Did Capitol Police Chief Cut Secret Capitol Access Deal with Protesters?
MacIver News Service | February 14, 2012[Madison, Wisc…] Big Labor supporters are marking the one-year anniversary of the 2011 occupation of the Wisconsin State Capitol with a series of events this week. On Tuesday, the union for UW teaching assistants held a parade and Capitol rally.
While the rally was in violation of the policy governing access to state facilities, it appears protesters may have established an understanding with Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs. As he was speaking to veteran protester Miles Kristan about their understanding, the chief asked our reporter to leave.
“You told me you were going to help me with this,” Tubbs is overheard saying to Kristan before the camera stopped rolling.
According to state policy, permits are required for any event occurring in any area inside or outside of a State building, unless the event is a bona fide spontaneous event.
“The rotunda serves as the connector to the corridors leading to the four wings of the building. Hundreds of Capitol workers and visitors pass through the rotunda during weekdays. This means that passageways through the rotunda must be kept clear at all times and events may not completely fill the rotunda at any time.
“In summary, policy state the rotunda corridors and first floor corridors do not work well for large groups or large events, but may be appropriate and work well for small groups and short events,” states the policy http://www.doa.state.wi.us/docview.asp?docid=9038
Kristan has become a fixture at the Capitol since the Wisconsin legislature passed public employee bargaining reforms last year. He harassed and chased a MacIver Institute intern while wearing a pink dress last summer, and this past fall he was cited for tossing and emptying a beer over the heads of several GOP lawmakers. Kristan has often boasted about his exploits online.
Events occurring without permits are to be terminated if the use conflicts with a previously permitted event. That did not immediately happen Tuesday, perhaps due to an arrangement between the protesters and Chief Tubbs.