Saturday, July 13, 2019

“He’s a liar and the truth ain’t in him” – WILLIAM O. KNIGHT

By Tom Frazier

I have been “involved” in Wisconsin politics for nearly 40 years, first as director of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups for 27 years, where I was CWAG’s paid lobbyist, and as a volunteer since my retirement a little over 10 years ago. I have seen a lot of changes over that time period and, unfortunately, the changes have not been good.

The major changes have been pretty obvious, such as all the money in politics that was caused, in large part, by the U. S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case that opened the floodgates for private corporate donations to political campaigns. This is bad enough just on the face of it, but is made much worse by the fact that most of it is made by wealthy donors who are able to hide these donations from the general public. This means that you do not know who made the donation, but the people running for office who benefit from them know damn well where they came from and who they owe for them.

And to add insult to injury these secret donations are now being used to help judicial nominees either get elected (e.g. Wisconsin Supreme Court) or get appointed (e.g. the U.S. Supreme Court). So if wealthy individuals and/or corporations can’t get what they want through the legislative process, they can get what they want from the judicial branch of government. As you well know, the vast majority of us do not have enough money to influence elections or appointments. Our voices are muted.

When I retired at the end of 2009, I thought things couldn’t get much worse. Boy, was I wrong.