May 13, 2011

Capitol damage vs. Big Fitz's legal fees


Scott Walker and Mike Huebsch wrote you a letter today:
Repair work to the stone in the Capitol is expected to cost approximately $111,750.
This is your number, right there, 112 grand, to restore ALL of the interior damage to the Capitol building, some of which may have existed previously, as I read the underlying report, which can't say for sure. But never mind that. Additionally, they say, $49,300 as follows:

Ongoing repairs* $3,100
Add'l custodial services* $30,500
Pro photography $1,900 (Nice gig.)
Prepare estimate $13,800

So, okay. For one thing, the cost of preparing the estimate (granted, the estimate also looked at external facilities but the interior has always been the focus of the so-called "Capitol Chaos" whereupon the hippies and thugs ran rampant) was 12% of the total cost of the interior repairs. Nobody disputes the building's interior magnificence or its preciousness to the people of Wisconsin (and elsewhere).

However, 112 grand is your bottom line number. Chump change. By comparison, Scott Fitzgerald paid three lawyers twenty-seven thousand dollars** to tell him he could have a seven-months-pregnant woman "carried ... feet first" into the Senate chamber, something Fitz apparently had no intention of doing, as he himself characterized the $27K worth of Republican-for-hire legal advice, "comical."

In other words, Senate majority leader Fitzgerald personally spent a full 24% of what it will cost to repair the entire interior of the Capitol building for what was — and always was, as devoted followers of this space would know — essentially a load of complete bollocks.

Wherefore my question reduces to this: Why does the Journal Communications, Inc. organ Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel pump this story so absurdly disproportionately harder than it pumped — or probably will ever pump — the $350-per-hour lawyers story?

Same reason JRN's flagship teevee station is still rolling the "Capitol Chaos" character generator over its reports, presumably. And the reason its marquee radio performer is continually shoutraging.

But it's a serious question. Somebody's missing the point here.

By the way, Huebsch is asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to declare the Wisconsin Open Meetings Law unconstitutional.

Is that not a story too? Seems to me it might be, especially since Huebsch himself was found by a different court to have violated the State constitution by barring the people of Wisconsin from the Capitol, the Capitol he's now complaining needs $112K in touch-ups.

The pattern is not emerging, it's beating you about the head.

* Repairs of what, or repairs to damage caused by whom, they don't say. Nor how the cost of "custodial services" applies to the repairs.

** Anybody cipher out the difference between a $290-per-hour lawyer and a $295-per-hour lawyer yet? That's a real heck of a stumper.

eta: See also Huebsch nicked and chipped his own limestone


Terry said...

It's because they are NOT an objective purveyor of information, and haven't been as long as I can remember. I lived in Milwaukee for 13 years, used to refer to the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinal as the 'Milwaukee Urinal." Journal Communications Inc. must be owned by a Right-winger. It's only good for cleaning up after people's pets as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

By comparison, I wonder how much Huebsch's lawsuit costs taxpayers? Remember to factor in the salaries of all the public employees involved--attorneys on both sides as well as the court.

illusory tenant said...

It would be a worthwhile endeavor for someone to tabulate the costs of all the Walker administration-related lawsuits. And whatever that number is right now is probably a very small percentage of what it will become.

Anonymous said...

Why weren't the 14 Senators that went to a hotel for three weeks fired?? They got paid with tax dollars!! I would have been fired and so would any one else not connected to the government!! Very wrong..What did the union people gain other than to teach our youth that you can get a Doctor to lie about why you are not working..This whole thing shows us what kind of people would wreck a Capitol..Bused in union people..