Pro-union activists have taken to releasing red heart-shaped balloons into the rotunda as a silent protest against Gov. Scott Walker, and [Leslie] Petersen told the paper she was posing for a photograph with her balloon when a state worker approached her with a knife and began “stabbing the balloon.”Sounds like a photo op for Althouse + Meade. And speaking of Althouse + Meade photo ops, that state worker is identified by Peterson (the balloon owner) as Ron Blair, an assistant facilities director at the Capitol, and — as I noted in yesterday's post — Meade got shoved by Blair last March, caught on video here:
Petersen said she went to retrieve the “balloon carcass” and was then shoved into a door by the state employee, who during the incident cut himself, leaving a trail of blood on the rotunda floor....
About 50 balloons were released into the rotunda after the skirmish Monday.
At 0:58, the supervisor pushes Meade. At 2:20, the supervisor expresses the theory that Meade "want[s] a confrontation" then admits that he put his hands on Meade, which might have been "a sin." Meade says, "I'm not talking about a sin. I'm talking about a tort." The supervisor tells Meade to "go away."...I'm just one of the bloggers, pointing out that we saw Blair get pushy last March.
9:34: Meade asks, "When did [the protesters] catch on to the idea that they should use blue painter's tape?" Worker: "I'm not sure." Supervisor: "Just don't give him any comments... probably not the press, because he's no credentials, but just another one of the bloggers."
And let me add that I think protesters releasing helium-filled balloons inside the Capitol is a serious problem that the building managers need to control. Now that you don't have to go through a security check to get into the building, it can be a terrible problem. A thousand protesters holding balloons could march into the rotunda at any moment and release a thousand balloons that float up into the space under the dome, which is 280 feet in the air. I'm sure they'd think that was amusing/heart-lifting/justified, but it cannot be tolerated. It damages the building, and it will cost a lot of money and effort to undo. If it is not undone, it creates a free-speech forum, and the state will need to tolerate future balloons representing the full spectrum of messages, and the dome will become the world's most ridiculous gigantic, inverted pile of litter.