Like we've been saying: Under Walker and the GOP, Wisconsin government haste makes waste | WisCommunity

Like we've been saying: Under Walker and the GOP, Wisconsin government haste makes waste

#000000;">[img_assist|nid=51968|title=All GOP now|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=196|height=204]In the continuing Republican destruction of open government and pursuit of partisanship over sound public policy, a report from an unlikely source -- discredited Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus -- adds fuel to the argument that the GOP's veiled gerrymandering of Wisconsin legislative districts last year was not only highly political but badly flawed.

#000000;">The Wisconsin State Journal quotes Nickolaus saying that because of the contested redistricting scheme, 14,447 citizens of her county are now listed in the wrong municipalities, school districts or wards for election purposes. And unknown thousands more citizens across the state evidently are in the same boat. 

Reid Magney, a spokesman for Government Accountability Board, told the newspaper that the state agency is working to help local election clerks correct wrong information that has misassigned voters to wrong districts where, presumably, any votes they cast would be thrown out. An earlier GAB announcement in November said some local election commissions have contacted GAB about "anomalies" between census data and government boundaries.

The redistricting scheme, which political analysts say would have the effect of locking down many currently held Republican legislative seats for a decade, currently is the subject of a case before an appeals court, filed by state citizens who are Democrats.  The plan was hurriedly voted into law by Republicans with virtually no public or Democratic Party legislative input. 

Republicans hired private law firm Michael Best & Friedrich to create the redistricting scheme at state expense. 

Saying that GOP lawmakers and their hired attorneys have filed “frivolous” motions trying to keep redistricting documentation  private, a federal appeals panel recently required the attorneys to pay more than $17,000 in legal fees spent by the plaintiffs seeking discovery.

The redistricting scheme mandates that newly redrawn districts would not take effect until the regularly scheduled elections this year, a provision that Republicans who voted the scheme into have since tried to contest in the state Supreme Court, so the more GOP-friendly legislative district boundaries could be used for recall elections. Opposing groups have demanded that Justice Michael Gableman recuse himself from any involvement in the case, since the Michael Best firm that drew up the plan has also provided Gableman with free legal assistance in previous ethics cases.

Nickolaus, a Republican, came under fire last April after botching the recording of thousands of votes in the City of Brookfield that made the difference in re-electing incumbent Justice David Prosser to state Supreme Court race after a close race against a much more progressive opponent. Now she doesn't have to botch up future elections, since her party has taken care of that already.

Add the redistricting misplacement of tens of thousands of Wisconsin voters to the onerous Voter ID law, which is basically an anti-GOP vote suppression law, and you begin to see a disturbing pattern in Republican strategy. Namely: If you can't beat 'em, cheat and obfuscate.

Published

January 11, 2012 - 1:34pm

Author

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