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26 March 2012

Jerry Bader Show, part one

Here's part one of the podcast of Jerry Bader on The Jerry Bader Show talking about the Rox Bar Incident:

Part one: Scott Walker T-Shirt wearing man shares his story

Jerry, introducing "the person directly involved with" Roxgate: Santo joins us now on the phone. Santo, good morning.

Santo: Good morning, Jerry. How are you doing?

Jerry: Good, and I really appreciate you taking the time to come on.  Now.  What we're talking about is Rox Bar and Grille in Waukesha. Santo, in your own words -- and, you know, talk a little bit about the day and the events that led up to you folks being there, and tell us exactly what happened there.

Santo: Okay, well, first of all, some of us were going since 8:00 in the morning since the AFP event was in the morning.  Then we had a Walker event in the afternoon in Brookfield, so we'd been going all day.  I was one of the coordinators of the Brookfield event, so I was wearing my shirt.  I had the infamous "Scott Walker My Hero" shirt that B&D made that the high school student got in trouble for. So I had that shirt on, and I had it on throughout the day, everywhere I went. Now, granted, most of the places I went were Pro-Walker events, so I was just fine, but we did go to other establishments in Waukesha wearing this shirt.  Not a problem.  So the whole day was all about politics.  Then, at the end of the day, I was the designated driver, and I was taking some of our people back to the hotel.  At the hotel, there's this bar adjacent, Rox, it's right next to it. So, the guys are like, "Can we have one last one there, Santo?" and I'm like, "Yeah, okay, whatever."  So we ended up there.  We proceeded to walk into this establishment, and they checked IDs at the door, so I was there for probably five minutes wearing this I Stand With Walker t-shirt.  I did not have a jacket on.  It was fully exposed.  And so, he checked my ID, looked at me, and he let me into his establishment.  And then we sat there and we had a drink or two.  We were exhausted. We weren't even talking politics.  You know, at this point we're just having a beer and just discussing, you know, our next days or whatever.  What's kind of funny is that one of our people actually lost her wallet.  So I went to the doorman, as an individual, wearing the same shirt.  He actually had the wallet, handed it to me. So I give it back to her.  So I had an extra interaction with this doorman.  So, finally after about half an hour, we decide to leave.  And on the way, the doorman looks at me -- very serious look -- and says, "If you want to come back here again, do not wear that shirt."  And I was like, "Whoa!"  First of all, I was surprised that I'd get that in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.  It's pretty much 75% GOP area.  But I figure, nothing good happens after 1:00 a.m., so I left it alone.  But then he had to add something: "My owners would not like that shirt here."

Jerry:  So, he said that the owners of the establishment -- Did he ever say anything that there was a policy about this?

Santo: He did not say that there was a policy to me.  And, I always look -- because I don't carry right now, but I always look for any policies when I go to any businesses now, 'cause I want to see if they have a carry policy, so in the future when I carry and I go there, I can know.  And I saw a policy sign for that, but no other policy signs were on his business.

Jerry: I am sure you are aware of what Rox Bar and Grille has posted on its website, but I'm going to read it for the listeners.  "As the owners of the Rox Bar & Grille, we are quite sensitive to the fact that Wisconsin is a place where political passion runs high. We respect the rights of our patrons to believe and discuss what they choose. We do ask, however, that they do not advertise these political beliefs in any form (including distributing pamphlets or wearing politically affiliated clothing). We are neither pro-recall nor pro-Walker. We are an establishment that is trying to provide our patrons with an enjoyable, safe, adult environment."  So they are trying to say that there is a policy against wearing this type of thing, but you were never told that until you paid, and I'm told you tipped okay, too.

Santo:Yes. That actually has me more upset than anything.  An individual company has the right to make their own policies.  But the policies should be stated before I make the decision to invest in said business.  If they would have told me when we walked in the door, "Hey, we don't want that shirt in there," I wouldn't have spent my money into that establishment, and I'd have the choice as an individual to make that decision.  But to tell me afterwords, it almost felt like I got bamboozled by them, you know what I'm saying?

Jerry:  Yeah, I do.

Santo:  Your money's good enough, but your shirt sucks.  It's not like we spent a ton of money there, but we spent enough, and it just happened to be that I picked up the tab in that place, so I felt like, here I am, I just spent X amount of dollars in this place and tipped the waitress pretty nicely, and I'm being told not to come back unless I'm not wearing a Walker shirt.

Jerry: Any Spidey-Sense type of stuff that you got when you were in there, that people were looking at you funny?  Any bad vibes?

Santo: Actually not.  The waitress was very kind.  I'm not gonna say anything bad about her.  We came in at the tail end of a live band playing, and it emptied out.  There was only one other table there, which was kind of surprising on a Saturday night, that there was only twelve people in this place.  There was no sense or vibe from the employees.  There was only this doorman.  At first I just thought maybe this doorman happens to be an anti-Walker guy, so maybe I shouldn't go after the company, the business.  But the next day we kinda posted, "Explain yourself," and it gets to the point where -- I have a lot of Facebook friends, and they found out about it, so it kinda went a little bit viral.  So there were hundreds of messages, so maybe the guy got a little inundated.  But a simple 'This is our policy.  We will state it now in the future before people spend money in here.  We're sorry this happened.' would have went a long way towards me just shutting up about it.  But the fact that all they did was defend what their doorman did without an apology just infuriated me to the point where it needs to be exposed.

Jerry: I was amazed when I saw what they posted.  You're right.  I went through something similar in a bar a few years ago -- very different from what you talked about and I don't believe it was politically motivated -- but I'll tell you right now, Santo, if I owned a bar and somebody wore an Obama t-shirt in, and the doorman talked to him that way, I would probably fire him.

Santo: I agree with you.  I -- business is already hurting all over the place with Obama's economy.  I know this is a newer place and they're trying to establish a clientele.  They are in a conservative area.  It's just absurd to me that they would have a policy -- and it's not like it was a vulgar shirt. It just said Scott Walker's my hero" with the state of Wisconsin on the front.  It blew my mind away.  And they told me after I spent my money. I just couldn't believe it.

Jerry:  Well, you don't really believe they have that policy, do you?

Santo: [sigh.] I do not.  If you have a policy like that, then it really needs to be stated -- outside, on your window. Or your doorman needs to know it.  I'm not sure what happened.  I don't know if the doorman was there in the backroom and brought the doorman back to him and said, "Hey, this guy, this shirt's not working for me. Tell him on the way out," or whatever happened.  But I just feel like I got bamboozled.  It was like, "Okay, we'll let this guy in, but then we'll tell him off on the way out."  It kinda got me really upset.

Jerry:  So at this point -- you said what they could have done, they could have apologized. Is it too late for that?  Or would you still like to get an apology from them?

Santo: I would like to get an apology from the owners.  The last thing I want to do is to go after a small business.  They are the backbone of our economy.  They're just trying to get established, and there are people that are relying on that business for their jobs.  But I would just like to hear that if that's their policy, they need to be consistent, they need to promise me that they'll do it before people go in there and spend money, and they need to do it across the board.  I have friends in that area, they're gonna drive by, and I don't want to hear that there were people in there with recall signs enjoying drinks while I was told never to go back with my pro-Walker shirt.  Consistent. State it.  And apologize.

[Any mistakes in the transcript are mine.]

Part two of the transcript continues here.

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