First of all, Scott Jensen HATES being called Scooter. I’m sure he thinks such an appellation is dismissive of a man who has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard, who once served as Tommy Thompson’s right-hand man, and who ran the Republican Caucus.
That is, until he got caught being a crook.
Scooter was criminally charged seven years ago, he was convicted on three felony counts and sentenced to 15 months in prison three years ago, and has since spent enough money to bail out a small automotive manufacturer to hire a phalanx of lawyers to delay, delay, delay.
And he has succeeded in staying out of jail.
Late last week the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s Big Money Blog put up a clock showing how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds it’s been since Scooter was criminally charged with Misconduct In Public Office. As of today, Tuesday, the clock is about to tick over to 2,538 days.
Three months ago, I opined it was well past time to put Scooter into the clink. The others charged with him in the caucus corruption scandal - Chuck Chvala, Brian Burke, Steve Foti, and Bonnie Ladwig, have all long since done their deals with the criminal justice system and have paid their debt to society.
If it’s been so long that you don’t remember, Scooter and his pals who ran things up under the big dome got caught using state-paid employees to do their political bidding, thumbing their nose at the law and the taxpayers. Under Scooter’s watch, our state government became one of the most corrupt, pay-to-play operations in the nation.
Their public defense was a disgusting combination of “we didn’t know it was against the law”, “nobody got rich doing it”, and “that’s the way the system has always worked”.
Anybody smart enough to be reading this knows exactly how to game the justice system. All it takes is a lot of money. Just hire enough expensive lawyers and delay, deny, depose, discover, and ultimately defeat the system.
If you’re a big-time politician and not independently wealthy, just use the huge storehouse of campaign cash or contributed money you’ve set aside. No problemo.
In Scooter’s case, he’s been able to string this thing out so long that when and if a conclusion of some sort is ever reached, it will likely result in a drastically reduced penalty. Nobody but a few watchdogs really cares any more.
Seven years after the fact, we’re more concerned about Obama Death Panels and who’ll win this season’s Dancing With The Stars.