April 11, 2014

2 days after James O'Keefe posts a video, Mike Ellis drops out of his reelection race.

"I don't fit in anymore.... There isn't room for independent thinking and compromise...There's no room on the street anymore for people to walk down the middle of the road,"
says the Wisconsin state senate president, who's served in the legislature for more than 4 decades.
He made the decision to get out of the race Wednesday night, after the recording was released...

"My wife doesn't deserve this," he said. "Nobody's wife deserves this. I grew up like Tommy Thompson in the '80s and '90s," he said, referring to his political ascent with the longtime Republican governor. "Our entire political makeup does not recognize that approach to politics. We didn't grow up in it."...

O'Keefe has declined to say why he focused on Ellis, who is little known outside Wisconsin. Observers have seen the recordings as an attempt to push Ellis out of the race.
Here's yesterday's discussion of the O'Keefe video. I asked: "Why did the conservative video-activist James O'Keefe go after Wisconsin Senate President Mike Ellis (a Republican)?"

29 comments:

mccullough said...

Career politician.

Fen said...

"My wife doesn't deserve this," he said.

Uh-huh. How about you just mosey on out of office. We'll all pretend there's nothing to see here.

garage mahal said...

40 years voting 99% with the party. Voted 100% for all of Walker's radical legislation. Not good enough for the Tea Party Mafia.

Purge!!!!

Remember Althouse, conservatives are looking for converts, liberals are looking for heretics.

persiflage mahal said...

Boo-hoo. No wonder the 'Crats whip these RINOs like rented mules. Good riddance.

Kirk Parker said...

Let me be the third (plus whatever unmoderated comments beat me to it) to second mccullough and Fen--40 years?????

In the name of God, go!

Ann Althouse said...

Here's what Scott Walker wrote about Ellis:

"So [Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald] took the plan back to Mike Ellis, the president of the senate. Politically, the majority leader is more powerful than the senate president, but Mike Ellis exercised power by virtue of his legend. He is a forty-year senate veteran, and had stared down plenty of governors before me. If he was with us, our plan was certain to prevail; if he opposed us, he would be a powerful adversary.

"Scott came back and reported Ellis’s reaction, which was more colorful than I can describe here, but his basic message was: “Governor Walker has lost his mind.”

"So Scott arranged a face-to-face meeting with Senator Ellis. In addition to Ellis, we were joined by Speaker Fitzgerald, as well as by Representative Robin Vos and Senator Alberta Darling, the cochairs of the Joint Finance Committee that would have to mark up the bill.

"I walked them through our plan, and when I finished, there was dead silence in the room.

"Finally, Robin Vos piped up and asked, “So you mean public workers wouldn’t be able to join a union?”

"“That’s right,” I said.

"“Wow,” said Vos.

"Ellis looked at me and said point-blank, “Governor, you can’t do this.”

"He warned that if we went through with our plans, we would unleash holy hell. He even suggested I was trying to curry favor with the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. He insisted that there had to be another way.

"Ellis is a longtime budget hawk, and he liked the idea of doing something big to eliminate our budget problems once and for all. But he was worried that if we got rid of collective bargaining, Republicans would be accused of simply going after the unions.

"He wanted to close the budget deficit by enacting a 6 percent across-the-board spending cut. We walked him through what a 6 percent cut would mean in terms of education, Medicaid, corrections, and other vital services.

"We laid out for him the program cuts and thousands of layoffs that would be involved. As we explained the alternatives, it became became clear to Ellis and everyone in the room that unless we took on collective bargaining, there truly was no way to solve the budget deficit— at least without putting people out of work and harming public education and services. We were not doing this to go after the unions, I explained. We were doing it to protect schools.

"It was then that Robin Vos said, “Well, this is kind of the ‘nuclear option.’ What if we talk about ‘nuclear lite’?” Vos suggested that we keep collective bargaining in place, but place strict limits on it. It would be less controversial to reform collective bargaining than to eliminate it. Ellis liked the idea. The legislators asked for some time to work out the details of what such a proposal would entail. So we left.

"A few hours later, my staff got called to the senate president’s office. When they walked in, they found Ellis, Vos, Darling, and the Fitzgerald brothers hunched over a computer, pecking out a counterproposal.

"Keith and Eric looked at the screen. On the top of the page, it read: “Nuclear Lite.”

"Under their plan, we would institute paycheck protection; take employee contributions to health insurance and pensions off the bargaining table; limit collective bargaining to wages and some other unspecified noneconomic matters; cap any wage increase to something called the Qualified Economic Offer, or QEO (a 3.8 percent maximum annual increase which, if offered, would not be subject to binding arbitration); require a referendum for any larger pay increases; limit union contracts to one year; and freeze school aid for two years.

"The plan still needed work, but the good news was that we had moved from “Governor, you can’t do this” to discussing how we were going to do it.

Walker, Scott; Thiessen, Marc (2013-11-19). Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge (pp. 4t-49). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

MadisonMan said...

I'm never sad when an incumbent leaves.

And 40 years!? For crying out loud!

Enjoy your pension, you teat-suckling "small government except when it comes to my salary" hypocrite.

Fen said...

Yup, another Establishment Republican with a pork belly and no balls. Good riddance.

BTW, got a new driver ID yesterday. Changed my party affiliation to Independent.

Stupid GOP. I'm done with your crap.

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
I'm never sad when an incumbent leaves.

And 40 years!? For crying out loud!

Enjoy your pension, you teat-suckling "small government except when it comes to my salary" hypocrite."

I'm always sad when I see this kind of idiocy from a teacher. His salary is $49,943. I'll bet he makes less than you, sucking from the same teat. By the way, it's hard to keep government small if you aren't a legislator.

LL said...

He talked about breaking the law and creating an illegal PAC. That is troubling, he should quit.

April Apple said...

4 decades? Enough already no matter who you are. I'm talking to you -- all the other dinosaurs.

Henry said...

The way this push came to schlump so neatly I wonder if Ellis hired O'Keefe himself.

Lord Ben said...

Everyone going after Veritas or Tea Party needs to think long and hard about their position.

Do we want to be only against corruption between media and politicians only when Democrats do it or do we want to be after corruption because it's bad?

Ellis was discussing illegal coordination between private groups and his campaign. I volunteer for politics sometime and if I ever saw the guy I volunteered for discussing illegal campaign tactics then I'd rat him out too.

It's call Project Veritas (truth), not Project Get-The-Democrats. He gave us the truth.

David R. Graham said...

"Well Done" to O'Keefe!

SteveR said...

Cutting spending provided by borrowing will always be "radical" and garage makes this clear. No matter how its done.

eric said...

It says alot about veritas. They don't go after just Democrats. Good on them.

Matthew Sablan said...

Why did he go after him? Because O'Keefe has more journalistic integrity than most journalists. He had a story and ran it.

Did we have the usual chorus of "he edited the tape?"

Matthew Sablan said...

The interesting thing about this is that now politicians and political activists really should be on the alert that people are out to get them.

So stop falling for stupid pranks. Stop telling people claiming to be underaged prostitutes how to do things; stop talking about illegal campaign/nonprofit donations with strangers.

James O'Keefe runs classic confidence games on these folks and wins almost every single time.

And he's just some dipstick with a camera and a microphone. Imagine what a really savvy investigative journalist could do.

kcom said...

"Imagine what a really savvy investigative journalist could do."

Like getting let go from CBS?

garage mahal said...

Ellis was discussing illegal coordination between private groups and his campaign

The same exact thing Walker is currently being investigated for. Would O'Keefe ever go after Walker? Never.

bbkingfish said...

Sounds like a hit job financed by the Koch brothers. Yay, Team!

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
Ellis was discussing illegal coordination between private groups and his campaign

The same exact thing Walker is currently being investigated for. Would O'Keefe ever go after Walker? Never."

LOL. What a couple dozen prosecutors, DA's, and investigators isn't enough? We need O'Keefe?

First, despite all their efforts, and millions and millions of dollars, they have come up with nothing in JD I and now II. Judges have squashed them twice now.

Second, the the hunted are now the hunters! T

This whole John Doe thing is to bully conservative groups in the run up to the fall elections, and to have negative headlines about Walker.

John Doe II will be a big fat loser...like you.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

It's very telling that Althouse and the democrat party peanut gallery are astonished that O'Keefe would target a republican for investigation. So accustomed they are to journo-list democrat party activism, it never occurs to them that a reporter is not the propaganda arm of a political party, but an individual responsible for conveying truthful information to the public.

who-knew said...

I live in Ellis' district and the idea that he's being driven out by the tea party is false. The more conservative Republicans up here weren't thrilled with everything he's done but I've never heard him called a RINO and I never heard about anyone planning to primary him. Now I'm not involved in politics beyond the occasional blog comment and following a friends run for county board, so I might be missing something. But if that something hasn't leaked out to the politically interested public (i.e. me) then it's not much of a big deal.

As far as Garage's complaint about his voting with Walker all the time, it sounds to me like he compromises with Walker and then votes for the compromise.

garage mahal said...

Second, the the hunted are now the hunters! T

You're such a stupid fucking drone it's pointless having a discussion with you. It's embarrassing to see a grown man cheer on a politician like a giddy little school girl like you do.

Mark said...

"In his most extensive interview since announcing his retirement, Senate Republican President Mike Ellis on Saturday said he believes - but cannot prove - that the conservative third-party group Club for Growth was behind the secret taping in downtown Madison bar in which he discussed setting up a political action committee, and getting his friends to fund it, to attack his Democratic opponent in the November election."

http://www.wiseye.org/Programming/VideoArchive/SegmentDetail.aspx?segid=11354

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...

You're such a stupid fucking drone it's pointless having a discussion with you. It's embarrassing to see a grown man cheer on a politician like a giddy little school girl like you do."

This from a guy that despite reams of written evidence of abuse, and the person invoking the fifth multiple times, thinks there's nothing to the IRS scandal BUT despite years of investigating and millions spent, the fact that nothing was turned up on Walker means nothing because he must be guilty because "everyone knows" he's guilty. What a putz.

I'm sure it's frustrating garage having your hopes dashed time and again.

gregq said...

There's a term for Republicans who try to "compromise" with Democrats: loser.

So long, loser.

gregq said...

garage mahal said...

Ellis was discussing illegal coordination between private groups and his campaign

The same exact thing Walker is currently being investigated for.


Wow, Garage, are you really so mentally blinkered that you simply cant tell the difference between "caught on video" and "some political hacks are, without any evidence, accusing an opponent of doing something bad"?

Hatred makes people stupid, Garage. You should watch out for that.