ATTACK ON WISCONSIN’S GOOD GOVERNMENT
Good government in Wisconsin is under attack. At the beginning of October, Wisconsin served as a national model for clean and transparent government. By the end of the month, our government was on the verge of being open for corruption after Assembly Republicans rammed through legislation that decimated our state’s campaign and governmental oversights.
Perhaps the most self-serving piece of legislation that Republicans passed during this time was AB 68, which exempts political crimes from the John Doe investigation and prosecution process. This law creates one set of laws for ordinary people and another set for Madison politicians, because it exempts political crimes from the John Doe investigation and prosecution process, while other crimes are still included. Clearly, the everyday citizens of central Wisconsin only stand to lose from a law that curbs prosecutors’ capacity to root out governmental corruption.
Sadly, rather than voting for the best interest of his district, Rep. Dave Heaton chose to hold himself, and his colleagues, to a different set of laws than the people he claims to represent. During an impassioned floor speech, Rep. Heaton argued that exempting politicians from John Doe investigations would somehow “provide transparency” to Wisconsin state government.
Maybe Rep. Heaton truly believes that holding politicians less accountable will somehow make our government more transparent
Yet this scenario seems less plausible when one considers that Rep. Heaton has not discussed the important role he played in exempting politicians from the John Doe process here in Central Wisconsin. Given Rep. Heaton’s fervent defense of AB 68 in Madison, one would expect that the self-proclaimed champion of “transparent government” to provide his constituents with a similar explanation.
However, Rep. Heaton has deliberately avoided discussing AB 68 with the citizens he represents. Indeed, his most recent newsletter curiously failed to mention the John Doe legislation at all, in spite of the fact that it was one of the most important bills he voted on this session. If Rep. Heaton really believed that the John Doe would increase transparency, surely he wouldn’t be afraid to have an open and honest conversation with voters about the legislation.
Rather, the discrepancy between Rep. Heaton’s actions in Madison and Central Wisconsin demonstrates that he is just another politician who is willing to engage in hypocrisy in order to deceive his constituents and appease his party’s leaders.
Central Wisconsin deserves transparent government and an honest representative. Now, we have neither.