Friday, September 22, 2006

What's wrong with Doyle

Jay Bullock (as Xoff before him) thinks Jim Doyle is getting a bum deal from the local press. Didn't Tommy Thompson give contributors a break? Doyle attorney Mike Maistelman's (perhaps) legal orchestration of the Election Board's ex post facto rule forbidding Green's transfer of legally raised federal funds to his state account was on the front page, Jay complains, while a report that some people contributed to Green's congressional account and to his federal account and that the combined amounts exceeded state contribution limits was less prominently featured. The latter, Jay says, is illegal.

As a preliminary matter, its only "illegal" if you buy into the charade that was the SEB's decision. If a GOP-controlled SEB had permitted a GOP candidate to transfer federal funds and then, in the very next gubernatorial cycle, voted that a Democrat candidate could not - the day after the Democrat candidate had, in reliance on the then-existing rule, done so - Jay and Xoff would be apoplectic. If the GOP candidate then ran ads painting the Democrat as some kind of wanton criminal, they'd start foaming at the mouth. If they then found out that the GOP candidate's lawyer had secret communications with members of the Board instructing them on "what we want to accomplish," they would succumb to the curse of lycanthropy.

This is true even if you think that recent changes in federal law change the earlier result or if you believe that the state election board was wrong when they let Barrett transfer his federal funds. The worst you can say about Green is that he did what appeared to be legal (informing the SEB as he did it) and that the SEB decided that the law had changed or had been interpreted incorrectly. To say, as Doyle does, that this means Green was "caught" deliberately breaking the law is just shameful. It is the type of crass behavior that Jim Doyle (on his own and not because of bad press) has come to be known for.

And that's just a symptom of the Doyle problem. All politicians are a bit nicer to their contributors and are driven by their key constituencies, but Doyle is gracelessly blatant about it. All political campaigns play fast and loose with the truth, but the Doylies' addiction to dishonesty in the service of victory reminds one of Tommy Flanagan, Jon Lovitz' old character on SNL. "Why, I ... I didn't know we had hired a lawyer to screw my opponent out of a cool half mill. Yeah, that's the ticket. I never even heard of Mark Green."

After all of this, Doyle has developed the persona of a ruthless pol who is all about himself. He appears to have no vision for the future of the state other than that Jim Doyle should be its governor and there is little that he won't do or say to make that happen. If you speak privately to committed liberals, many will say that he's a sleaze and they can't stand him, but they are more opposed to Mark Green's policies than they are disgusted with their governor. For them, Doyle is a rearguard action. He keeps the conservatives at bay.

Can you win a statewide election that way?

3 comments:

elliot said...

"Can you win a statewide election that way?"

My overwhelming fear is that the answer is "yes."

Doyle is a scumbag. He is also a ruthless politician in the mold of Dick Nixon. He'll do whatever it takes to keep his job. I fear his opponents do not understand this and will be defeated as they keep mumbling, "but that's not fair."

Dad29 said...

he's a sleaze and they can't stand him

That's the REAL reason that the JS is running the Doylie tricks on the front page.

They may dislike Green's agenda; but they just plain dislike Doyle.

Anonymous said...

I think that the Republican sob sisters (you included) lose some credibility when your death-bed conversions to clean government are so transparent.

Tommy Thompson changed the political dynamic in Madison by introducing the Hoover vacuum cleaner to fundraising. Doyle quickly figured out that the only way to win reelection was to follow the Thompson model. The Harvard-trained lawyer learned from the master.

What was once perfectly acceptable now becomes abhorent. Not so abhorent, mind you, that Republican legislators could support SB 1, of course.

Oh, Ye hypocrites.