Back to the Past! | WisCommunity

Back to the Past!

Once again we see the state legislature being confused. As anyone who is in any way sentient will know, today is Back To The Future Day. In Madison the Gang That Couldn't Vote Straight seems to have misunderstood and thought it was Back To The Past Day. Rumor has it that a Delorean pulled up in front of the Capitol early this morning, and a young man who looked a lot like Michael J. Fox dropped off a pile of old legislation.

Remember the Good Old Days? Back before the GAB? Remember the Caucus Scandal? It's back! The Assembly is taking up a bill (AB377/SB294) to destroy the GAB and replace it with two entities, one to handle elections and the other to handle ethics. Just like things were before 2007. When everyone including all the Republicans voted to form the GAB. Apparently the Republicans have changed their minds because they got caught.

Hilariously, the new structure is modeled on the Federal Elections Commission, which is widely known to be one of the least-effective governmental groups in Washington (which is saying a LOT).  Under this new structure you can look forward to uncontrolled violations of the law and government corruption that will even exceed the status quo. This in a state where I grew up with pride that we had one of the cleanest governments in the country.

Much of this week's legislative session is devoted to paying the state back for having had the gall to actually investigate Republicans for corruption and violating the law. As we slowly find out more about the docuements uncovered in the two John Doe investigations we're discovering that there was undoubtedly good reason for the "witch hunt" we keep hearing about, and that much of the story being told by the GOP in the state is a blatant lie.

This week the legislature is getting rid of the GAB. It's also removing most of what is left of campaign finance law in the state. A good day's work indeed. Early this AM the Senate approved the Assembly bill to limit John Doe investigations into political crimes, while of course keeping the law to prosecute citizens.

It's a perfect trifecta. Money pours in to legislators since the restrictions are removed. Nobody can find out where the money comes from because you no longer have to say who you work for. The agency in charge of looking into campaign violations has been neutered and can't do anything effective since it's now a partisan group. And even if someone suspects hanky-panky, the most effective means of investigation under state law can no longer be used. The gist of the story?  "We didn't do anything wrong and we promise not to do it again. And anyway, we're making it all legal now."

This is all in the name of "reform" and "accountability". We're heading back to the past, and I'll be damned if I can see any way to stop it.


October 21, 2015 - 11:11am