Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Wisconsin State Assembly
I just heard this today that at yesterday's assembly session (the only one of the month) there was a group of people filming the goings on. That was too much for Rep. Fitzgerald who had the palace guard (Wisconsin State Patrol not the Capitol Police) remove and arrest those people. He cited assembly rule 26 (which I've been told isn't published) as superseding a State law from 1990 not to mention the US Constitution as upheld by the State of Ohio Supreme Court which allow private citizens to record what is said in public meetings. My understanding was the individuals who were doing the taping did not trust that the assembly would be run according their rules or that what happens would not be reported. Judging by the lack of media coverage it would appear that their fears were realized. This move by Rep. Fitzgerald and the rest of the GOP members is appalling. You would expect this behavior from an authoratative government but not from a democracy. And, where were the Democrats? Only 2 of them had the nerve to challenge the action. They should have walked out, this is no way to run a government. Much like the Senate walk out in the end such a move would not have mattered. The Democrats are a non existent party. They cannot introduce legislation and none of their amendments even make it to the floor for a vote. Remember the days of all we ask for is an up or down vote (Republicans). At least there was discussion back then. The Rep. from Black River Falls suggested changing the rule to allow taping as allowed under State law and it was suggested that could be taken up at a later date. Minority leader Barca agreed effectively ending any discussion. Does anyone really believe that this will be taken up at a later date? If you do I have a toxic waste dump to sell you. The Assembly and the State Patrol join the State Supreme Court as disgraced institutions. I'm afraid that they all have shown themselves to be tools of the Republican party leadership and big business. This is a total authoritative move which is going to have consequences in the State. Oh and maybe this is why the worthless State Patrol was exempt from the changes in the state employee contracts, after all you need to have a palace guard.