Thursday, April 16, 2009

Can we get a nose count?

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

Capitol police on the scene said a crowd estimate would be provided by the state Department of Administration, which answers to Doyle — one of the protesters’ chief targets. But DOA spokeswoman Linda Barth said the department would not issue an estimate, saying the Capitol police focus on keeping people safe at protests and have not done estimates since August 2008. At a rally in October 2007, the Capitol police did provide a crowd estimate.

Later in the day, Barth issued a statement saying only that the police had expected and prepared for 5,000 people but didn’t actually count them. Event organizers estimated the crowd at about 5,000 people.

It would be interesting to see if any e-mails came from Doyle's office before the rally regarding crowd attendance.

I thought, just for giggles and grins, I'd look to see just who had a rally in October 2007:

"Wisconsin is right on the forefront" of the debate over higher taxes and government-funded health care, said Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, a national anti-tax group that is the driving force behind Wednesday's rally.

Although the legislative debate in Wisconsin has focused on raising the state's cigarette tax and imposing a new tax on hospitals to fund the expansion of health care for low-income families, Phillips said the issue remains the same as in other states: whether residents are willing to pay higher taxes for the expansion of government programs.

"The real question for people is whether they believe the state of Wisconsin is spending their money wisely and efficiently," Phillips said. "The answer we hear from people and from polling is no."

The three-year-old national group has gained a high profile in recent years as a touchstone for conservative anti-tax activists. Earlier this month, the group sponsored a two-day "Defending the American Dream Summit" in Washington, D.C., that invited all of the presidential candidates in both parties and drew all of the major Republicans.

Phillips said the national group has identified three issues as its top priorities -- taxes, health care and global warming -- for grass-roots action against government. Two of those three issues are in play in Wisconsin, putting it on the short list of roughly a half-dozen states the group is targeting for special attention.

The Madison rally comes as the Republican-controlled Assembly and Democratic-controlled Senate remain deadlocked over a new state budget.

Oh yeah. Those people.