Friday, March 23, 2012

State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald: 100% Political, 100% Wrong

For at least the third time in a year, we've seen now Co-State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald overtly display his hard-edged and unsavory one-dimensionality:

*  "Fitzwalkerstan" and its tone were defined and displayed in plain sight when Fitzgerald rammed through Walker's anti-union bill.

Fitzgerald's actions energized street protests and produced ultimately a 4-3 State Supreme Court affirmation by justices who were so divided in a political environment around the State Capitol so toxic that it left Justice David Prosser facing ethics charges over a confrontation with Justice Ann Walsh Bradley in her office.

And Fitzgerald's imperious management of the bill put him atop a round of upcoming recall elections - a first for a sitting Senate Majority Leader.

* A few weeks ago we also watched the thoroughly-political Fitzgerald seize control - - and quickly lose control - - of the mining bill. First he shut down a special mining committee he'd created because the measure it drafted was too bi-partisan and public-spirited for his tastes.

Then he substituted for consideration a grossly one-sided, pro-industry Assembly bill and maneuvered it to the Senate floor where he had a 17-16 Republican majority - - but it lost 17-16 because Republican Sen. Dale Schultz of Richland Center couldn't swallow it.

*And just yesterday morning, a three-judge federal court panel chastised what it said was the needlessly secretive manner in which Republicans wrote the once-in-a-decade redistricting bill - - a process that included some direction from Fitzgerald - - and sent back a portion of the bill to the Legislature to make two district maps in Milwaukee comply with the US Voting Rights law.

Break the law - - fix  the law. Quite a finding and task laid at your lawmaker leadership door.

But Fitzgerald said late Thursday he would not call the Senate back into session to complete the assignment - - though it's not clear if Fitzgerald can stage-manage that response and approach alone since one GOP member's recent resignation has left the Senate now split 16-16 between Republicans and Democrats.

Fitzgerald The Partisan may think he's won, and permanently, on these matters - - the collective bargaining bill did take effect; the right-wing spin machine created in a long election year a loud narrative that blamed the Democrats for the mining bill defeat; and though taxpayers have paid dearly for the secretive work that produced the redistricting plan last year, the Court did validate most of the new districts and may end up creating the new map it said was required by federal statutes without Fitzgerald having to lift a finger.

But at what cost are these 'wins' to Wisconsin and democracy?

Bullying, gamesmanship and win-at-any-price keeps the state on edge, activates Fitzgerald and Walker's opponents, and pushes the electorate to a tipping point that could bury the GOP in Wisconsin for a long, long time. 


Pyrrhic victories.

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