The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Sunday, March 12, 2006

GOP convict du jour

The Mysterious Cipher sent this story my way-- and it highlights the complete corruption of the Republican party from the White House on down. Aside from Jack Abramoff's ties with Bush, DeLay, Gingrich and many others, there's the Randy Cunningham conviction for his 'bribe menu,' Katherine Harris' fund-raising problems in Florida, and the Coingate debacle in Ohio. (And these are only the money-related crimes) Now some players in Wisconsin's GOP are going down for more of the same.

The conviction of former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen - once one of the most powerful politicians in Wisconsin - shows "no one is above the law," Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard said Saturday.

Blanchard spoke minutes after a Dane County Circuit Court jury convicted Jensen of three felony misconduct charges and a misdemeanor ethics charge for secretly turning staff, offices and equipment at the Legislature into a massive campaign machine.

Jensen, 45, a Republican state representative from Waukesha, will lose his seat after 14 years in office when he's sentenced in late April or early May.

Jensen's co-defendant, Sherry Schultz, 53, also was convicted of felony misconduct for misusing, at Jensen's direction, her $65,000-a-year position as a legislative staffer to raise and track money for Republican Assembly candidates. The two showed little emotion as the verdicts were read just before noon Saturday.

The "culture of corruption" meme didn't really catch on, the fuss over lobbying reform is dying a slow death (thanks to the GOP and some Democrats) and the press largely covers these stories as isolated incidents. It's genuinely baffling that in the face of such massive and systemic corruption we aren't seeing more of a unified public outcry.

However, with approval ratings for Republican politicians creeping ever closer to the 29% of Americans who will support them no matter what maybe there's hope for a genuine election wave that will favor Dems.