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Thumbs Up and Down: Fitzgerald's redistricting statement a joke

10:34 PM, Sep. 13, 2013  |  Comments
The twin beams of the annual Tribute in Light commemorating the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks shine above New York City's skyline Wednesday.
The twin beams of the annual Tribute in Light commemorating the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks shine above New York City's skyline Wednesday.
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Thumbs Up: To the remembrances around the nation of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Twelve years have passed, so the attacks are increasingly distant in the nation's memory - today's college freshmen were first-graders on that day - but it's important that Americans recognize the tragedy of the attacks, the thousands of lives lost and the many thousands of lives that remain affected today.

Here's to those who took the time to remember.

Thumbs Down: To Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, for a ridiculous statement on redistricting reform.

In a news release opposing a bill that would take legislative redistricting away from the political party in power in the Legislature and turn it over to an independent authority, Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, released this statement:

"Legislative reapportionment is one of the most important duties that the Legislature is required to perform under the Constitution. I have no interest in turning that duty over to an unelected, unaccountable board of individuals that could bring their own partisan leanings and internal agendas to the process."

Is he serious? All redistricting is about now is partisan leanings and internal agendas, no matter what party holds the power. Fitzgerald's statement is a joke. Unfortunately, it's a joke on the public.

Thumbs Down: To the latest bad trend in campaign financing.

The use of political conduits, committees that bundle campaign donations from a number of people into one large donation, has increased dramatically, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Conduit contributions in the state have increased from $2.4 million in the 2009 election to $2.8 million in 2011 to $3.7 million last year.

There are two problems with conduits: They're a way for individuals to get around contribution limits to candidates themselves, and they don't show up on candidates' campaign reports as one big check so it's more difficult to determine the special interest involved.

It's another reason why campaign-finance reform is needed - at least, as much reform as is possible under the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling.

Thumbs Down: To the latest bill trying to curb public access to criminal records.

The bill, authored by Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, and Sen. Lena Turner, D-Milwaukee, would eliminate any criminal case that didn't result in a conviction from public view on the state's online Consolidated Court Automation Program, or CCAP. It would also remove any pending cases and cases in which there was no civil liability.

Though we understand the point of view of those who would limit access, public records need to remain public. On balance, the more compelling argument is for openness.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

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27%
1017 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports