Madison
53° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

Wineke: Now the right wing devours its own

By William R. Wineke, Special to Channel 3000
Published On: Apr 15 2014 06:10:01 PM CDT

I guess it is a mark of the Republican triumph in Wisconsin politics that the right wing is now turning its sights on its own.

U.S. congressman Tom Petri won’t run for re-election. State Sen. Mike Ellis won’t run for re-election. State Sen. Dale Schultz won’t run for re-election.

There are a fair number of Democrats calling it quits, too. The difference is the Republicans made their announcements after being targeted by their fellow Republicans.

My real problem is what happened to Ellis. He was the victim of a sting operation in a Madison bar. Project Veritas, a sleazy operation best known for the way its founder, James O’Keefe, brought down a voter registration organization by using hidden video cameras and then selectively editing the tape. Project Veritas took a camera into the Inn on the Park and recorded Ellis bragging about setting up an illegal campaign committee.

As far as I know, Ellis never did set up such a committee. And I spent a good amount of my working life sitting at an Inn on the Park bar. One hears lots of things at the Inn on the Park that never turn out to be true.

The thing is, why would a national right-wing organization set its sights on a fairly insignificant Wisconsin state senator?

What the hell is going on in this state?

It was bad enough when the Republicans won total control of state government and then used that power to systematically destroy public employee unions, undermine public schools and erode the voting rights of people who most often vote, Democrats.

And it was bad enough that the right-wing element of that party then proceeded to knee cap “moderate” Republicans.

But Ellis? In what alternate reality would anyone ever call Ellis a moderate?

To be sure, Ellis has raised questions about the efficacy of replacing Wisconsin’s public schools with vouchers and he hasn’t been a big fan of taking away people’s ability to vote. I guess when you’ve been re-elected as often as he has, you think voters might have some ability to make good choices.

His problem isn’t that he is a moderate. His problem is that he refuses to be coerced into lockstep with the billionaire worshipers of what used to be his party.

Here’s the real problem: a democracy operates best when people with different ideas wheel and deal and get things done that benefit their constituencies. To do that, you have to be able to have a couple of drinks after work without having someone training a hidden camera on you.

What’s going to happen eventually is that the people now running Wisconsin will be exposed for the incompetent frauds that they are, and we will throw them out of office and bring Democrats back in.

My fear is that, when we do, there will be no competent Republicans left in office to temper the Democrats’ own whackadoodles.

Advertisement
  • House, windows

    iStock image

    Salary needed to own a house in 27 cities

    Mortgage resource site HSH.com has calculated how much you would need to earn in a year to be able to afford a home in 27 cities around the U.S. See where your city ranks.

  • Ray Rice

    CNN

    NFL players in trouble with the law

    The recent assault case involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has the nation talking not only about domestic violence, but also NFL players who have had brushes with the law. Take a look at a list of some of the more prominent NFL athletes who have had legal run-ins.

  • Rob Ford, Toronto Mayor blurb

    REUTERS/Mark Blinch

    What did he say?! Rob Ford's craziest quotes

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is withdrawing from a re-election bid in the upcoming mayoral race, according to CNN news partner CBC. The controversial mayor was hospitalized this week after the discovery of an abdominal tumor. Take a look at some of this controversial politician's most shocking quotes.

Advertisement