By Kevin Binversie | Wisconsin Reporter
New Capitol Police Chief David Erwin says he’ll bring a broom to the protest movement’s leftovers in the capitol rotunda, sweeping out the tribal drums, vuvuzelas and folk singers to make way for the people’s business.
During his first press availability on Monday since taking the job, Erwin said he’ll establish a higher standard for event permits. Most expect that means the Solidarity Singers, a troupe known more for shouting songs at capitol denizens than serenading them, may finally take a bow and then exit — stage left, of course.
For far too long, protesters have acted as if the state capitol belonged to them and not also to every other Wisconsinite. They were abetted by Erwin’s predecessor, Charles Tubbs, the man whom some called “the Protest Whisperer” — the law enforcement officer with the gentle touch. Others said he was a pushover: At one point Tubbs was caught on camera telling Miles Kristan, the protester best known for pouring a beer on state Rep. Robin Vos (R-Burlington), that Kristan was “not holding up his end of the deal.”
Critics of any escalation in rotunda security claim it would be unconstitutional, that Erwin’s tougher stance would obstruct the public’s access to the building. They’d have to explain to the rest of us how the state worker’s 20-month campaign of intimidation didn’t do precisely that.
Veteran political blogger Kevin Binversie is a Wisconsin native. He served in the George W. Bush administration from 2007-2009, worked at the Heritage Foundation and has worked on numerous state Republican campaigns, most recently as research director for Ron Johnson for Senate. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.