It's also worth remembering that the redistricting scheme was cooked up outside of the Capitol grounds, in the Madison offices of Michael, Best and Friedrich, with the idea that the GOPs "believed the process they used granted them attorney-client privilege that would keep their communications from being disclosed publicly." That argument went down in flames in January 2012, and the Republicans were ordered to turn over their communications related to the new maps. And among the key Legislative aides that were involved in the map-making at MBF were "afoltz" - Adam Foltz, an aide to then-Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald - and "tottman" - Tad Ottman, and aide to then-Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.
And the Democrats who made their own filing to coincide with Lanterman's findings note that the dates Foltz and Ottman had their deletion party was not coincidental.
On January 3, more than a month before trial, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ request to reconvene the depositions of Messrs. Ottman and Foltz and Joseph Handrick. It again ordered those witnesses to “produce documents in their possession that have been requested by the plaintiffs.” Order (Dkt. 104) at 10. Plaintiffs’ counsel conferred with the legislature’s counsel on January 6, and the legislature produced additional documents on January 10 and 11. The January 6 deletions occurred just after the Court’s order and just before the legislature’s supplemental production. And they occurred on computers in Michael Best’s offices.
Questions about the legislature’s document productions arose immediately after the close of trial. See Mem. in Support of Post-Trial Mot. for Remedial Discovery (Dkt. 253) at 8-11. On July 18, 2012, after majority control of the state senate shifted, the new majority leader requested Michael Best’s redistricting file. The following day (July 19), Michael Best agreed that it would make its redistricting file available for review. One week later (July 25), a user logged into the account of Tad Ottman, aide to state Senator Scott Fitzgerald—who just had been replaced as majority leader—deleted hundreds of thousands of redistricting files. The following week, Michael Best turned over its redistricting file to the new senate majority leader.
Ruh roh. And did I mention that Foltz has already testified that the new maps didn't take political implications in mind when they were done? I already said last year that this guy's looking at prison time for that perjury,
but refusing to comply with court orders and deletion of evidence is a whole 'nother level of law-breaking. Hope THAT was worth it, Foltzie.
But as I like to say about WisGOP, not a lot of things with these guys are coincidental, and they come from the top. Let's face it, if you know what youngster GOP leggie aides are like these days, they are some of the biggest toolbags you can find - remote-controlled dopes who need an instructional manual to figure out what words to use on a press release. With that in mind, did I mention that former Wisconsin GOP Chair and current RNC Chair Reince Priebus is a former Michael, Best and Friedrich lawyer, and wanted to make sure Sean "from the Real World" Duffy and other WisGOP Congress members could be protected. And did I also mention that his college roomate Robin Vos was very interested in what the maps would say, since it was probable that Jeff Fitzgerald and Vos had worked out an agreement that Jeff Fitzgerald would run for U.S. Senate, and Vos would move up to Speaker if the GOPs maintained their majority after the 2012 elections (which they did)?
Hilariously, Vos is quoted in the State Journal article on the latest developments as saying "he was not in leadership during the time in question and referred questions to attorneys handling the case." RIIIIGHT. The guy known around the Capitol as "Boss Vos" with a newly-installed spiral staircase in his office to have a centralized office of WisGOP communcations and "policy research" had no hand in what was going on in a redistricting that would help him cement power? If you believe this, then....you probably believe that Scott Walker had 5 personally-hired aides breaking the law in Milwaukee County without his knowledge, either. I may have been born at 10:02pm, but it sure wasn't last night.
Given what Lanterman describes in his filing, he's been able to get back a lot of these files that Foltz and Ottman thought they'd gotten rid of, and given that the findings are due on May 10, we'll find out what's in those soon enough. But given that the only thing that Republican socipaths seem to understand is power and money, the only suitable punishment to stop these people are to THROW THE MAPS OUT (to take away their undeserved power) and make the aides and the bosses who gave the orders GO TO JAIL for such flagratn defiance of court orders and state open records laws.
This is definitely going to blow up. It's just a question of how high up it'll go. And if the national media wants a good "off-year" scandal, this may be one they might want to look at, because it could be a good one.
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