Monday, May 12, 2014

WI GOP Accidently Outlaw Political Contributions From Lobbyists


Some days one only has to step back and marvel at the sheer ingenuity with which Wisconsin Republican legislators continue to amaze and disgust in their effort to be both stupid and corrupt at the same time.

Lost in Friday's news dump was a genuine bit of laugh out loud buffoonery that it almost missed attention.

Almost...but not quite.

Remember back in March when Republicans were rushing through bills making it harder for people to vote while making it easier for lobbyists to make political contributions to their campaigns? That's right: less time to vote - more time for cash.

They hurried that crap through before too many people caught on.

One of the bills, SB 655 was introduced and scheduled for a public hearing in 48 hours. The bill, introduced by Mary Lazich and Scott Fitzgerald, was designed to let lobbyists contribute money to legislators political campaigns a month and a half earlier in the year - when the legislature is still in session which they were previously barred from doing.

See, one of the reasons Wisconsin has been long thought of as a "cleaner" state in terms of political corruption is that special interest groups and their lobbyists can't make campaign contributions during the legislative session when politicians might be considering laws that affect those special interest groups.

That was just too inconvenient for this group of Republican pirates. They needed to get that money flowing.

However, because these guys are as stupid as they are corrupt - they wrote the law wrong and accidently made it illegal for lobbyists to "furnish" contributions from anyone.

This may be the most awesome blunder ever and shows what happens when you try to cram a law through in 2 days.

Anyway, the GOP really doesn't want to have to go back and redo the law - because it's a sucky law and they don't want to bring any more attention to it than necessary. So instead, they want the GAB to redefine how they interpret the word "furnish" - which is almost as awesome as writing the law wrong.

Let's summarize:

Scott Fitzgerald and Mary Lazich wrote a law that was supposed to allow lobbyists to furnish contributions six weeks earlier while the legislature is still in session. Instead, they mistakenly wrote the law that says lobbyists cannot furnish contributions at all. To fix it, they want the GAB to change their definition of the word "furnish" so lobbyists CAN make campaign contributions in lieu of going back and fixing the law.

From now on "not furnish" will mean "can furnish."

Problem solved. Except the GAB isn't going for it. THAT may be the most awesome part yet. Stay tuned on this one - there is more yet to come.