Thursday, October 12, 2006

Having it both ways on Menard's

So Mark Green is running radio and TV commercials blasting Gov. Jim Doyle for Menard's decision to build a new facility and create jobs somewhere besides Wisconsin.

Doyle didn't do enough. It's his fault. Lack of leadership. Doesn't get it. Hates business. Yadda yadda yadda.

Seth Zlotocha correctly points out what would have happened if Doyle had personally intervened to help John Menard and his company. Read the shocking headlines.

Under the new unofficial rules, you pretty much can't help anyone. Maybe Mike McCabe of the Wis. Democracy Campaign or the Journal Sentinel's George Stanley should have asked Menard to stay in Wisconsin. We know neither one would have wanted Doyle to meet with Menard or pick up the phone.

UPDATE: Brew City Brawler suggests Menard's simply made a business decision that had little or nothing to do with the DNR. Even Paddy Mac concedes that could be the case.


At 10:58 PM, Blogger XOut said...

Helping businesses stay in Wisconsin is not an ethical issue. Doyle could have teamed up with the Republicans in the legislature to work through this. Doyle could have even simply circulated a letter among legislators asking the DNR to act. Doyle could have been more careful about his DNR appointments – trying to find members that would not be anti-development would have been a great place to start.

Last but not least, Doyle could have done any number of these things while keeping his campaign staff and fundraisers far, far away from the people involved.

No ethical questions arise if campaign checks are not part of the success formula.

Your blog title for this entry says it all. “Having it both ways…”

Doyle’s problem is that he always wants it both ways. He wants to benefit donors and he wants the cash. No cash, no Doyle, no deal, no distribution center. Thus concludes four-years of Doyle.

At 11:02 PM, Blogger Xoff said...

As usual, you miss the point. Menard is a long-time Doyle donor, despite the fact that when he was the AG Doyle took him to court any number of times and even got a $1.7-million forfeiture in one environmental case.

Menard is the best evidence that money doesn't buy any special treatment from Doyle.

At 1:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As fun as it is to pretend that Doyle's influence and decisions are all that matters here, there are actually local components to the Menards situation.
It's easy to miss a great many aspects from a distance (have I said this before?)
Menard has struggled with local politicians for many years, he is a rather demanding and self-absorbed individual. Putting up stinks about zoning and whatever else. Local officials have tried to be reasonable but are not quite able to turn this into Menardville as it seems he would like. Now he is going to "create" LOW PAYING and EXPLOITATIVE jobs elsewhere. Menard jobs are known for being crappy.
Wherever Menard is going, the locals better get out the K-Y and paste a smile on their faces.
Perhpas rather than sniping over which politicians to blame this on, you could realize that the Issue of John Menard is actually all about John Menard. John Menard does not stand as an icon of "businesses", his individual issues need not be extrapolated as such. Spinning his business decisions as pro- or anti-Doyle issues is actually the point at which the point is missed.

At 9:24 AM, Blogger XOut said...

No Christoff, I do understand your point. I think you missed mine.

Had Doyle taken any of the actions that I laid out, very public, very open paths of cooperation, there would have been no accusations of pay-for-play.

The big problem for John Menard is that he is environmental persona non grata – had Doyle done anything to help him, his leftist environmental base would have been furious.

Menard’s donations were not quite enough to overcome that. It would appear from the ongoing investigations that the price of entry is at least $25,000.

Besides, John isn’t the ‘loyal’ donor you would paint him as – he gave money to Tommy & even McCallum. That’s not exactly the kind of donor that you go to bat for when the environmental zealots would prefer to hang Menard on his own petard for being a record-setter for his environmental settlement.

Menard simply wasn’t worth the effort for Doyle.


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