As a taxpayer and professor of public administration, I am very concerned about the legal bills being accrued by the Republican-controlled legislature. The cost is outstanding and the lack of transparency is a threat to the fabric of our democracy.
With the “lame-duck” laws, Republican leadership gave themselves the authority to hire private attorneys at taxpayer expense. Additionally and unfortunately, when these “lame-duck” bills were passed, they were passed with no fiscal estimates and with no caps on what the legislature can spend on private counsel.
We, the taxpayers, are already paying for an Attorney General’s office who is accountable to the electorate. Republicans are wasting our money on attorneys to defend their partisan self-interests (which the voters clearly rejected on Nov. 6). These private attorneys do not have to answer to the public, but we as constituents deserve to know how our tax money is being spent.
Assembly Republicans made a deal to pay a Chicago law firm $850,000 - a contract Robin Vos is refusing to release, falsely claiming it doesn’t apply to open records laws. If we are paying for it, we should be able to see exactly what is in the contract; an open and transparent government is a basic tenet of democracy.
Lawsuits the state takes part of should go through the Attorney General’s office. All documents related to the cases would then be available to open records. But now we are paying double - and setting ourselves up for total “chaos,” as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel recently called it.
It appears that the Republican-led legislature has forgotten what their branch of government’s role is in keeping a balanced government (as per the Constitution). The legislative branch is supposed to write laws - not implement and enforce them; that is the executive branch’s role. And the legislative branch is most certainly not supposed to waste taxpayer dollars attempting to do what other branches of the government are assigned to do. The current Assembly leadership, including our own Tyler August, has created an inefficient, dark, and wasteful government.
We are going backwards quickly. I’m wondering, where have the fiscal conservatives gone?
Written in response to: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2019/01/14/lame-duck-session-wisconsin-lawsuits-could-prove-costly/2551128002/?fbclid=IwAR1HoQiwArBRfxFoz-b5kZlSjCeWB7dCxoT7_QgNvW2mmX79jB-U9aSxEXc