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Day after day new revelations are coming to light of the extent of how much our state government has changed here in Wisconsin.  A new one came out today which exposes further scandalous details of the Republican Uber Secretive Gerrymandering
 Redistricting Law (which recently got a nasty smack down from a 3 district judicial panel).

Two taxpayer-paid legislative aides who were responsible for drawing new election maps continue to work out of a law firm instead of the Capitol, even though lawmakers approved the maps six months ago.

Tad Ottman and Adam Foltz were responsible for drawing new district lines last year, and they did that work out of the Madison office of Michael Best & Friedrich, across the street from the Capitol. Those maps were approved in August, but they continue to work from there.

Whoa!  State government employees setting up shop in a law firm?  
Foltz makes $50,000 a year and works from the law office most of the time. Ottman makes $79,236 a year; he declined to say how often he works at the law office. Taxpayers are paying their wages no matter which office they work from.
Whoa!  The gerrymandering redistricting was finished months ago and they're still there?  And their salaries and benefits (which weren't subjected to the same wage peelbacks for benefits like "regular" state workers) are being paid by taxpayers?

Join me below the Cheese Doodle for more.

Democrats blasted Republicans for having workers stationed at the law office, particularly so long after the maps they were working on were approved. They questioned whether taxpayer money had been properly used, saying state workers should be based in state offices and the work they produce should be publicly available.

"You almost get the image of a shadowy government ," said Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha).

I love Peter Barca.  He's the State Assembly Minority Leader.  The easiest way to tell you all you need to know is to show you a 6 minute video.  You may remember him doing this when Republicans tried to ram through the Wisconsin union stripping bill in a conference committee with less than 24 hours notice during a closed to the public meeting:

So what we know is that those new maps, instead of originating from the local level progressing to the state level, came for the first time from the state.  We know the maps are awful and designed to keep Republicans in power.  We know now about the oaths of secrecy that Republican lawmakers had to sign to even see the maps.  We know that the maps were only available in the Law Offices of Michael Best & Friedrich (the law firm that defended RW Supreme Court Justice Gabelman on electoral ethics violations - for free - and who received his favorable vote on every single action they brought to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court and the same law firm that until that was revealed worked as the law firm for Scott Walkers administration).  We know that a law suit against the new maps isn't going well at all for the Republicans.

Now we know that 2 Republican aides continue to work at that same law firm despite the fact that the redistricting was completed months ago.  The big question is why?  Why did they work there on the taxpayers dime in the first place and why are they still there?

Is this evidence that we now have a shadow government as well as legislation created under the cloak of secrecy?

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PS:  I just realized today, that February 11th, is the one year anniversary of the formation of FitzWalkerKochStan.  Late in the day a year ago Governor Scott Walker rolled out his Budget Repair Bill that stripped away collective bargaining from most public employees in Wisconsin, peeled away massive amounts of wages to pay for benefits, created drastic cuts in Badger Care, Medicaid, and our schools.  A sad day.

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Personal aside:  Someone today is going to be the recipient of my 10,000th comment here on Daily Kos.  I had no idea I was quite so verbose, but noticed I was close to that milestone when I reviewed my comments and replies recently.  Will it be you?

Update:  Dah Winnah is here.

Thanks for playing.

Update:  Just for fun.  I just heard this song on the Randi Rhodes show intro and wanted to share it with you.  No, it's absolutely not related to the diary one bit ;D.  Enjoy.

Originally posted to Puddytat on Fri Feb 10, 2012 at 12:55 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and Friends of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.

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