Saturday, February 18, 2012

Redistricting follies, and the incestuous GOP circle

Been quite a fun last few days for those of us who believe in decency, transparency, and fairness before the law. A few reactions from "The Redistricting Follies."

In case you hadn't heard, the Wisconsin GOP had to end their stalling and release the emails they worked out with Michael Best and Friedrich relating to redistricting. Here, give em a read if you haven't already. In addition to trying to evade Open Records Laws by using Michael Best's offices and personal email addresses (right out of Walkergate, isn't it?) and actions that lay the groundwork for Adam Foltz's eventual perjury arrest, here are a few standout emails from my end.

Right at the start, you have references to Manny Perez being one to testify in favor of the new maps as giving adequate Latino involvement. Oh yeah, Manny Perez, he had plenty of free time to help WisGOP in July, because he'd resigned after 4 months as Secretary of the Department of Workforce Development, allegedly because of a sexual harrassment complaint that cost DWD another employee because the complaintant was locked out of meetings after blowing the whistle on ol' Manny, and she eventually quit. There's a winner to have on your side.

Here's another winner that helped out WisGOP with this redistricting farce, convicted criminal Scooter Jensen.
Jensen is a senior adviser to the American Federation for Children, a group that lobbies for the state's school voucher program and spends large sums to elect Republicans as well as some Democrats who support vouchers....

Shortly after Jensen received the maps from [Fitzgerald aide/ GOP hack Tad] Ottman, he forwarded them to Zeus Rodriguez, president of St. Anthony School and Hispanics for School Choice. His school participates in the voucher program, which allows low-income students to attend religious and other private schools at taxpayer expense.

Hispanics for School Choice and Jensen's group both backed an expansion of the school voucher program included in the state budget just weeks before the maps went before the Legislature.

After receiving the maps from Jensen, Rodriguez consulted with Ottman on the maps and submitted written testimony in support of them.
Hmm, I wonder if voucher advocates get the inside info on redistricting has anything to do with the huge amounts of money Jensen funnels to GOP candidates? Actually, I don't wonder at all, and this story also illustrates why the Assembly GOP is breaking its promise to limit the number of districts that could get vouchers, and trying to defund public education in several Wisconsin districts in the process. Pay-to-play at its best.

Lastly, there are some awesome emails relating to the fixing of testimony to have Republican hacks argue in favor of the maps without ever seeing the maps. One of those asked to testify is Dane County Supervisor Eileeen Bruskewitz,
last seen losing 70-30 to Joe Parisi in last year's Dane County Exective race. GOP laywer Jim Troupis is quoted on Page 6 as telling Fitzgerald's aides that Bruskewitz "will not know the map," and that she and others will need to be "prepped on specifics," and that she should "limit her comments to things she understands." Nice coaching there, WisGOP.

But even better than that is the BS job performed by WisGOP and Journal Communications' favorite lawyer. On Page 47, Troupis reports
Professor Rick Esenberg has agreed to testify next Friday in support of the map. He needs a.) the maps; b.) the numbers; c.) a summary of eq. population, compact/contiguous, minority responsiveness aspects fo the map.
Way to go, Shark, who needs to read the maps when you already have the testimony written? No matter how much he tries to backtrack on what he did and why WisGOP chose him, we all know Esenberg got the gig because he will shamelessly lie and decieve and fit "facts" to match whatever WisGOP wants to see done. Then he uses his token MU Law status as an excuse to fit this spin job under the cloak of "I'm a lawyer, so trust that I know what I'm doing," even if he has no idea what the hell he might be defending, or on what grounds he's defending it on.

It is a nice check, isn't it Rick? You can just make up shit and throw it against the wall, and as long as you sound convincing, enough plebes might be fooled enough to buy it. Way to go Esenberg, and way to go Bruskewitz, you'll fit right in at the Heartland Institute or Bradley Foundation or whatever right-wing affirmative action gig you'll land after you're out of your current job. Cause after all, when you're Republican, who needs credibility as long as the media gives you equal face time, right?

What a complete train wreck the GOP Legislature is becoming. They're going to have this redistrcting thrown out in the most humiliating fashion, and then they're going to lose their majorities, while settung such a low standard that no one with a brain and decency will vote for that party again as long as the current wrecking crew is around. They can keep on whining and spinning, but given that 4 of your Assembly members are already not running for re-election, with 3 announcing that in the last week, I think the pros are starting to realize what's coming, and it's the end of the Legislative side of Ftizwalkerstan.

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