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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Lucky Paul Ryan Wins the Jackpot!

Republicans in Wisconsin can’t stop talking about Governor Doyle’s campaign contributions. They single handedly convict him of being engaged in “pay-to-play” type situations on a regular basis. So the question is will they hold one of their own to that same unfair standard?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Spivak and Bice report today about contributions to GOP “rising star” Congressman Paul Ryan. Apparently Paul Ryan has been on the receiving end of generous contributions from millionaire Dennis Troha. This man is the force behind the effort to convert the Dairyland Greyhound Park into Wisconsin’s next big casino. This from Spivak and Bice:

Records show that Troha and Co. poured its money into Ryan's account in the spring and then again at a November fund-raiser, for which Troha was a host.

In between, on Sept. 16, Troha wrote a Ryan staffer a lengthy e-mail defending the project and responding to criticisms leveled by the Potawatomi tribe, which has its own money-making machine in the form of an off-reservation casino in Milwaukee. The Kenosha power broker expects to pocket at least $88 million in fees during the first seven years of operation if the feds and governor bless the project.

"Also, thank you for arranging the call this morning from the Congressman to me regarding the Land Into Trust and Environmental Impact Study matters regarding the Kenosha Casino," Troha wrote in September, "and Bureau of Indian Affairs status of their review of both items."

Just days later, Ryan did exactly what Troha wanted. The fourth-term congressman dialed up the BIA in Minneapolis to get the lowdown on the application and to lean on the bureaucrats.
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t the righties just making a big deal about contributions to Doyle from Troha? So what now? A flood press releases taking Paul Ryan to task? Will they single handedly convict Ryan of being involved in “pay-to-play” activities? If you are a gambler, I’d say the odds against them being consistent are very very good.

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