* In Madison Tuesday, on a bi-partisan, compromise mining bill drafted in the State Senate, Assembly leader Jeff Fitzgerald, (R-Horicon), said "no."
He prefers the anti-environment, anti-clean water, anti-public participation bill [Sic] his house wrote in secret with the help of industry representatives, and that is the favorite of the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, a special special interest group that
wants - - demands - - the whole ball of wax in one year, so has the legislative leadership on a short leash this session.
And "compromise" is not in his vocabulary, despite clear language in the state constitution's Public Trust Doctrine that puts the highest environmental priority on water management in the public, not private, interest.
How bad is the Assembly bill and efforts to turn it into law?
The Journal Sentinel, which supports some mining reform, took an editorial shot Saturday at "Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald's in-your-face power play to try to shove that rancid piece of legislation down the throats of Wisconsin's citizens..."
* In Milwaukee Tuesday, attorneys for GOP legislators said "no" to a three-Federal panel that had suggested the Legislature rewrite a redistricting plan GOP lawmakers crafted in secret - - except when their state-paid attorneys wanted advice from outside, conservative advisers also consulted secretly.
The chaff they threw out: A State Supreme Court ruling from the early 1950's might bar the Legislature's do-over, but there was skepticism from the judicial panel about the argument, and this is probably not the end of this thread.
A trial was to have begun today to determine if the GOP-drafted-in-secret redistricting plan unconstitutionally reduced the voting power of minorities and disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters statewide by moving them into districts without a normally-scheduled State Senate election.
The GOP and their lawyers refused to take a strong hint from the judges about the redistricting plan as it stands; the judges have already forced the GOP attorneys to release records withheld from the public and the suit's plaintiffs, and fined the GOP attorneys $17.500 for having muddied the case and its schedule by filing motions the judges said were frivolous.
Late Tuesday update: The trial may move forward Wednesday, or be delayed. But do you want to know what an iJudge J. P. Stadtmueller sounds like when reacting to news of the piecemeal disclosure of documents he'd ordered be released, and to other actions by the defense in this case? From the court transcript:
...we have had enough of the charade and mischaracterization. I don't mean to impugn either you or anyone associated with this case, but as they say, the facts are the facts. What has occurred here is beyond the pale in terms of lack of transparency, secrecy, and at the end of the day, as the court has commented earlier, it may not have anything to do with the price of tea in China, but appearances are everything, and Wisconsin has prided itself for one generation after another on openness and fairness and doing the right thing.
To be candid, we have seen everything but that in the way this case has progressed. Not because of anything that you did...or anybody else, but the facts are the facts, and so we're going to get to the bottom of the facts so that the judges who are called upon to discharge their function have all of the information before us that will result in a fair, just and complete opinion.
That's what this case is all about. So to the extent that additional discovery is required, it's going to happen.Prediction: voters will say "no" to this capture of state politics through recall elections by voting against radical legislators and Scott Walker, whose agenda these arrogant Assembly and Senate officials are serving, and "yes" to new, inclusive, fair-minded replacements.
Polling shows about only a third of Wisconsin residents want major changes in existing mining law, putting the GOP leadership and Walker at odds with a strong conservation ethic in the state.