Saturday, April 14, 2018

This week in WisGOP corruption - its a big one.

It's been quite a last few days of corruption and anti-democratic statements for Wisconsin Republicans. Let's go over a few of the stories.

First of all, Jason Stein followed up from Thursday's bombshell where Wisconsinites found out Assembly Speaker Robbin' Vos went on an all-expenses-paid trip to London from a GOPAC's "educational fund". Stein told us on Friday that Vos and other WisGOPs had received big money from the payday loan companies whose lobbyists just so happened to also be on the trip.
Over the past decade, Wisconsin Republicans have received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from the leader of a title loan company that sent lobbyists along with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on a free trip to London.

Since 2008, Select Management Resources chief executive officer Rod Aycox, his wife and other family in Georgia have contributed $87,500 to GOP candidates in Wisconsin, state campaign finance records show....

Vos said again Friday that he had not been contacted by the FBI or other authorities or discussed any legislation with lobbyists on the trip, either during it or afterward.

The bulk of the Aycox donations — about $65,000 — went to help Republicans seeking seats in the Assembly, including a $20,000 donation in October 2016 to the GOP caucus campaign fund. As speaker, Vos oversees that leadership committee and campaign efforts for GOP Assembly candidates.

Among the others donations were $8,000 to the Senate GOP campaign committee in October 2016; $2,500 in March 2017 to Attorney General Brad Schimel; $5,000 to Gov. Scott Walker in October 2014; and assorted smaller amounts to individual lawmakers.
Of course those donations had nothing to do with Vos's GOP Assembly caucus voting in lockstep to exempt rent-to-own stores from Wisconsin consumer protection laws late in the night of the last Assembly session of 2018. Nor did it have anything to do with this scene that happened later that week, as they were deciding which Senate bills to agree to, and which ones to kill.

Just like how these skeletons falling out of Vos's closet had NOTHING to do with his surprising decision not to run for the House seat that Paul Ryan is vacating. Yeahhhhh....

You may have seen Attorney General Schimel's name on the list for those receiving money from the payday loan and rent-to-own guy. The crooked, dimwitted AG got himself back in the news yesterday by giving the definition of a "gaffe" - telling a truth you don't want people to know.
"We battled to get voter ID on the ballot for the November '16 election," Schimel told conservative host Vicki McKenna on WISN (1130 AM) on Thursday.

"How many of your listeners really honestly are sure that Senator (Ron) Johnson was going to win re-election or President Trump was going to win Wisconsin if we didn’t have voter ID to keep Wisconsin’s elections clean and honest and have integrity?"
Actually Brad, it's removed much of the legitimacy Trump or Johnson may have had, because there is no question that lower turnout in pro-Dem cities in Wisconsin were a key factor behind both those men winning in 2016.

Isn't it nice and telling that Schimel used Icki's show on KLAN radio 1130 to make that statement. "Voter ID keeps THOSE PEOPLE from voting" is a bedrock mentality within the racist RW BubbleWorld in Wisconsin, as we saw earlier in 2016 from another WisGOP doofus from 262-land.
The comments echoed ones U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) made on the night of Wisconsin's presidential primary in April 2016.

"Now we have photo ID, and I think photo ID is gonna make a little bit of a difference as well," Grothman told WTMJ-TV in explaining why he thought Republicans would win that fall....

Trump won Wisconsin by more than 22,000 votes and Johnson won by more than 99,000 votes. Schimel did not say in his radio interview if he believed that many people would have fraudulently voted without the voter ID law, if he thought more Democratic voters would have turned up if the voter ID requirement were not in place or if he meant something else.
In addition to keeping THOSE PEOPLE from voting, we also found out yesterday that Schimel's Department of "Justice" had no problem wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to preserve another GOP advantage in elections.

Also from Bauer's AP story yesterday:
Wisconsin taxpayers footed a previously unknown $60,000 bill for an attorney to argue for 10 minutes before the U.S. Supreme Court in the state’s defense of a redistricting lawsuit, records obtained by The Associated Press show.

A summary of bills provided by the Republican leaders of the state Senate and Assembly through an open records request shows the law firm of Kirkland and Ellis was paid $60,000 to make the Supreme Court arguments in October. The cost wasn’t included in original contracts signed by Republican legislative leaders in February 2017....

The Legislature asked for time to present its position during oral arguments, which resulted in the $60,000 bill on top of $175,000 paid to the law firm for other work, Fitzgerald spokesman Dan Romportl said.

The solicitor general for the Wisconsin Department of Justice had 20 minutes of time to defend the maps in the oral arguments in addition to the 10 minutes given to the attorney from Kirkland and Ellis.
Let's also not forget all of our dollars that Schimel has thrown away in trying to fight against marriage equality, doing Walker's dirty work in trying to stop elections in 2 legislative seats, and as recently as 6 weeks ago, taking part in a new lawsuit trying to repeal the ACA through the courts, claiming that things are different after GOP sabotage efforts in Congress.

I think I'd take Homer as our AG today, and he isn't real.

Oh, and there's another case that the DOJ is using our tax dollars to take on that reeks of sketchiness, where these partisan Republicans are trying to "represent" State School Superintendent (and Dem candidate for Governor) Tony Evers in a case, even though Evers doesn't want their "help". 2 years ago, in a case called Coyne v. Walker , the Supreme Court held that because the State Superintendent was an elected position, Walker's Administration couldn't make it follow their orders in enforcing (or not enforcing) regulations.

Well yesterday, a suspicious decision by the conservative-controlled State Supreme Court allowed them to bypass an appeals court and fast-track a case for next month that basically rehear the Coyne case.
The case was brought by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (a Bradley Foundation-funded chop shop) against state Superintendent Tony Evers, who the group says violated a recent law, known as the REINS Act, that requires state department officials to ask the Department of Administration for permission to craft regulations.

Walker has denied Evers’ request for outside legal representation in the case. Evers, who is represented by Justice Department lawyers and is also a Democratic candidate seeking to challenge Walker in the fall election, asked the court to appoint an outside lawyer, but the court didn’t decide that issue in its ruling Friday. Instead it will hear oral arguments on the issue May 15....

The Coyne decision held that the state constitution gives the state superintendent authority to set education policy for the state. Bradley, Abrahamson and conservative justices David Prosser and Michael Gableman agreed.

Gableman, who is retiring, will be replaced this summer by Rebecca Dallet, who was supported by liberals. Meanwhile Prosser has been replaced by Walker appointee Dan Kelly.
Since Dallet doesn't take her seat until August, you don't think the righties on the court are trying to jam this case through to consolidate power in the Governor's office, do you? It would be a move that goes against the wishes of the voters of Wisconsin, who voted 61-39 last week to continue the State Treasurer's Office precisely because they DIDN'T want the Governor's office to grab more power.

I've called the Wisconsin GOP an organized crime syndicate for a few years now, and this week gave another great example of them living down to that reputation. It permeates all areas they have power in, from the Legislature, to the Attorney General's Office to the State Supreme Court. And I didn't even have to go into Governor Scott Walker's rampant pay-for-play corruption and general dislike of democracy.

FIRE THEM ALL in November.

1 comment:

  1. You can bet Vos promised PAY DAY that he would pass their bill. He is desperate.