Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Paul Ryan protests spread in WI

Premium wine enthusiast Paul Ryan may be vacationing with his family in Colorado, but those unemployed constituents of his are tormenting his poor widdle staff in Wisconsin. Why, they're sitting in his office and asking to talk to their congressman about jobs!! The nerve!!

Today, Ryan's constituents were blocked from entering his Kenosha office by a police officer. But others are sitting in his Racine office. And a rally is scheduled this afternoon outside his Janesville office.

The backstory is that seven jobless Wisconsinites from Ryan's district sat in his Kenosha office for four consecutive weekdays. The AFL-CIO blog tells us a little bit about who they are:
Some of the participants are lifelong residents of the area, like Scott Page, who was laid off right after training the foreign worker who would replace him when his job was shipped overseas. Others have been unemployed or underemployed for years. Shanon Molina, a single mother who lost her job as an administrative after 10 years with a company, can’t find work at even half of her previous salary.
Paul Ryan has to yet to meet with his constituents. Currently, the only way to talk with Rep. Ryan is to pay for a $15 out-of-district meet and greet event. This is out of reach to many of his constituents.
This morning, our friends at dane101 tell us what happened:
...they were greeted with locked doors and security provided by the City of Kenosha Police Department. Scott Page, one of the constituents seeking an audience with his representative said they were told they aren't allowed to park in the parking lot or enter the building unless they have an appointment with the Congressman. Page said they've tried to call the offices from outside to set up an appointment, but the phones aren't being answered.
A call by dane101 to the posted Ryan office number, (262) 654-1901, at 10:30 a.m. resulted in no answer. 
The Rochester Citizen tells us the wine-loving congressman's staff offered them a conference call.
Shanon Molina, who is an unemployed constituent of Ryan’s said that they were not offered a personal conference call with the Congressman, but they were offered to be able to listen in to a teleconference town hall with hundreds of other people on the call where she may or may not be able to address a question to the Congressman.
Dane 101 is now tweeting
RT @dane101: Confirmed that protesters are now also sitting in at Ryan's Racine office. Information from inside coming soon.
And the Janesville rally is still on for today and tomorrow. Here's a description of the event from their Facebook page:
Wednesday we will be hosting a Where’s Paul Rally to support area residents who will be in Congressman Ryan’s Racine office waiting for their opportunity to ask Congressman Ryan where the jobs are.
Join us Wednesday, August 24 and August 25 at:

Congressman Paul Ryan’s Office 20 S Main St., in Janesville
1:00PM - 5:00PM (Weds and Thursday)
As we ask Congressman Ryan,
“Where are you? And where are the jobs?”
And finally, here's a flickr stream of the protests.