How About Some Hard Time For The Hard Core?
If law enforcement authorities in Madison don't start doing their jobs, someone is going to get really hurt. Probably sooner rather than later.
For months now, the people responsible for enforcing laws in Madison have largely looked the other way as protesters have occupied the Capitol, assaulted Republican lawmakers and generally behaved like complete horses' behinds.
Now that most of the protesters have gone home, all that's left in Madison are the hardest of the hard core. You know, " The Loud, The Leftists, The Losers". What's troubling though is that in an effort to stay relevant, this ragtag band of misfits is ratcheting up their civil disobedience - with the tacit acceptance of police and the Dane County District Attorney's Office.
Last week, State Representative Robin Vos was assaulted in a Madison bar by one of the remaining protesters, Miles Kristan. Kristin, known as the "pink dress guy", apparently threw a beer on Vos and then fled the scene. He was subsequently given a disorderly conduct ticket - but has yet to be formally charged.
So far, the way that police have chosen to handle the protesters is to issue disorderly conduct citations to the worst of the actors. The way that the District Attorney's Office has handled the protesters is to dismiss many of the tickets. The way the protesters have handled the situation is to largely refuse to pay the tickets - with no apparent adverse consequences.
And we wonder why the protesters are getting more aggressive?
Here's what should happen.
The Dane County DA's Office should start doing it's job and stop coddling the remaining bad actors. At a minimum, the attack on Vos justifies a criminal prosecution for Disorderly Conduct ( a Class B misdemeanor ). If convicted, a stint in the Dane County Jail is more than warranted. My guess is that a few months in the County Lockup will make some of these kooks think twice before attacking another public official.
Beyond this though, it's time for law enforcement to start investigating the protesters to determine whether more serious criminal behavior - like "Stalking" (a felony) - has been or is being committed. Just because you're a Republican elected official shouldn't mean that it's open season on you - even in Dane County.
We know that Ismael Ozanne, the Democrat District Attorney for Dane County, can be aggressive when he wants. After all, he blew tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars in an effort to stop the Republican-backed Collective Bargaining Bill. He also is preparing to spend tens of thousands more dollars resurrecting the nine-year-old prosecution of a Republican aide in connection with the so-called "Caucus scandal".
So, will Ozanne step up to the plate and enforce the law before someone gets seriously injured? I'd certainly like to think so - but so far there's no indication that there will be any hard time for the hard core!