We have seen a lot here in Wisconsin in regards to the recalls. As Executive Director of one of the “Official” recall organizations, Defending Wisconsin PAC, I have been very involved, mostly behind the scenes. In fact, a majority of my time is spent investigating and helping with prosecution of those involved in the purely felonious activity of recall tampering. You see, whether you support Scott Walker or not, there is no question that any tampering with recalls is tampering with democracy in general. It is a spit in the face of the foundation on which we live, and that which many have lost life and limb to protect. In fact, the mere act of tampering with a recall could be considered treason. But whether legally treasonous or not, the people engaged in such activity represent the lowest scum and human garbage in this country. Make no mistake, this is not civil disobedience, these people are not patriots and don’t even deserve to live in such a great nation. Most of these cases have been individuals, however, I was informed of an incident that left me both stunned and even more sickened.
Enter Ronald Kossick. Ronald is a concerned citizen, like many. He decided to go to Lakeshore Technical College, a STATE FUNDED two-year institution of higher learning in Cleveland Wisconsin, way up in the northern area of our state. Ronald was standing on the sidewalk outside the technical college and circulating his petitions. Apparently, someone got upset with Ronald and the police were summoned to the scene. Ronald was contacted by, according to the citation, the Chief of Cleveland Police, Timothy Barber. It struck me as strange so I decided to look into a few things. According to a citizen in the area who wished to remain unnamed “The man is a former Manitowoc School board and our co-chair for the Dem party. Its getting like witch hunts up here!” So I looked further and it turns out Ronald is a well-known Democrat in the area. I decided to call Ronald himself, after all it wouldn’t make sense to do a story without hearing what happened. According to Ronald, and likely the police report that follows, he was on the sidewalk. Chief Barber, asked Ronald to leave. Ronald refused stating it was his constitutional right to be there. Ignoring the Constitution, under massive pressure from the school and risk of termination if he didn’t follow the order (Chief Barber was acting under his official capacity as a campus cop not a Cleveland Chief), Chief Barber escorted him to his squad car, put him in the back, and drove him to his car warning him of imminent arrest should he dare collect petitions there again.
Now lets say the school was just a little uneducated. Let’s say they had no idea ordering Ronald removed was illegal. When Ronald informed them they were violating rights, they should have looked it up to make sure they were in the right. Not doing so is both financially and socially negligent on the school’s part. Instead the HR Director for the school and the school President insisted that he be removed without looking it up. A real shame as I attempted to look it up and found the answer to whether Ronald was right or not very quickly. In fact, a simple search for “circulating recall petitions” found it. The third page when you search this on Google is an official GAB or Government Accountability Board ruling. In this ruling, made by a board consisting of retired judges, they clearly laid out the rules regarding circulating on public property.
Each governmental authority, and not the Board, is entrusted with making appropriate decisions, but the
authority must be guided by these constitutional principles. With the caveat that a court, and not the
Board, would be the arbiter of specific facts and circumstances, these principles suggest the following
Government authorities may not unduly restrict building areas traditionally open to the public,
such as the public areas in the State Capitol or entry ways to government buildings, without a
compelling public interest..
The government has broader authority to restrict entry to, and use of, private offices.
The government has broader authority to restrict entry to, and use of, classrooms.
Use restriction should not be content based – that is, it may not be based on the substance of the
I thought and thought and thought of a compelling interest that could be presented to justify Ronald not being allowed on the sidewalk. Seeing none I inquired as to whether the school or Chief Barber attempted to provide one. I was told they did not, they referred to a school policy, but no compelling interest or justification behind the policy other than “we don’t want politics on our property.” Unfortunately for the school and for the Chief, this is not a compelling interest and therefore Ronald’s removal, as he said, was illegal. I further asked if he was soliciting. It is true, the school can restrict political solicitation, however the Supreme Court has ruled time and time again that petitions are not solicitation. If he asked, after a signature, for a donation to anything then it would be solicitation. Ronald, however, was solely collecting petitions so no solicitation occurred.
Please call Lakeshore Technical College at 920-693-1000 and demand the entire staff be trained on the First Amendment and rules to circulate recall petitions. Also please demand the resignation of HR Director Kathy Kotajarvi and anyone else involved in violating Ronald’s rights. Furthermore, the District Attorney is standing behind this. Please also call the Manitowoc District Attorney (who stands 100% behind Ronald’s removal according to an interview conducted over the phone with office staff) and demand that they stop trampling on rights in the name of justice. You can reach them at 920-683-4070. Together, we will send a clear message this will not be tolerated. That we expect more from our state funded Colleges and Universities. And continue fighting. One day longer! One day stronger!
Defending Wisconsin PAC
[Editor’s Note: Donations made through this post go to the author, not the website]
Note: Segway Jeremy Ryan has become a full-time member of the protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Formerly a businessman, he gave up his business to join the fight for the middle class in the State of Wisconsin. Through videos and writings he has informed hundreds of thousands of people about what was going on at the Wisconsin State Capitol once the mainstream media had mostly abandoned the protests. His full-time activism is completely funded by the people. If you would like to help out please click here.