Extraordinary Session Protects Politicians, Ignores the Public

 

The people of Wisconsin deserved better than the bills that were rushed through during the State Senate’s “extraordinary” session late last evening.

 

In the past week alone Wisconsin workers have learned of job losses in Superior and Racine, Madison and Milwaukee. Thousands of families are facing the prospect of losing their paychecks during the upcoming holiday season. 

 

It would make sense if the Republican Leaders of the Senate called an extraordinary session to help those workers facing layoffs. They didn’t.  Instead, they passed a bill that makes it easier for politicians to raise money for their campaigns and harder for the public to track who is spending money to influence elections.

 

And if that wasn’t bad enough, they eliminated an effective and independent watchdog agency, the Government Accountability Board and replaced it with two “commissions” stacked with partisan appointees. Instead of retired judges making sure that elections and ethics laws are being followed, we’re looking at returning to the type of oversight that resulted in the Caucus Scandals of the early 2000s.

 

The people in our communities aren’t asking us to pass a politicians’ holiday wish list.   They want us to focus on creating family supporting jobs, improving neighborhood schools and helping them provide for their communities’ future.

 

The dictionary tells us “extraordinary” means “very unusual or remarkable.” Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything unusual about what the Republican majority did this evening.  They placed their own priorities ahead of Wisconsin’s.   

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