As we watch our state government create a wider and wider gap between the people and our political "leadership," much like the income gap, we're seeing the states elected elite take on additional privileges. I've never seen a party push against the limits of the constitution and expected ethical behavior harder than the party of authoritarian zealots, Republicans.
jsonline: State Sen. Leah Vukmir is trying to sidestep an open records lawsuit by claiming she can't be sued while in office — a legal argument that, if successful, would let all lawmakers ignore the open records law.
Ayn Randian Authoritarian Friends!
The liberal Center for Media and Democracy sued Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) in June contending she had violated the open records law by not turning over records related to her involvement with the American Legislative Exchange Council-ALEC.
That's right, ALEC. What really matters more, an open government for voters or...ALEC? Like their reason for turning the state red, they're carrying out the will of the people. So shut the hell up.
On Wednesday, Vukmir filed a motion in Dane County Circuit Court arguing she is immune from lawsuit while she remains in office. The motion was filed on her behalf by Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's Department of Justice.
"It's pretty shocking," said Brendan Fischer, general counsel for the center that brought the suit. "Open records are a basic part of their legislative duties," he said.
And for turning what is clearly written in the state constitution to something upside down and less understandable:
Steven Means, Van Hollen's executive assistant, said the state constitution is clear on legislative immunity. The state constitution says lawmakers are not "subject to any civil process during the session of the Legislature." Vukmir contends in her motion that the legislative session lasts the entire term of a state representative — meaning legislators are in session from the moment they are first elected until they leave office, perhaps many years later.Amazing? Not to the con artists and criminals we call Republicans:
Susan Crawford, a Madison attorney who has served as an assistant attorney general and chief counsel to former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, said the immunity provision is in the constitution to protect the public from losing its voice in the Legislature because of legal proceedings, not to help legislators avoid complying with laws. "I think the attorney general's position is a radical misinterpretation of that provision" of the constitution, Crawford said.
"I've never heard a legislator asserting they're above the law, which is what she's doing. You have to wonder what she's trying to hide." The center is demanding that Vukmir turn over records related to her May visit to an ALEC task force meeting in Oklahoma City.