Apparently the GOP’s trip to the ALEC convention in New Orleans was fruitful, because the Republicans in Fitzwalkerstan are at it again.
After their first special session on job creation didn’t help our economy, Governor Walker is ordering the legislature into another special session on job creation.
What’s odd about this special session is that it will happen at the exact same time as our normal session. So why the special session then? Simple: There are different rules to a special session than a regular session. In this case, the Democrats have almost no power during a special session.
With their polling numbers in the toilet after getting beaten up this session over power grabs, playing fast and loose with the rules and even after breaking a law or two here and there, Walker and the Republicans are trying to spin this special session as a bipartisan effort.
They’ve even gone so far as to cherry pick a few Democratic bills to put into the mix. They are hoping that’s enough information for the mainstream media and that they don’t look too far into what Walker is proposing.
But I have more faith in the press corps than they do. Don’t be fooled. There’s nothing bipartisan or special about this session. The fact is there are more than a dozen special interest giveaways in the GOP jobs package.
What I find particularly timely is that, fresh off the August ALEC junket to New Orleans, this package includes at least two pieces of ALEC model legislation. Yup, you read that right.
LRB 2890--providing immunity from liability to drug and device manufacturers and sellers under certain circumstances LRB 2939– duty of care owed to trespassers.
The first bill appears to derive from an ALEC piece of model legislation called "Punitive Damages Standards Act.” This bill would greatly limit the punitive damages. The second bill appears to derive from ALEC’s "Trespasser Responsibility Act." It would limit the responsibility of property owners if a trespasser gets injured on their property.
These bills are really, really extra special and Republicans plan to rush them through right away. They were written by corporations for corporations and are being rubber stamped by the Wisconsin GOP.
Walker’s special session is quickly being exposed as a sham because nobody actually thinks that if you change the trespassing law or limit the liability of drug companies, that we are really going to magically pull out of this economic slump. The fact remains that since Governor Walker has “opened Wisconsin for business,” our unemployment rate has increased at more rapidly than the national unemployment rate. Perhaps Governor Walker should quit playing games with political message and actually do something that will create jobs here in Wisconsin.
Maybe he could start by asking the federal government for all the money he turned down that would have created high-speed rail and broadband Internet construction jobs.
Wisconsin State Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison), who coined the term FitzWalkerstan on the floor of the State Assembly, served three terms on the state’s budget committee, including one as its co-chair. He also served as the vice-chair of the non-partisan National Council on State Legislature’s Budget and Policy committee. Pocan’s Assembly district includes both the State Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion, making Governor Scott Walker his most infamous constituent. ￼