Got any plans for Monday? If it ever warms up around here, how about a nice round of golf at a nice course: Wild Rock, up in the Dells. You can get a pretty good deal on 18 holes if you’re staying at the Wilderness Hotel. About 60 bucks, give or take.
But Monday, you’ll have to cough up a grand to hook or slice your way around the course, which has been named one of the best public courses in the nation by no less an authority than Golf Magazine.
Why the big price-tag Monday? Because that’s the day the Democrats have taken over the course, and Janesville’s own Mike Sheridan is leading the festivities. Just like baldy did at U-Ridge a few days ago, and like Republican Scott Fitzgerald did in Cambridge a few days ago.
But, you say, didn’t the politicians agree that they wouldn’t be holding fund-raisers while they were debating the budget? Certainly it’s not appropriate for the fat-cat lobbyists to be teeing off with the politicos, bending their ears for 18 holes, while they’re debating what is and isn’t going to be in the state budget.
Well, you see, this doesn’t violate the ethics rule, say the Dems, because the thousand-bucks-a-head fundraiser isn’t for any INDIVIDUAL candidate. It’s for the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee, wink-wink, nudge-nudge.
That explains everything.
Years ago, when George Hesselberg wrote a column for the State Journal, every once in a while he’d compose a column called “HDDTTWA”. The acronym stood for “How Dumb Do They Think We Are”. He’d go on to excoriate some politician caught speaking out of both sides of his mouth, or saying something unusually stupid.
Do these golf outings like the one Monday violate the letter of the law? Maybe not. The cynical among us would say they knew damn well they were writing a loophole into the law. Does outings like this violate the spirit of the law? Of course.
The whole purpose of the reform was to prevent politicians from holding fund-raisers, attended by rich people and lobbyists, during the period of time when they’re debating the state budget. The fact that their excuse is “it’s not for ONE politician, it’s for all of us” would be insulting, if we really cared about the crooks who’ve taken over the building in the center of the square downtown.