Last Wednesday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an article on the redistricting emails that were withheld from the courts. These emails were withheld even after the attorneys (Michael Best & Friedrich) for the Madison GOP legislators in their gerrymandering scam were fined for doing so. That is a story onto itself and I recommend the article.
But there is a brief description of one of the emails which exposes just how low to the ground the GOP is willing to go to cheat the citizens of Wisconsin of fair representation:
A July 2011 public hearing before a Senate committee was highly orchestrated, with attorneys for the Legislature recruiting people to testify, outlining the testimony of witnesses and writing questions for the Republican members of the committee.
The GOP members of the WI Senate not only participated in gerrymandering WI senate and assembly districts, they made a mockery out of public hearings by providing their own shills to testify. They not only limited our rights to fair representation, they limited our free speech rights and our rights to petition our government. A total affront to the citizens of Wisconsin!
5 thoughts on “GOP Senate Majority Provided Shills for Redistricting Hearings.”
If this is related to the emails released earlier, it included Journal-Sentinel legal expert Rick Esenberg saying ‘I’ll testify in favor of the maps. Just send them over to me.’ In other words, Sleazenberg would make something up to justify the maps, whether they were legal or not.
Another sham witness was GOP County Board member (and failed County Exec candidate) Eileen Bruskewitz, who was literally told what to say to favor the maps.
The only punishments that can possibly make the GOP change its cheating, corrupt ways in this case is by throwing the maps out, and sending the Michael, Best and Friedrich lawyers TO JAIL for contempt of court
Ed, you don’t explain how “they limited our free speech rights and our rights to petition our government.” How were your right limited?
Also I think the courts ruled that the maps were acceptable so you can’t really say they were gerrymandered.
If they provided shills at the hearings…and I would assume if they go to all of that trouble to find them and provide them with their statements and questions…they are going to schedule them ahead of the real public…who as a result have their rights infringed. Not that hard to fathom.
I thought you were implying that the general public was prevented from attending or testifying at the public hearing or prohibited from contacting their elected representatives. Unless that was actually the case no one’s free speech or petition rights were infringed.
Since you don’t seem to understand, let me offer this parable.
I am a public official for whatever village/town/city/county/school district in which you reside. I am going to hold a public hearing to let the public weigh in on a matter that this legislative body is considering. You are very actively involved in this issue and want to voice your opinion at the hearing. So you show up and get your name on the list to speak, but you are a long way down the list. Well time runs out, you don’t get to speak, and you walk away annoyed. Until a week later when you find out that all of the participants ahead of you were shills that I recruited to read statements that my staff prepared and they effectively used up all of the allotted time and you got screwed. Now you realize that I used my official position to keep you from exercising your rights to free speech and to petition your government.
Why yes, you can still write, call on the phone, and blog about it until you are blue…I am sorry…red in the face. But if having actual citizens show up and voice their opinions to their elected officials doesn’t carry a bit more weight than faceless letters or emails…then why do we give them such weight in the process?
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