Thursday, September 08, 2005

Tee Up Those Checkbooks

There’s nothing like having a key committee vote on a controversial legislative proposal shortly before a fundraising event in order to maximize a special interest’s gratitude – in cash.

On Friday, September 2 the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Insurance recommended 6-1 that the full Senate reject an Assembly proposal to require insurance companies to pay for much of the cost of removing polychlorinated biphenyls – PCBs – that were dumped in the Fox River by paper companies from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Both the committee and the Senate are controlled by Republicans.

First, the vote was scheduled on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day weekend to give it as little attention as possible.

But second, the favorable vote for insurance companies also came less than a week before the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate’s $1,000 per person golf fundraiser scheduled September 8 at Sentry Insurance’s golf course in Stevens Point.

Hmmmmm. . . committee action, fundraiser, any connection?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fights at the Capitol often pit one special interest against another.

What was appalling about the committee vote the other day is which special interest legislators sided with.

The paper industry in Wisconsin produces more than 5.3 million tons of paper and more than 1 million tons of cardboard every year.

Industry workers in Wisconsin are paid more than $2.5 billion.

Compare that with the insurance companies. They're not an industry at all. They produce nothing tangible. They used to be able to claim they produced an intangible known as peace of mind, but since they stopped paying claims of sick people, disaster victims and companies that thought they had liability coverage, the produce only anxiety.

With the choice between a papermaking industry that's vital to Wisconsin's economy and a bunch of paper shufflers, six legislators unerringly chose the paper shufflers.

Do you suppose that's because they feel a natural affinity for the unproductive?