A fundamental flaw has taken place in the political process in Wisconsin. The news today that almost all Wisconsin Republican lawmakers signed legal agreements promising not to discuss the redistricting maps while they were being developed is both stunning news, and wholly inappropriate.
Government should at all times strive mightily to be open and transparent when conducting the public’s business. How did that concept so clearly elude those who campaign so hard for the office, and offer to do the best for their constituents? The Republicans who signed the legal agreements may call themselves conservatives, but they are not classic conservatives with a higher calling concerning the process of government. These actions of modern-day Republicans were not modeled on the constitutional figures that they often like to tell the rest of us about, and seek to model themselves after when fighting ‘big government’.
What is more ‘big government’ than hiding behind a legal agreement that shields the process of governing from those they were elected to serve?
Every ten years one of the most important legislative actions is the work of drawing new redistricting maps which creates the lines for new voting boundaries. While all have a vested interest in the process, it can only be viewed as credible if the public is allowed to be engaged so the creation of the maps is viewed as being fair. There is no way that can be claimed this year with the news today.
This is just sad.
Other newly released documents also show almost all Republican lawmakers signed legal agreements promising not to discuss the new maps while they were being developed.
GOP lawmakers fought releasing these new documents and testifying about the maps in a pending court case but relented after a panel of three federal judges based in Milwaukee last month found they had filed frivolous motions in trying to shield the information from the public.
Included in the documents released Monday was a set of talking points that stressed that those who discussed the maps could eventually be called as a witness in a court case.
Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) said Monday he had never before been asked to sign a confidentiality agreement during his four decades in office.