Sunday, March 20, 2011

Scuzzy Redistricting In Virginia: Will Walker And GOP Legislative Bullies Play Their Own Games?

In Virginia, legislators are busy picking favorable constituencies. A Washington Post op-ed correctly notes the outrage.

It's the year of redistricting, following the completion of the census.

I pass this along because I have begun to hear rumors of Republican redistricting manipulations - - especially if recalls portend a loss of GOP control in the Senate - - and related shenanigans, like fast-tracked drawing of district lines being batted around the State Capitol in Madison.

Bad rumors? Maybe.


Don't be too sure.

This is the gang led by Scott Walker that has run roughshod over rules, procedures, laws and traditions in Wisconsin - - and in just two months:

* Gave Walker the power to approve state administrative rules previously considered for approval after public hearings by the legislature.

* Approved a special bill for one developer/donor of Walker's to fill a wetlands in Green Bay before the routine appeals and review process had been completed.

* Disclosed a plan to declare 37 state power plants "surplus" and sell them, with or without bids, to private operators.

* Hid their intention during the 2010 campaign to wipe out public employees' collective bargaining.

* "Dropped the bomb" in the form of a phonied-up budget-repair bill on public employee unions as part of a national political strategy, as Walker told the fake David Koch.

* Discussed planting trouble-makers among peaceful demonstrators as protests mounted.

* Illegally closed the State Capitol, and continue to restrict free speech and assembly there.

* Declined to let all Assembly Democrats vote on the bill.

*Sent preliminary layoff notifications to 1,500 public employees to leverage the passage of the bill.

* Approved the bill after a now-you-see-now-you-don't-conference committee 'procedure,' but broke the State Open Records law and made a joke out of democratic transparency in their haste to ram it through.

* Demanded that State Senate Democrats return to the legislature, withheld their pay, fined them, took away their staff and even parking places - - and when they did return, blocked for 24 hours their right to vote in committees.

* Had to be sued successfully to release open records of emails sent to Gov. Walker about the bill despite Walker's saying the emails supported his position.

* Converted 37 state agency legal and communications positions to "at-will," from Civil service.

So: I wouldn't put anything past this group of power-hungry, 'ends-justify-the-means' right-wingers.

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