Friday, February 15, 2013

Den of Thieves!

Matthew 21:12
(KJV) And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

We all know what happened when the republican party took control of Wisconsin in 2010.  They had a plan to gerrymander the state, to make sure they did not have to worry about running on the issues and facing the voters for the nest ten years.   While we had a pretty good idea what that meant to WI, the fact that the republican party then elected Robin Vos as their leader we knew for sure.   Ethics in Government was now a thing of the past

The first (and definitely NOT last) story comes from the very small, dark mind of Robin Vos.   Vos decided that he was sick of lobbyists just buying his loyalty with their clients money, so he decided to implement a pay to play system with the lobbyists themselves:  

For years, Madison pols have been asking lobbyists to hit up their clients and company execs for donations. But starting in June, Vos and the Assembly Republican leaders began calling in and contacting lobbyists one by one to say they were each on the hook for at least $500.
The result: Vos collected $36,000 in personally signed checks from scores of lobbyists in the final months before the November election, money that went into a fund and then was distributed to targeted Assembly races, according to recently filed campaign reports. The maximum donation to a state rep is $500.
Some Madison types contacted No Quarter to complain about what were dubbed "loyalty checks" - though the tactic is perfectly legal.
"Lobbyists were quite upset - most of them saw it as an obnoxious 'loyalty check' by the new leadership and an incredibly arrogant display of partisan power," said one Republican insider. "Who was going to say no to a personal request from the next speaker of the Assembly?"
The best part about Robin Vos is that because he is not the brightest light on the tree, and he knows that because of the gerrymandered districts it will be practically impossible to lose his majority, he is prone to occasional bouts of actual honesty!   He had one here(emphasis mine):

"Lobbyists are in Madison happily raising money from their clients or other individuals to give to legislators," Vos said Friday. "This might have been the first time that many of them were actually asked to give their own money to attend an event, as opposed to spending yours"

Finally someone admits that the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars that companies spent buying legislators, comes right out of the consumers pockets!   Of course Vos does not care or have a fix, he just wants to make sure that when it comes out of our pockets, it goes into his!    

Robin Vos found one way to get more money in his pockets and then once he smelled the money, he needed more.  In order to get more money, Vos decided to change the rules and allow fundraising during the budget process

Assembly members will be able to raise money while considering the state budget under a policy approved by paper ballot on Thursday — reversing a ban that had been in place since 2009.
The policy, approved by the Republican-controlled Committee on Assembly Organization on a 5-3 party-line vote, allows most Assembly lawmakers, their campaign committees and support committees to raise funds everywhere in Wisconsin except Dane County. Legislators whose districts include Dane County are exempt.
It is in force during the budget period, beginning the day the biennial budget bill is introduced and ending on the date the bill is presented to the governor. Gov. Scott Walker plans to unveil his 2013-15 spending plan on Wednesday. July 1 begins the new fiscal year.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, circulated the ballot and urged adoption of the policy change. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.
What could go wrong with this really? 

Mike McCabe, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, called the move a step in the wrong direction. He pointed to a policy banning all fundraising for Assembly members during the budget period, which was approved when Democrats were in control during the 2009-2010 session.
"We still believe there should be a law banning this," he said. "It definitely weakens the Assembly policy."
He and others other campaign finance reform advocates have long argued that lawmakers raising campaign cash during the budget process creates the appearance that special interests can buy budget provisions.
McCabe and Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause Wisconsin, both said that lawmakers should go beyond setting just policies and pass a law banning fundraising during the budget process.
"It's going in the wrong direction," Heck said. "We shouldn't have fundraising during the budget and I'm always at a loss to figure out why the Legislature thinks it's a good idea."
Once again the republicans prove that both parties are NOT the same since one party (democrats) enacted the ban and the other party (republicans) lifted the ban - thus turning on the  FOR SALE  sign.   

Look for records amount of fundraising by members of the Assembly and also keep an eye open for those who give the most "miraculously" benefitting tremendously from the new budget!


  1. Now that Michelle Litjens is divorced, will Robin Vos make her an honest woman? OK. Making her an honest woman is not possible.

    I wonder what devout Roman Catholic Litjens thinks of Vos' stance on birth control. "Saying I am against birth control is to say I am against water," proclaimed Vos, a role model for Wisconsin Republicans.

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  3. Jeff, great job. Thanks.