Wednesday, August 22, 2012

When cheating and Fitzwalkerstani hackery collide

Saw this freaky story about a guy trying to set his wife on fire in the papers last night, and once I clicked further, it got a whole lot freakier.
After helping put out a fire that briefly went up her arms and legs, Andrew D. Spear, 59, told Mary Spear that the storage locker, where Spear had his wood shop, would be the last place she would see, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court.

"You're gonna die in here and nobody will never know," he told her, according to the complaint. "They'll never find your body."

The alleged incident happened after days in which Andrew Spear was alternately despondent and threatening over his belief that his wife was having an affair with her boss, state Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith, according to the complaint.

Mary Spear, who told police that Smith is a longtime friend, is the chief legal counsel for DHS. According to the complaint, she denied to her husband the affair but later told him that she loved him and was sorry that she had lied to him.
While there's nothing close to an excuse for taking out your jealous rage the way Andrew Spear did (read the criminal complaint, although it is quite disturbing, it almost reminds you of Michael Madsen abusing the cop in "Resevoir Dogs" without the ear-cutting), I couldn't help but make a sardonic grin when I saw the name of former Heritage Foundation think-tanker Dennis Smith mentioned. You know, the guy whose main experience before his DHS job was in demanding that certain health care programs be privatized and destroyed, and the guy who's worked with Gov. Walker to throw up every obstacle he can to avoid Obamacare being implemented in the state, including lying about the results of study which showed Obamacare generally would be a plus for Wisconsinites? Yeah, that guy.

Smith is also the guy who helped orchestrate the Family Care debacle, when thousands of Wisconsinites were illgally kept from the care they were entitled to for months in a budget balancing pose. Smith also consistently has been less-than-forthcoming on DHS's Medicaid and Badgercare changes, leaving thousands more at risk, along with hundreds of millions in federal matching funds.

What he's also done is hired a number of out-of-state hacks whose main qualification seems to be that they would dismantle Wisconsin's strong safety net and 3rd-in-the nation standing for most people with health insurance. Among those were two hires from Texas in January 2012, which has the highest amount of UN-insured in the U.S. at 24.6%. One was an oncology nurse taking a high-level job, and the other was a health insurance lobbyist named...Mary Spear.

So in addition to Ms. Spear's lobbyist career and out-of-state background, we now find out that she was allegedly having an affair with the guy who gave her the big-money job at DHS- Dennis Smith. And that the job she was hired to do was to deal with other health-insurance lobbyists to work on policies that you can bet have very little to do with helping Wisconsin's poor and sick get the care they need and deserve. Sure, dealing with extramarital affairs is a bit seamy and usually has nothing to do with the ability of someone to do their job. But despite the awful abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband, we still absolutely should ask how Mary Spear got her taxpayer-funded job, and what her REAL qualifications were to do so, now that it seems she was banging the boss at DHS.

But we shouldn't be all that surprised by this incident (well, other than the husband beating his cheating wife and trying to set her on fire, that's pretty screwed up). This is just another case Fitzwalkerstani hackery, where you get the job "not on who you know, but who you blow!" Ain't I right, Ms. Valerie Cass?

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