Wednesday, February 22, 2012

There's No Cronyism Like Old Cronyism

With Scott Walker and four Republican state senators facing recalls, not to mention the regular elections coming up in the fall, this bumbling boogle of weasels are the Democrats best weapon.

Walkergate has steadily been picking and you can almost see Walker's bald spot grow by the day as the stress weighs on him.

On top of that, you have WISGOP inadvertently showing their true colors with the ongoing escapades in their gerrymandering scandal.

It's well known that the Republicans manipulated the redistricting in such a foul way that even other Republicans were calling them out on it.

Only months later was it revealed that the deal was more rotten than anticipated.

The Republicans and the legal brain trusts at not just one, but two, law firms are as thick as thieves and were doing a lot of shady backroom dealing, including pacts of secrecy.  They were also bringing in disreputable people like Scott Jensen and others to configure the new districts not only to give themselves the best chance for reelection, but to given the biggest boon to the would be profiteers, like the school choice reprobates.

But as with all criminal acts, this one was indeed found out and exposed for what it was.

A group of Democratic citizens and a Latino advocacy group, Voces de la Frontera, filed a lawsuit in federal court.  The three justice panel has been busy tearing into the Republicans up one side and down the other, giving heavy fines and even heavier criticisms to their frivolous stunts and delay tactics.

The latest news from this is that despite being given a more than ample opportunity to cooperatively make corrections to their gerrymandered maps, the Republicans stubbornly refused to let go of their corruption.  As a token of how corrupt and malodorous their actions have been, their own legal counsel will now have to be a witness in the case against them.

With the Republicans' favorite personal law firm compromised due to the corruption, Scott Walker came to the rescue by calling on another law firm which he had a long and sordid history with, and not only did he call on them, he rewarded them for coming to their aid:
The case comes to trial just as Gov. Scott Walker nearly doubles the amount in taxpayer money that can be spent on outside attorneys assisting the Department of Justice on the lawsuit. Documents released Wednesday show Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren has billed the state $288,000 so far for its work, and that the cap on its contract is being raised from $500,000 to $925,000. 
Those costs are in addition to the $400,000 that Republican lawmakers have committed to two law firms that helped them draw the maps.
Yep, the Republicans are spending more than one million taxpayers dollars to give to use a crony law firm to defend themselves and another crony law firm against charges of corruption.

Ironic enough for you?

Now, I know that the gentle reader is thinking something to the effect of "Well, yeah, we all know that Michael Best & Friedrich being dirty as sin, but what's the big deal about those Reinhart guys?"

Well, like I said earlier, Walker has a long and sordid past with them.  When Milwaukee County tried to recoup some of the hundreds of millions of dollars they lost in the pension scandal, Walker refused to allow the county to sue this law firm, even though they helped create it and gave it the legal thumbs up.  Why?  Here's what happened in a nutshell:
In 2005, the County Board, over the objections of Walker, held a press conference announcing that they intended to file a lawsuit. Walker then switched positions (a common behavior of his - just think about the stimulus funding flip flops) and started to back the lawsuit against Mercer.

However, as noted in the cited section from MJS, Walker refused to go with a lawsuit against the legal firm that was supposed to be giving legal advise about the pension enhancers, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren.

There were a couple of reasons for Walker's resistance. One reason was pointed out by Bruce Murphy:
He declined to pursue legal action against the Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren law firm for the advice it gave county officials on the pension plan. The head of the firm, back when Walker made this decision, was then state Republican chair Rick Graber, who had donated campaign money to Walker.
The other reason is covered by Gretchen Schuldt at her old Story Hill site:
A judge has rejected plaintiffs in a lawsuit related to the county pension scandal have no standing to pursue their claim that lawyers with the Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren firm have a conflict of interest in the case, according to Journal Sentinel.

Reinhart lawyers helped design the pension package and are defending the county in the lawsuit, filed on behalf of county employees who claim the enhancements were improperly enacted, among other things.
If one keeps reading, the gentle reader would see how the law firm is tied up into the whole pension scandal. Yet due to his own political aspirations, Walker refused to seek all of the potential remedies available that he could have used to help the County in desperate budgetary times.
In summary, Walker and WISGOP, in order to enhance their own personal and political wealth, set about to illegally gerrymander the voting districts in the state. To carry out their schemes, they bring in two crony law firms that have already benefited greatly from Republican largesse, and they get entangled in the corruption as well. In order to try to pull their weasel tails out of the fire, Walker then brings in and gives a million dollars to a third law firm that he has a sullied history with.

I don't think that the Republicans are ever going to be able to raise a defense fund big enough to save them from themselves.

4 comments:

  1. Well done! However, you need to cut some slack to the hard working *real* weasels in this world by not comparing them to these greedy, soulless clowns.

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  2. Great post, thanks.

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  3. Government of, by and for the 1 percenters.

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