The Northwestern Gets it all Wrong (An Open Letter)

Dearest Oshkosh Northwestern,

Look, I understand you are just trying to appear fair and balanced - but you messed it all up again. I'm sure you are all bright enough to really get it, so let's look at what today's editorial should have said.

In this, you made the point that Mark Green's illegal money transfer is the same thing as a Doyle donor being indicted for diverting contributions to the campaign. You surmise that both are corrupt.

Seriously, Democrats, Republicans both: Each of your top party people have been in or are in hot water.

This is not true. Let's look at the facts of these cases.

Mark Green, HIMSELF, decided to illegally transfer federal money into a state account. When he was told that it was against the law, he PERSONALLY flaunted the law and took the matter to the State Elections Board. They declared that he was, in fact in violation of the law. Mark Green agreed that he had in fact violated the regulation PERSONALLY (or why would he have agreed to the sanction).

Meanwhile - a contributor to Gov. Doyle, without the campaign's knowledge, launched an alleged scheme to give money to the campaign by paying his relatives. It is the contributor - a private individual - not a member of the campaign that may have violated the law. Neither Doyle nor any of his campaign staff were implicated (many stories mentioned that the Doyle campaign was cooperating in the investigation). It is not illegal for Doyle to accept donations. None of the donations were over a legal limit per person. All alleged illegal activity occurred before any money entered the Doyle campaign and they had any control over the situation.

The difference is stark and clear. In the Mark Green case, he PERSONALLY made the decision to break the law and flaunt it with lawsuits. Gov. Doyle has done nothing illegal, and is assisting in the prosecution of a contributor.

Dearest Northwestern, I would hope that you would clarify this point in a future issue.

I will be holding my breath.



P.S. You also insinuate that there has been pay-to-play casino deal with the Troha contributions to Doyle. This is also untrue. There is no casino deal in Kenosha, and many feel the deal is as good as dead. If you check your own reporting, you will see that the only politician that has gone pay-to-play with Troha is Republican Paul Ryan:

The latest investigation into Troha involves a deal he signed in 2005 with JHT Holdings, the conglomerate he used to own. Under the deal, his consulting firm was to receive money each year until June 2010 if federal lawmakers passed a measure easing truck hauling regulations.
Officials for Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, and Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., confirmed the lawmakers offered the amendment. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., signed a letter to Young and Oberstar and one to the Federal Highway Administration supporting the amendment.
Troha and his family and friends have given $58,802 to Ryan since he first ran for Congress in 1998, records showed.

To recap - as of the publishing of this editorial:

1. Mark Green has admitted (by agreeing to the settlement) that he attempted to violate Federal Campaign Finance law.

2. Paul Ryan accepted money from Troha and helped pass a law that resulted in an immediate profit for Troha. Ryan felt so guilty about it, he donated the money (therefore also admitting guilt).

3. Gov. Doyle has been accused of no wrongdoing, his campaign has aided in the investigation and Troha has seen no benefit from the contributions to the campaign.

Yet, Democrats and Republican are equally guilty?

My breath is still being held.


Anonymous said...

What about Doyle's teamster buddy Frank Busalacchi? What a coincidence! During open records requests, it was discovered that his calendar entries from 2003-2004 had 'mistakenly' been erased.


So, nevermind the deletion, is there not a single archived tape backup of the email system as it was in 2003 or 2004? Sounds like they need to start canning some of the 'dedicated' and 'talented' IT staff they have working there.

But that must be a problem state-wide, right?

A spot check of other state agencies by the Journal Sentinel found no other problems. Calendars for top officials going back to 2003 are available for the Department of Revenue, the Department of Health and Family Services and the Department of Workforce Development, the agencies said.

Don't you work on computers, Jeff? Do you really think what happened, happened?

Anonymous said...

And they found they found it...

Busalacchi's calendar found on Palm Pilot

Madison - A day after officials said two years of calendar entries for Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi were forever lost, an IT worker found a copy of the calendar on a server that had not been checked, an aide to Busalacchi said today.

Busalacchi aide Chris Klein said computer workers met today to explain how the calendar was accidentally erased from a computer server more than seven months ago and why it could not be recovered. The calendar was found later in the day after a staff member suggested checking whether it could be retrieved from a different server that backs up Busalacchi's Palm Pilot.

"No one ever thought of that before," Klein said.

The calendar for 2003 and 2004 will be released later today, Klein said.

The Journal Sentinel reported today that the Department of Transportation said the calendar entries could not be produced in response to a public records request from the newspaper. The agency discovered the problem in August 2006, when the state Republican Party asked for Busalacchi's calendar. IT workers determined then that there was no way to recover it.

Exactly when the calendar was deleted remains unclear. Klein said Tuesday that an IT worker intended to back up the calendars for Busalacchi and Deputy Transportation Secretary Ruben Anthony Jr. but instead inadvertently erased them.

Busalacchi has said he never talked to now-indicted Kenosha businessman Dennis Troha about tax troubles faced by companies Troha owned at the time. Busalacchi was to meet with Troha on the issue in April 2004, but Busalacchi said Troha - a major contributor to Gov. Jim Doyle - did not show up for the meeting.

The Journal Sentinel asked for Busalacchi's schedule to see how involved he was in the tax cases affecting Troha's firms.