micromanage Milwaukee County from Madison via special interest legislation. GMC has retained the services of a high profile PR firm, created a front group and hired a small army of lobbyists to push this special interest legislation through the state legislature. But now thanks to a report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Dan Bice, we now know that those same GMC lobbyists were not just busy pushing this legislation but they were in fact literally in the room helping write it.
This isn't the first time that some of these same interests tried to do an end-run around local control and local government to get what they want. Remember in 2006 when some of the same special interests paid for secret draft legislation to swipe control of Milwaukee County's successful airport? During that effort they wanted to make Mitchell a regionally controlled airport rather than a Milwaukee County asset. Even worse they wanted to specifically and totally bypass Milwaukee County officials and even local voters. In 2006 they even used the same law/lobby firm to do the job that GMC is using now. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/18/06]
In 2006 while many of the same special interests were busy drafting the legislation they found the perfect guy that would introduce it in the state legislature. In 2006 that role was played by Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) but today it is being played by Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-West Allis).
The fact that GMC's paid lobbyists were so deeply involved in writing this current bill tells us everything that we really needed to know about it. But perhaps we can actually learn more based on who WAS NOT involved in the drafting of this special interest legislation. As they furiously spin in the media and through their highly paid spokespeople they pretend that the beneficiary of this legislation is the public. But they didn't involve the public in writing this legislation. They didn't include key members of the community or other direct stake holders. In keeping with the pattern they had their well paid lobbyists helping write it behind closed doors.
If you had any doubt about what this legislation is really all about it should be totally cleared at this point. It was written by these special interests and for these special interests. Right now they are simply trying to force the rest of us to come along for the ride. Their highly paid PR firm and their phony front group will continue to spin that they really did it all for us. But the point remains, when it was time to actually draw up this legislation WE were not invited into the room.