Tuesday, July 31, 2012

WI Senate Dem Recall Win Yielding Documents, Public Information

Republicans had been chortling that the Democratic Party's reclaimed control of the State Senate with John Lehman's win in Racine was nothing more than symbolic, as the Senate is not scheduled to be in session until after the November elections, when the GOP thinks it will retake control.

But wait, there's more: Turns out that the flip in partisan control means the GOP now has to turn over records to incoming majority Democrats that make the GOP look bad, and dishonest, to boot, as this first batch of released records shows, courtesty of the Wisconsin State Journal:

Wisconsin's Republican legislative leaders have said the voting district maps they drew last year were not aimed at political advantage, but new documents made public Tuesday show they discussed ways to increase the number of "safe" and "leaning" GOP districts and to protect conservative incumbents.

In one email, state Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, offered these thoughts about redrawing her district: "Western Wauwatosa — yes (more GOP)," "West Milwaukee — No (forgot to mention this part of current district — VERY Dem" and "Milwaukee — cop wards if needed..."

The documents were among hundreds turned over to new Senate Majority Leader Mark Miller, D-Monona, by Michael Best & Friedrich, hired by Republicans when they controlled the state Senate.
So elections have multiple consequences: look for more disclosures on issues from redistricting to mining.

There's more to controlling a legislative house than floor voting - - and in this case, the public gets a deeper look-see at the special sausage GOP legislators cooked up, with public money.



What would be the cop Wards be Leah? Does anyone feel used in Tosa , West Milwaukee and Milwaukee?

RD said...

Here is a blog story for everyone of the anti-gun zealots...

Chicago is the worlds deadliest city.


How is that gun control working for you democrats?

Anonymous said...

Word was already out that there were emails between Republican legislators and Best & Friedrich about plans to disenfranchise many minority voters in the Milwaukee area.
The same lawyer gave Michael Gableman free legal counsel also was the one who arranged the secrecy pacts with Republicans.

scott Walker rose to power with Reince Priebus, another Best & Friedrich partner, acting as state GOP chairman. The John Doe proceedings have shown Darleen Wink communications--on county time--and through Tim Russell's email system, to be in direct contact with Priebus at his Best & Friedrich address.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Tosa, and I find it hard to believe you're shocked that Leah would say such things. After all, wasn't she the one to replace Scott Walker in 2002, when Scott was anointed County Executive?

Anonymous said...

This is all very revealing to have the documentation for what we already suspected. However, how is this useful? Can the Dems bring a legal case? Or is this another instance where we wait (and wait) for the media to expose Republican sleaze, hoping it resonates with voters?

Anonymous said...

It shows that they lied about the districts being organized for GOP advantage, but it is not surprising. What is surprising is the 400,000 they paid to have the districts drawn in secrecy. I think that was a waste of money. Everybody knows where the Dems and REpublicans live.

Anonymous said...

"I think that was a waste of money."

The same was said about the Recall election...but now it's a concern by Democrats?

This is politics. Like it if your the party is in control. Dispise it if your party lost it's power.

RD said...

Of course they used it to their advantage and didn't want to admit it.

Just as every other census has been used by the controlling party to try and do the same thing.

If people want to talk about a waste of money, we should probably start with the governor's recall attempt.

A. Wag said...

OOps! Didn't think that one through!

Elections have consequences, Repubs. Some of them unintended.

Anonymous said...

Since 2011 Michael Best & Friedrich was also the firm to represent Van Wanggaard's allegations of voter fraud, and also filed suit against the Dane County judge that shot down Voter ID.
Scott Walker and Reince Priebus obviously have a lot at stake in this state of things, formerly known as Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

Don't we have a Government Accountability Board to oversee this whole mess? What was their opinion? Did they give their stamp of approval to gerrymandering schemes?

RD said...


But someone like this would never vote twice, right?

Oh, and by the way, she signed the Walker recall.

Stan said...

Mr. RD seems to have a very difficult time sticking to the subject. This isn't about gun control or voter ID's, clown. It's about the Republicans wasting taxpayer money on a secret redistricting plan to maximize their advantage, and then lying about their intentions to the public. That's a real feather in your cap since you guys seem to think you have a lock on the "law and order" crowd...

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Wait a minute, Jeff Fitzgerald's top aide swore on a Bible that the redistricting had NOTHING to do with GOP advantage.

"[Adam] Foltz said those who developed the maps used election data from 2000 to 2010 in helping decide where to draw the lines. Yet the goal of the maps was not to increase the GOP's advantage in elections, he testified.

Handrick and Ottman also testified the goal was not to maximize Republican control of the Legislature. The partisan makeup of the newly drawn districts was evaluated, "but I wouldn't say it was a decision item," Ottman said in his deposition.

Top Republicans have been mum about how they drafted the maps, saying they were keeping quiet because they knew litigation was inevitable. In the depositions, some details have trickled out, though those giving testimony were repeatedly told by their attorneys not to answer many questions, the more than 750 pages of testimony show."


Hope Adam Foltz, Joel Handrick and Tad Ottman enjoy life in the slam, because I see a few perjury charges coming from this one.

We need more hearings and more details about this and the mining bill discussions NOW.

Anonymous said...

The $400,000 is only the tip of the ice berg when it comes to taxpayer dollars wasted on partisan gerrymandering.

The $400,000 doesn't include payments to Handrick and Scooter Jensen, or the taxpayer-paid staff time of Ottman and Foltz, (not to mention how many other legislative aides* and staffers* were asked to participate in reviewing and coordinating changes--staffers who weren't given office space at MBF).

And let's not forget that at the same time the Repubs were lavishing taxpayer dollars on their hand-picked consiglieres at MBF, and spreading the state's wealth out to the once-convicted felon Scott Jensen and the long-gone and forgotten Handrick, Dems were denied the pittance the minority party had previously been given for redistricting legal work, and denied any say in redrawing of districts as well.

BTW: I know someone who has Handrick on record as saying he was paid to draw districts so that Democrats could not win--after the 2000 census. Yes, 2000. Not a typo.

Isn't this one of the many reasons why Tom Delay went to jail in Texas?