Empower Wisconsin | June 19, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — One of the most disgusting — and meanest — tricks from the book of rotten pranks is the old flaming bag of poo on the porch “joke.”
That’s where one scoops up dog droppings (the fresher the better, goes the rule), loads them into a paper bag, puts bag by the front door, lights bag on fire, rings doorbell, hides around the corner, and watches the, first anxious, then angry, homeowner stomp out the fecal fire.
It involves the kind of premeditation reserved for serial killers and bureaucrats.
It’s what former Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling metaphorically did to Wisconsin when she appointed left-wing partisan hack Scot Ross to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission.
Days before the La Crosse Democrat resigned her Senate seat and left to take a high-paid lobbying job with Dairyland Power Cooperative, Shilling saw fit to light the bag and run.
The bag of excrement in question exploded this week at his first Ethics Commission meeting.
As part of an extensive rant that was completely unrelated to his role as commissioner let alone the objective of the commission, Ross noted the race of three GOP leaders as if to suggest they had used their power to treat African Americans unfairly.
“Let us not forget, we are all here because three white men with power, (Senate Majority Leader) Scott Fitzgerald, (Assembly Speaker) Robin Vos and (Former Gov.) Scott Walker, disbanded the independent agency which preceded the body because they were angry that they were being held accountable for ignoring the campaign coordination prohibitions in this state.”
Let’s put aside Ross’ ridiculous rewrite of Wisconsin history for a moment. This “ethics” commissioner, in his first meeting has thoroughly tainted his ability to objectively enforce the campaign finance and lobbying laws of the state. As Empower Wisconsin President and former Republican lawmaker Adam Jarchow said this week, how could Republican candidates and officeholders ever expect a fair shake from such a blatantly biased commissioner?
“Scot Ross’ job is to enforce state ethics laws impartially, but his hate-filled rant against our Republican leaders has rendered him unable and unwilling to review the law and issue opinions impartially. Ross lacks the judgment and the temperament to serve on the ethics commission,” Jarchow said in an Empower Wisconsin statement calling on the new commissioner to either step down or be removed from the commission.
At the very least, Ross must recuse himself from complaints and cases involving Republican leadership. He has put the commission, particularly the Democratic-appointed members of the six-member panel, in a difficult position. The stink of bias will pervade the commission as long as this bad prank of a commissioner serves.
The Republican-led Legislature created the separate Ethics and Elections commissions with a reform law that disbanded the corrupt Government Accountability Board. The so-called “non-partisan” GAB was a highly partisan agency that partnered with Democrat Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm in the infamous John Doe investigations. These left-leaning agencies for years were weaponized against the Democratic Party’s political enemies. The agents targeted dozens of right-of-center organizations, illegally spied on them, and orchestrated predawn raids on the homes and offices of several conservatives. Wisconsin’s Supreme Court in 2015 declared the investigation unconstitutional and an incredible abuse of power against Wisconsin citizens.
Ross was one of John Doe’s biggest cheerleaders in his role as executive director of One Wisconsin Now, a radical left group built to attack Walker and the conservative-led Legislature. The hypocrite who saw campaign finance violations around every corner during the John Doe, was an integral part of the legislative caucuses of the early 2000s when legislative staff were illegally campaigning on state time. Ross admitted that he doubled dipped while on the public payroll.
Ross, who has garnered a notorious reputation for his f-bomb-laced, race-baiting tweets attacking Republicans, has instantly turned the Wisconsin “Ethics” Commission into a joke.
HIs appointment, as the Wisconsin State Journal Editorial Board opined, has “soiled” Shilling’s Senate career with “poor judgment.”
And now Wisconsin is left holding the bag.