Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Wisconsin as Russia

By Bill Kraus

“In Russia, the law was not there to protect citizens and people, it was there to aid authorities. The law was not meant to be used by citizens, but by the state.”

This quote is from the book RED NOTES by Bill Browder (Yes, that Browder. His grandfather was Earl Browder, the face of the Communist Party in the United States for many years in the middle of the last century).

The context is unimportant.

What is important is that it calls to mind a series of laws enacted and proposed in Wisconsin in recent years.

The first example was the law that removed the indictment and prosecution of then Speaker Scott Jensen from the traditional Dane County jurisdiction to his home county of Waukesha.

The result of that move was a non prosecution.

More recently the future of the Government Accountability Board, which was created by overwhelming votes of both houses and whose mission is to oversee the election processes and the ethics of those who win elections, is under a kind of indictment itself.

The charge is that the board is fundamentally doing what it was created to do.

Is the proposed revision meant to protect “citizens and people” or “aid authorities?”

The answer seems to be obvious.

A parallel recommendation is in the works which would exempt public office holders from a long standing process called a “John Doe” which is intended to pursue suspected wrongdoing by anyone and to keep the investigations secret to protect the suspects from unproved assertions that become public before trial.

Since this proposal deals only with those in power, it is clearly not meant to protect “citizens and people.”

And, of course, the most egregious “not meant to protect the people” at all example is gerrymandering which protects incumbents and legislative majorities.

Case closed.

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