The People’s House
March 9, 2011 12:55 PM
I visited the Capitol today to meet with some members of our legislative delegation about the impact of the Governor's proposed budget on Madison. I was not boarding an airplane, but it felt like it.
Under a court order, the state Department of Administration has "opened" the Capitol back up, but the gauntlet of security and the metal detector seems to me and a lot of others as too heavy handed. And once inside the building, people in the halls are far outnumbered by police officers from the State Patrol and from communities around the state. Don't get me wrong. Those officers were very courteous and professional. My concern isn't with them but with a policy that seems designed to turn the building into an antiseptic, controlled camp instead of the lively house of democracy it should be.
As far as I could tell there was never a security threat in the building even when it was home to several thousand protestors. And there are no signs of any permanent damage anywhere. The judge has said that people can't stay in the building over night. But I see no reason why the building shouldn't go back to its usual hours and open points of entry.