RECALL Rm 328
Rm 328 – The Chapel of Shame
Many Republicans will be circulating recall petitions because of Rm 328. The issues of budget cuts, and collective bargaining are trumped in the eyes of many citizens by another concern; the threat to the rules of the legislature which define democracy itself. These threats to democracy have occurred weekly since the passage AB 8:
The authority of a state agency to promulgate rules interpreting the provisions of a statute enforced or administered by the agency and to implement or enforce any standard, requirement, or threshold as a term or condition of a license issued by the state agency; gubernatorial approval of proposed administrative rules; economic impact analyses of proposed rules and emergency rules; and venue in a declaratory judgment action seeking judicial review of the validity of an administrative rule and in an action in which the sole defendant is the state.
Even Republicans have had enough
About 20 people attended the training session in Richland Center last Sunday morning at the Democratic office at 900 Main St. Joe Salin stood up with an introduction that widened the eyes of listeners when he said, “I am a Republican.” He went on to say, “I am here because I don’t like Walker. Maybe what he is doing is right, but I don’t like the way he did it.”
Room 328 does not accommodate the voting public
Room 328 is one of the smallest conference rooms in the capitol building, with enough space for eighteen committee members to sit around the table, and about thirty seats around the edge of the room for staffers, reporters and observers. This is a very dark room in Wisconsin’s history. It is in this and similar rooms of our Capitol where the State Constitution and statutes were sent to be altered to suite the agenda of Walker, the Fitzgerald Bros, the Koch Bros., ALEC and the citizens of Wisconsin be damned.
It was way back in May when Gov. Scott Walker created a new office (AB8) within his administration to approve state agencies’ rules. The Senate amended AB 8 before concurring on it on 02/10/11 by a vote of 18-14. It was concurred in the Assembly on 05/17/11 by a vote of 58-34-4. It was signed into law on 05/23/11 as 2011 Act 21.
Room 328 is the dark room of shame where Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules often meets to insure gubernatorial approval of proposed administrative rules. Not only do these statute-slashing sessions play out in a room that excludes the public but the these sessions are often called at the drop of a hat, with minimal public notice. The most recent example of the drop of hat timing was just last week when Voter ID legislation was to be “discussed”. Notice of 24 hours and 14 minutes was given, and the meeting was assigned and booked to the smallest possible room for the for the purpose of hearing testimony from just one person – Kevin Kennedy, Director and General Counsel of the Government Accountability Board, the non-partisan agency that oversees elections and lobbying.
This undemocratic, unfair, power grabbing tactic has been employed on numerous occasions since May in a shameful display that clearly concentrates power in the Governor’s office and reduces legislative oversight. Governor Making his own Recall Rules?
The video below is a commentary on Room 328 and others like it, where Jim Ott and Leah Vukmir preside over the mysteries of “promulgation“.
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