Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Pro-Walker Rally Was Illegally Held After All - Or Was It?

About ten days ago, there was a "Scott Walker Appreciation" rally in Wauwatosa's Hart Park.  The event was attended by thousands hundreds dozens of people.  As near as I can tell, the number of people that were there were pretty evenly divided by politicians, event organizers, police, moles and actual attendees.

Perhaps their attendance would have been higher if they picked the right day.  But even if you give the event organizers the benefit of the doubt and agree that they had "thousands" of people there, it's still a pale comparison to any given anti-Walker rally.  I wouldn't be surprised to find out they had as high or even higher turnout at the recall signing petition they had in that same neighborhood weeks before.

At the time, I did a satirical piece saying the recall organizers broke the law by defacing a recall sign (it was just an example of the right wing's lack of originality).

As it turns out, the rally might have been illegal after all.

The City of Wauwatosa has a pretty messed up and convoluted policy towards political events in Hart Park.  Organizers can have a political event in one part of the park, but not in other parts, unless they get special permission to do so.

In the case of this rally, it was both in the legal part of the park as well as the illegal part.  But they did have that special permission to go into that other part.  However, in the article, the city attorney said that he wasn't consulted on this, but would have advised the authorities to deny the special permission.  Another city official described the granting of the special permission as a mistake.

See? Like I said, it's a mess.

So I thought I'd try to see what I could come up with.

I contacted another city official who said that the Patch article hit it pretty much on the head.  The official said that once they became aware of what was going on, they had more questions than there were answers.

The same official said that this mess was a leftover from the overly partisan former mayor, Jill Didier, who had resigned from her position to become economic development director for Milwaukee County.*

But another interesting fact was brought to my attention.

One of the main organizers, Paris Procopis, was a failed candidate for the State Assembly.  He had run against incumbent David Cullen, but failed to make it on the ballot when he didn't collect enough valid signatures.  (Procopis got bounced off the ticket by Attorney Michael Maistelman who went through and challenged the signatures.  He worked at Cullen's expense.  This is something Scott Walker couldn't and/or wouldn't do and has now saddled the tax payers for his political expenses.)

It would not be a very dangerous leap of logic that Procopis was seeking an appointment of sorts, or maybe and endorsement for Cullen's old seat, by Walker in return to putting this rally on.  And there's enough evidence that Walker does that sort of thing, whether the appointee is qualified or not.

In summary, the rally was technically legal, although it shouldn't have been allowed according to city ordinances.

But the bigger problem is the screwed up rules the city has, which they need to change immediately.  They should either allow all political events or none at all.  If they wanted my input, I would side with free speech every time, no matter how pathetic and repulsive one might find it.  The way it is now, it gives the appearance of favoritism and political manipulation.

*Apparently, there is a little known county ordinance that states the county executive cannot hire someone who is actually qualified to be the economic development director.


  1. Chris Liebenthal:
    1) The city ordinances you speak off are obsolete and archaic. Of course they will be changed.
    2) Paris Procopis did not do this alone. Many people were involved in the planning. This was a true grassroots event.

    Cognitive Dissonance. Maybe other disorders could be added to your name?

  2. Wow, are you a bundle of joy!!

  3. Damn right it was legal! Can't help the union thugs went knocking on the alderman's door not very happy that the rally was fantastic. It just sucks, that you leftys can not handle the fact you just might be screwed!
    PS your mom is calling, your dinner is ready!!

  4. I guess revenue was a bad thing for tosa?? Idiots

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. The first thing I found funny was your donate button!!
    The second, Your lack of writing ability.
    The third, your far-fetched accusations about Paris Procopis. You barked up the wrong tree silly liberal!

  7. This piece is so far off base I can't believe the author had the guts to lie this much. First off we had an estimated crowd of 3,000 plus and we have video to back it up. Secondly there were over 15 people who put together this event and NOBODY took orders from any politicians. Our only bosses were each other. Our event was 100% legal. I am sure you wish you could say the same about your recall signatures. You can hate us for being effective advocates for Gov. Walker all you want. Just remember you mess with the bull, you are going to get the horns......

  8. Coexist, huh? As long as they agree with you, you can "coexist"?

  9. Unlike you Recallista cry babies, everything the event organizers did was well within the rule of law.

  10. Wow, that was quite the flash-trolling this afternoon!

  11. Oh noes! Is the rubber knife gang from Facebook! Did y'all do any burn notices lately? Oh wait, that wouldn't be legal now, would it? Because you're all such fine, upstanding citizens!

    Santo, do your fellow school board members know you're such a putz? Do the people in your community?

  12. What kind of a threat is that? Do people know who are? Lets not go there buddy! I thought you lefties are all about love and peace? Great your facts straight before you vomit all over the web.

    1. You mistake me for a conservative. I have no need to make threats. Perhaps it your own panic-induced paranoia that makes you see a threat everywhere.

      And I'll make sure to "great my facts straight" just like you suggest.

      Now go put your tinfoil back on before they find out what you're thinking, presuming you are capable of thought.

  13. My fellow school committee members come to me to get their Walker swag so yes they know of my political involvement as do my neighbors who also come to me to get signs etc...Your veiled threat, much like the recall, is an epic fail on your part. Thanks for playing, better luck next time.

  14. At least the Rally folks didn't get fired from their state job for blogging and campaigning for Democrats on taxpayer's time, like the author of this blog!

  15. http://www.sequenceinc.com/fraudfiles/2010/07/milwaukee-county-employee-chris-liebenthal-engages-in-extensive-political-blogging-while-on-the-taxpayers-dime/

  16. There are media photos as well as non-professional youtube videos and pictures of the event. Viewing these would have been all you needed to do to verify the type of attendance numbers seen.

  17. You liberals are in serious need of a reality check. It is sad how diluted your minds are.

  18. Another liberal crying over milk being spilled. Gottta love their mission............ NOT

    Let's discuss Spencer Coggs and Johnny Thomas

  19. Uh oh, looks like you trolls just been outed! Enjoy the rest of your sad little lives: