• Rich


By Kathie Marsh and Pat Murphy

Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly passed legislation which will all but eliminate democratic government in Wisconsin. Those politicians represent a new breed who make their legislative priorities clear: secure and lock down every single lever of power in the state.

Today, Republicans must pledge allegiance to the Party, not the People. They represent only voters who agree with them, especially those who contribute big bucks to their campaigns.

You would think citizens would be outraged, but wedge issues and small tax cuts have worked as the carrot to lure voters who foolishly accept the accompanying ultra-conservative policies and huge tax advantages for Wisconsin’s richest citizens.Magnifying Glass over paper

The prevalent idea in modern American elections – up to this point – has been that whoever was victorious promised to represent everybody, even those who opposed them. At times it may have seemed a pretense, but at least some effort was made to bring legislation forward with discussion and compromise.

For Republicans, that is so yesterday. Today, any real consideration of the opposition is completely ignored. This must be their version of honesty and openness in government.

Policy considerations such as keeping public records open to the public, maintaining a watchdog ethics group (Governmental Accountability Board), making dramatic changes to state employee benefits, and gutting the civil service system would previously have engendered a vigorous debate.

Now these measures are fast-tracked in bunches. Sham public hearings and almost instantaneous votes are the rule of the day. Laws destroying the Wisconsin we know and love are passed so quickly that the electorate gets pneumonia from the breeze.

 It is painfully apparent what the new order for Republicans in Madison looks like: represent those whose money sent you there, and the rest of us be damned!