Monday, June 22, 2009

Going Forward, We're "Going Forward"...

For those of you not familiar with our state’s motto, it’s “Forward”, supposedly to reflect Wisconsin’s continual drive to be a national leader. At least, that‘s what it says in the Blue Book, the state‘s official biennial publication that encompasses all things politic in the badger state.

“Going forward” is one of those jargon phrases that all the politicians (and the political reporters and the political wannabes) use, to show that they’re in-the-know and up-to-date and can sling the latest clichés with the best of them. As in “Going forward, we’ll need to assure funding is in place for this program which helps the working families of Wisconsin”.

And don’t get me started on what a “working family” is, other than another totally meaningless cliché uttered constantly by politicians of every stripe, when they want to equate themselves with the “common man”. Or woman. Presumably, a family where the dad is a neurosurgeon and the mom is a bank vice-president is not a “working family”. When the politicians talk about the “working families of Wisconsin”, I think they’re trying to portray an image of a guy who works second shift at Oscar Mayer and his wife, who works at Klinke Cleaners.

Whatever. As usual, I digress.

The latest piece of garbage to come floating down the river from the 132 clowns who report to “work” in the big white building in the middle of the square downtown is a scheme to start gutting the new Government Accountability Board. The GAB was concocted to replace the toothless State Elections Board and the impotent State Ethics Board.

When it became transparently obvious to even the most casual observer a few years ago that our state government had become one of the most corrupt in the nation, with lobbyists and special interest groups really calling the shots, reform was in the air. After the caucus scandal was exposed in 2002, there was talk (and that’s all it was for years) of “changing things”.

A short while ago, they scrapped the state Ethics Board and the state Elections Board, and created the Government Accountability Board to investigate corruption. But now, one of the politicians has introduced a measure in the state budget to curtail the GAB’s influence, by cutting the funds allocated to the GAB to run investigations.

Since early last year, the GAB has instigated 51 investigations. The number alone must have scared the politicians, hence this move to slip the knife to the GAB gently.

Business as usual.

In summation, let me say that going forward, we must defeat this attempt to curtail the GAB’s powers, so that the working families of Wisconsin can be assured that their government is clean, transparent, and effective.

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