Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Wisconsin's Republican Assembly For Sale

The below courtesy of the Wisconsin Democratic Party.

Assembly Speaker John Gard once again put pay topolitics back on the front burner this week when he publicly announced that groups that supported Democratic candidates financially will not be welcome in Republican offices.
The statement sent a clear signal to the Capitol community that the support of the GOP majority is up for sale.

"John Gard has said this week that those who pay the rightcandidates get what they want in Wisconsin. He couldn't have made it clearer if he put a for sale sign on the door of the Assembly chamber," said Kim Warkentin, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Gard sent two very clear signals of how he intends to run State Assembly this week. First, he told reporters that he would instruct members of his caucus not to allow individuals who supported Democratic candidates into his office. Secondly, he appointed the criminally indicted, former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen to the state's budget writing committee. As a member of the powerful Joint Finance Committee, Jensen will be in position to reward groups that funded Republican campaigns on behalf of himself and Gard.

Gard, also told reporters that groups that support Democratic candidates are "terrorist organizations" but said nothing about Republican special interest groups that spent millions attacking Democratic candidates in the 2004 election. Many of these GOP groups not mentioned, including Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and an out-of-state group called All Children Matter, have strong ties to both Gard and Jensen.

"John Gard and Scott Jensen didn't learn one thing from the caucus scandal and three years later the Assembly Republican Caucus is back to business as usual," said Warkentin. "No one is buying John Gard's ridiculous attempt to portray himself as a reformer. The sad fact is nothing has changed in the GOP controlled legislature and these strong armed pay to play tactics are all the confirmation we need."

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