Monday, December 14, 2015

Republicans ignore Jobs, Wages, Business Startups...dream up ways to stay in Power.

Imagine finally electing a Democratic governor, bringing to an end one party Republican rule. Well, that's not going to make much difference if Republicans get their way.

The scheme is simple and costly to taxpayers: Our Republican gerrymandered legislature is planning to insert their own partisan “inspector generals” into the governors agencies to supposedly stop what they would call “waste, fraud and abuse.” Hey, it’s just oversight of the executive branch, that’s all, a not so separation of powers grab.

And it would cost every budget tight department hundreds of thousands of dollars. LaCrosse Tribune:
Republican lawmakers are pushing a bill that … could cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars and open the door to cronyism, according to critics.
Not mentioned in the article? How this proposal sets up an earlier Republican idea that would get rid of the Legislative Audit Bureau. That didn't go over very well, but who knows, maybe no one will notice this time.

And with their partisan “inspector generals” in place for 6 years, they could muck up and delay state agencies until another election cycle.
Rep. David Craig and Sen. Stephen Nass’ proposal calls for 13 inspectors general … assigned to investigate waste, fraud and abuse across 16 state agencies, including the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the departments of Administration, Corrections, Natural Resources and Public Instruction.
And what about conveniently timed “investigations:”
Legislative leaders also could direct the inspectors general to investigate agencies.
Of course they could. 
The inspectors general would be more pro-active than the Legislative Audit Bureau, which typically launches its reviews after the fact, they said. The party that controls the Legislature can further entrench itself by placing its inspectors general appointees within state agencies for six years. The inspectors general may feel beholden to launch or drop investigations according to partisan wishes.

Matt Rothschild, executive director of government watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, warned “This could increase cronyism. It could increase corruption. It could entrench one-party rule. All three of those things are bad for democracy.”
You might have noticed the enemy of public education and the UW, Sen. Steve Nass, will have his inspector hitman inside the university to dig up another convenient phony outrage to cut even more funding. 


lufthase said...

I totally agree with your and Rothschild's take on this, but is there a viable alternative that Dems could propose?
I think LAB does an outstanding job, but they're understaffed, and when their audits come out GOP legislators cherry-pick from them depending on whether the agency in question aligns with their politics or not. WEDC violating statutes six ways to sunday and losing track of millions of dollars? "Oh, that's all ancient history... something, something... and Jim Doyle did stuff that was way worse." GAB getting some suggestions on how to better allocate its resources to accomplish things more timely? "Rabble, rabble! This is a rouge agency and must be destroyed!"
I really don't know what the solution is, but I think we need something in addition to LAB. Statute requiring DOJ to pursue/enforce LAB findings? Some way to expand LAB and its mission to allow for an enforcement/compliance function? What do you think?

Democurmudgeon said...

Yes, keep the LAB and put in enforcement/compliance functions, that would have been an even better idea. That would also have been the easy answer, instead of spreading their authoritarian tentacles into the other branch of government, which has been their first choice in everything.

Anonymous said...

But aren't they the party of small government and limited rule? Freedom, 'Merica! Rah rah rah...