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Ten years since a crowd of protesters confronted Gov. Walker outside La Crosse factory

Brad Williams

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Wisconsin is marking 10 years since a budget-cutting plan by former Gov. Scott Walker that led to massive protests and a recall election, and a disputed incident outside a La Crosse factory.

The Act 10 proposal introduced in February of 2011 angered members of public employee unions by taking away collective bargaining rights. 

Weeks of demonstrations followed at the capitol in Madison, and on February 15th of 2011, protesters confronted Walker when he visited the Ted Mannstedt factory on Miller Street to speak with workers. 

Dozens of picketers, carrying signs such as “One-Term Walker,” surrounded the governor’s car as he left the factory. 

Walker later wrote a book called “Unintimidated,” in which he recalled his car being rocked by the crowd, but Politifact investigated, and disputed Walker’s version of the event.

Picketers showed up again during later Walker visits to La Crosse that year, including a stop at the City Brewery and brief fly-in stops at the La Crosse Airport. Around that time, the governor routinely relied on the State Patrol to accompany him when he traveled outside Madison.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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