A quick note on yesterday's hearing and the GAB kerfuffle

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

I spent way too much of yesterday listening in to the joint legislative meeting yesterday in which Kevin Kennedy testified on the recent interpretations the GAB has made. I found this interesting for a number of reasons:

1.  The hearing was held in the same meeting room in the capitol where the hearings for the Budget Repair Bill were held months ago, so it felt familiar.  There was also a common thread - the GOP trying to push things through as quickly as possible with as little input from citizens as possible. I also find it interesting that these meetings are always scheduled with 24 hours and a few minutes of notice, and the more contentious a proceeding may be, the smaller the conference room is.  I'm sure this is coincidental.

2.  The GOP is trying to get the GAB to turn their interpretations of law into administrative rules.  Why this is necessary to them should be obvious since the GOP has managed to make administrative rules subject to the whim of the Governor.  The notion that a governor who will almost certainly be up for recall soon should be able to pass judgement on the recall rules (or pocket them forever) is appalling.  Yet that seems to be what the Republicans are trying to force.

3.  There was a theme in the meeting that I'm beginning to recognize.  The Republican members fell all over themselves to say how nonpartisan the GAB has been, and then in the same breath started to tell Kennedy that the GAB is doing things wrong. This is the same tactic that Walker and the rest of the Republicans often use -- Teachers and public servants are wonderful, and they're milking the state with greed.  And it goes on and on.  This always sounds a little like men I've known who will praise their wives, profess their love, and then proceed to put them in the emergency room of the hospital from a beating.  No matter what light you try to shed on it, we're talking about abuse and lying.

There is an interesting and detailed treatment of the hearing today at The Progressive's web site. The hearing is also archived at Wisconsin Eye - it's a riveting example of the toxic aura of modern Wisconsin politics.