Welcome to the the first blog post of the return of the LaCrosseWatchDog Blog! We are continuing in our tradition of uncovering and exposing abuse of power from government officials, politicians, and traditional media outlets in La Crosse WI.
Last night I attended the 3rd Congressional Debate between Ron Kind, Dan Kapanke, and Michael Krsiean. This was held at UW-La Crosse and it was sponsored by the League of Women Voters, WXOW Channel 19, and UW-La Crosse. UW-La Crosse and the League of Women Voters have a history of trying to enforce an unconstitutional rule of barring audio or video recordings of any debates that they host. Keep in mind that UW-La Crosse is a public University, funded by your tax dollars. A week ago the LaCrossewatchdog blog tired to record a debate held on campus between the 95th Assembly District Candidates and we were harassed and assaulted by LWV(league of women voters) and campus professors for attempting to exercises our first amendment right of Freedom of the Press. Here is a video of that exchange.
Here is a video from 2004 of Ron Kind refusing to debate because of a "unauthorized" camera.
Last night things did not end so well. UW-La Crosse, LWV, and WXOW singled the LaCrosseWatchDog Bloggers out before the debate even started, and got in our face to tell us that we were not allowed to video tape the debate. Sean Dwyer (News Director of Channel 19) got right in my personal space (his legs were touching my knees), and told me I would be in violation of federal election law (FEC) if I record the debate. I then told him he had no authority to enforce this unconditional rule. He then became upset and told the UW-La Crosse Police Officers on duty to remove me from the debate room. I was then approached by the officers and they requested that I leave the room to talk with them. I told them I did not want to leave the room and lose my seat for the debate. Then I asked the officers if they could tell me why they wanted to question me outside the room. They refused to give me any explanation as to why they want me to leave the room. I then told them I would not speak to any police officers without an attorney present. While this was going on, the other LaCrosseWatchDog blogger Ron Clark pulled out his video camera to record my interactions with the police. As soon as he pulled out his camera, the police officers grabbed his arms, camera and pulled him out of the room. Ron was never given a warming by the officers that he would be arrested if he did not put down his camera. Below is audio of myself talking to Free Talk Live (National Radio Show) explaining what happened.
After Ron, was arrested I then decided I should check on how he was doing. I left thee debate room to go outside in search of Ron. I found Ron by a police car getting issued two citations that amounted to $750. One for disorderly conduct and the second for resisting an officer. There was no resisting done by Ron. He was trying to protect his camera from getting broken by the police pulling on his arms. After the UW-L police released Ron, we were then told harshly that if anyone of us attempted to enter the Cartwright Center building for the rest of the evening we would be arrested for disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer. I was never cited for any offense previously to that or for the rest of the evening, but yet I was told I could not enter a public building or I would be arrested. Here is video of that interaction.
I have more videos of what happened that will be released on the blog soon.