Friday, September 23, 2016

Fitz gets caught lying his ass off about John Doe

I saw the headline yesterday about how WisGOP Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald tried to claim he wasn’t a part of the money-laundering scheme that was outlined in the John Doe documents which leaked to the Guardian last week (click here to read the docs and refresh your memories). That operation funneled millions of dollars into supporting 6 GOP Senators who voted for Act 10 and were summarily recalled in 2011, and when Fitz claimed he knew nothing about it, my immediate reaction was "That's literally unbelievable."

Why did I say that? Because I immediate remembered emails from Club for Growth bagman/slimeball RJ Johnson bragging about his group’s work in making sure Republican retained enough seats in the recall elections to continue to hold their majority in the Legislature, and I couldn’t buy that Fitz wasn’t aware of that. And to their credit, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporters Patrick Marley and Jason Stein performed a rare act of journalism and came up with the actual John Doe emails to call bullshit on Fitzgerald’s statements.

The J-S writers referred to a part of the John Doe docs which showed that Fitzgerald wanted Walker to attend a March 2011 meeting of the Republican State Leadership Committee, so Scotty could ask for money to help the WisGOP Senators facing recall. Johnson said he had a better plan for how to offer “assistance.”
"Fitz is putting the hard press on this," Gilkes wrote to Johnson. "We have not done a lot to help Fitz so far so this is his big ask at the moment and I have a hard time saying no."

Gilkes ran Walker's 2010 and 2012 campaigns and at the time of the email was the governor's chief of staff. Johnson was a key adviser to both the governor's campaign and the Wisconsin Club for Growth.

Johnson responded to Gilkes by saying political spending needed to be centrally controlled, rather than overseen by groups like the Republican State Leadership Committee.

"As far as Fitzgerald, I would tell him the Governor will be raising 5 million plus under Wisconsin control," Johnson told Gilkes.

In a follow-up email, Johnson wrote to Gilkes, "Also, to remind you and Fitz, all the positive radio and TV was from Scott (Walker) through the club. Also the negative against the three (Democrats). He needs to know that."
Now do any of you think Fitz DIDN’T end up knowing that, after the millions of dollars that Club for Growth and other RW oligarchs dumped in the Summer of 2011 to allow the GOPs to hang onto their Senate majority through the recalls? Give me a fucking break. Hell, Fitz himself was recalled in 2012 and had to fend off a challenge from Lori Compas, and you think he didn’t ask for a few bits of help from Club for Growth and the rest of the GOP groups helping Walker and other GOPs that year?

After Fitz and Walker were retained in the 2012 recalls, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and other GOP front groups dumped large amounts of dark money to regain a GOP majority in the Senate in November 2012. This enabled Fitz to get back to work helping his friends. Marley and Stein’s JS article provides a link to a 2013 document that was discovered as part of a lawsuit against NL Industries and other lead paint makers. That document was sent to Fitzgerald from NL Industries lobbyist Eric Petersen with the words “NL Language” on them, with recommendations on how the language should be phrased to give the paint-makers retroactive immunity from lawsuits. That language was later part of a late-night “999” motion jammed into the budget by the WisGOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee in June 2013 with no prior publication or discussion, a law that was found to be unconstitutional by an Appeals Court the following year.

Then again, it’s not like Fitz is very good at this lying and deception thing, as was proven during the height of 2011’s Wisconsin Uprising, when he gave away the fact that Act 10 wasn’t about stabilizing the budget, but instead was a political move to hurt unions and Democrats.

And the Senate GOP caucus thinks this crooked, partisan a-hole is worthy of leading their group? That alone should be considered a disqualifying measure for any GOP running for State Senate this Fall. Next to giving Fitz an orange jumpsuit for his part in this pay-to-play corruption and money laundering, making him and his fellow GOPs fall out of power this November needs to be the goal for those of us that have a shred of decency in this state.

1 comment:

  1. Over 2000 pageviews in 2 days for this one! Not sure who picked it up and sent it forward, but thank you for doing so.

    We gotta keep the pressure on, especially as SCOTUS takes the case (which I think they will)