Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Value For Your Government Dollar

On Wednesday, Isthmus posted a story to its website saying that under the
settlement Walker did not acknowledge any fault but agreed to produce the
records and pay attorney's fees and costs of around $7,000.
Do you remember back when Scott Walker promised transparency and openness in Madison? Yeah, that's not what Scott Walker is known for. Back in 2005 he got a letter from the DOJ referring to the way Milwaukee County dealt with open records requests.

"In sum, this episode evinces a case of how government officials ought
not to do business...

"Whether they violated the public records law is a question largely
mooted by the later production of the waivers and the nearly inconceivable
notion that a repeat of this inglorious set of circumstances might be
forestalled by a judicial pronouncement on the matter.
"Nobody honored
to serve in public office ought to manipulate public records in this fashion --
that is the opinion of this office."

Interestingly, the news that Scotty had pissed away more than $7000 in a losing battle to keep from embarrassing himself the Dane County District Attorney filed and Open Meetings Law Violation complaint against the conference committee meeting last week which saw the non-fiscal parts of the Budget Repair Bill (Let's chew on that for a moment. Non-fiscal ad budget repair. All together right there, screaming at one another as if they didn't belong in a single sentence.)

This week also saw an open hearing that wasn't really open that included funding to repair the power plants the Governor intends to offer for no-bid contracts to his campaign contributors. He's going to sell them without open bidding because they'll cost too much to repair and there's not demand enough for open bidding, he says. But he's allocating money to repair them so they'll be ready for whoever buys them and uses them to generate electricty they'll sell to the state at a profit. Somehow, that wasn't important enough to warrant a meeting room large enough to hold a real hearing.

What was it Scotty said back when he was gutting the Department of Commerce in favor of a new system for funnelling tax dollars to contributors? "
We want to make sure that both from an ethics and open government standpoint
and overall in terms of accountability that we have full disclosure and
accountability, ..."
Yeah, see? Walker's not good at any of that. His track record in Milwaukee County is one of obfuscation and deception, of bending the rules he can't ignore and of doing everything in his power to block legitimate requests for information. Some people wanted to believe Walker without any reason or cause and it's costing all of us today.

Why bring all of this up? Why the downer? Because it's Sunshine Week, the week when we lobby for openness and transparency in government the same way we hope to build awareness for this disease or that condition in hope of finding a cure. It's Sunshine Week and our brand new Governor stepped on his pud three times at once. His case of deception may be beyond any glimmer of hope for a cure.

It can't be tough to do better than this. We've simply elected a man who has no idea how to follow through on his words.

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