Republicans employ new strategy to oust Solidarity Sing Along from Capitol

2013-08-31T07:30:00Z Republicans employ new strategy to oust Solidarity Sing Along from CapitolSTEVEN ELBOW | The Capital Times |

A week ago, blogger David Blaska urged fellow conservatives to take out permits to uproot the Solidarity Sing Along from the state Capitol rotunda.

The singers, a loosely knit protest group that refuses to obtain a permit for its daily noontime gathering, make a point of ceding ground to anyone who does get a permit for the space.

Blaska himself obtained a permit about a month ago to demonstrate how easy the process is. (Here's a short video of Blaska's group performing.) 

In his blog post, "Smokey the Blaska says: Only you can prevent Solidarity Singalongs!" Blaska shares his views on the protesters.

"The singalong is nothing more than low-grade guerrilla warfare against a governor and Legislature they hate, that they could not recall from office, that they could not defeat at the ballot box," he writes. "They are not petitioning their government, they are only irritating it. They are an unattractive nuisance, a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing except petulance, arrogance, and entitlement."

He goes on to provide step-by-step instructions on filling out a permit application, along with suggestions on how to kill time while holding down the fort for an hour.

"You don’t have to sing. Give dramatic readings from Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. Lecture from Hayek’s Road to Serfdom. Read the Constitution of the United States beatnik-style while banging a bongo drum. I don’t care. But do it soon."

While conservative groups haven't been rushing the Capitol doors, Blaska has caught the ears of at least one group: The Jefferson County Republican Women

On Thursday, the group took the floor to perform patriotic songs in support of Gov. Scott Walker, the main target for ridicule during the Solidarity Sing-Along, and fulminate against the protesters.

(Here's a video of the Republican group singing "God bless our governor." And here's a man with the group calling the Solidarity Sing-Along group cowards.)

The Republican women have also reserved the floor for Sept. 10, Sept. 19 and Sept. 25.

"I feel sorry for the people who have to come here to work," Deb Stein, who obtained the permit, told WKOW TV. "They feel threatened, they don't feel comfortable. It's not a nice situation. I wouldn't want to have to work in that. So we're here to try to make it a little friendlier."

Singers with the Solidarity Sing Along are likely hoping for some good weather in September because they're going to find themselves outside a lot during the month. A group called the Liberty Singers is scheduled for Monday, a wedding is slated for Monday, Sept. 16, and the Red Cross has scheduled a blood drive for Sept. 3 through Sept. 5.

Maybe that's why someone applied for a permit on behalf of the singers.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Tom Kasper, a retired state section chief, obtained a permit Friday for the "Kapitol Singerz." 

Some protest singers, who have staunchly refused to get a permit on principle, have been less than thankful toward Kasper, which is evident in the WSJ story.

Kasper's application requested the use of the Capitol rotunda "every weekday until notice." But because of conflicts with other requests, the Department of Administration approved the permit for Sept. 9, Sept. 11 and Sept. 12.

Kasper didn't immediately return a call to his home Friday. 

But for the protesters, who have been arrested to the tune of 15 or 20 a day for the past month-and-a-half, being exiled to the Capitol grounds, where they don't need a permit, might be a welcome respite.

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