Wisconsin GOP state senator on overnight Capitol protests: ‘The building’s becoming a pigsty’

A lot can be said about so-called “peaceful” demonstrations by examining the condition of the protest site. In Madison where protests have erupted over whether or not government public employees are entitled to collectively bargain, Wisconsin Republican state Sen. Glenn Grothman has called attention to the condition of the state’s Capitol building.

On MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” Tuesday, Grothman explained the justification for wanting to limit the number of people in the building: it’s becoming unsanitary.

“Well, we’re trying to keep some people out of the building because right now the building’s becoming a pigsty,” Grothman said. “People are staying overnight, the building smells. We used to have nice little groups of fourth grade children walking through the building. There was something called the ‘Senate Scholar’ program in which high school kids could track us around. All that is being shut down by a bunch of slobs taking up the building. We can no longer continue to have all those slobs in the building.”

Host Lawrence O’Donnell proposed the possibility that school kids might be able to learn something “more interesting or valuable” with the pro-union protests inside the state Capitol. Grothman dismissed that possibility.

“No, it would be embarrassing for me to take my child through that building today,” he added.


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Grothman explained that those staying overnight in the Capitol building aren’t the rank and file public sector union members, but college students who are, as he put it, “having a fun party.”

“The people that are inside the building are college students who are having a fun party,” Grothman said. “That’s largely who is in the building overnight. And if you get up early Cory [Mason] and talk to who is in the building at 7 a.m., you will find it is largely college students and hangers-on having a party in the state Capitol.”

O’Donnell insisted on a clarification from Grothman, wanting to know if he was saying “all” of the protesters were slobs.

“No, of course not,” Grothman said. “But the people who are staying overnight are largely making a mess of our Capitol. That’s what you’re addressing. Why are we keeping people out of the building? Because we don’t want to have so many people there overnight defacing our beautiful Capitol.”

He also explained to O’Donnell that the police officers, firefighters and other state workers, who shouldn’t be labeled as slobs, constituted a “very small percentage” of the protesters in the Capitol building.

“A very small percentage,” Grothman said. “I think if you would interview all the people who are creating a ruckus – the vast majority who are here today are not police offers or nurses. They are either college TAs, college students, or hangers-on, or unemployed people just looking for somewhere to hang out.”

  • ernielane

    Actually, this would have been the perfect time to bring in school groups. They are getting indoctrinated by the teachers one way; let them see the reality.

  • spike1120

    The web site crossfire showed a union mob chasing Glenn Grothman yesterday until a Democratic colleague saved him from the rowdy Wisconsin crowd.

    If this is the peaceful demonstration Matthews favors he ought to be tossed out the door of MSNBC.

  • walkedthroughthebuilding

    I went to the capitol building last Sunday afternoon on my only day off of work to have a look at what was going on.
    My timing was such that I was in the building when security began a 2 people out – 1 person in policy. As a result the crowd began to clear and I was able to assess the condition of the space.
    The restrooms were clean. The floors were clean throughout the building. I expected it to smell like a locker room from what I had read, but there was no apparent odor.
    The people I saw in the building were very diverse. I did not see a particularly large contingent of college student types. There was a very large group of off-duty police officers and firefighters – including the Madison Fire Chief.
    I walked to the areas where I was told people were generally staying overnight and also did not find any cleanliness issues with the building or the people – again no noticeable smell.
    When it was announced the building was closing at 4pm I left.
    If you think these people need to leave the capitol building for some reason that’s fine, but cleanliness is simply not enough for me.
    I also didn’t see very many union organizer types outside working the crowd. There were a lot of police and fire from other Wisconsin communities marching with signs, not many people with teacher signs. The crowd outside – at least when I was there – seemed like very normal people from diverse demographics.

  • truebearing

    One of these days Walker is going to have to grab the handle and flush the human effluent out of the building. They do stink, and they are a bunch of drug addled, mentally ill, deranged fools whose lives are so dysfunctional that they have nothing better to do. If ever there was an argument for eugenics, these fools are it.

    Is it possible to sue their parents for NOT getting an abortion?

  • Vuvuzela

    I know Glenn personally, and I’ve seen the inside of the capitol building just last weekend. Mason’s so full of carp (misspelled, I know) that it’s coming out his ears! Glenn tells it like it is, and he’s a great example of the adults who are now in charge of Wisconsin’s state government.

    In July we’ll recall a couple of the missing DemocRats and we won’t have any more of these marathon pajamma parties.

    • truebearing

      Were you at the Tea Party rally in Madison several days ago? It was like standing on an island in a sea of morons.