I. F. Stone, the legendary investigative reporter and scholar who, regrettably, is no longer with us. used to publish with his wife a small but influential newspaper and diary in Washington, DC.
One of his tactics: re-printing statements in signature, stand-alone boxes that needed no accompanying commentary.
Channeling Stone's spirit and methodology, I'm putting up without commentary or editing statements from an attorney advising Senate Republicans in Madison.
They are found in a PolitiFact piece in today's Journal Sentinel that rates as "barely true" Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald's claim that a "constitutional crisis" was created when 14 Senate Democrats left the state. The PolitiFact piece explores the crisis claim:
"Fitzgerald’s office directed us to Madison attorney James Troupis, hired by the GOP senators to advise them about legal matters after the Democrats left.
"Troupis said the Democrats created a crisis because their departure meant the Senate couldn’t function. He called it a matter of survival of the Legislature.
"'If the Legislature cannot continue to function, and its primary job is to legislate, then it has no meaning, no function," Troupis said. "That’s precisely what happened."
"Troupis compared the situation to a bill passed inspired by the Sept. 11 attacks that spells out how the state would continue to function even if many of its legislative leaders perished. That bill allows the Legislature to meet virtually. An earlier, controversial plan that allowed lawmakers to secretly designate their successors in the case of an emergency died.
"'We asked Troupis: Was the departure of the Democrats a 9-11 type emergency?
"'Yes," he responded.
"'While it may be similar in that members are missing, it’s also quite different. After all, the 14 were not dead -- just in Illinois -- and in regular contact with GOP leaders, constituents, and, of course, the media.
"Is that enough?
"'If the body can’t act, if it’s denied the ability to act, it is no different than throwing somebody in jail and denying them habeas corpus," Troupis said, referring to the right of prisoners to have a prompt court hearing so they can know what charges they face.
"Said Troupis: The Democrats were "denying them (the Senate) the ability to act and that is a constitutional crisis."
"He added: "It fundamentally alters the role of the Legislature and in a republic you just can’t do that."
"If that is allowed to happen Wisconsin would be "no different than fascist regimes throughout the world," Troupis said.
"The Democrats, Troupis said, jeopardized "the legislative branch of government" and would "give too much power to the executive branch.'"