Thursday, February 16, 2012

WI GOP "Slammed" for Secrecy in Gerrymandering

The latest decision in the federal court case against the Wisconsin Republicans for gerrymandering is a harsh review of recent Republican tactics, calling them "shameful," the Journal Sentinel reports. The Republicans were fighting tooth-and-nail to keep some 84 documents secret, but have now been ordered to make the documents public.

The Republicans were claiming the documents fell under attorney-client privilege, because they consisted of only legal advice. However, the panel of three judges (2 Republican appointees and 1 Democrat) found the documents to primarily consist of political advice. Thus, the documents can't fall under attorney-client privilege. The panel wrote,
"In the court's view, it is quite apparent that these email discussions involve advice on political strategy, as opposed to legal strategy, and, therefore, are not afforded attorney-client privilege protection."

"Without a doubt, the Legislature made a conscious choice to involve private lawyers in what gives every appearance of an attempt -albeit poorly disguised - to cloak the private machinations of Wisconsin's Republican legislators in the shroud of attorney-client privilege. What could have - indeed should have - been accomplished publicly instead took place in private, in an all but shameful attempt to hide the redistricting process from public scrutiny."
The court gets it. The Republicans did the work of the people in private through intimidation, when they should have done it in public. Now they think they can keep the documentation behind that work secret. The Republicans are dead wrong.

The Republicans in Wisconsin are finally being called out for their intimidation, secrecy and lies.

We now have a glimpse into why the Republicans fought so hard to keep the documents secret.

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