Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Government For Sale or: How The Republicans Stole Democracy

1 in 3 of Walker’s Donations from Out of State
Walker’s latest campaign finance report filed with the state by his campaign committee, Friends of Scott Walker, showed he raised nearly $7.2 million, including nearly $6.6 million from individual contributors. About $4.2 million – or 64 percent – came from Wisconsin donors and nearly $2.4 million – or 36 percent – came from individuals outside the state. 
Looking back further than 2017, Walker raised even more from out-of-state individuals. Since the start of Walker’s second four-year term in January 2015, through December 2017, Walker raised more than $13.9 million in individual contributions. About $8.1 million – or 58 percent – came from out-of-state donors and about $5.8 million – or 42 percent – came from Wisconsin contributors.
Walker’s Hands Dirty on Political Purge
Walker repeatedly refused to offer an opinion on whether Elections Commission administrator Michael Haasand Ethics Commission administrator Brian Bell should be removed from their positions, as the Journal Sentinel’s Patrick Marley recently reported. “I’ll leave that up to them,” Walker said, referring to Fitzgerald and state senators. 
You might think this is the governor deciding not to meddle in a legislative issue. Except that it is just as much the governor’s issue. It was Walker, after all, who, along with Republican legislative leaders, decided to overthrow the Government Accountability Board (GAB). Never mind that Republicans were part of a bipartisan legislative majority that created that entity, with the law getting overwhelming GOP support. Never mind that its board members were retired judges, more than half of whom had Republican backgrounds. Walker, Fitzgerald and other GOP politicians were convinced the GAB was somehow running an anti-Republican agency. 
So the Republicans, with no support from Democrats, replaced the GAB with the Elections and Ethics Commissions, and Walker signed this measure into law. As governor, Walker also appoints two (of six) board members who serve on each commission. These were commissions the governor and legislature structured not to be answerable to legislators or any politicians, but to be independent agencies whose bipartisan boards set policy. Could anything be more important to the Wisconsin governor than the proper functioning of citizen boards entrusted with overseeing the state’s electoral system and enforcing ethical behavior by politicians? 
So why then was Walker staying on the sidelines in this controversy? Recall that the reason for replacing the GAB was because it was assisting the John Doe probe of his campaign. In short, no one had more reason to be angry at the GAB than the governor and more reason to welcome the recent report attacking the Doe investigation by Attorney General Brad Schimel.
So, Big Money is basically buying their talking heads, their puppets. These puppets then perform Big Money's bidding (tax cuts, deregulation, etc.) whilst rigging the game - squelching any push-back or opposition or defeat.

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