The Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly, Mike Sheridan of Janesville, would do well to review the concept of “avoiding the appearance of impropriety: with great power comes great responsibility.”
He’s admitted to dating the lobbyist for the company that runs the Check ‘n Go payday loan stores, an industry (I use the term broadly) which has engendered legislation now pending, to curb its wretched excesses.
Like charging 500 percent interest on “loans”.
Sheridan, of course, sees no conflict of interest here. Nothing to see here…move along…nothing to see here.
An arrogant and insulting stance, from a man who claims he’s the victim of a “gotcha” campaign by his political enemies.
Sheridan thinks a 36-percent interest cap on these payday loan outfits goes too far.
This, from the Assembly Speaker of the only state in the union which does not regulate these bloodsuckers.
And the politicians wonder why we despise them.
His hometown paper, the Janesville Gazette, got wind of the story and asked Sheridan about it, and the man - who’s currently divorcing his wife, and that is COMPLETELY his personal business - admitted he’s dated Shanna Wycoff, a lobbyist for Axcess Financial.
The thing is, Mr. Speaker, you CAN’T date anyone you want to. That’s the “great responsibility” part of the “great power” equation. You are entitled to a personal and private life, but only a politician would fail to see the horrid conflict of interest that’s obvious to residents of the real world.
She quits her job - or you quit yours - and date away.
The Democrats howled when Republican Scooter Jensen (is he still not in jail?) was elected majority leader a few decades ago (well, it seems that long) and his wife was a lobbyist for the Wisconsin Credit Union League.
Know what Mrs. Scooter did? She quit her job.
But, in a state where we have the Gut-Check Woman (Justice Annette Ziegler) and the I-Hate-Defense-Lawyers Man (Justice Michael Gableman) on the highest court, such conflicts of interest are business as usual.
I return, as I often do, to the question George Hesselberg used to frequently ask when he wrote a column for the Wisconsin State Journal: HDDTTWA? How dumb DO they think we are?