Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Terrence Wall has avoided state income taxes

January 15, 2010

According to Wispolitics, U.S. Senate candidate Terrence Wall has not paid his state income taxes in four out of the last five years.

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Terrence Wall paid no personal state income taxes in four of the past five years, according to figures obtained from the state Department of Revenue.

From 2004 to 2008, Wall, a real estate developer who lives in the Madison enclave of Maple Bluff, only had a state personal income tax liability in 2005, when he paid $43,520, according to DOR records. That one-year amount was more than Wall’s GOP primary opponent David Westlake of Watertown and Dem U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold of Middleton each personally paid in total state personal income taxes over the five-year period.

It’s always hard to tell how important a story like this will turn out to be in a campaign, but I will say that this attack would be more effective than usual coming from Feingold, who has not only made a name for himself as a champion of ethics, but is the poorest member of the U.S. Senate.

Granted, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some explanation from Wall. He’s an incredibly rich dude –– there’s little reason for him to deliberately avoid income taxes, especially if he’s been politically ambitious for a while. I would also watch out for the fact that he apparently has paid them in one of the past five years, which indicates that the failure to pay in the other years was likely more of a mistake than a deliberate abuse of the system.

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Doyle-style irony

October 2, 2009

As I noted this morning, a top official in the Department of Transportation has declared that the state will go through a competitive bidding process the next time it buys trains. This promise, of course, is in contrast to the recent way of doing train business by the Doyle administration and Assembly Democrats.

What’s most amusing about this new pledge is that it is not really a pledge, it is simply a necessary adherence to the law. The next two trains the state procures will not be paid for by state money, but by federal transportation funds. Hence, the process will have to comply with federal competitive bidding regulations, and the state will not be able to exploit the loophole Gov. Tommy Thompson created back in the 80’s which exempted railroad companies from normal competitive bidding requirements.

Allow me to translate this into a Republican talking point: If only Jim Doyle were as prudent with Wisconsin dollars as he is with Washington ones!

Muckraking still exists

August 31, 2009

The investigative spirit of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel will bring a tear to the eye of any first amendment-loving American.

A Jaguar convertible sits in the driveway of Latasha Jackson’s million-dollar mansion in Menomonee Falls. Built on a hill with a sprawling back deck overlooking a pond, the 7,600-square-foot home features an indoor swimming pool and indoor basketball court.

Jackson is not an Olympic swimmer, a professional basketball player or a celebrity of any sort. She is a day care provider in the city of Milwaukee.

She built her fortune with taxpayer funding from the Wisconsin Shares program.

Gableman stayin alive

July 19, 2009

It looks like Michael Gableman can dedicate his time to considerably bigger headaches now.

State regulators have dismissed a complaint against Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman that contended he made campaign calls from a government phone when he was Ashland County district attorney in 2002.

Good. It would be an awful shame if such a corrupt public figure went down over such trifles. Hopefully the complaint filed against him by the Wisconsin Judicial Commission will be more fruitful.