Quantcast

Wisc. Lawmakers Fight Back Against Dem Governor’s Anti-Christmas Bender

'Kids from all over the country have sent us ornaments to put on the tree...'

(Headline USA) Two Republican state lawmakers on Tuesday put up an artificial Christmas tree in the Wisconsin Capitol’s rotunda for a second time, hours after the first one was removed because they did not have a permit for the display.

Reps. Paul Tittl and Shae Sortwell broadcast their reinstallation and decorating of the tree live on Facebook, calling it a peaceful protest allowed under the First Amendment in defiance of Democrat Gov. Tony Evers’s administration.

Evers chose not to erect a “holiday tree” in the rotunda this year because the Capitol building is closed to the public due to the coronavirus.

The lawmakers first put the tree up on Dec. 1 after Evers said the typical towering real tree would not be displayed this year.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

That tree, donated from a Wisconsin resident and decorated with ornaments made by school children from around the state, is typically a big attraction over the holiday season.

Republicans have bristled at Evers’s decision to refer to it as a “holiday tree” rather than a Christmas tree.

Tittl and Sortwell said they really wanted to have a Christmas tree in the rotunda even though the governor was against it.

“It doesn’t hurt anything,” Tittl said in an interview. “It’s not using any resources. It doesn’t have to be watered. Kids from all over the country have sent us ornaments to put on the tree.”

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

He said children who sent them ornaments were “responding to the spirit of Christmas.”

Their first request to put up a “historical display” was denied by Evers’s administration.

The lawmakers appealed. Capitol Police Chief David Erwin denied the appeal in a Thursday email.

The primary reason the permit was denied, Erwin said, is that that the Department of Administration does not have the authority to approve displays on the ground floor of the Capitol.

That authority rests with the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board, he said.

“These long-standing and consistent permitting rules have been used for over 40 years to ensure a fair and equitable process for freedom of speech exercises in the Capitol, regardless of an individual’s political leaning,” DOA Assistant Deputy Secretary Olivia Hwang wrote the lawmakers on Tuesday, informing them the tree had been removed.

She suggested the lawmakers contact their GOP colleague, Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, who chairs the board that approves ground floor displays in the Capitol.

Loudenbeck herself has applied for and received a permit to erect an artificial Christmas tree on the first floor of the Capitol, Hwong said.

An artificial Christmas tree that two Republican lawmakers set up stands in the Wisconsin Capitol rotunda in Madison, Wisc./AP Photo

Tittl said they have now applied for a permit with the board Loudenbeck heads as well as with the Evers administration for a second time.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration, which considers applications for displays in the Capitol, did not immediately respond to questions about whether the second tree would be removed.

Erwin suggested the tree be moved to the first floor of the Capitol, where the DOA could grant approval and where several other religious displays are put up this time of year when the building is open.

But Tittl said he didn’t want to do that because not as many people would see it there and traditionally there has been a tree on the ground level.

Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.

- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

Cruz Introduces Bill to Transfer Migrant Facilities to Ritzy Dem Vacation Spots

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, introduced a bill this week to transfer migrant detention facilities from border towns to ritzy areas where “Democrat elites host...

Maxine Waters’ Campaign Paid Her Daughter More Than $80K This Past Year

The campaign of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., paid her daughter more than $80,000 this past year, according to campaign-finance records. The records show that Waters’s...

Marjorie Taylor Greene Outlines New ‘America First’ Plan to Aid GOP Victory in 2022

According to Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who is running for reelection in 2022, has hired a new...

Taxpayers to Fund Immigration Tent Courts in Texas

The Biden administration said last week that it will comply with the Trump-era "Remain in Mexico Policy." But now that the rule has been reinstated...

17 State AGs Slam DOJ for Trying to ‘Chill Lawful Dissent’ at School Board Meetings

A group of 17 state attorneys generals submitted a letter Monday to President Joe Biden arguing that the Justice Department has been attempting to...

Chicago Mayor Accuses Police Union of Inciting ‘Insurrection’ Against Vax Mandate

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot accused a police union of inciting an “insurrection” by encouraging officers to oppose the city’s vaccine mandate. The Fraternal Order of...

ABC Interview Lends ‘Bond’-Like Air to Disgraced Russiagate Hoaxster

In Out of the Shadows: the Man Behind the Steele Dossier, available to stream on Hulu, George Stephanopoulos and ABC News do their level...

Abbott Blasts Biden for Abandoning Border Towns after Shots Fired on Nat’l Guardsmen

Texas's Republican Gov. Greg Abbott told Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo that President Joe Biden had "abandoned" the border, noting that Mexican cartels recently shot...

Psaki Brushes Off China’s Nuke Push: ‘We Welcome Stiff Competition’

President Joe Biden's press secretary, Jen Psaki, shrugged off recent reports of China's advances in nuclear technology, claiming that "we welcome stiff competition" in...
- Advertisement -