Just when you think things can't get much worse here in Wisconsin.
Gov. Scott Walker Reportedly Planning Financial Martial Law In Wisconsin
Apr. 16 2011 By RICK UNGAR Forbes Magazine
Reports are surfacing that Scott Walker is now preparing his next assault on the democratic political process in the State of Wisconsin.
Following the lead of Michigan GOP Governor Rick Snyder, Walker is said to be preparing a plan that would allow him to force local governments to submit to a financial stress test with an eye towards permitting the governor to take over municipalities that fail to meet with Walker’s approval.
According to the reports, should a locality’s financial position come up short, the Walker legislation would empower the governor to insert a financial manager of his choosing into local government with the ability to cancel union contracts, push aside duly elected local government officials and school board members and take control of Wisconsin cities and towns whenever he sees fit to do so.
Such a law would additionally give Walker unchallenged power to end municipal services of which he disapproves, including safety net assistance to those in need.
According to my sources, the plan is being written by the legal offices of Foley & Lardner, the largest law firm in the state, and is scheduled to be introduced to the legislature in May of this year.
The story first came to public attention yesterday during an interview with Madison, Wisconsin attorney and activist, Ed Garvey, on Wisconsin Public Radio.
While Mr. Garvey is a familiar player in Wisconsin politics, some of you who are football fans may recognize his name from his days as the Executive Director of the NFL Players’ Association, where Garvey is credited with making extraordinary strides in the protection of player rights and improving their earning opportunities.
I spoke with Mr. Garvey today to gain insight into his information, which led me to Mr. Nate Kimm – a Wisconsin based political organizer who is a leader in the effort to recall eight GOP Wisconsin State Senators who voted in favor of Gov. Walker’s anti-collective bargaining legislation.
While Kimm was unwilling to reveal his source, he was able to confirm that he had received the information regarding Walker’s plans from a highly placed GOP source, very much in a position to know what the Governor has in the works.
Should these reports prove accurate, Walker’s plan would resemble-if not directly mirror- the legislation signed into law by Gov. Snyder of Michigan which gives Snyder extraordinary powers to take over municipalities when he determines them to be in financial trouble, further permitting him to actually fire locally elected public officials when he deems it desirable.
Gov. Snyder’s extraordinary law became all too real this week when Emergency Financial Manager, Joseph Harris, appointed by the Governor to take charge of Benton Harbor, Michigan, issued an order which took away all powers of the city’s elected officials.
Yes, this has really happened right here in the United States of America.
Walker’s plans give further credence to the notion that the efforts of the GOP governors with Republican majorities in their state legislative bodies are part of a coordinated plan to enforce a right-wing agenda designed to not only destroy state, county and municipal employee unions, but to take control of local governments by replacing elected officials with appointees, both corporate and individual, of the state’s highest executive officer.
More on this as it becomes available.
Thanks to Wisconsinite Doug Olson for his help with this story.
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