A couple of Republican state lawmakers put up another Christmas tree in the Capitol rotunda, but by morning it was gone. See the before-and-after photos above.
Wisconsin state Representative Paul Tittl wrote on Facebook,”Good news, everyone. Representative Shae Sortwell and I put up another Christmas Tree in the Capitol rotunda!! Thanks to everyone who has been sending in their ornaments!”
Here’s video of the tree going up:
Here’s a picture of what the tree looked like:
Here’s a picture of what remained.
On December 16, Tittl wrote, “Well, last night they took our tree down again, with ornaments and all.”
Tittl posted a live video giving his reaction.
People posted comments on Tittl’s Facebook page expressing anger that the tree was removed. Here are some of them:
“Sad!!!! For those you who have a problem with a traditional Christmas tree I feel sorry for you. I am glad I don’t live where you do. My work, and the community park plays Christmas music, has beautiful lights, and knows how to bring the spirit of Christmas. It looks like a few of you and Gov. Evers, if he is responsible for such grinch like behavior, could use some cheer and know how to spread it.”
“Evers is literally a grinch!”
“Could you put up a BLM decorated Christmas tree? Evers’ head would explode trying to decide what to do with that.”
“Funny isn’t it, or maybe disturbing is a better word, Tony didn’t seem bothered by the rioting, violence, and destruction of the city this summer, yet having a Christmas Tree is something he so against?!”
“I bet if you erected a CCP flag there that would stay.”
According to Fox News, the Tony Evers’ administration claims the GOP lawmakers had no permit and the building was closed to the public because of the pandemic. The pair then sought to get a permit for a “holiday display,” but this was denied by both Evers and Capitol Police Chief David Erwin, Fox reported.
Republican lawmakers also tried to put up a first tree on Dec. 7, but it was removed on Dec. 15.
Evers had opted not to put up a Christmas tree this year in the Capitol due to the pandemic and insists on calling it a holiday tree, both actions that upset Republican legislators. According to WBAY-TV, Erwin said the Department of Administration can’t approve such displays on the Capitol’s ground floor – only the State Capitol and Executive Residence Board can do that.
“These long-standing and consistent permitting rules have been used for over 40 years to ensure a fair and equitable process for freedom of speech exercises in the Capitol, regardless of an individual’s political leaning,” DOA Assistant Deputy Secretary Olivia Hwang wrote the lawmakers, according to the Green Bay television station. Erwin has suggested that the tree be moved to the first floor. Hwang also suggested the lawmakers seek a permit from a committee chaired by Republican Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, which they are trying to get, WBAY reported.