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Americans for Prosperity's Pro-Walker Bus Tour Stops in Hudson Amid Pro-Union Protests

More than 100 Walker supporters attended a rally at the Best Western Hudson House Inn while more than 300 protesters demonstrated outside.

The Americans for Prosperity "Stand Against Spending, Stand With Walker" bus tour across Wisconsin stopped at the  in Hudson on Saturday, March 5, 2011. The group held an event inside the hotel in support of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his budget repair bill while protesters gathered outside.

Inside the hotel, Americans for Prosperity put on its event in the St. Croix Room as the standing-room crowd spilled out of the 100-person capacity space into the hallway.

Outside the hotel, at least 300 protesters waved signs, recited chants and signed forms to start the recall procedure for local and statewide Republican lawmakers.

Matt Seaholm, the Wisconsin state director for Americans for Prosperity, said he expected the large pro-union turnout. 

"I don't think it's a surprise to anybody that the unions organize well. That's what they do," Seaholm said. "One thing about everybody in this room is nobody was told to be here; they were asked to be here."

Protesters outside the hotel waved signs that said "Tax the Rich," "Recall Walker" and many pro-union and pro-teacher messages. Many who oppose Walker's bill say they are willing to contribute more to their health and retirement benefits, but strongly oppose how the bill proposes to limit collective bargaining.

"I don't blame them for fighting for additional benefits and against some sort of cuts that they might take," Seaholm said. "The fact of the matter is that the private sector has been dealing with this for years. We just think it's time that the public-sector unions pay their fair share." 

Hudson was just one of 10 stops for the tour. The bus was scheduled to stop in LaCrosse later on Saturday and finish the tour on Sunday in Madison. Those interested in supporting Walker can go to StandWithWalker.com to read and sign the Americans for Prosperity petition.

Those on the other side of the issue may be interested in helping the Wisconsin Democratic Party organize a recall of state Sen. Sheila Harsdorf. The Democrats are asking supporters to meet at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 6, at to get instructions, forms and maps to canvass the community for signatures. Keep up with the effort at RecallTheRepublican8.com.

T Griffith March 06, 2011 at 02:32 AM
I was there and the number stated above about how many Walker supporters were present is totally inaccurate! About a dozen or so supporters left the Hudson House...unless they all went out the back door! The unions DID NOT tell people to attend, we were told about the time and place and made up our own minds to attend! One last comment...the people in attendance were NOT all teachers...all public workers came together, and stood together to have our voices heard!
Micheal Foley March 06, 2011 at 03:02 AM
The protestors were quoted several times through the messages on their signs in the several photos accompanying the story. Plus, I made the photos the main feature of the story. Also, I've done a few videos in the past few weeks that show the protestor point of view without having a chance to quote the pro-Walker side. I'm doing my best to be fair, and I'll continue to try harder to meet everyone's expectations.
Micheal Foley March 06, 2011 at 03:04 AM
I assure you that the number is accurate. I went up to the St. Croix room and it was indeed overflowing. Most people did not leave through the front entrance. Thanks for commenting.
Peter, Hudson, Wis. March 06, 2011 at 12:53 PM
Thanks for the coverage. I was unaware of the event. The html links in the story are also helpful.
TJS March 06, 2011 at 01:55 PM
Thank you for the timely coverage. Nice photography, particularly of the child with the Sith poster. A thorough, timely, as-objective-as-possible actual NEWs source has been needed in Hudson for a very long time.
Brenda Bredahl March 06, 2011 at 02:51 PM
Mike, Didn't see you at the event but when I was there I counted about 400 with my walk-through from one end to the other. That was around 1:30-2 and people were still arriving as we left... Although I was never good at math....despite the valiant efforts of Messrs Hotujec, Wilhelmson and Anderson at HJHS and Mrs. Sjoquist at HHS.
Micheal Foley March 06, 2011 at 02:58 PM
I heard that a count at the same time put the crowd at about 250 with more still arriving, that's why I went with the figure "at least 300." Also, the crowd appeared to be about the same size as last week's at the band shell, if not a little bit bigger.
Dirk A. March 06, 2011 at 05:29 PM
The "tax the rich" crowd should move across the river. Their governor is all about that.
Jim Bob March 06, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Dirk, help me out here. What should Warren Buffet's -- the richest man in America who makes around $46 million a year -- tax rate be compare to the people who work for him making $50,000-$150,000 a year? Should the percentage rate be higher, lower or about the same? In 2006, Warren Buffet complained that he paid a 17.7% tax rate on his $46 million of taxable income, while his employees paid an average 32.9% tax rate. I'd be happy, if Buffet paid the same as his employees. Does that make me part of the "tax-the-rich" crowd. Perhaps, if we increased the Buffet-rate to a higher percentage, we could move the percentage paid by his help to a lower number. I don't know, but this seems like a fair proposal to me. How about you Dirk?
Dirk A. March 06, 2011 at 08:11 PM
JPN - I'll believe that Buffet may pay the rate you list, but show me some concrete evidence that his employees paid an average of 32.9%. No one is paying close to that rate earning the wages you've stated, not even in New Jersey, which has the highest state tax rate. The problem isn't the amount of money that the government takes in, it's what get spent. Let's fix the real cause of the problem. If your car is running on 3 cylinders and get's lousy gas mileage because of it, the solution isn't to put a bigger gas tank on the car.
Jim Bob March 07, 2011 at 01:52 AM
Buffet links: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/money/tax/article1996735.ece http://www.ctj.org/blog/2007/06/buffett-rich-pay-too-little.html http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/26/news/newsmakers/clinton_buffett/index.htm?postversion=2007062700 http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2007/06/mr-buffetts-tax-bill.html Let's put it this way, Buffer believes he is paying a smaller percentage in taxes than his secretary. My two questions are pretty simple: 1. Should should Warren Buffet pay a tax percentage rate that is higher, lower or about the same as his secretary? 2. Does it make me part of the "tax the rich" crowd, if I think Warren Buffet should pay at least the same tax percentage rate as his secretary?
Frances March 07, 2011 at 02:34 AM
As a passionate supporter of Wisconsin's workers who is appalled by Walker and the Republicans, I just want to say that I think this is indeed a nicely balanced article. Of course it's obnoxious to read Seaholm's insulting quotes, but, in this sad day and age, I just appreciate an accurate count of the protesters, plus the picture, and I love the links for people of both sides! Thank you! Keep up the good work!
Forward Thinker March 07, 2011 at 02:45 AM
I talked with a former Feingold campaign assistant who had just completed another protester crowd count sometime when the supporters were leaving the building - it was over 500, she said.
Forward Thinker March 07, 2011 at 02:47 AM
Then those that want to trade good jobs for Walmart jobs and gut education should move to Mississippi.
PoggeB March 07, 2011 at 02:55 AM
I loved Mr. Eggers comment that the rich should pay the taxes because they are making the money. They make it using the roads, the schools, the electrical plants and the labor we-the taxpayers-provide and yes, Georgia Pacific and Wal-Mart use those roads more than I do and pay less to use them.
Jim Bob March 07, 2011 at 03:04 AM
Did they find out how many of the "over 500" voted for Walker or didn't bother to vote at all in the 2010 election?
Thurston Howell III March 07, 2011 at 04:15 PM
I checked out Hudson Star Observer's coverage of this event. http://www.hudsonstarobserver.com/event/article/id/42051/ To my mind Mike has been a lot more objective. Good job Mike. You deserve a raise!
Thurston Howell III March 07, 2011 at 04:27 PM
JPN, You seem pretty talented at digging up facts. Can you find info on the Koch Brothers like you found about Warren Buffet?
Dirk A. March 07, 2011 at 05:34 PM
JPN - I read the first article about Warren Buffet on the link you included and you've correctly quoted Buffet. However, if you take his secretary who has a salary of $60,000 without any deductions and use the 2010 Federal tax table, the tax on that would be $11,181.25, or 18.6% of the salary. Now I don't know what state this secretary lives in, but there's no way this person is paying the 30% Buffet states. He must of been smoking something before he made that statement or else he believes everything he hears.
Rich Petersen March 07, 2011 at 10:25 PM
So, you don't know, so you assume she pays no state tax. Ever consider Buffet knows what state she lives in and her total tax is actually 30%? No, instead you assume Buffet is a drugged out idiot. I'd be curious to know your total federal + state tax liability percentage. Is it more or less than Buffet's 17.7%?
Dirk A. March 08, 2011 at 01:23 AM
Richard - Our (we file jointly) tax rate comes in at 24.6%, which is way to high. I think we need a flat tax rate for everyone, with absolutely no deductions of any sort, once a person passes a certain threshold, say $20k. For the record, New Jersey has the highest state tax rate, which is a graduated rate. I never hinted that she lived in one of the states that doesn't have state income tax. Even in NJ, Buffet's secretary wouldn't pay close to 30%. As a side note, half of all households pay no income tax whatsoever. So, let's hear what rate you're paying, hot shot.
Jim Bob March 08, 2011 at 01:56 AM
Dirk, the federal tax is figured on the taxable income not the adjusted gross income. I did my federal tax yesterday. My federal tax percentage using adjusted gross income is 9.4 percent and 13.2 percent using the taxable income with the standard deductions. Dirk, for some reason, you seem to be avoiding my two questions: 1. Should should Warren Buffet pay a tax percentage rate that is higher, lower or about the same as his secretary? 2. Does it make me part of the "tax the rich" crowd, if I think Warren Buffet should pay at least the same tax percentage rate as his secretary? These seem simple enough to me to answer. You seem to be trying really hard to prove that Buffet pays a higher percentage than his secretary. Buffet says he paid 17.9 percent and you figures saying his secretary pays 18.6 percent. Let's use those figures to answer my questions. FYI: Buffet lives in Omaha and I assume his secretary lives there also.
Jim Bob March 08, 2011 at 01:58 AM
Dirk, should we have a flat tax on social security too?
Swen Beck March 20, 2011 at 05:18 PM
I applaud Dirk for taking has stand and not answering JPN's stupid questions about Buffet and taxes. Of course those earning less should pay a higher tax percentage. They are the ones getting all the government handouts. If it wasn't for rich people, those poor people wouldn't have anything.
Rich Petersen March 21, 2011 at 04:23 PM
Yes, not so long ago if it weren't for the plantation owners those stupid slaves wouldn't have had anything. Thank God we can move our factories to Mexico and China where the workers appreciate what they have. We need to keep our modern day slaves in their place!
Thurston Howell III March 21, 2011 at 04:48 PM
Hey Swen, JPN doesn't ask "stupid" questions. He asks probing questions. Maybe you and Dirk don't like being on the wrong end of his probe.
Swen Beck March 21, 2011 at 05:03 PM
Buckle up your seatbelt patriotic Americans! Prepare for a crash landing because the tax-the-rich liberals trying to take control of the bus are attempting to stifle all dissent so that they can turn the U.S. into a province of San Fransisco. These are sushi-eating socialists who are coming after all of us and won't stop until they tattoo a hammer and sickle on your buttocks. These granola-munching Maoist among us who are hatching shcemes to make you work as a bureaucratic union slave to government.
Rich Petersen March 21, 2011 at 05:05 PM
"Just 400 Americans -- 400 -- have more wealth than half of all Americans combined." That's 155 million people. - http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/mar/10/michael-moore/michael-moore-says-400-americans-have-more-wealth-/
Rich Petersen March 21, 2011 at 05:22 PM
Hey Swen, your sarcasm is sometimes a bit too close to the true beliefs that are out there, but then again maybe that's what you are shooting for in order to stir the pot ;) Thanks for the entertainment.
Thurston Howell III March 22, 2011 at 09:54 PM
I'm still trying to figure out if there were any people on that bus? ( And I was there in person) Talk about bridges to nowhere, where's that bus headed with no people on it?

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