People’s Legislature ‘Bangs the Pan’ for Reform

Posted: September 18, 2007
Updated: September 19, 2007

The People’s Legislature

Madison - Between 150 and 200 members of the People’s Legislature today took part in the “Storm for Reform” on the front steps of the Capitol, demanding an end to the state budget stalemate and prompt action on political reforms.

Participants at Storm for Reform rally. Click to enlarge.Most of those attending the rally banged pots and pans, inspired by the late Texas journalist, political commentator and humorist Molly Ivins, who told her readers in the last sentence of the last column she wrote, “We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, ‘Stop it, now!’”

In opening remarks, Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe said, “there are so many things going on in this building that have got to stop.” To read his remarks, go here. For video, go here.

A procession of rally participants from Argyle, Beloit, Elkhorn, Franklin, Janesville, Lake Mills, Madison, McFarland, Milwaukee, Montello, Platteville, Princeton, Reedsburg, Waupaca, West Allis, Weyauwega, and points in between went to the microphone to speak their minds about the budget impasse, the increasingly dysfunctional legislative process and the need for campaign finance reform and other political reforms.

After the rally, participants signed individual petitions urging Governor Jim Doyle to keep his promise and call the Legislature into special session this fall to act on campaign finance reform, and delivered them to the governor’s office.

Director’s remarks VideoMore pictures


Opening Remarks of
Democracy Campaign director Mike McCabe
at ‘Storm for Reform’ rally at Capitol
September 18, 2007

If anyone wonders why so many of you have come with pots and pans, it’s like this.... In the last sentence of the last column the late, great Molly Ivins ever wrote, she left her readers with this advice: “We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, “Stop it, now!”

There are so many things going on in this building that have gotta stop.

For starters, stop taking money from fugitives and convicted criminals. Stop auctioning public policy to the highest bidder.

Stop politicizing our courts. The judges of this state need to hear this.... Stop checking your gut and start checking the state ethics code.

Our lawmakers need to hear this.... Stop the partisan bickering. Stop the political posturing. Stop using the state budget as a fundraising tool. Stop playing games, do your job and finish the budget. Then stop stonewalling campaign finance reform.

The governor needs to hear this.... You promised to call the Legislature into special session this fall to act on campaign finance reform. Keep your promise. We need you to lead if this mess is going to be cleaned up.

Now it’s time to bring on the star of this show.... One person and 15 words at a time, the People’s Legislature has got something to say to the Lobbyists’ Legislature. Choose your words carefully. You’ll be showing the people in this building what democracy should sound like.