I had several people in Madison tell me that they learned from the Tea Party, for what it’s worth – when the elected officials aren’t listening to the people, you take it to the streets. That’s what protesters have done for weeks across Wisconsin. And now, they’re taking it to town halls as well.
Protesters converged on a town hall in Wauwatosa for Leah Vukmir, a Republican state Senator, leading to US Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), who happened to be at the meeting, adjourning it as if it were a committee hearing, which it, um, wasn’t.
Wisconsin Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R) adjourned a joint town hall meeting on Monday after protesters interrupted a state senator who was speaking about the state GOP’s controversial budget plan.
The veteran congressman and state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R), who was speaking at the podium, sparred with a large crowd of protesters opposed to the budget plan, which would curtail some public employees’ collective bargaining rights, Milwaukee-based WTMJ-TV reported.
After protesters, many of whom were carrying signs, shouted objections to Vukmir’s comments, Sensenbrenner said, “Give her the respect to answer the question,” then continued, “This meeting will be adjourned.”
That caused the protesters, crowded in the room at the Wauwatosa library, to unleash a volley of jeers. The crowd broke into chants of “Shame, shame, shame!”
Honestly, if you look at the video, it basically sounds like a more polite version of a Tea Party-overrun town hall during the health care debate. Sen. Vukmir parroted the same talking points as Scott Walker about the budget repair bill, and the protesters weren’t buying it and made themselves heard. After a while and really only a few very small interruptions, Sensenbrenner just gaveled down the meeting. Which is pretty remarkable. Sensenbrenner, in a statement, expressed regret “that the same respect given at Congressman Sensenbrenner’s Town Hall Meeting in Brookfield Sunday evening wasn’t experienced last night, and individuals who were patiently waiting to ask a question, receive help with casework or share their concern were unable to do so at the meeting.”