Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Judi! Judi! Judi!

As the gentle reader is surely aware, State Senator Mike Ellis  has chosen not to run for reelection after all.  Of course, Ellis was prompted to come to this conclusion after he was caught on video generally making a fool of himself.

There is little doubt that someone had ordered the video to be taken of Ellis to take him out of politics, although the who and why behind the move is up for speculation. Some have said it was Scott Jensen because Ellis was against the expansion of school privatization.  Some have thought the order came from Reince Priebus, who is the head of the national GOP but is still very much involved in Wisconsin politics, because Ellis wasn't enough of a team player and to help take some attention off of Bill Kramer's sexual assault charges and how the entire WISGOP knew about it but elected him as a party leader anyway.

Regardless of who ordered the attack on Ellis or why they did so, the one thing for sure is that they got way more than they bargained for.

One of the many cringe-worthy moments from the video included this line from Ellis:
“I am putting together my own super PAC,” Ellis says in the video. “I don’t want to attack (Bernard Schaber), I want Judi (Rhodes Engels), somebody else to attack.” Rhodes Engels is a fundraiser for Senate Republicans.
Not only did Ellis talk about doing something illegal, which is the essence of the Sons of Doe investigation, but he dared to name one the Republicans' most valued operatives, Judith Rhodes Engels.

Now, if that name sounds familiar to you, there is a good reason for it.

Rhodes Engels was tied up in the original caucus scandal (scroll down to page 16) from a dozen years ago.  It was during the scandal that Rhodes Engels shown herself to be worth much more than the $6,300 in legal defense.  During the caucus scandal hearings, Rhodes Engels showed that she not only knew her job, but knew to keep her mouth shut.

Thus it's no surprise that Rhodes Engels worked her way up through the ranks and became rather conspicuous even as she tried to keep a low profile.  Over the last couple of years, we've learned that Rhodes Engels is a valuable asset to the Republican Party.  Among her accomplishments:
In fact, Rhodes Engels got so big in the party that she had to form her own consulting agency - Cross Rhodes - so that she could do all the various and sordid activities that WISGOP and Party members would have her do.  Just a scratch at the surface of her agency shows that's already very lucrative - and that does not count all the dark money that is flowing through there.

The fact that Ellis mentioned her in connection to creating a Super PAC to take out his opponent is very damaging to Rhodes Engels and to the Republican Party as a whole.  So much so that Rhodes Engels, who does her best work behind closed doors and behind the scenes, had to come out into the daylight and speak to the media:
Rhodes said in a statement that “I have never set up any ‘Super PAC’ nor have I had any intention of doing so nor have I ever had any conversation with Senator Ellis about it.

“I will not work for any committee that would imply that I would improperly do so. I have terminated my contract with the Ellis to Madison Committee.”

She resigned Wednesday.
The problem with her denial is that it was scripted and premeditated, whereas Ellis comments were natural and spontaneous. Ellis did not spitball things nor did he stutter..  Ellis' commentary was all natural which would make one inclined to believe what he was saying about Rhodes Engels was not only true but was also common knowledge.

In their zeal to take out Ellis, whoever was behind ordering the video to be taken and released might have blown up their own party by handing themselves over to John Doe and his Sons.

Which goes to show that even the most cantankerous, angry, misogynistic Teapublican can still do good - even if it's by accident.


  1. I'm really interested to see if Ellis keeps his mouth going, and starts spilling the beans or not. I cannot believe that he, with his temper, would just quietly walk away. And we know money won't shut him up since he's married to money, it won't buy his silence.

    1. If he is married to money, it obviously is buying more than silence.

  2. Pop some popcorn, this might be worth watching after all!

  3. Alcohol...... The best known truth serum money can buy. Mike was speaking the truth. The GOP and the ass-hats in Madison didn't like you or I to hear it. We need to get the ass-hats out before any more damage is done to this great STATE!!!

  4. Capper is right that the John Doe investigation has been examining the kinds of illegal activities that Ellis spoke about. Rhodes Engels was heading fundraising for the Ellis To Madison Committee. Only after being caught on camera with these ideas revealed publicly, does Judi deny any wrongdoing. She, of course, would never even think of associating with any illegal, behind-the-scenes activity! Her terse, prepared statement shows that she doesn't like answering to the general public. Let's find out who was speaking truthfully, for all the public to see.

  5. Capper, great work.

  6. This is a great campaign issue for Mary Burke to hammer Walker on.

    What has the Burke campaign said about how Wisconsin Republicans engage in illegal campaign tactics using Super PACs to smear their opponents?

  7. Thank you Capper.

    -The People

  8. I wouldn't be surprised if Rhodes Engel's name appears in the final indictments in John Doe II.