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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Georgia on His Mind

Jim Doyle, the Democratic governor of Wisconsin has a problem with the lining of his pockets. It's dirty, or at least appears to be. The lining is in the form of $20,000 in donations he received for his reelection campaign from Adelman Travel, which was awarded a $750,000 state contract around the same time the donations were made.

Yesterday in Federal Court, Georgia Thompson was convicted on two counts related to the contract. Govern Doyle continues to contend that no one but Thompson knew about the fixing of the contract, but the more he says it the sillier it sounds.

A few months back the Governor and one of his top advisors, Mark Marotta, denied knowing anything about the contract. Yet during the trial of Thompson it was shown that Doyle and Marotta both met with Adelman to discuss the wording of a request for proposals (RFP). RFP's are how the government get's bidders for contracts.

The e-mail and calender trail shown during the trial continually points to both Doyle and Marotta being involved with Adelman before they put in their RFP, and that they probably used Adelman's advice to solicite the RFP's.

Yet yesterday, after the trial, Doyle had this to say:
"It is clear that Georgia Thompson acted on her own, and that no other state employee was involved," Doyle said in a statement.

Um, excuse me Jim, did you see any of the news coverage of the trial? It's not only not clear that she alone was involved, but considerably suspect that she was the only one involved.

Of course, Doyle is refusing to return the campaign contributions, because he still claims that there was no "pay for play". Even if it turns out that the meetings, contributions, and timing of the contract and those donations were totally coincidental, it would still seem that Doyle would be better off returning the money for the sake of appearances.

Instead, he'll keep up the "I didn't know anything" mantra, and keep the cash. It should be interesting to see what Mark Green, Doyle's republican challenger, and his campaign do with the conviction, and contributions as the campaign progresses. It's already clear from the tone of the state's Republican party that they intend to use this as campaign fodder.

In another bad twist for Doyle in this case, the sentencing hearing for Thompson is scheduled for September 22nd, when the campaign should be getting into full swing. My guess is the voters won't be allowed to forget about it from then until the election.

More coverage at Above the Belt and WisPolitics.

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