Thursday, November 7, 2019

WI GOP legislators sacrificed minuscule expense of time on gun safety bills

A meditation on public service, life, death - - and 50 cents.

But first, I need to apologize for the blog post that preceded this one, where I said that by the end of the day Wisconsin's GOP-run legislative bodies would "dismiss out-of-hand" Gov. Evers gun safety measures which he'd sent to legislators for debate in a special session.

I apologize for vastly under-estimating the level of craven disregard GOP legislators like GOP Senate Majority and congressional candidate Scott Fitzgerald could bring to life-and-death issues raised by gun violence meted out by people believed to be a danger to themselves or others, or by certain private gun transfers which allow deadly weapons to slip into the wrong hands.

Let Madison station WISC-TV3's stopwatch track how much care and attention and heart those GOP legislative leaders brought to these life-and-death issues: 

The Assembly and Senate special sessions on gun control legislation that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers ordered to take place Thursday both lasted less than a minute....[Fitzgerald] called the session to order with one smack from his gavel and no other lawmakers in the room. He adjourned the session a few seconds later, avoiding debate or a vote on the gun control measures Democratic lawmakers had been advocating for throughout the day.
I suspect leadership devotes more floor time to declaring National Sock Drawer Organizing Day. 

Here's a way to compute the value of his official time that Fitzgerald managed to squeeze in on the issues around other duties, his congressional campaign, and so on.

He makes an annual salary of $50,950, and collected in a recent year an additional $14,300 in per diem meal and mileage payments, but for the sake of the point I want to make let me round it all off and say he gets annual compensation from the taxpayers of about $60,000, give or take.

Now consider that were his a typical 9-5 job, a Human Relations department would say the work year after time off consists of something like 2,080 working hours. Maybe Fitzgerald puts in more some weeks, maybe less when the legislatures is out of session, but, again, for the sake of this blog I'm going with 2,000 hours.

So dividing $60,000 by 2,000 hours, you could say Fitzgerald's time is compensated at the rate of $30 an hour, more or less, so with there being 60 minutes in an hour, you could say that each minute of his time is roughly valued by the state at 50 cents, again, give or take.

And I could be generous and give Fitzgerald credit for gaveling the special session in and out of official status in a full minute - - even though the WISC-TV account uses phrases like "less than a minute" and "a few seconds" - -  which means Fitzgerald put in about 50 cents worth of his time dismissing gun safety bills today.

Lamentably, we know there will be incidents in Wisconsin where guns accidentally or intentionally fall into the wrong hands, or are used by reckless or angry or careless or suicidal or homicidal people, and lives will be lost worth more than two quarters worth of consideration

by an influential legislator who had the opportunity and the obligation - - but not the will - - to invest more time and value in those lives, and families and entire communities' well-being.

The bottom line?

Life is getting cheaper here, but you can't begin to compute the immediate and legacy costs of Legislative malpractice.

1 comment:

Joe R said...

Less than a minute, eh? The video of Fitz as the terminator of gun safety in Wisconsin should fit nicely in a deluge of TV ads before the next legislative elections. Ben Wikler and Co. should be all over this.