Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Doyle Favors Campaign Donor John Menard

That's the headline Governor Doyle could expect from Congressman Green, the RPW, and the Journal Sentinel if Menards was given special preference by the DNR in its attempt to build on protected wetlands.

After all, the headline fits right in line with the incessant GOP allegations and JS scrutiny over every penny the Doyle campaign has received in donations over the years.

In the case of Menards, the DNR treated the company like anyone else who wants to build on protected wetlands -- that is, it scrutinized the move.

Surely the $10,000 John Menard donated to Doyle's campaign over the past three years, the legal limit for an individual under state law, and the other $10,000 Menard donated to Doyle prior to this election cycle -- some of it before Doyle was elected governor -- would've been brought into question if the DNR treated Menards differently the other companies in the state.

Of course, that didn't stop Green and the RPW, who can't seem to make up their minds in their press release hysteria, this time swinging at Doyle for not demanding the DNR grant special preference to a major campaign donor.

I guess Governor Doyle has more integrity than the GOP thought.

Side-Note: As for the Wisconsin DNR working with Menards, according to the JS this morning, the company has applied for 35 wetlands permits with the state over the last thirty years -- the DNR has granted 30 of them, and the other 5 were withdrawn by the company.

And here's John Menard's statement on the matter: "Governor Doyle has worked very well with Menards and myself over the years, helping us grow in Wisconsin. All of us at Menards appreciate the substantial assistance we have received from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Commerce under his administration."


Blogger Xoff said...

If you check, I think you would also find that Menard's paid a huge fine for an environmental violation when Doyle was AG. Like seven figures, I think.

October 12, 2006  
Blogger Xoff said...

Found it:

That history includes a 1997 plea agreement in which Menard and founder John R. Menard Jr. agreed to pay $1.7 million in penalties on charges that they violated state hazardous waste laws. The case included allegations that John Menard, a billionaire and one of Wisconsin's richest people, used his own pickup truck to haul bags of chromium-contaminated incinerator ash produced by the company and dump it into his trash at home.

October 12, 2006  
Blogger Seth Zlotocha said...

That certainly does complicate the landscape of the situation.

Here you have John Menard donating to Doyle as far back as 1999, yet the penalties against Menard came down in 1997 when Doyle was AG. And now you have the Menards company publicly accusing the DNR of forcing it to expand out of state in the midst of a heated election season, which is promptly picked up by the Green Team as a reason to oust Doyle from the governor's mansion, as Menards must have expected. But then just as quickly, you have John Menard releasing a statement through the Doyle campaign praising the "substantial assistance" Menards has received from the Doyle administration over the years.

Round and round it goes.

October 13, 2006  

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