The right wing propaganda think tank MacIver Institute is at it again, pushing preposterous and tired ideas that have long been laughed out-of-the-room. Let’s explore quickly their nutty conclusions:
“It is a long-established practice of so-called Progressives to confront speech they do not like by trying to silence the offending voices. Campus speech codes circumscribe debate while angry leftist mobs shout down public speakers. They organize boycotts and public ostracizing for anyone daring to not conform to left wing orthodoxy, no matter how recently it changed.”
Really? The facts offer up a different reality, like when GOP legislators demanded police “crack a few heads” to send a strong message to peaceful Capitol protesters. Sadly for Republicans that didn’t happen. One of the loudest voices, then Rep. Steve Nass, lead the assault:
Nass #1: In a news release Rep. Steve Nass stated protesters feel "entitled" to take action without serious consequences in the capital city. "The risk of a major incident continues to grow since protesters now feel immune to any real consequences." The JFC voted Wednesday to withhold roughly $750,000 from the Madison Police Department, (because they) believe there were "legitimate concerns about actions of individual officers." Nass said, "If they were arrested vigorously, I believe that would slow them [protesters]." Madison Police Chief Noble Wray (said) questions about his department's conduct during the protests constitute "almost a slap in the face."
Nass #2: Rep. Steve Nass sent Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen a letter asking for an investigation into Assistant Attorney General Thomas Bellavia for emailing the Democrats on Feb. 27 and telling them he supported their efforts … concerns that Bellavia could attempt to sabotage the defense of the Wisconsin Legislature.
Nass #3: …he expressed cutting funding of a UW-Madison center because its studies were "too far to the left."
Nass #4: State Sen. Steve Nass blasted a UW-Madison economics professor ... calling the academic's report on right-to-work legislation "partisan, garbage research." "Attached is yet another example of wasted resources at the UW-Madison/UW Extension … Hiding behind academic freedom to issue partisan … I will certainly forward this email on to UW System President Ray Cross … as just one suggestion of a faculty member with time to teach more courses. Or maybe not!"
Nass #5: WRN: Republican Rep. Steve Nass has gotten the UW’s School for Workers to cancel an “Art in Protest” exhibit that had been scheduled for next month. “The problem with it is that it would be funded with taxpayer dollars and that’s through the Extension.” Nass charges the exhibit would have provided a one-sided view of last year’s protests at the Capitol, with UW Extension taking the side of protesters. “I did indicate to Extension that … any problems that arise from that, or any misbehavior by the protesters – which I certainly would expect, it would probably be very despicable … and I will be watching.”
Permit to Protest? How about Walker’s attempt to silence free speech by charging a fee and permit to protest at the Capitol? Republicans desperately rationalized away free speech to get back at protesters:
Sound anything like the state Constitution's Article I, Section 4: “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government or any department thereof shall never be abridged.” Didn't think so.
Here's another MacIver nugget:
“Here in Wisconsin the assault on free speech took a more ominous turn when a rogue partisan prosecutor in Milwaukee, District Attorney John Chisholm, unleashed the power of the state upon the Progressives' political enemies.”
They must have missed this historical inconvenient truth; the endless investigation of Gov. Doyle, and Walker’s demand to “purge” his liberal administrative staff:
Back in 2006 when Georgia Thompson was charged by then-U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic - who now represents Walker's campaign - Walker went on the attack against Doyle, even though Thompson was a civil service employee who was hired in 2001 under Gov. Scott McCallum, a Republican.
"Today's indictment provides further confirmation that the Doyle administration is damaged and must be removed from the Capitol," said Walker of his Democratic predecessor. "Governor Doyle needs to purge his administration of individuals who place politics and special interests ahead of the people of Wisconsin."
And as we all know, no one in Walker’s administration is political, or beholden to special interests. But let's cut to the chase. The Wisconsin State Journal reported:
“The controversial case … was used by Wisconsin Republicans to paint Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's administration as corrupt during his 2006 re-election campaign … An appeals court, though, tossed the conviction, saying the evidence against Thompson was "beyond thin." State investigators kept open the alleged corruption case for six months last year after a federal appeals court struck down the only prosecution in the high-profile case.
"I am also calling on the Governor to adopt the reforms I proposed earlier this month that would prohibit anyone bidding on a state contract from contributing to his campaign for Governor.Love to see PolitiFact get a hold of this one.
I am calling on Governor Doyle’s campaign to return any contributions from individuals made while bidding on a state contract.
Additionally, I am calling on the Governor to prohibit his appointees from both giving to his campaign and/or hosting fundraisers on his behalf. Also, he should return any and all contributions from administration officials immediately.”