Dairyland Hogwash

Wisconsin Republicans Get Paid Off In D.C.

Wisconsin state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, the consigliere for Gov. Scott Walker in the legislative fight to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public workers and to make it easier for the governor to transfer public property to campaign donors in no-bid deals, traveled to the nation's capital recently to collect tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Washington-based lobbyists for corporate interests.

Fitzgerald was the "star" of a lavish fundraising event at the offices of the BRG lobbying group. The "B" in BRG stands for Barbour, as in veteran GOP fixer Haley Barbour, who is now the governor of Mississippi and a potential 2012 Republican presidential contender.

Along with Fitzgerald, who this week made news when he attempted to bar Democratic senators from voting in Assembly committees (only to be forced to back off after the move stirred a public outcry), Republican Sens. Glenn Grothman and Alberta Darling attended the D.C. bash. Both Grothman and Darling -- who chairs the powerful legislative Joint Finance Committee and is thus the point person for Walker's budget plan -- are the targets of recall campaigns.

Also making the trip were Fitzgerald's brother, Jeff, who in the true Banana Republican tradition serves as Assembly speaker, and Robin Vos, one of Jeff Fitzgerald's lieutenants in the Assembly.

Absent from the gathering were the other 16 Republican state senators, including Senate President Mike Ellis, who took the lead in forcing majority leader Fitzgerald to back off his attempt to deny Democratic senators the vote.

Capitol aides say that Ellis and a number of other senior senators have grown increasingly ill at ease with Fitzgerald's erratic behavior and with his inability to recognize the damage that could be done to Republicans by flying into Washington to pick up corporate money in return for passing Walker's plan.

"There's just no way to spin this as a positive," said one aide, who suggested that Ellis would look "like a bagman." (Notably, Congressman Sean Duffy, a Republican from northern Wisconsin, contacted media outlets to emphasize that he had not been invited to the event and would not be attending.)

On the chance that anyone might miss the "bagman" point, more than 1,000 workers, students, retirees, union members and their supporters were expected to attend a mass protest Wednesday evening outside the BGR headquarters in Washington.

Among the groups sponsoring the event were: Public Campaign Action Fund, AFSCME, Public Citizen, USAction, Common Cause, People for the American Way,MoveOn.org, the Center for Media and Democracy, Code Pink, Center for Community Change and Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

Fitzgerald and his Republicans traveled to Washington "to collect their payoff from corporate lobbyists after the GOP lawmakers voted last week in the dark of night to strip teachers, nurses, snowplow drivers and others of their collective bargaining rights," explained AFL-CIO Washington, D.C., Metro Council president Jos Williams.

"These politicians might be willing to subvert our democratic process to move Wall Street's corporate agenda, but we're fighting to bring balance to our economy and protect middle-class families."

Progressive Populist

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sunny you flea bag,
I think you forgot to list the KGB as one of the sponsors of this event. I'm yust sayin'