Why not charge activists a “Free Speech” fee?


The only thing more possibly as profitable as taxing beer in Madison – taxing activists.

As a peace activist, Miles Kristan has more important issues to address. But you can hardly blame him for being angry over the lousy way he’s been treated by the city of Madison.

As Isthmus reported (Watchdog, 4/30/09), Kristan, 23, was fined $675 for writing on State Street in chalk, as city ordinances expressly allow. He told this to the cops, who ignored him. Even after a police supervisor admitted that Kristan was right, he had to make a court appearance; it was only afterward that the citation was dismissed (Watchdog, 5/15/09).

Now, he says, the Madison Police Department has rubbed salt in his wounds by sending a $2.25 bill for the postage of its earlier letter explaining its decision to withdraw the bogus ticket. (His mother received and paid it, before telling him.)

Hey buddy, we pay for government mistakes all the time. It’s called being a citizen.


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