We also know more about the "ignore the public comments" phrase.
Let us use our own Senator Van Wanggaard as an example:
Wanggaard received a memo very much like the one on the right - giving a breakdown of his district's population changes and a comparison and contrast of Republican candidates between the new and old district in previous elections...'cause this wasn't about political parties right?
Wanggaard's memo would have stated this information...compiled with taxpayer dollars declaring it was all "privileged and confidential" as if that was legal in any sense of the word.
Then it says this: "Public comments on this map may be different than what you hear in this room. Ignore the public comments."
What a weird thing to say.
They knew they were going to lie about the redistricting (and they did) and legislators should just ignore whatever bullshit story they told the press or the public.
In fact they were ordered to ignore what was said to the public.
The last two bullet talking points go on to say: "Previously signed agreement applies to this meeting" and "Public comment will lead to depositions and being called to the witness stand." Meaning the secrecy agreement Wanggaard already had signed was still valid and if he were to speak publicly about it he might find himself in a witness box. Sounds totally kosher.
Too bad they were wrong - their conversations about the maps were not confidential and privileged. Wanggaard's secret contract is not secret anymore and now he has a lot of explaining to do.
Here is Van's secret contract:
Legislators don't get to sign confidentiality agreements against the people they represent about legislation in the public interest. That is unless they have something to hide.
Back in February of 2011, Wanggaard wrote about his solemn oath of office...you know the one that says you will uphold the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Wisconsin - which has a wonderful section about the legislature and how it is to conduct business that is brief but specific:
Journals; open doors; adjournments. SECTION 10.If that passage doesn't move you, try a reading of the Open Meetings Law.
Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings and publish the same, except such parts as require secrecy. The doors of each house shall be kept open except when the public welfare shall require secrecy.
The people of Wisconsin had to force Republicans to court three times before they finally released these secret memos and contracts. Their documents reveal a strategy to lie to the public about their work and their intentions. Wanggaard signed a confidentiality agreement to keep his activities on behalf of the people - hidden and secret from the people he is paid to represent.
He should be removed from office.