It is with regret that I find myself writing this dissertation after the ambush by Representative Barca on myself at the start of the Assembly floor session on July 9, 2015. The information included in this document was shared with the offices of Barca and Speaker Vos this past Monday, July 13, 2015, with a request that they acknowledge their improper interpretation of the “log rolling statute”, which would allow this issue to be permanently put to rest. Unfortunately, neither Barca nor Vos saw fit to respond to my request, thus I have taken it upon myself to attempt to clear my name.
Barca was especially nasty on the floor that day, calling me “reckless”, “ridiculous”, “guilty of a rookie mistake”, as well as other derogatory terms. Barca threatened to submit a “resolution to form an ethics committee and possible censure”. This is a very serious threat, and must be responded to.
This was all as a result of my public statement that ‘I will not vote in favor of any budget that does not have real prevailing wage reform, including the removal of all local entities from the provisions of this law’. I made this statement after being told by no less than three members of the Republican Assembly leadership team that making this statement constitutes a felony, and a felony which provides for a penalty of jail. I felt then, and this has been confirmed again now, that this is not true, and that the law actually encourages debate such as I participated in.
Rep. Barca also spoke of Senator Gary Hart and his boat, Monkey Business, as well as Hart’s secret lover, Donna Rice. The inference from Barca is clear: quit causing problems by standing up for the taxpayers so vigorously or we’ll come after you with the Wisconsin version of the paparazzi. I’m sorry Rep. Barca, but your private investigator would be quickly bored to death following me around. My boat doesn’t have a name, but if I was to name it, I would call it something like “Over-Taxed”. As for women on my boat, this week I’m taking six senior citizens from the local retirement home on a cruise and out to lunch. Shoot your cameras away; these fine ladies will get a hoot out of your attention.
As for other bad habits, I quit drinking so long ago I don’t quickly recall the exact date I threw the bottle away and took a vow of sobriety, and can’t think of anything else in my life that is even interesting to me. As for any felony violations related to my outspoken criticism of the prevailing wage statute, I think the attached opinion from Ozaukee County District Attorney, Adam Gerol, is as clear as glass; there is not even a hint of impropriety in what I said about prevailing wage reform being a part of the budget, or a prevailing wage reform vote outside of the budget. I could request another opinion from the Washington County District Attorney, but that seems like a true waste of law enforcement resources when we have an expert opinion that speaks with such finality.
I felt that when local community prevailing wage repeal was passed in the budget, that some reconciliation in the Assembly would begin to occur. Obviously this is not the case, as the attacks continue. I’ve also noticed that after I vocally took the side of the taxpayers versus special interests in the Capitol, that this is when the dirty tricks seriously commenced. My friends, I will not be deterred, and I promise to remain steadfast in my fight on behalf of the overtaxed citizens of this fine state, to find as much reform as is needed to get our state out of the rankings of the highest taxed in the nation.
After being harangued by Rep. Barca, Speaker Vos rose to speak. He stated “The very best thing you can do when you make a mistake is…apologize”. He also said “Once in a while you say something stupid, and that’s okay. Sometimes it’s okay for someone to stand up and say I was stupid”.
Rep. Barca and Speaker Vos, this humble Representative doesn’t want to publicly call you “stupid”. I’m just asking for the damage to my reputation to be repaired, and an apology from both of you that you were wrong with your interpretation of my statements would be a good starting point.
The accusations of illegal activity were ridiculous from the moment they were uttered. Politicians have been saying stuff like this forever. But what this really reveals is the coercive behavior that goes on behind closed doors in the legislature. It’s just that the public rarely gets to see it. It also reveals the extent to which Speaker Vos fought against repealing the prevailing wage laws. He was dragged kicking and screaming into the compromise they agreed upon despite his public statements claiming support for repeal.