Thursday, February 2, 2017

WisGOP cares more about protecting their jobs than finding rapists

I think two stories go a long way toward explaining what the Wisconsin GOP finds to be important…and what they don’t.

Doug Schneider in the 920 informed up this morning one thing that isn’t a WisGOP priority – investigating crimes against rape victims.
Two days after the state's top prosecutor said "a few hundred" of Wisconsin's 6,000 backlogged rape kits had been tested, his office acknowledged that the number is a fraction of that.

The state has completed testing of nine kits, said Rebecca Ballweg, a spokeswoman in the office of Attorney General Brad Schimel. Another 200 are being tested.

The news angered leaders who have been pressing the state to move faster with testing. Schimel's office received $4 million in grants from the federal government and New York prosecutors to address the issue 16 months ago, and is seeking additional grant money.
The cost to test each rape kit test? $1,000 apeice, meaning that Schimel Department of “Justice” had spent all of $9,000 on this effort, despite having $4 million in outside grant money available to do it.

Or in other words, the DOJ has spent less in testing rape kits than what Schimel’s office spent to print coins that read “Kicking Ass Every Day.”

Class acts, ain’t they? State Rep. Chris Taylor couldn’t help but notice these choices by Schimel’s DOJ, as well as the fact that Schimel’s chop shop has gone against Planned Parenthood in defense of a GOP abortion bill (and lost) and sued the Obama Administration numerous times as part of the Koch agenda's attempts to make climate change rules and other legislation be illegal.

Compare the ignoring of the rape kits to another legal expense that WisGOPs think is a top priority – fixing the now-illegal gerrymandering that WisGOP set up 6 years ago. WisGOP legislators are not allowing the rest of the citizens of Wisconsin a chance to find out who they plan to hire, and how much us Wisconsinites are going to have to pay for their partisan actions.
Republican lawmakers plan to approve behind closed doors writing a blank check Thursday to hire two law firms in a legal battle over redrawing legislative maps, adding to a bill that has already topped $2 million.

The legislators on deck to approve the plan won't know how much hiring the firms will cost or even their hourly rates. Those details will be ironed out after the votes, said Myranda Tanck, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).

Hiring the firms is set to be approved Thursday by two committees. No further action will be needed…..

On Thursday, two legislative leadership committees are expected to approve hiring the law firms for the latest litigation. They will vote by ballot, rather than meeting in person

Neither the Senate Organization Committee nor the Assembly Organization Committee posted those meetings on the Legislature's website, as is typically done for committees. The Assembly committee alerted reporters to the meeting on Wednesday, but the only public notice of the Senate committee's plans was posted on a single bulletin board in a little-traveled Capitol hallway.
Ummm, can you explain to me why the GOP needs to use taxpayer dollars to hire their own lawyers for this, when the Wisconsin Department of “Justice” was already taking their side (and losing in court)? You don’t think there might a campaign kickback of funds involved with the no-bid contract these guys are handing out to the lawyers, is there? NOOOOOOO!

So let me see if I have the WisGOP math correct:

Paying unlimited, unbudgeted funds to re-rig election maps in secret > Using money they already have to test rape kits and increase the chances of bringing sexual assaulters to justice.

Speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

1 comment:

  1. I wonder where's the sticking point? I've known people at DOJ, and like most public servants, they took their jobs seriously. Dedicated professionals. Is it a matter of hiring the right personnel? Facilities? Could it really just be a lack of commitment on the part of the AG to move this forward? I'll be honest with you here, Jake. I don't like Brad Schimel at all, but I don't want to believe that.

    And it couldn't just be him. He's the top guy and holds final responsibility, but the day to day task of getting these things done falls on Bureau Chiefs, Supervisors and analysts.

    Seems like backlogs at DOJ have something of a history, but it seems like the previous AG wasn't so averse to spending money to remedy such things.

    I don't work for DOJ, and it's been a while since I was in contact with anybody who does. I don't want to judge too harshly without knowing the details of the problem, but this is a problem.

    A reasonable question for some kind representative to ask might read something like this: "AG Schimel. Clearly there's some barrier to getting this work done in a timely manner. Please let us know what resources or assistance you need to move forward in a manner consistent with Wisconsin's commitment to Justice."

    I'd also like to hear from law enforcement officers and DA Offices. Is this backlog a hindrance to investigations and prosecutions?

    I don't even know what to say about the redistricting, but I expect a similar map to be drawn from a similar process and go through a similar court challenge during which the 2018 and 2020 elections will be carried out with ever so slightly less awful district lines.