Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wisconsin Republicans Trapped By Their Embrace Of Secrecy

Look at all the problems now facing Wisconsin Republicans. What's the common thread?

Secrecy - - poison to a democracy - - has entangled the GOP at so many levels and gives the recall movements purpose and breadth:

* Former aides and allies of Scott Walker were allegedly using an off-the-books email system to carry out partisan fund-raising and campaigning when he was Milwaukee County Executive, but running for Governor.

* Redistricting legislation drafted with public funds by GOP legislators was carried out in private attorney offices - - with the assistance of legislative aides - - but legislators agreed to sign confidentiality agreements to keep the legislation and accompanying maps secret.  Little wonder the matter is now in court, and a three-judge Federal panel Tuesday gave the Legislature a day to think about starting over.

After Republicans spent $400,000 of our money on the bill's extremely-partisan, closed preparation - - including getting advice from conservative activists (known now only because the Federal judges forced the Republicans to reveal key documents previously withheld) - - rather than through genuinely-open and sincere communications with the public?

* The State Assembly passed a mining bill prepared behind closed doors - - but with the participation of mining industry officials - - and with the Assembly bill mired in controversy and delayed in the State Senate, an 11th-hour compromise may not have the votes or energy to pass, either. Where was the open, public process when the mining issue was unfolding months ago?

Secrecy defeats good government. The GOP deserves all the brick-bats and self-inflicted woe coming their way.

No comments: