Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Vos beer incident sobering

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Publication:Waukesha Freeman (Conley); Date:Sep 22, 2011; Section:Opinion; Page Number:8A

Vos beer incident sobering

Legislators need answers about protection

(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at http://www.wigderson.com and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.) 

My first reaction upon hearing that some leftwing protester threw a beer at State Representative Robin Vos (R-Burlington) was “Really? Robin?”

The Lovely Doreen from Waukesha had the opposite reaction: “Robin? Really?”

Getting mad enough to throw a beer at Vos is like getting mad at the school librarian. I have a whole list of legislators that a reasonable person would assume would have a beer thrown at them long before Vos. Heck, there are probably a few members of the Legislature that would volunteer to be a target.

You would think that today’s youth would have a little respect for Vos. A little Vos trivia for you: He was the first student member of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, appointed by Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Throw a beer at him?

Unfortunately, this is how far things have gotten out of hand in Madison.

We now know the identity of the person who threw the beer at Vos. It was Miles Kristan, a young protester who has gained some YouTube infamy. We can now view his confession on YouTube as well.

Kristan is known to Internet audiences nationally for his harassment of a MacIver Institute intern attempting to record a Capitol protest. He has also harassed the MacIver Institute’s Bill Osmulski as he attempted to report on protests in Madison, too.

(For the record, I write a weekly freelance column for the MacIver Institute but, fortunately, have never had the privilege of running into Kristan.)

Kristan has been a regular shadow to Vos in his district and in Madison. At one point Kristan presented Vos with a woman’s “pink slip” at a Republican political fundraiser. Vos refused to be baited and auctioned off the slip to raise more money for the local party.

Unfortunately, Kristan did not learn his lesson and confronted Vos again, this time allegedly telling Vos that he had “five days” to “respond” to him. The five days came and Kristan confronted Vos in a Madison bar, cameraman in tow. The bartender told them to stop recording, and Kristan threw the beer at Vos.

Is anyone really surprised that it has come to this? You shouldn’t be. Aside from Vos being the target, the only other surprising aspect is that the situation wasn’t more violent.

For months the have been there for everyone to see about the security situation in Madison.

Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs has made it his mission to be Madison’s version of Barney Fife. At the height of the disturbances in Madison, which was the more infamous event: when Tubbs begged protesters to obey orders so he didn’t have to arrest them, or when the protesters defied a court order and occupied the Capitol overnight and Tubbs took their pizza order?

Unfortunately, the Madison police haven’t been much better. When blogger and University of Wisconsin professor Ann Althouse attempted to video record some protesters, one of them actually struck her camera. The Madison police reaction was to explain to her son that if he came to her defense he, and not the person that struck Althouse, would be arrested for disorderly conduct.

Now finally an attack has happened on a member of the Legislature, and we’re fortunate that it wasn’t worse. There were some words of criticism on the left, mostly on a tactical level and how it didn’t look good.

One could try to praise state Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine) for condemning the attack on his political neighbor if we didn’t remember that it was Mason’s open window at the Capitol that allowed protesters to stream in and overwhelm the Capitol security on the night of the vote for Act 10.

But the left’s true colors were seen at their annual “Fighting Bob” convention when leftwing author and journalist Greg Palast said Kristan should have urinated on Vos after drinking the beer instead. The gathered crowd cheered without dissent.

We can treat the situation lightly because, for the moment, the damage was light. However, the next incident will not be so easy to shrug off.

Legislators are starting to ask questions about their safety. The Madison police and the Capitol police better come up with some acceptable answers.
JAMES WIGDERSON 

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