Just when you thought you'd probably seen the worst the state Legislature had to
offer, along came Thursday — and early Friday.
On Mark Gundrum's obstruction of the ethics bill: One of them, Rep. Mark Gundrum, R-New Berlin, also said the bill hadn't gotten enough public input. This despite that fact that it was introduced in January 2005 and was the subject of two public hearings since. Gundrum's call for a task force to study the bill sounds more like stonewalling.
And the breezy passage of a rough draft of something to take to the stump:
In fact, the entire resolution was discussed, amended and voted on in the span
of about four hours in the middle of the night. It's funny that Gundrum
didn't object to a lack of a public hearing this time. Well, it's only the state
When your assemblyman or woman claims to have voted for a Taxpayer Protection Anything make sure to call them to task for their cavalier attitude and actions.
The Racine Journal Times said of Gard's stunt-based leadership:
By dawn's early light, Gard was defending the package as a glass that was "half
full." Others - including some Republicans - were characterizing it more as
half-baked. It is rather a mess.
And shone some light on the true effects of the debacle: Local governments rely heavily on state funding support so a lid on state spending would translate immediately to cuts in aid to local governments - cuts that would require either local spending cuts or, that's right, property tax increases.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in an editorial titled A Constitutional Insult said:
Assembly Speaker John Gard proclaimed in a news release that, with the passage
of the Wisconsin Taxpayer Protection Amendment early Friday, Assembly
Republicans had kept their promise to taxpayers. If he was able to put that news
release together with a straight face, he deserves to be commended.
Gard's grandstanding in front of a piece of poor governance fooled no one over the weekend.
The measure did not go to committee for discussion. Not a single public hearing
was held. But so desperate was Gard, a Republican from Peshtigo, to approve
something, he ignored the public's interest and sent through a measure without
appreciable public input.
You don't mess around with the state constitution
in this way, and you don't disregard the public in such a way if you have the
state's best interest at heart. Government isn't supposed to work like this.
There is a reason that so many local governments and service providers are against this concept. But there is no reason that anyone should support any legislation made in the dead of the night solely for the purpose of election year showboating.