I am known as a process democrat. Notice the lack of capitalization.
I believe that the government must operate with stated procedures so that win or lose, all will know at the end of the process, fairness was the benchmark as everyone put forth their ideas and perspectives. One of the foundations of this blog, along with stressing the importance of freedom of the press, the need for gun control, and the power of books is the essential requirement for a process in governing.
I have written in the past years about my time in the state assembly. Upon not having a fiscal note for a bill being considered for a hearing in my boss’s legislative committee, and getting pressure from our side of the aisle to proceed quickly, I urged my boss to hold firm and demand the process be adhered to. State Representative Lary Swoboda was known to fold too fast on too many issues but when presented with solid irrefutable points about the process of government he could be won over. The bill was only scheduled after the fiscal note was attached. I was able to make such moves on several occasions, and though they may seem small, I know it mattered. Because the process of governing matters.
Which brings me to Democratic State Representative Chris Taylor, who I very much respect and support each election cycle when her name is on the ballot. I know she has the breadth of experience and skill-set to make a difference in the statehouse. I was applauding her a week ago as a small neighborhood parade rounded the corner where my house sits.
But it is due to my feelings for her that I was taken aback at the way she spoke about the process for feedback regarding the F-35 jets proposed for Truax Field. Sunday’s Wisconsin State Journal had a front-page above-the-fold story that sums up what everyone should already be aware of, and that is the jets are almost certainly to arrive at Truax. The Defense Department does deep studies before making a choice, and once made they are not known for shifting into reverse. So it set me back a bit to read of the view from Taylor about now changing the process which governs this decision.
State Rep. Chris Taylor, who represents neighborhoods near the airport and has emerged as a leading voice of the opposition, said there are too many unknowns for the Air Force to move ahead with plans to base the new jets in the state’s capital city.
Taylor, who would like to see the Air Force allow more time to study the impact, said she hopes the public comment process is more than a formality. She thinks the community should have a say in whether the jets come here, and if they do how to mitigate the environmental impacts.
No, the public comment and study time of the process can not be elongated because the issue is not moving in the desired direction of one side or the other.
One of the reasons I have such positive regard for Taylor is that I view her as more than a partisan politician with whom I usually agree. I view her being an intelligent and talented woman which transcends the issue of the day. But when I read of her desire to bend the rules in order to secure an outcome that she finds more desirable it makes me aware, again, of how hard we all must strive to demand the process of governing be maintained.
Even the best and most serious will abuse the process if given an opportunity.