The Brawler wonders if the movie "All the President's Men" inspired Jessica McBride to enter the salt mines of journalism. To be sure, the Brawler doubts Jessica would have seen any problem with the Nixon Administration's criminal activities. ("But he's the president! We're at war with the communists! Why not just hand over the keys to the White House to General Giap?")
But the Brawler suspects the words "Follow the money" ran through Jessica's head when she posted this item raising alarums about Doyle getting money from an unnamed "tribal leader with Abramoff ties."
She links to this story on the Wisconsin Democracy campaign blog, which tells us this:
Michael Chapman, the former chairman of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and a contributor to Governor Jim Doyle's re-election campaign, helped disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff line up a key tribal client and received more than a quarter of a million dollars for his trouble.
Chapman played a role in getting Abramoff together with members of the Agua Caliente tribe of Palm Springs, California, including arranging an introductory meeting. The tribe eventually hired Abramoff as a lobbyist and paid him and associate Michael Scanlon $10 million in fees.
Chapman reportedly received $271,000 in payments – $171,000 from Abramoff's firm, Greenberg Traurig, and $100,000 from Scanlon's Capitol Campaign Strategies.
All right, so this guy was a greedhead who made an introduction that enabled Abramoff to rip off an Indian tribe. The Brawler concedes this was a tie. But how bad was it? What kind of plotting was he involved in?
Working harder than he suspects Jessica did, the Brawler clicked another link to the story the Wisconsin Democracy blog based its report on.
Here the Brawler learned this:
The 373-page report does not focus on Chapman, but does devote several pages to his efforts. Overall, the report says that with regard to Abramoff and Scanlon collecting tens of millions of dollars from Indian tribes, "without doubt, the depth and breadth of their misconduct was astonishing." It does not accuse Chapman of any misconduct.
Not accused of misconduct!
So Doyle received money from a guy who introduced Abramoff to a tribe but who was not accused of any misconduct. Rev up the scandal alarm!
You'll note that the Brawler -- like Jessica -- did not mention the amount that Chapman contributed. Jessica did not because it would undermine her story -- or maybe because typing at 1:16 a.m. she was too tired to think straight. But the Brawler held back the information for comic effect.
The amount Chapman doled out to Doyle was (drumroll)............. $325.
This is the latest example of why the Brawler supports public funding of campaigns. Because truly the state of pay for play in Wisconsin is terrible.
Speaking of comic effect, this is the Brawler's favorite sentence from Jessica's opus:
The only person in the guv race who received money from an Abramoff associate: Jim Doyle.
Oh, man. Jessica: Last the Brawler checked, Tom Delay was an actual associate of Abramoff. And he gave Green 100 times the amount Chapman gave Doyle. The Brawler seems to recall another Green-Abramoff connection.
Why is Jessica a journalism instructor?