Friday, March 4, 2011

The 'Hidden' Cost of Democracy

While the mostly peaceful throngs of citizens, activists and protesters alike have enveloped Madison Wisconsin's historic Capitol Building over the past two weeks, there's one cost that few Badger State officials would've predicted -- a $7.5 million dollar 'repair' bill.

It's kinda ironic, huh?

As it turns out, the thousands of pro-union and anti-Walker crowds have capriciously and without respect for public property, damaged an enormous amount of expensive marble, among other things, throughout Madison's Statehouse.

Although this price tag, on its face, seems ridiculously high, the fact is, the building was not designed as a crash pad and rallying spot for an angry mob.

There's a rule in the Capitol Building that 'no tape or other adhesive' may be used to affix items to any part of the building. In fact, when signs or communications are necessary, easel boards are displayed. The specific oils and chemicals in different types of tapes and adhesives tend to seep into the porous stone surface of marble and granite, if left too long. It creates a 'stain' that, left alone, causes discoloration.

Take a look at this local Fox News affiliate video that explains the damage.

It's also surprising that the State Fire Marshall did not intervene at some point. Surely a crowd of this size, holed-up in a building not designed to mimic Lambeau Field in Green Bay, would certainly violate the 'persons-allowed' occupancy laws that exist?

The only question left to ask is: which labor union will get the contract to repair the Capitol Building?

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