Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A Legislature Behaving Badly

The fact that several of their colleagues have been thrown in jail has apparently had little affect on the leadership (read GOP) in the legislature. Consider just a few items in the news over the past week:

  • Assembly Republicans ,in a closed party caucus, rejected an ethics reform bill. Then, as reported by the Appleton Crescent, they held a vote on amending the state constitution in the middle of the night.

  • After Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) forced an open vote on the ethics bill, what has been described as a Republican bloc was successful in killing the bill. Take a quick look at how your Representative voted on this ethics bill. Then to try and save face, the Republican leadership will try to schedule "ethics reforms" on very minor issues.

  • Then in a bill that has pitted the state's paper mills against the insurance industry, the Republican run legislature have used tactics that a circuit court judge has called illegal. A committee circulated paper ballots to vote on the issue even though the judge ordered that not having the vote in public violates the state's open meetings laws.

  • Again on the paper mill vs. insurance industry fight, we have one State Senator (Republican) shopping the various committees to vote on the bill. Whether the committee is appropriate for that particular bill is not important, as long as the vote would come out the way they want. Then you have an opposing Senator (Majority Leader Dale Shultz, R-Richland Center) threatening to hand pick the members of the panel to insure that the bill would be killed in committee.

What is their major malfunction? What will it take to teach the leadership of the legislature that their goal should be clean efficient government? If seeing their colleagues being locked up is not enough inspiration, then I fear that we will continue to see legislators behaving badly.

1 comment:

grumps said...

I blame a lack of leadership