Hundreds of people protest outside Republican Sen. Dan Kapanke's house

By: Martha Boehm Email
By: Martha Boehm Email

LA CROSSE, WI (WEAU)--Hundreds of people gathered in front of Republican Senator Dan Kapanke’s house on French Island today to tell him they’re not happy with his vote for collective bargaining reform.

“Coming outside the home might be viewed as a little intrusive, but how intrusive is it to take away this much money from my family or take away my collective bargaining rights?" said Jon Morschhauser, a teacher.

While protesters continued chanting outside his home, I sat down with Senator Kapanke to talk about the rally and the bargaining bill that Governor Walker signed into law today.

"This is a bill that obviously very controversial, but if I didn’t believe that Wisconsin would be better off down the road having passed this bill, I certainly would have voted no," Kapanke said.

Kapanke says the bill will give local leaders more power to deal with their employees.

“And I think that’s going to be better coming from the local level than it is from the state level and they’re still going to be members of the union," Kapanke said. "They can still have union representatives at the table when they’re talking about benefits package, health care."

But protesters say the bill is taking away some of their rights as union members, which is why they are working to recall Kapanke.

“We gave him opportunity to listen to us, to understand what our values were, to make sure he was looking out for the underprivileged, the underclass and those people who are working hard every day and he didn’t listen to us,” said Richelle Zimmerman, a county social worker.

“I respect the will of the people and if they get the signatures and then we’ll have a recall election," Kapanke said.

Senator Kapanke says he received death threats in an email on Wednesday, but he says he’s not concerned about the people who rally outside his home because they have been peacefully protesting.

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  • by max Location: onalaska on Mar 17, 2011 at 03:56 PM
    Where do I sign a petition to KEEP Kapanke?
  • by Brandon on Mar 15, 2011 at 08:57 AM
    To Agree the only reason you think that is because its a free ride but guess what its over now! haha
  • by George on Mar 14, 2011 at 07:05 PM
    @Teacher. First, I don't believe you are a "real" teacher! Fact: Your Walker GAVE $117 million of YOUR tax dollars to corporations and the CEO is making more than the average middle class person will make in a lifetime. If you were a teacher that would make you angry that he is pointing the finger solely at the teaching profession. Corporations should not be getting breaks and should be paying their fair share. It's like getting screwed twice!
  • by bill Location: chippewa falls on Mar 14, 2011 at 12:32 PM
    recall the 14 democrats
  • by AGREE on Mar 14, 2011 at 08:34 AM
    Live well, laugh often, and never vote Republican. The #1 rule for a happy life. I will agree 100%
  • by Teacher Location: northern Chippewa on Mar 13, 2011 at 06:57 PM
    Go Dan! and any other supporters who have not acted like children and thrown fits or run away for not getting their way. For the last several years, republicans have voted no and lost...and they took it because that is how democracy works. And this whole idea that they are in the "rich man's" ie Koch brothers, they gave considerably less to Walker than the union's did to the Democrats. Check out your facts before saying that the Republican's are in the pockets of the rich...the democrats are in the pockets of the unions. The unions and the democrats are a package deal...unions get democrats elected with their union dollars and then negotiate with them to get their package deals. Nothing like "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." At least when companies get tax breaks, there are jobs created and communities benefit. When the unions get their packages, the only ones that benefit are the union employees and it's the tax-payers that get the shaft.
  • by See you later on Mar 13, 2011 at 04:47 PM
    Recall all Republicans.
  • by Registered Voter Location: North of Hwy 8 on Mar 12, 2011 at 07:13 PM
    I for one can't wait for the recall campaigns to begin so the cry babies can really have something to cry about when they get the silent majority to spank them again.
  • by Keep sniffing on Mar 12, 2011 at 07:03 PM
    Most of the Senate republicans are headed to Washington to a big fund raiser with their millionaire buddies, except for the rookies. What does that tell you? I'd rather be on the side of someone who laid down their own personal comfort to stick up for the working guy. But hey, you guys keep sniffing Walker's glue if it makes you happy.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 12, 2011 at 06:18 PM
    Walker says,"Let them eat cake." Well wait till the inquisition starts, (the recalls, and next elections),and All the rest of the Republicans will be saying "We were just following za orders!" TOO BAD. Follow da fuhrer, go down with the Fuhrer.
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