Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon) says his experience shepherding controversial collective bargaining reforms through the legislature has left him battletested [sic] and ready to take the fight for true reform to Washington.Which is funny because not only were the reforms "shepherded" in violation of Wisconsin law, but according to trial court testimony, it was Fitzgerald personally who held up providing the minimum notice for the fateful joint committee meeting of March 9, 2011. Rachel Veum, the Wisconsin Senate's Records and Forms Management Specialist, testified April 1 that she had to "run" around the Capitol in search of Fitzgerald.
And Fitzgerald, by not being in his office at the crucial moment, was the reason why the elapsed time between notice and meeting was one hour and 57-ish minutes, a fact admitted in court by Fitzgerald's own counsel.
Thus was Fitzgerald himself responsible for the subsequent constitutional crisis, which was only settled after a bare majority of the State Supreme Court discovered a novel form of judicial authority that, as we learned somewhat after the fact, it was so eager to announce in order to save WISGOP legislators the trouble of convening a lawful meeting that the four marched into the dissenters' chambers, a struggle ensued, and one justice admitted to having placed his hands around the neck of another.
And of course it was Assemblyman Jeff Fitzgerald who led the demand for the arrest, custody, and secure police conveyance of his political adversaries. Fitzgerald's brother Scott, the Senate Majority Leader, paid $27,000 for a legal memorandum purportedly authorizing the pair to have the entire Wisconsin Senate Democratic caucus — including State Senator Julie Lassa, who at the time was seven months pregnant — "carried ... feet first" across a threshold inside the Capitol building.
It's a record, alright. It's just not an especially enviable one.