Remember that mostly jokey item I posted about Wisconsin Republicans criminalizing prank calls? The whole premise of my item turns out to be wrong. An informed reader writes:
I work for the Wisconsin Legislature (for Democrats) and I can tell you that the reporting on this bill has been incredibly unfair. First of all, the bill wouldn't have had any effect on the Koch call. It only covers fake caller ID signatures or disguising your voice. It wouldn't affect the legality of calling up Moe's and asking for Hugh Jass one way or the other. Secondly, this is not a new bill that was just thought up in the few week to cover the Governor's ass. It was introduced late last session, and received bipartisan co-sponsorship. Here's the link from last session: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/2009/data/AB889hst.html
The timing looks suspicious, of course, but there's a reason for that. The first couple months of the session were devoted to the Special Session on Jobs that Gov. Walker called the legislature into, and the focus of that was job creation legislation. The Budget Repair Bill that has caused such a hullabaloo is the 11th and final bill of the special session. Most legislators in both parties have had legislation ready to go, but held off on introducing it until after the special session was over if, like this bill, it wasn't (or couldn't at least be spun as) job creation legislation. However, the Assembly passed the Budget Repair Bill last week, meaning that Assembly action in the special session is almost done, save for a few i's to dot, so legislators are beginning to introduce more non-job-creation bills. Rep. Honadel and Sen. Lazich are introducing the bill just after the Koch call, because the Koch call happened near the end of the special session.
Sorry to run with what seems to be a misleading story.