Sunday, November 10, 2013

Urban Myth Redux

On November 1st, Bruce Murphy of Urban Milwaukee posted a piece lamenting the diminishing of local control by the state legislature.

I responded a few days later pointing out that Murphy excluded Act 14, one of the bigger examples of this loss of local control, one that he advocated for.  I had also commented on his blog to the same effect.

In his post, Murphy responded that the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) didn't respond take a view of Act 14, which is one of the reasons he did not include it in his post.

Murphy then wrote a second post, iterating the points he made in his comment:
In reaction to my column about the decline of local control, I got complaints from both Mike Plaisted and Chris Liebenthal, from the Cognitive Dissidence blog, arguing I should have included Act 14 as an example of usurping local control.

But the examples cited in my story, including measures ending residency in Milwaukee or changing how the city assesses billboards, were uniformly opposed by city officials. The proposal to downsize the county board split Milwaukee, with supervisors and some Milwaukee legislators opposing it, and the county executive, some legislators and Greater Milwaukee Committee supporting it. For that matter, huge majorities in many suburbs supported the idea in local referendums.

Because county officials were split on the issue, the Wisconsin Counties Association took no stand on Act 14, whereas it typically opposes legislative changes that interfere with county power.
But Murphy is dead wrong with that statement.

The WCA did indeed come out on AB85, the bill which eventually became Act 14. And they were against it.

I again pointed this out in the comments of Murphy's post.  He promptly responded, stating that his information came from Jon Hochkammer, the WCA’s legislative director.

Now, someone is mistaken here.  Either Hochkammer misspoke or incorrectly remembered what happened or Murphy misunderstood what Hochkammer was saying or misrepresented it.

But either way, the fact is that the WCA did come out against it, and for good cause, since it is still one of the most egregious assaults on representative government and our democracy, made even the worse for the underhanded way it was done.

1 comment:

  1. The Wisconsin Counties Association registered against AB 85 with the Government Accountability Board: