Thursday, August 25, 2005

GOP: Grand Old Patronage?

Yesterday I received a column in the e-mail. The column comes from Kerry Thomas a resident of Vilas County and the Vilas County Republican Party Webmaster.

Kerry sees the Wisconsin GOP taking sides in a nomination struggle despite its rules not to.

In another instance, on a crucial veto override vote of the Photo ID Bill earlier this year, Speaker Gard scheduled a vote, which had no chance of passage at that time, timed so that Terri McCormick, his probable opponent in the congressional campaign, would miss the opportunity to cast her vote for the override. She was en route to the Capitol, sick with the flu, having a colleague drive her, and missed the vote by less than an hour. If this was such a crucial vote, shouldn't the Speaker have waited until all his colleagues were available to cast their votes? Why was it necessary to rush that vote, so that McCormick would have no chance to cast her vote? Was there a calculation that this missed vote could be used against McCormick in the campaign?

It looks to me like John Gard has blatantly abused his public office, breached the public trust placed in him. It's a complete conflict of interest. It is the very sort of allegations that Gard's former colleagues Scott Jensen, Micki Foti and Sherry Schultz are going to court about this Fall.

If John Gard wants to run for Congress, he should step down as Assembly Speaker, so he can devote his energies to his campaign. Unless, maybe that's what he's doing as Speaker. If he is using the Speaker's office for political gain, not only should he step down, he should resign all together.
Source: Kerry Thomas - Does GOP Stand For Good Old Patronage?

This is something I have detected as well. The crew in Madison have anointed John Gard (though they will not go on record) and are discouraging activists from working with the opposition. One fellow I know who is a Republican and ran for state office says if it is a vote between John Gard and a Democrat he will not vote for either.

I remember during the nomination fight for senator we went through this same thing. In fact, one of the candidates got a resolution through reaffirming the neutrality of the party in the nomination process.

See the whole article here.