GOP controlled assembly passes bill to limit recall
The bill passed, with the vote stuck in the rut that has deepened with each passing wheel through the partisan convoy of agenda items that have seeped away at the firm base of Wisconsin’s foundation of ethics and fair play – the bill passed along party lines 60-37. Surprise, surprise! The bill seeks to specify new limits on the “types” of behavior an elected official must exhibit, like “malfeasance in office”, before a recall can be initiated.
The definition of the word “malfeasance” suggests that any recall effort would only serve to pour money into the pockets of lawyers in an costly effort to initiate a recall – as GOP legislatures have want to do, judging from the hundreds of thousands of dollars poured into Michael Best Law firm for drawing vote district maps and litigating the voter ID law.
Malfeasance has been defined by appellate courts in other jurisdictions as a wrongful act which the actor has no legal right to do; as any wrongful conduct which affects, interrupts or interferes with the performance of official duty; as an act for which there is no authority or warrant of law; as an act which a person ought not to do; as an act which is wholly wrongful and unlawful; as that which an officer has no authority to do and is positively wrong or unlawful; and as the unjust performance of some act which the party performing it has no right, or has contracted not, to do.
High Stakes Poker Game – Betting Against Trust of the People
What do many of the legislative initiatives of the GOP hold in common? What protections are sought through the voter Id law, limiting collective bargaining, drawing gerrymandered district maps and, now, redefining the recall statutes? Oh, and here is another recent example of the same:
MADISON (WSAU) Wisconsinites will no longer get to see their Supreme Court justices discuss the way they set their policies. The court’s four-member conservative majority voted yesterday to move its public administrative sessions behind closed doors. That’s after the open sessions exposed some of the bitter disagreements the justices have had on various issues in recent years, which culminated in a brief shoving match last summer between justices David Prosser and Ann Walsh Bradley.
The court also rejected Bradley’s request for a public hearing on the change.
The GOP seems to be playing poker with the Wisconsin long held tradition of trusting the voice of the people by limiting access to the polls (voter ID), ending the threat of people joining together to lobby for salary and benefits (Budget Repair Law) shifting vote districts for political advantage (Vote district law), adding a nebulous “malfeasance” requirement to the recall statutes (Recall law), and moving administrative sessions of Supreme Court back into the closet. All this, from a party who is hell bent a eliminating government intervention in matters of individual rights? Yet, every legislative move they make seems to be a direct intervention limiting individual rights, by reducing access to government, denying organized lobbying of workers, limiting transparency in the conduct of the courts, and, now, adding blurry barriers to the recall process.
Time to Call and Up the Stakes
Recall efforts have been myopically focused on the prime targets of the Wisconsin Senate and Governor. The stakes could well be raised to the congressional, and Senate representatives of the State with prime focus on Ron Johnson.
Who Can be Recalled?
Any elected officeholder who has served one year of the term for which he or she was most
recently elected, as of the date the recall petition is offered for filing, can be recalled.
§9.10(2)(s), Wis. Stats.
After one recall petition and recall election, no further recall petition may be filed against the same official during the term for which he or she was elected. §9.1 0(6), Wis. Stats.
If the regular term of an elected officeholder’s position is scheduled for re-election at the fall election to be held within six weeks of the date the recall petition is filed, a recall election may not be held.
You want malfeasance?
Wisconsin has been so focused on its back door step, that little light has been shed on freshman Senator Johnson.
Is it surprising that this tea party favorite has already shown his manipulative, self serving, Ayn Rand, behavior of bending the rules and dumping ethics to further the agenda of the Koch Bros, ALEC, and the greedy money holders?
Senator Ron Johnson gave himself a 10 million dollar loan from his own company, Pacur, shortly after he spent 9 million on his “self financed” 2010 election campaign.
Aside from election law violations, Johnson’s $10 million payday also may violate the Internal Revenue Code’s requirements that any deferred compensation agreement must be in writing – even if it’s between the top executive and the company he owns.
Johnson, who ran on his ability as an accountant and business man, demonstrates how he has mastered the ability to cook the books, manipulate figures, and fool the IRS under a hidden cloak, in a back room tax scam.
Ron Johnson is an embarrassment as he stands up, again and again, with fringe right wing comments at hearings like the one below.