Monday, October 24, 2011

The Sublime Bullshit of Walker's Special Session

Illustration by DonkeyHotey
The Walker Administration announced their "Special Session" on jobs. It sounds good - like a "very special episode of Blossom." We know it must be important and relevant because it is so....special.

Not much attention has been paid to the conundrum that this "Special Session" is taking place during a what is really a normal session period.

Has Walker become so dedicated to job creation he has made it the  Administration's top priority? Of course not.

It is a "Special Session" because they have a whole host of ALEC bills to pass before the shit hits the fan and the normal rules of procedure don't apply like they do in a normal session.

Unlike a regular session, legislators may not introduce any legislation non-germane to the call by the Governor. So forget about any bills Walker and the Fitz's haven't already flagged.

More importantly, a "Special Session" allows the legislature to dispense with normal rules and procedures. In a "Special Session" it is possible for a bill to be introduced and voted on without any legislator's name being attached, without public hearings,without any notice to the citizens of Wisconsin that the bill is going to be voted on.

Well that IS very special isn't it?

They threw in a couple of bills introduced by Democrats to keep up appearances, but the object of their affection went to ALEC...

  • Lowering the interest rate to 4.25% corporations pay when they have killed, injured or violated the rights of consumers. While regular people who lose the same kind of case pay 12% until the judgement is fulfilled.
  • Providing immunity from liability to drug and medical device manufacturers who injure or kill people if their product was FDA approved. Seriously, that's what it says.
  • Capping attorney fees to three times the judgement award - saving corporations big bucks if they should actually lose a case in court.
  • A "trespasser responsibly" act which cloaks itself as a protection to homeowners against trespassers who are injured on their property - who wants that? Wisconsin law already provides that provision. It is actually a golden nugget for railroads and mining companies and their insurers who are tried of paying for people who get killed on their property. Fall down a mine? Dirty trespasser. 
It's easy to see that scores of jobs will be created from these "Special Session" bills.

Consumers pay the price.