Letter: Motion is ‘opposite of open and transparent democracy’

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To the editor:

The story in the Sept. 28 Press-Gazette headlined “State eases housing rules” adds another chapter of shame on the current Wisconsin Legislature.

Obviously an ordinance enacted by the village of Ashwaubenon to address a local issue “gored the bull” of some unknown deep-pocketed interests. The result is what we have come to expect from the party that currently controls the Legislature — a last-minute, middle-of-the-night provision slipped into the must-pass budget bill through what is called a 999 motion.

Citizens can’t even hold the sponsoring legislators accountable because they don’t have to have the intestinal fortitude to attach their names to the provision. That, plus its inclusion in a budget bill inserted too late for public hearings or constituent reaction, is the opposite of open and transparent democracy.

Gov. Walker is complicit in this charade by not vetoing it. What happened to Republican Party principles? The Republican mantra these days seems to be local control except the public be damned when it might negatively affect our benefactors.

This latest covert act requires response. In the next election cycle throw out the bums who did not object to its inclusion or voted for it.

As citizens we also need to take back our democracy by demanding the Legislature relieve itself of responsibility for redistricting to end the practice of gerrymandering. Wisconsin Senate Bill 13 and Assembly Bill 44 would do just that and are modeled on an effective, decades-long process used in Iowa.

The leadership in both houses, however, have refused to advance those bills for consideration. Contact your legislators to demand this legislation be considered.

Ken Harter,

Oconto Falls