December 9, 2006
Season of hope
The Cap Times reports that governor Doyle is interested in campaign and ethics reform. How refreshing! Our political system is broken, corruption is the order of the day, the public has connected the dots linking contributions to state contracts, issue groups are unregulated and they, not the candidates, frame the campaigns.
No, the governor is not pushing the only reform that will drain the swamp, the Clean Elections bill sponsored by Mark Pocan and Fred Risser, he wants ethics reform. Sort of an Emily Post guideline to ethical corruption. "Honest Graft" as Brooks Jackson called it or, as I label it, "ethical bribery."
Apparently the Pocan-Risser bill would make us too clean. What would lobbyists do? Hey! Lobbyists have feelings. If they can'tpurchase tax emptions, they would have to work at the legislative game. You know, convincing legislators instead of filling their campaign coffers. They have families to feed. Be kind!
But this is the season of hope so let us hope Governor Doyle will saddle up and lead the reform parade. Merging the Ethics and the Elections boards is sprinkling perfume on a hog. It might smell a little better but it is still a hog.
Someone should give the governor Bob La Follette's autobiography. The Doyle legacy could be a return to democracy in the La Follette tradition. Let's hope.
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