Friday, November 14, 2014

Republican Rep. Robin Vos' slip exposes pay to play game of political extortion at the Capitol.

There's no mistaking the jaw dropping admission the other day by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Upfront with Mike Gousha. Don't contribute to Democrats if you want to do business in the state. Illegal? Yes. But will Vos and his party escape justice if everyone in state is too intimidated to investigate? So far it looks like it. Here's Vos' threat:

WKOW's Greg Neumann picked on the story after that. Watch Vos' accomplice Rep. Jim Steineke confirm the alleged scheme by saying if you're pushing a business issue in this state, it must be as politically "non-controversial as it possibly can."

A controversy is blowing up over comments Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) made about the prospects of state funding for a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team. Vos indicated the political leanings of the Bucks new owners may cost them in their quest to get state funding. "Having one of the Bucks new owners go and greet Barack Obama on the tarmac during the middle of the Mary Burke campaign probably wasn't the wisest decision," Vos told Gousha. "Having us give hundreds of millions of dollars to big time donors who give to Democrats, but also who have billions of dollars of their own, that's a hard sell.

Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now said, "I thought it was just a really blatant and unmistakable message that Speaker Vos was sending to people in Wisconsin and that's, 'you play by my rules or you don't get to play.' The statutes are very clear and they say that no public official can promise either action or inaction specifically based on a person's campaign donations," said Ross, who has asked both the Milwaukee County and Racine County District Attorneys to investigate the matter. The Milwaukee County DA has already declined.
What if the Racine County DA declines? With the Republicans extraordinary control over the state, not to mention the new rubber stamp AG Brad Schimel, is everyone too intimidated to enforce the law?

Even more insulting, Vos blamed liberals for just asking questions, and thinks political favoritism and extortion is just part of the process now. That didn't take long:
Speaker Vos issued a statement on Friday saying liberals are attempting to smear the process. 

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