As people trickled out of the building, they would let people in in small groups. It took about an hour to get in the door and registered to speak. Even with all of these people, it was very calm and orderly. I don't believe that it had anything to do with the score of police officers that were present. It is just that the citizens continued to be the adults in the room.
This left Alberta Darling with nothing to gripe about except that people would show their pleasure and displeasure by holding up different colored sheets of papers. And after Darling insulted the citizenry, saying that they were being rude for this, people started admonishing her for her childish complaint.
The topics that people addressed to the committee were pretty much the same as the previous hearing at the first hearing, such as the cuts to the UW system, to public schools, laws that would damage the environment and the privatization of long term care for the elderly and disabled.
Even though it was spring break, there was a considerable presence from UW students that stayed in Wisconsin to address the proposed cuts to their schools. They pointed out that the cuts would make the schools less attractive to students and increase the brain drain that Wisconsin is going through.
Senior citizens, people with disabilities and their caretakers shared the importance of programs like Family Care and IRIS, which are the only things keeping these vulnerable citizens from being forced out of their own homes and into nursing homes.
There were many representatives from several school districts that came prepared with the actual numbers on how damaging the proposed cuts to public schools would be. They were outnumbered by outraged parents that came to fight for their children's schools. One of the best comments was a parent who said that they had made their choice, and that their choice was public schools:
"We have made our choice and we choose the public schools," Suarez Flint said. "Public education is not failing. You are failing public education."Big business was represented too.
Members of the MMAC were there to plug for the hundreds of millions to build a new arena in Milwaukee, claiming that it was a "quality of life" issue. This was met with derision and comments by the group pushing for actual quality of life issues like a decent education system or the programs that help our most vulnerable citizens.
Another corporate faction that was present were the parties that wanted to privatize so many important programs in the state. One example would be that there were no less than three major for-profit insurance companies that were salivating over the chance to get a no bid contract for the $3 billion meant to help the disabled and the elderly.
The education corporate vultures were also present and were the ones that pulled a rather tasteless stunt. They pulled out scores of children from school to push for Walker's agenda of privatizing the public education system:
|Image courtesy of Sen. Chris Larson|
As State Senator Chris Larson points out on his Facebook page, can you imagine what the reaction would be if the Milwaukee Public Schools pulled kids out of class to pander to the committee for more money? The right wing squawkers and propagandists would be foaming at the mouth for weeks in their faux outrage. It would undoubtedly make it to the national level as Faux News, Drudge and Breitbart all clutched their pearls and fell back on their fainting couches at the abuse of tax dollars.
Yeah, but even though the