Wisconsin Republican state Senator Glenn Grothman is concerned with the condition of the state’s Capitol building.
On MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” Tuesday, Grothman explained the reasoning for wanting to limit the number of people in the building.
“Well, we’re trying to keep some people out of the building because right now the building’s becoming a pigsty,” Grothman said. “People are staying overnight, the building smells. We used to have nice little groups of fourth grade children walking through the building. There was something called the ‘Senate Scholar’ program in which high school kids could track us around. All that is being shut down by a bunch of slobs taking up the building. We can no longer continue to have all those slobs in the building.”
O’Donnell suggested that school kids might learn something “more interesting or valuable” with the pro-union protests going on inside the building, but Grothman dismissed that possibility.
“No, it would be embarrassing for me to take my child through that building today,” added Grothman, who then explained that the people occupying the Capitol building aren’t actually union members, but college students “having a fun party.”
“The people that are inside the building are college students who are having a fun party,” Grothman said. “That’s largely who is in the building overnight. And if you get up early Cory [Grothman speaks to Cory Mason here] and talk to who is in the building at 7 a.m., you will find it is largely college students and hangers-on having a party in the state Capitol.”
O’Donnell pushed for a clarification from Grothman, wanting to know if he was saying “all” of the protesters were slobs.
“No, of course not,” Grothman said. “But the people who are staying overnight are largely making a mess of our Capitol. That’s what you’re addressing. Why are we keeping people out of the building? Because we don’t want to have so many people there overnight defacing our beautiful Capitol.”
He then backtracked a bit, telling O’Donnell that any police officers, firefighters and other state workers, who shouldn’t be labeled as slobs, constituted a “very small percentage” of the protesters in the Capitol building.
“A very small percentage,” Grothman said. “I think if you would interview all the people who are creating a ruckus – the vast majority who are here today are not police offers or nurses. They are either college TAs, college students, or hangers-on, or unemployed people just looking for somewhere to hang out.”
After a judge ordered officials to open the Capitol to the general public – which, I believe includes DFH’s as well as the unemployed – until the court could schedule a hearing, however police continued Tuesday to limit access to the building.
Watch the video here.