Koch-head Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's primary achievement during his first year in office: Inspiring a hundreds of thousands of citizens to protest him. It makes him look so bad! Now he wants to charge all those picketing Poors a fee every time they engage in some First Amendment-protected activity that involves showing how much they hate him.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel shares details of Walker's new regulations, which went into effect on December 1. We'll title the lot "The Safe Capitol Requires Expenditure of Wages, the Protection of Everyone, Official Permits, and Liability E-surance (SCREW the PEOPLE) Act of 2012":
Groups of four or more people must obtain permits for all activity and displays in state buildings and apply for those permits at least 72 hours in advance. The policy requires permits for 100 or more people outside the Capitol. The policy does provide some leeway for spontaneous gatherings triggered by unforeseen events.
Groups holding demonstrations could be charged for the costs of having extra police on hand for the event. Costs associated with a counterprotest could be charged to that second group. The costs would be $50 per hour per Capitol Police officer - costs for police officers from outside agencies would depend on the costs billed to the state. The police could require an advance payment as a requirement for getting a permit and also could require liability insurance or a bond.
Demonstrators may not tape or stick signs to Capitol walls not intended for signs. During the protests hundreds of signs were posted at the Capitol.
Any damage or cleanup after a demonstration could be charged to organizers.
All these regulations are meant to do is clarify existing laws in a nonpartisan and non-intrusive way, of course. It's also smart business: If you can't join people's dissent, why not monetize it?
[Journal-Sentinel. Image via AP]