geriatric and disabled person, but he was out there protesting abortions when it was 10 below. You’ve got to respect dedication of that nature!

    Granted, Walker hasn’t been spending a lot of time outside recently. I’m sure I can imagine why.

    1. Probably because someone from the state would try to shoot him for attempting to assassinate democratic rule of Wisconsin.

    2. Your parallel is a little eerie, as Walker is virulently against women’s right to control their own health. He is reportedly against all abortion, EVEN to save the woman’s life. HE is over the edge.

  5. This is such a widely viewed (internet) phenomenon that it should be possible to post images of these ringers and ask the web to ID them. That is, would these astroturfers continue to astroturf if the world knew who they were?

    It would also make them easier to identify at the next Koch brothers synthesized venue.

  6. Wow! Walker is sounding more and more like a Dictator when he Suppresses protestors by locking the Capitol and then follows that up with smuggled in self indulgent dramatics.

    How can an effective leader lead effectively when exibiting these behaviors?

  7. This whole Wisconsin crisis goes beyond the politics of attacking unions. These people (Scott Walker and the neo-neo-conservatives) want to run government not lean like traditional conservatives or “like a business”, but like a police state. Like a bad researcher who cherry picks data to support a conclusion they’ve already come to, they only believe in the law and the principles of a free society so long as it serves their personal needs.

  8. have all of you noticed that politics are being played same way all over the world but it’s getting to the point where they don’t even try to hide that they are fucking raping and pillaging us, they just do it no matter how loud we scream??? world is going to hell in hand basket faster and faster….while these fuckheads are getting away with murder pretty much..

  9. I can understand why Walker would want to bring in some nice-looking businessmen. As Wisconsin Senator Grothman has so eloquently said, the protesters are just a bunch of slobs defacing the capitol:

    Meanwhile Walker’s defacing the state.

  10. Its always been like that. The world isn’t going to hell. If you had been a farmer in Northern France during the 100 year war – THEN you probably thought the world was going to hell. But now, nah. Society changes all the time and those changes can be strange and wierd and horrible. Lets hope society as we know it will change to something good.

  11. So this is worse than the union busing in supporters how, exactly? One man’s supporters are another man’s “ringers”, apparently.

    Totally unrelated to Wisconsin teacher unions, but the non-Koch Bros-backed Chicago Tribune put together a nice infographic showing how it only takes 2-5 years to dismiss a union teacher in the Windy City for poor performance:,0,3378793.graphic

    It’s great how public union employees can fail miserably at their jobs, drag down the educational progress of hundreds of children and still retire with full benefits & pensions, all under the false banner of fighting the Man for “fair wages”.

    1. Wisconsin ranks #2 in SAT scores in the nation.

      “The numbers show, incomes, working conditions and educational performance are worst where union protections are weakest and Republicans poll best.” (Before you dismiss the bias of the site, look at the numbers, data and their sources)

      Unions busing in protesters means that workers are voluntarily supporting the cause, though, a citation is still needed. It certainly doesn’t excuse them being illegally denied access to the Capitol, does it?

      1. @ Anon #23

        I keep hearing the argument about school performance being low in states without collective bargaining. However, I live in California where we do have collective bargaining and the schools are terrible. Apparently the distinction between correlation and causation is hard to make for a lot of people.

    2. I think it’s not so much that he brought in supporters to cheer for him, it’s that he did so using clandestine means.

      Step 1) Lock the public out of the capitol
      2) Bring in your cronies via the (secured!) back door
      3) …

      It’s only fair if *both* sides’ supporters can be heard. If these suits had come in through the front door with the protesters, but still applauded Walker, I’d not have as much of an issue with it.

      1. I’d say that the protesters are being more than covered by national and online media outlets. And I agree that both sides do this to pathetic effect (i.e. SOTU, speeches at schools, etc).

        Unfortunately it seems like the points of the bill and those who object are being overshadowed by tactics – Walker packing in supporters or Union officials comparing this to riots in Egypt.

        It would be much more sensible if more attention was paid to how public unions make it nigh-impossible to dismiss employees and commit to outrageous pensions. Doing so at the expense of public budgets and children doesnt seem to be a position anyone could endorse.

        1. Unfortunately it seems like the points of the bill and those who object are being overshadowed by tactics…

          Yeah. That’s because bad decisions can be reversed in a democracy, but only while democratic tactics are still in play. A governor breaking the law is more important than the effect unions have on budgets, even if what you claimed about that was actually true.

        2. “I’d say that the protesters are being more than covered by national and online media outlets”

          Uhh, that’s not the same thing as the individuals in question being allowed to enter the public building they have a right to enter. You’re equating media coverage with actually having a voice in government. They’re two different things.

        3. Laynie you are parroting a blatant lie regarding pensions. You might want to check your facts

          The Unions in Wisconsin have members CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR OWN PENSIONS THROUGH WITHHOLDING FROM THEIR SALARIES. this doesn’t cost the state anything, obviously.

          if you were really worried about the budget, you should worry about the massive tax breaks that Walker gave away to the wealthy, which actually reduced the budget.

    3. So this is worse than the union busing in supporters how, exactly?

      It’s worse because the ringers were afforded access to the capitol that has been illegally denied to the general public. did you even read the text of the article? or just the headline?

      1. Worse because the REAL protesters have been illegally locked out of the Capital in violation of a court order AND of the State Constitution…while Mr. Walker sneaks people in who agree with him through a back door.

    4. Totally unrelated to Wisconsin teacher unions, but the non-Koch Bros-backed Chicago Tribune put together a nice infographic showing how it only takes 2-5 years to dismiss a union teacher in the Windy City for poor performance

      They should go to Wall St. and join the private sector, then they’d get rewarded in billions for their poor performance. Chicagoan here too, and I can tell you that The Trib is a right leaning paper.

    5. You’re absolutely right, Layne. The Chicago public schools would be run so much better with the Koch Brothers in charge. Maybe then they’d focus on something other than making Walker diminish the quality of public services in Wisconsin.

      1. Cause that’s obviously the point I was making.
        Then again, judging by the horrible efficiency of this country’s public education system, in spite of the billions of tax dollars that are being thrown ineffectually at the problem, maybe you have a point. Certainly seems to be the case with the President himself, who sends his children to a private school.

        I’m sure more than a few low-income parents around the nation would welcome the same opportunity to have the best education available for their children.

        Well done!

        1. Thank you, Layne. Your poor reading comprehension skills prove the value of public education. Or were you home-schooled?

          You have a problem with billions being spent on public education,
          so you think the solution is to cut funding?

          And your comparison of what’s going on in Wisconsin to what the Tribune says is happening in Chicago simply doesn’t fly. If you’d look at a map you’d see that Madison and Chicago are in different states. If you have a problem with the system in Chicago then, by all means, criticize it, but don’t try to make the case that things are rotten in Wisconsin because the unions in Chicago make it difficult to get rid of incompetent teachers. That’s almost as bad as your argument that it’s okay for Walker to bring in “ringers” because, as you claim, all those protesters at the capitol have been bussed in.

          1. Ahhh, personal attacks AND faulty logic? Nice to see you avoid any relevant details and just sink to name-calling. Bravo to you, sir.

            Not sure what I mis-read, but addressing your other wobbly talking points:

            – So your answer to pointlessly blowing billions on education is…keep spending MORE on education? Wow, that’s sound logic. Remind me to never go gambling with you. Notice, I didn’t say to “CUT” funding, I only suggested it might be wiser to audit how/where the money is going and eliminate the inefficiencies that don’t aid in learning (i.e. union-protection of worthless teachers).

            – Maybe you can look at a map and notice all the other blobs on the map around IL and WI. Last time I checked, public education is directed on a federal level. So snark over state boundaries avoids the larger issue that dwindling national dollars are spent on all of these states (and for indirect support of national unions). The minor quibble of this or that state avoids the larger issue that schools are turning in mediocre performance in spite of ever-increased spending and they don’t even have the freedom to dismiss teachers who deserve it.

            Public-schooled, for the record, but looks like I learned better debate manners than you.

    6. Unions can bus in supporters and that is OK because they don’t lock the Capital down so that only they are represented as Scottie boy did

    7. The important fact you’re missing there is TENURE. That is, the teacher has worked there for long enough(usually a matter of several years) and consistently well enough that the school system grants them this level of immunity. The idea is similar to making tenured professors at universities bomb-proof: their job is to educate the youth, and they must be free to teach without worrying someone will fire them over an inconvenient truth. They must be free to teach evolution, to fail students for plagiarism, and basically do unpopular things which will get the job of education done.

      I also notice that the majority of that infographic’s time comes from appealing the ruling all the way up to the Supreme Court. Without that, the process takes one year at the very most, and I’m going to have to ask you to cite a minimum of five cases of such appeals for me to consider this a pressing issue. I also notice that the first box adds up 3+7+30+90+10=365, so I call into question the researcher’s/s’ expertise on the subject, as his/her/its/their knowledge of teachers appears to be second-hand at best.

    8. Anyone can come into the city on a bus or any other form of transportation at any time. People were not, however, being allowed into the capitol and these people were smuggled in. If the unions were smuggling people into the city when others were not being allowed in, THEN it would be the same thing.

  12. What a slick move. Reminds me of State of the Union addresses when Presidents haul in some disparate individuals and families whom they reference in their speech as if the President is in touch with America’s stories. It’s all hammy. Did Walker bring in an Applause sign, I wonder.

  13. I don’t really understand politics but having people come in the the capitol just for attention seems wasteful. How much did those people get paid? I’m in Wisconsin right now & I’m trying to get an insulin pump through the state because I can’t afford my meds & this stuff is happening. :(

  14. searched “wisconsin” on Google News and this article was 1st up among 3,292 other news articles on the subject. congrats Cory and BoingBoing and thanks for helping spread the truth

  15. Is it appropriate yet to prefix ‘Governor Walker’ with the descriptor ‘beleaguered’ now that Apple’s not using it anymore?

  16. Layne, that arguement is getting very old. If tenure, and the quality of teacher via Union policy were at issue then that could be handled at the negotiation table. Nothing in any of Walker’s proposals shows that he has any desire to actually improve education. He is looking at dollar signs, period. Sure he talks the talk “All third graders will be required to be able to read” but at the same time is ensuring that said goal will be nearly impossible by severly cutting funding and the local communities ability to fill the void created.

    The man is a menace.

  17. Ahh, the scum-baggery continues, eh?

    Wonder what’s next… will the gub’ner claim there are no protesters, ala Muammar, maybe?

  18. He seems to have a fairly tenuous grasp on public opinion. It should be clear to anyone paying attention that Walker is lying to people and breaking the law (in defying a temporary judgment, at least). And now he brings in an obvious cheering claque while barring the citizenry from the chambers. He’s acting as though he thinks the Republican voters will respect him for this.

    Scott Walker is the Martin Sheen of state politics. I’m looking forward to seeing his secretary call for an intervention.

    1. Martin Sheen is already the Martin Sheen of state politics.

      Martin has been committed to worker’s rights and social justice since the beginning of his career, starting at the anarchist Living Theatre and becoming famous in “The Brig” a play about torture in US military prisons, connected to the Catholic Worker since the ’50s, marching for worker’s rights, civil rights, anti-war movement, anti-apartheid, and many other causes decade after decade.

      Man’s like the embodied antithesis of Scott Walker.

      Martin Sheen wouldn’t bar citizens from their State House in violation of their state constitution and a court order. And on top of that violation of democratic principles bus in hand picked supporters, illustrating the message that he believes the people of Wisconson’s State House is his to do with as he pleases, the law and democracy be damned.

      Because Scott Walker is a an asshole damaging democratic institutions and Martin Sheen is a good guy with a kid with an embarassingly public drug problem on a not very funny sitcom.

      1. Ahannon, calm down. Your defense of Martin Sheen is admirable, but I was typing faster than I was thinking. I meant Charlie Sheen, of course. Sorry if I raised your blood pressure: in times like these, nobody needs more of that.

        1. Hey, no need to mock Charlie Sheen either. The guy might be a bit “out there” but at least he does his job admirably well and is honest. Unlike, you know, this sorry excuse for a governor.

  19. It would be nice if some of the commentors in this thread would actually read the article or previous comments that address their inane rants before spouting off. (I’m looking at you, Layne, Knurm.) That way we have a conversation and not just a shouting match. Or is that against astroturf policy?

  20. “Scott Walker is the Martin Sheen of state politics. I’m looking forward to seeing his secretary call for an intervention.”

    Martin Sheen? You mean Charlie Sheen, don’t you?

  21. Oh yes, never mind that the 25,000 people banging to get in the capitol aren’t from Wisconsin, either. I applaud Walker and look forward to seeing him in the office of President someday.

    Union busting and corporate tax breaks are just what this country needs.

  22. Whoa! Are those hired suits the guys Walker wants to sell Wisconsin to?

    Also, Layne, can you read? You should read more! So lets say your link stands as fact: it’s hard to dismiss a poor teacher because of teacher’s unions. What Walker’s proposed budget plus the budget “repair” bit does is rob more money from the schools and give teachers a pay cut while making them easier to fire.

    What Walker wants to give Wisconsin is a revolving door of poorly-paid and poorly-educated bad teachers that are easier to get rid of because they’re not unionized, then, to summarize.


    1. If these tunnels are so secret, how come we’re discussing them here?

      These sekrit tunnels have been around for many generations.

      Ben Masel sure as hell knows about those tunnels.

      1. If the last refuge of your argument is which definition of ‘secret’ you can defeat… well, you’ve lost already.

        If these tunnels under the legislature are so public, how come these guys were brought directly through them by employees of the executive? If they’re open to the public, why didn’t the public see these gentlemen being ushered through them?

        (they were seen exiting them, not entering, nor walking in them, by the public)

        special access is special, so are you betatron, so very special.

  23. lest we lose sight of the event, it was to deliver his budget. i don’t have a link to the speach, but here is the budget itself:

    i work across from the capitol and normally cut through the building to cut my walk to work (and warm up/get out of the rain/wonder at the beauty) but it was closed since sunday night.

    this is a dramatic change in policy as the building has been open for this walkthrough the 8 years i have live and/or worked in this neighborhood.

  24. I built those black-suited men in my underground laboratory. I used a mix of human, monkey and snake DNA, but I had to lobotomize most of them because they weren’t very good at following orders at first.

  25. Moderator note: Apparently, we’ve deprecated some URL shorteners (as Layne seems to have discovered.) If you use a URL shortener, your comment may not appear.

  26. I find it appalling that those who complain about the “billions” spent on education in this country are generally the same people who kicked and screamed that the wealthiest 1% should not continue their unprecedented tax cuts, which amount to far more, while they keep their kids in private schools. A TRAGICALLY FLAWED EDUCATION SYSTEM EFFECTS US ALL. Please look at the proportion we uselessly spend on propping up fat-cat defense contractors, for instance, and do the math and get back to me, because you will find the % spent on education is ridiculously small in comparison.

    We currently have just about the worst public education system of any “first world” nation, and slipping. Teachers are WAY overworked and underpaid. If there are problems in the bureaucracy side of the equation (albeit in another state), those issues can be addressed without tossing the kids out with the bathwater, so kindly STFU. It’s smoke and mirrors to sidetrack the conversation away from the real issues. Those that have to resort to such tactics Scott Walker continues to employ have already lost the argument on any ideological grounds.

      1. Woops. I usually don’t miss that one. Thanks. -Proves my point, however, as I attended public schools.

    1. Chaah… right….soon Madison will be a town called Walker:

      The place to go if you’re looking for some misery

      It’s not their tricks that I mind
      it’s only the way they say “me” all the time

      But in Walker folks are happy bees

      Mama says you mind your pa
      They’ll count you out before you’ve begun
      And it’s expensive and fun
      Looking for someone to lame

      You remember walker

  27. Walker to Ringer hearders:

    “Make sure to get the black guy and the chick in the front row.”.

  28. 200 autocrats inside the Capitol, 100,000 people outside the Capitol.

    Sooo … what else is new???

  29. how much is the pay to be a ringer? I don’t think those people just show because the like clap.

  30. Sorry, but is “ringer” the right word? Definition: “a contestant entered in a competition under false pretenses.” I think they mean “actors.”

    1. Shill works. Or astroturfer. Is there any reason that astroturf only refers to the internet?

  31. The insane aspect to the argument that poor teachers are to blame for students failing, is that the biggest aspect of a child’s life, their home life and parental involvement is more important than any teacher or spending level could hope to be. You think a small number of under performing teachers it the reason for the decline in American schools, and the unions who protect them? Egads. Throwing money at anything doesn’t work, however WI historically has very high test scores compared to most other states, so obviously there is something working. If you want to trace the decline of America and it’s schools, you take a look Conservative takeovers of school boards, teachers afraid to teach the fundamentals of biology…evolution, the distancing from real science, and the increasing disconnect parents have with their own children and their reliance on technology to babysit their children over the last 20-30 years.

  32. Walker is not completely tone deaf if he managed to convince his supporters to leave their top hats and monocles at home.

    1. Walker is not completely tone deaf if he managed to convince his supporters to leave their top hats and monocles at home.

      Walker is supported by Mister Peanut …?!

  33. I am so confused by tea partiers and non-Billionaire Republicans.

    I get the self-enriching elites like the Koch brothers and Roger Ailes–they are just out to amass more power and wealth. Despicable but understandable. The folks who confuse me are the ones who carry signs about stealing from Medicare to support socialized medicine.

    They say they have lost faith in our government. Okay fine. So they want to replace it with what, a corporate-sponsored facsimile of a government? How can they look at these shenanigans and think, “Now this is more like it!”

    I wish I had 100 more arms and heads to facepalm myself.

  34. “He’s acting as though he thinks the Republican voters will respect him for this.”

    They will.

    In fact they’re likely to cheer him for it. For today’s republicans, the ends – ripping down the social safety net and transferring all the nation’s wealth into the hands of the upper class – always justify the means.

    Democrats have not yet descended into this honor-free latrine pit. Give them time.

    America is headed toward civil war.

  35. Fight back.

    Take high res photos of as many of the ringers as possible and post the photos anonymously online for people to identify. I bet there will be some astonishing revelations. That’s what happened when Bush stole the 2000 election and brought in party hacks to disrupt recounts.

    The plutocracy likes to photograph and catalog the common people, why not respond in kind?

  36. Drinking beer with an old timer yesterday: and he told me of a guaranteed method to remove crabs (of the pubic lice variety. . .)

    Tape head of prick to wall. Step back. Light pubic hair on fire. As lice attempt to run across and escape: stab ’em with an ice pick.

    it is that same bold, take no prisoners approach that Governor Walker is using in Wisconsin.

    I’m sure it will work out fine and everyone will be happy and the budget will be in the black in no time flat! yay! What could possibly go wrong?!

  37. Good for Walker. This is exactly what we need in the U.S. Let’s have the debates and let the majority influence their constituents. Then the republic government can proceed. It’s the coward democrat state representatives stalling the vote. This is our government, let it work. Most of you liberals can’t handle the facts.

  38. Surprise, I am one of 20 actual protesters selected from outside the capitol to be placed in the gallery to watch the budget speech. I was standing directly in front of the line of police keeping us out of the capitol and being not too loud (am hoarse from my 8 days protesting in Madison thus far) and being polite to those around me including the cops. It was a sudden thing, I guess they realized they had all “ringers” and it would look bad, so a head cop picked some of us, who looked not too thuggish, we weren’t expecting it or anything. They plunked the 20 of us on folding chairs behind the other nicer seats in one gallery and had several state troopers to keep us in line. If we made faces or noises or anything we got threatened w/ ejection. I had practiced hissing while smiling but a big old state trooper always glared at me when I did it, so he knew. At the end we had agreed to simply stand up and turn our backs to Walker. Chanting Recall Walker, our first plan, was rejected because we figured that meant definite explulsion from the capitol and most of us wanted to (re)join the protesters in the rotunda afterwards.

    Well, after all the repulsive applause from those suited clones, we finally stood up and turned around. The troopers were on us immediately and said we had to leave, although all the other viewers were left alone. Mind you the others also were not stared at so hard like we were, and we were seated directly between the doors so that we could be rushed out quickly. One student in the group had her arm twisted behind her and marched out. I managed to use the “getting my backpack” maneuver to ditch the troopers, we outnumbered them too much for them to eject us all once out of the gallery, we fled and mixed into the crowd. I saw many of us in the rotunda protesting later. It was hard to stomach sitting still during the governor’s speech, but we were all relieved to be let into the building under whatever circumstances. I felt a bit like we were being used to make it seem the audience wasn’t totally planted. I heard from others that the suit group came in on a bus and was whisked in, while many thousands of protesters who had been around all day were left in the cold outside.

  39. Fuckin’ incredible, like something out of ‘Boardwalk Empire’. Time you people got all Egyptian over your corrupt regime…

  40. This is terrible. I think the Wisconsin 14 should march right into the capitol building and tell Walker he is a bad sport.

  41. I’ve been to some funerals in Wisconsin. Very few black suits there either. I mostly a lot of green Packers jackets and windbreakers.

  42. This is called lobbying, done in the open rather than behind doors. Actually, this isn’t as bad as lobbying.

  43. Boingboing’s irony detector must be on the fritz… they’re criticizing Walker for shipping in supporters from out of town? Really? Really?

    1. No, they’re criticizing him for, while he is doing his best to prevent protesters with a legitimate gripe from entering the building and making their voices heard, sneaking a whole mess of people in for the purpose of political show-theater for the cameras.

  44. They WERE NOT Ringers, get it right guys. They were Walkers Corporate MASTERS, a Big difference between a ‘Ringer’ and a ‘Master’. I bet that was
    the majority of CEO’s that have business interests in Wisconsin. Now that
    would be a story… The Identities of those ‘Suits’.

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