After days of Fox and Walker propagating the false meme that the protesters left the Capitol with $7.5 million of damages, it turns out that it will only cost around $350,000 to repair any damage. Or it could have been free, had Walker taken the Painters Union up on their offer to clean the Capitol with volunteer union members.
Naturally, Walker’s PR firm Fox News jumped on the Walker administrations’ later-retracted and just down right silly estimate that it would cost “$7.5 million” to clean the Capitol after those nasty little anarchists were besmirching it with their yucky first amendment rights. This protracted poutrage opened the door for some pro tea talk, with Fox and Friends pointing out that some guy from the Tea Party offered to take out “the trash,” but throughout the days of outrage over the messy protesters meme, neither Walker nor Fox said a peep about the Painters Union offer to clean any real mess for free.
Fox & Friends Saturday video and transcript from Media Matters:
Fox & Friends Saturday:
DAVE BRIGGS (co-host): This weekend, the situation there on the Capitol in Wisconsin is they have to clean up the mess left by all of the protesters, and that could actually make the budget worse there in Wisconsin, because it might cost $7.5 million just to clean up — literally clean up the mess left by all these protesters. And there’s a group now forming a committee just to do that.
CLAYTON MORRIS (co-host): Yeah, and, you know, as we’re looking at some of these pictures here, and one gentleman we had on earlier, you can see, it’s like they took Sharpie and wrote on the marble.
ALISYN CAMEROTA (co-host): Oh, that’s horrible.
MORRIS: And, you know, look at this — they’re having to scrub off like Sharpie and marker. Do they not care about their own Capitol building enough that they actually deface it this way?
CAMEROTA: Well, the guest that we had on earlier on Fox & Friends, he’s affiliated with the Tea Party, he says it doesn’t have to cost that many millions — I’m going to go out there tomorrow and just bring a bucket and pail, and we’re going to try and get our friends together and we’re going to go, because we do have pride about our state Capitol — we’re going to go and clean up. He had put it on Facebook and only gotten about 20 — a response of about 20. Maybe now that he’s been on Fox & Friends more people will join him in this effort tomorrow.
BRIGGS: Yeah. He’s a Tea Party supporter. The Facebook group is called “it’s time to take out the trash,” and they are starting out there at one o’clock tomorrow in Madison if you’re interested.
Kudos to Fox, though, for later mentioning the new, accurate, lower estimate. It may not be much, but any effort they make to stand on terra firma with the rest of us should be acknowledged as one applauds the first steps of a baby.
As you have most likely already guessed, the Walker administration did another “walk back” on their absurd figure, which they later claimed was just a “guess”. Turns out they are super bad at economics and math, but we already knew that. The clean up will cost around $350,000 which is off by around 79%. Is this indicative of all of Walker’s quoted claims of a budget crisis?
Or, heck….. it could be free. Gosh, which sounds like a more fiscally responsible choice? $350,000 or free…..Let Walker do the math…..And he chooses $350,000 naturally! Perhaps Walker is giving this job to a no-bid Koch contractor who will later slip it to Walker’s legal defense fund (please tell me he has joined Ensign and Palin in setting up a legal defense fund for his own lawless ineptitude and general scumbaggery). Oh, the greasy wheels of conservative justice. What’s not to like? Isn’t every event, after all, an opportunity to slide more of the people’s money to Walker’s big daddy Koch?
See, the Painters Union offered to clean up any “mess” for free. Yes, that’s right. After Walker and his posse of Palins smeared the protesters as having ruined the Capitol with their drums and unclean habits, telling everyone who would repeat it unchecked (hello Fox) that it would cost $7.5 million to clean up after the hippie freaks (aka: firefighters, police, teachers, nurses, children, students). Then, Painters Union offered to check it out.
Turns out the horrible hippies used painters tape, you know, the blue stuff that doesn’t cause damage, to hang their signs on the stone of the Capitol, having consulted with the police about the least damaging methods prior to ever putting their first sign up.
Way back on March 4 (two whole days ago, during which we have heard nothing but lies from Walker about “damage” done to the Capitol), the Painters Union made their offer to the Governor. AFL-CIO of WI reports:
“The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 7 has over 100 years of experience in painting and in the removal of adhesive tapes from the Capitol building. IUPAT Business Manager John Jorgensen believes that the “tape damage” estimate by state officials is no way near accurate.
“After inspecting the Capitol early Friday morning I am 100% confident that any so-called ‘damage’ done by community members expressing their First Amendment rights is no where near $7 million. This estimate is yet another gross overreach. I would like to personally offer IUPAT labor on a volunteer basis to address any alleged damage from protester’s signs and tape during the protests.”
Most of the protesters used blue painters tape which is easily removed from any surface.
So Tea Partiers and Fox slyly taint the other protesters as “trash” and gasp about how “horrible” the protesters were to have “damaged” the Capitol and yet they consider carrying armed assault weapons to hear the President speak as a sign of patriotism? I don’t know. I guess I’m pro-life, because I would rather clean up any tape residue left over from exercising First Amendment rights than bury a body over perceived Second Amendment rights being used to back up First Amendment rights, as we have already seen in Arizona. And of course, there’s always the even more “clean” speaker at a Tea Party rally crying, “If ballots won’t work, bullets will!”
The mess made from the TeaPublicans beating their drums of violence at every occasion is too appalling to even address here, but suffice it to say, we should not be discussing tape. It is an ethical and moral lapse that anyone is discussing tape while they refuse to discuss guns or inciting violence.
My stomach recoils at the dark, evil inanity of it all: Tape is bad but guns aren’t. Tape doesn’t kill people. Oh, but it costs money to clean it up and money is God so of course, we should be outraged over tape residue but not outraged over guns being sold at Wal-Mart to emotionally unstable people. This is what the TeaPublican Party stands for now, when they’re not busy busting unions and driving women back to caves. It’s all about the money. Money is their God.
And since Governor Walker obviously worships Money over honesty, why won’t he do the fiscally responsible thing of letting the Painters Union clean the Capitol for free? I’m guessing it’s because just like the emails he won’t release, his story of tape damage won’t hold up under scrutiny. After all, his estimate of $7.5 million of damage was off by at least 79%. Or maybe the Governor doesn’t want the public to get the idea that Unions do good things like volunteer to clean up the People’s House.
Why won’t Governor Walker be honest with the public? Shame on Governor Walker for using made up numbers to smear hard working, honest people who are exercising their rights to peaceably assemble and free speech. Governor Walker would be better off addressing his own failures, such as his unlawful denial of access to the Capitol during his “budget address” and his atmosphere of using police to physically tackle Democratic lawmakers than smearing protesters with lies about tape damage costs.
Updated: 4:19 PM to remove Sharron Angle “Second Amendment remedies quote”.