Friday, February 24, 2012

Testimony In Redistricting Case Shows Special Interests Were At The Table

The Journal Sentinel notes just how selectively secret were those redistricting meetings that GOP lawyers and staffers had organized out of the public view:

Also Thursday, a filing with the federal court showed the Republicans' redistricting team met with Realtors and other groups about drawing maps around January 2011, shortly after the GOP took control of the statehouse.
Those groups spend heavily to elect Republicans.

Jim Troupis, an attorney for the Legislature, said in a deposition the Realtors were at the meeting and that he believed also present were a bankers group and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state's large business lobby.

Troupis discussed the meeting during an eight-hour deposition that occurred Thursday night and was filed with the court Friday. He did not describe in detail what was discussed.
The meeting with the groups occurred just months before the redistricting team had most Republican lawmakers sign secrecy agreements promising not to discuss the maps with anyone.
Add that to earlier disclosures that information about the redistricting was communicated to the General Counsel of the Republican National Committee and with a high-ranking member (former GOP Assembly leader Scott Jensen)of a major national conservative advocacy group, among others - - disclosures forced out by the judges once they learned that key records had been withheld by the legislators' attorneys.

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