It seems like only yesterday, the Journal Sentinel’s star two-headed columnists were pooh-poohing the idea that anyone should be asked to return the donations of subsequently-tarnished contributors. Well, it wasn’t yesterday; it was October 3rd.
On October 3rd, on their non-published "Spiceblog" in the on-line version of the J-S, Spivak and Bice chided any Democrat that would suggest Mark Green and Paul Ryan should give back donations made to his campaign this year by disgraced perv Mark Foley. "First, there's the scandal," the Boys pronounce. "Then there's the game of trying to link everyone else to the pol brought down by scandal."
They do seem to have the chronology right, but this does not appear to be a game the Boys want to play. "How long until the Dems start screaming that Ryan and Green should return this ‘dirty money’ ASAP?" You can almost imagine their arched eyebrows and smug half-smiles, just daring the "Dems" to "scream" such ridiculous things. It turned out they didn’t have to – Green realized the problem on his own and sanctimoniously announced he was donating the money to charity (while still gripping tightly to the almost-half million in illegal funds ordered returned by the Elections Board and a judge).
Today, the Pride of the Journal Sentinel have quite a different take on donations made before by someone who runs into trouble later. Cleverly connecting the unnamed non-indictment of a Chicago "money man" with the Doyle contribution list (with the help of Green operatives, no doubt), S & B wax indignant about the $10,000 donation, listing details of the indictment against a different guy, Antoin Rezko, as if all this had anything to do with Jim Doyle.
Spivak and Bice pull out all their usual snarky stops in diminishing the effect of any response from the Doyle camp that fell short of abject contrition. Doyle’s spokesperson is identified as a "hired mouthpiece", who "tried [and, you may assume, failed] to brush off questions about the donation". Hard to tell the difference between the "hired mouthpiece" label and their usual "flack" name-calling, but the effect is the same: the reader is to ignore whatever follows as insincere lies and spin. It’s not like the Boys are gong to let you make up your own mind about it. Oh, and don’t expect Greenies and other Republicans to be identified in such a manner. The Spice Boys treat their regular dirt sources with a little more respect than that.
The purported journalists then get absolutely breathless in dropping the bombshell that then-DOA secretary Marc Marotta, Doyle’s chief of staff Susan Goodwin and the now-indicted Rezko "broke bread together [what is this, the Last Supper?] for 1 1/2 hours at an upscale Chicago steakhouse" in – get this – September 2003! Oh my God, what were they up to?
As in all anti-Doyle Spice columns, you are encouraged let your imagination do the work for them. It’s not like they have to go through the trouble to connect-the-dots or anything. I mean, we all know, don’t we? Nudge, nudge; wink, wink. Never mind that there are no dots to connect in the first place.
Oh, and get this: also at the dinner was former Cabana-Boy and Tommy Thompson business partner Nick Hurtgen, also recently indicted, who is identified only as "linked to Doyle and to just about every other politician worth knowing in Wisconsin". Yeah, except this is the first time I’ve heard about him in the same room with Democrats. My God, what was going on?!!!
Notice the difference? Green’s money from Foley is OK, I mean, obviously. It’s just like the "Dems" to make a big deal of it, jeez. Doyle’s money from Christopher Kelly is dirty, dirty, dirty – just like Doyle, Marotta, all those people. Dirty, dirty, dirty. Get it? Dirty!
And Sivak & Bice’s investigation into all the people with ethical or legal problems who gave money to Mark Green? Don’t hold your breath.