Folks, it can happen here. We've been sold down the river:
jsonline-Patrick Marley: State election officials cleared the way Wednesday for lobbyists to deliver campaign checks from their clients and political action committees at any time, including while lawmakers deliberate the state budget and other major legislation … the state Government Accountability Board unanimously ruled that a law approved in March eliminated that prohibition … to hand off big campaign checks from special interest groups as legislators decide whether to tighten or loosen regulations affecting them.
Nice clean transparent government? I know that in a few years after Walker has left office, under a Democratic governor, Republicans will say they never did agree with such a corrupting law or bizarre interpretation.
Public outrage over the obvious pay to play proposal forced the Republicans to promised to pull that part of their bill...supposedly. But they tricked us:
…after introducing the bill, senators said they were backing off from that position, moving up the date only … But in recent weeks, officials (the GAB) determined the law said something other than what legislators claimed they intended.
It’s the old Republican bait and switch, and they pulled in on their own constituents too.
...in a letter this week to the accountability board, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) urged the board to adopt the latest (pay-to-play) position of the Legislative Council.Under the threat of being disbanded and replaced with a more partisan group overseeing elections, the GAB made the only decision they could:
WSJ: Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, accused lawmakers of ... bullying the GAB into agreeing with their interpretation of the law, despite a drafting error made in crafting the measure … the GAB originally said a drafting error in the legislation banned lobbyists from ever passing along others’ contributions to candidates.They lied, and have found a new way to deceptively pass laws with no political blowback from voters.
But that interpretation drew criticism from Republican leaders in the Legislature and others … Vos and Fitzgerald argued that the language of the measure allows lobbyists to make most campaign contributions at any time … “We believe that this is the only logical interpretation of the statute, and fear that other interpretations could lead to confusion, inadvertent non-compliance, and costly litigation against the state,” Vos and Fitzgerald wrote.
That interpretation is different than how lawmakers described the measure as it was passing the Legislature and being signed into law. At the time, they said it was widening the time window for lobbyists’ contributions but leaving other rules the same.