Did you know we’re right in the middle of Sunshine Week? Sunshine Week is a celebration of the Freedom of Information Act and other open records laws. It's sponsored by the American Society of News Editors and by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Without a hint of irony, the Wisconsin Assembly decided this week to cover the windows on the Assembly gallery doors with black plastic to prevent people from filming the proceedings from outside the gallery. You may recall that recording quietly from inside the gallery has already been declared “against the rules” by the Republican leaders of the Assembly. They have stationed state troopers inside the gallery to escort out anyone who chooses to exercise their first amendment rights and their rights under Wisconsin’s open meetings law.
Late last night, they arrested one person for possessing a camera in the gallery. It wasn’t turned on, he wasn’t recording anything, and he had no intention of doing so. (I'm guessing they were mad at him because he recently posted video shot through the gallery door showing Republican Rep. Joel Kleefisch voting three times on one bill. Kleefisch was named "Worst Person in the World" by Keith Olbermann for that one.)
The concerned citizen who posted the Kleefisch video just wanted to watch the legislature last night as it passed bills like a ban on voter registration drives in Wisconsin’s public high schools, and a bill further restricting abortions, and another bill creating a hunting season on wolves. I'm not sure, but I think the Republicans were rushing through their ALEC agenda so fast they might have gotten ahead of themselves and accidentally made it illegal for high school students to perform abortions on wolves.
From the Sunshine Week web site:
Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others … This non-partisan, non-profit initiative is celebrated in mid-March each year to coincide with James Madison's birthday on March 16.James Madison. Cool. There is also a state capital named after Madison, I believe. Now, which state is that?
Mother Nature is observing Sunshine Week in Wisconsin. We are experiencing record warmth and abundant sunshine. We’ll probably get another snowfall or two, though, before we dare to put away the hats and scarves.
The Solidarity Sing Along protesters are celebrating Sunshine Week by singing barefoot.
Some of the singers even danced the polka barefoot.
The Assembly Republicans hate the Solidarity Sing Along because its participants are volunteers, they have fun, and they're nice to people for no reason. Assembly Republicans don't dance in the sun, especially for free. When they dance, it's for money, and it's done in the dark of night. They leave their shoes on, too. What do you think they are - whores?
Governor Scott "John Doe" Walker spends all his time in his rat tunnel, so it's just another week for him, but the Republican Attorney General of Wisconsin did acknowledge Sunshine Week, taking the opportunity to confuse people about a lawsuit regarding the open meetings laws.
Most of Wisconsin, in fact, is celebrating Sunshine Week by welcoming the season that arrives every year right after winter: Road Construction.
No sunshine for the Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly, though. Like zombies and vampires, Wisconsin Republican legislators hate sunlight. They do their nasty when they think the kids are sleeping. We learned our lesson last year, though. Someone is always on guard, watching from the gallery. Watching. Watching. Recording. Oops, I mean watching....