Monday, November 18, 2019

Pick your favorite Scott Fitzgerald highlight from a revealing list

Props to the Wisconsin State Journal for publishing a Scott Fitzgerald timeline, as his election to fill 22-term incumbent Jim Sensenbrenner's safely-gerrymandered GOP Congressional seat looks like a done deal.

I'd remembered many of Fitzgerald's harshly-rightist power-grabbing authoritarian moves which made the State Journal's list- - 
Wisc Sen. Scott Fitzgerald.jpg

- - including seeking the arrest Democratic lawmakers stalling Walker's Act 10 attacks on public employment, but I had missed one which attests to his obviously-broad national perspective and could easily get him appointed to House committees dealing with prisons, immigrants and political dissent: 
September 1995: Announces he’s considering bringing chain gangs to Wisconsin after traveling to Alabama to see how they work. Later sponsors Senate bill requiring inmates on work details to be chained together.
Here's a 1995 story from The New York Times about the Alabama chain gang initiative Fitzgerald hoped to more up north to Wisconsin:
The image belongs more in the past than in the present: convicts, shackled together by leg irons, laboring by the roadside. Like Confederate widows, Yellow Dog Democrats and faded signs that say "See Ruby Falls," the chain gang's era in Southern history seemed long gone.
But soon, along the highways of northern Alabama, the chain gang will shuffle back into view.... 
The state's Prison Commissioner, Ron Jones....said the sight of a man in chains would leave a lasting impression on young people.
Repeat offenders, men who have lost respect for the law and overcome their fear of a life behind bars, will rediscover it on the chain gang, said Mr. Jones, a former prison warden. This is no voluntary program, but 12-hour days of stoop labor by men shackled to four other men by eight feet of chain.

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