September 16th, 2011

Wisconsin Citizens Dragged From Public Meeting For Video Recording



Wisconsin Citizens Dragged From Public Meeting For Video Recording

By Carlos Miller


A group of citizens who were quietly video recording a Wisconsin  State Assembly session Tuesday were dragged out by police, even though state law clearly allows them to do so.

In fact, the first citizen to get dragged out even offered to show the cops the law they are paid to enforce.

But they already had their marching orders from Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Kramer.

The problem was, as Kramer arrogantly pointed out, they were not abiding by the assembly rules, which he said states only credential members of the press are allowed to record a public meeting.

It’s a clear contradiction, but you would think state law would trump house rules.

But Kramer, a republican, wasn’t about to let common sense enter into the discussion.

“We speak for you, we represent you,” he told the citizens who had not yet been kicked out.

“You are guests and as such, you must comport yourselves with the rules of the body and our rules of decorum and conduct.”

Fortunately, Mark Radcliffe, a democrat, understood that they work for the people, not the other way around. And called for a vote to suspend the assembly rules.

“If they want to sit there silently and videotape us, maybe we would all behave a little bit better.

“I represent a municipal village in Jackson County, Wisconsin and I preach as a village attorney the importance of open government and getting people to participate in the process.

“And by having those people removed from this body, it precludes them from participating in this process. We may be their elected representatives, but they should have the right to sit in this body and tape what we do.

“I would ask the members of this body to suspend the rules and allow people to videotape these proceedings.”

Wisconsin State Statue 19.90 reads as follows:

Use of equipment in open session. Whenever a governmental body holds a meeting in open session, the body shall make a reasonable effort to accommodate any person desiring to record, film or photograph the meeting. This section does not permit recording, filming or photographing such a meeting in a manner that interferes with the conduct of the meeting or the rights of the participants.

But Assembly Rule 26(7) states the following:

A person, other than a person specified in rule 25 (3), may not possess or use in the assembly chamber a microphone designed to pick up conversation more than 10 feet away from the microphone.

The exception listed in 25 (3) states:

Representatives of news media that regularly publish or broadcast reports available to the general public who are actively engaged in reporting the proceedings of the assembly, except that during the sessions of the assembly the privilege extends only to the designated press area.

But this group of citizens does just that; regularly publishing and broadcasting reports, as they did in May when a citizen was dragged out for doing the same thing. They have a total of 75 videos on their Youtube channel. They’ve been doing it since 2006.

They are part of the New Media and have as much rights as the Old Media.

In March, they added new rules that state the following:

In the Assembly Gallery, in accordance with Assembly Rule 26, the following is not allowed:

— Eating, drinking, smoking, talking, use of mobile phones, laptop computers, video cameras, still cameras, newspapers, bags, briefcases, signs, posters, placards, or hats.

But then again, this group has maintained a Youtube page since 2006, so they are New Media and not just “guests” as Kramer indicated.

Three more politicians spoke out with two democrats believing the citizens should be allowed to record and one republican stating they should not be allowed.

Then they all cast votes to see if the assembly rules could be suspended, but it was overwhelmingly voted down by almost two-thirds. I won’t even begin to guess the partisan breakdown of that assembly.

Please read the rest of the story here –


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One Response to “Wisconsin Citizens Dragged From Public Meeting For Video Recording”

  1. 1
    Pilgrims Pride Says:

    This makes my blood boil. Just who in the name of God do these petty little jerks think they are? Royalty?

    I’ve got news for them: My ancestors really were royalty, French Huguenot Patriots of ‘76 of the Blood Royal, in a direct line through Charlemagne to Charles Martel himself. Yet in all my life I have never seen so much arrogance and brutality as I see when some ignorant peasant, “Not three generations removed from poor, white trash”, ascends to a position of unearned and unwarranted authority. It is almost invariably so that such persons are motivated by personal ambition and a lust for power, without a second thought to public service in the traditions of Noblesse Oblige. They “rule” as you might expect a bitter, envious, ambitious person to rule: through diktat, with brutality, and as selfishly as possible while retaining his ever imperiled grip on power and money.

    To the devil with them all! The Liberty Gene may be recessive but its bearers are obvious as they are the true Americans who understand, as the Jaycees once put it, “Service to man is the best work of life”. Noblesse oblige. Service above self. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Duty, honor, country.

    “Our Royal Masters” have forgotten these mandates if they ever knew them at all.

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