December 2, 2005
Asked and answered
By Bill Kraus
The question Ed Garvey asks is, “If Connecticut can do it, why can’t Wisconsin?”
The cynical answer is that the scandal in Connecticut ended up with the governor going to jail because of the corrupt political election process. In Wisconsin only legislators are on the slippery slope greased by the need for special interest campaign money.
But that’s an excuse not the reason.
There is a one word reason why reform came to Connecticut and isn’t coming to Wisconsin. The word is leadership.
Three people run the Wisconsin government: the governor, the state senate majority leader, and the speaker of the state assembly.
As, if, and when these three decide to de-corrupt our political campaign system, that will be done.
Reform cannot come from the bottom or from the outside. It can only be done from the top.
Instead of spending their political capital trying to change the cost of oil, which they can do little about, our leaders should be working to reduce the cost of getting elected (and the high price of not doing something about those costs) which they can do something about.
The role of the citizens in this play is that of a kind of Greek Chorus. We can keep asking the obvious question of the leaders and their followers: If you are not smart enough to realize that our democracy is in trouble, maybe you’re not smart enough to hold public office.
Let’s hope so.
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