Wisconsin GOP Pays $850K To Law Firm Fighting Gerrymandering Lawsuit But Won’t Share Info With Taxpayers
When Democrat Tony Evers defeated Republican Scott Walker in Wisconsin’s Governors race, the GOP moved to limit Democrat’s power. One of the main fights between liberals and conservatives concerns the way the state’s districts are drawn.
The state GOP has hired the firm, Bartlit Beck to represent them in a trial scheduled for April. Despite the fact that Wisconsin taxpayers are footing the $850k legal bill, Republicans will not share the contract drawn up by the firm. Taxpayers have already spent $2 million to defend the Republican boundary lines in court.
According to Democrats, by not showing the contract, the GOP is in violation of the state’s Open Records law. Condemnation of the Republican actions has come down on both sides of the aisle.
Conservative Orville Seymer from Citizens for Responsible Government, says, “They should just release the record. I mean, it’s clearly a public record and it should be automatic.”
Liberal Bill Lueders from The Progressive magazine, agrees, “I think the denial of this contract is clearly illegal and clearly in bad faith. If the public is being expected to pay this bill, it has every right to see the agreement.”
Republicans say they are protected under Attorney-Client Privilege and see no need to provide the document.
This is not the first time the gerrymandering case has been heard in court. The lines, “were ruled unconstitutional by a panel of federal judges in 2015 because they were so favorable to the GOP, but the Supreme Court declined last June to take up the case.”