You don't need a former TV weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing | Wis.Community

You don't need a former TV weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing

[img_assist|nid=70005|title=Former weathercaster Ott|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=220|height=165]Former Milwaukee TV weatherman Armin (Jim) Ott has some 'splainin' to do. Voters might be surprised to learn an Assembly committee co-chaired by Ott, a Mequon Republican, is busy sneaking through a bill gutting what meager campaign finance disclosure rules are still maintained by the state Government Accountability Board.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported that Ott and other Republicans who control the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules didn’t stop there. "In addition to rolling back existing GAB rules they handcuffed the agency, prohibiting any future rulemaking requiring disclosure of corporate electioneering."

Because, hey, it wouldn't be good to let the public know who's funding political parties and candidates in Wisconsin, now, would it? Especially if they are corporations and right-wing think tanks who give to Republicans. At least, that's the evident attitude of Republicans now in control of your state government.

More cynically, the GOP legislators held no public hearing on the change and did everything it could to avoid letting Democrats, reporters or citizens in general know of its agenda.

The WDC had this to say about the matter:

The committee hastily voted on strict party lines to move the bill forward, but not before chairman Ott ordered police intervention to stop a young man from filming the proceedings with a camcorder. The man was causing no disturbance; in fact, he said not a word. But still his behavior could not be tolerated. Not one, not two, not three but four uniformed and armed police officers were summoned to handle this breach of peace.

Folks, we need to come to terms with what we are dealing with here. This is creeping fascism.

Wisconsin is defamed by a state budget that amounts to Robin Hood in reverse, one that provides tens of millions of dollars in new tax breaks for the rich and powerful while raising taxes on the working poor by scaling back the Earned Income Tax Credit. This in a state where the progressive income tax was invented.

This budget is a monument to vending machine politics. Huge cuts for schools. Big cuts in health assistance for seniors and the poor and the disabled. Huge spending increases and other favors for the big donors in the road building industry. for the bankers. One for the  too. And for the . It .

Democracy is desecrated when public elections are turned into private auctions. And when public involvement in the affairs of state is treated as an unwelcome intrusion or even a criminal offense. 

What to do? Get on the horn now to your legislator, especially if he or she is Republican. Also email your local newspaper and call your local TV station news department. Let them know of this outrageous attempt to make state government even less transparent on behalf of rich special interests who have been busy dissing average working people.

And then call Rep. Jim Ott and let the former weathercaster know there's a storm a'brewing.

More from the WDC here:

 

Published

September 13, 2011 - 2:50pm

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