February 25, 2012 by WCMC
Here’s a number for you: $688,000 and counting. That is the amount of taxpayer dollars that Republican legislators and the Governor of Wisconsin have paid to date to private law firms to draw and defend redistricting maps designed to create a de facto one party system and to disenfranchise voters.
Some of these funds were, in fact, spent to draft contractual “secrecy agreements” under which these same Republican legislators swore to keep silent about the truth regarding the map drawing process. They also swore to keep the content of the maps a “secret” from the very constituents they were elected to serve.
Before all is said and done, the legal fees paid to private law firms will easily surpass one million dollars. The Governor has authorized an additional $637,000 in future fees to the law firm protecting his interests. Make no mistake about it, the taxpayer monies are committed solely to protect his and the Republican legislators interests, and not those of we the people.
Add this to the approximately four million dollars the Republicans spent on the Voter ID law more commonly and, perceptively, known as the voter suppression act. Another piece of legislation enacted expressly in the interest of disenfranchising voters to consolidate Republican power and create a de facto one party system.
The Republican’s passion to subvert a democratic state was never more evident than in the repeal of collective bargaining rights and the attendant restrictions they enacted to destroy public sector unions. They did this using propaganda – the “big lie,” if you will – that the repeal of collective bargaining rights was necessary to balance the state budget.
They have continued to spew this lie even after the Governor was compelled to testify under oath in congressional committee proceedings last year that the repeal did not save the State, “one nickle.” They have continued to spew this lie even after the Senate Republicans extracted the fiscal provisions from the Budget Repair Bill and passed what is now Act 10 in the dead of night as a separate measure. By doing this, they conceded that the repeal of collective bargaining rights was not a monetary budget item and in fact had no fiscal impact.
The true impact and intent of the legislation was to destroy a perceived political enemy and the organized power base of the opposition, all in the interest of creating a de facto one party system.
On the other side of the ledger, the Governor and his acolytes’ unbridled assault on education, consumer rights, women’s rights, the environment, health care, the elderly, the working poor and disabled has been conducted at the behest and will of their corporate masters. In return, they fill the campaign coffers of those who do their bidding.
Not content with mere direct campaign contributions, they then spend millions more through 501(c)(3) “corporations” and ch. 527 Super PACs on bogus “issue advocacy” ads. What results is the kind of Koch Brothers-funded “It’s Working” tripe that has been flooding our airwaves. Or, as I refer to it, 30 lies in 60 seconds.
The unfettered flow of cash to Governor Walker and his legislative cronies further serves to foster and create their desired de facto one party system. In short, there is no expense too great, no act too devious, nor lie too big to dissuade the Republican pursuit of the consolidation and perpetuation of power and control.