Jensen’s Jobs First Coalition Helps Walker Ally Advance in GOP Primary

MADISON – Republican John Lautz on Tuesday advanced through the crowded GOP primary for the 94th Assembly District seat vacated by Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch with help from a controversial source – ethically-challenged former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen.

Eight short years ago then-Speaker Jensen resigned from the legislature after he was put on trial and convicted of three felony counts of misconduct in office and one misdemeanor for an ethics violation by a public official.  Jensen has since appealed his convictions, and is awaiting trial.  Jensen is now the senior advisor for two political groups infamous for spending millions of dollars in harsh, misleading attack ads in legislative races -- The American Federation of Children and the Jobs First Coalition.

The non-partisan Wisconsin Democracy Campaign has written about Jensen’s notable involvement in the 2010 Fall Election, stating:

“...the former speaker has resurfaced in Wisconsin politics in a big way, spearheading the efforts of a group called the American Federation for Children which has registered as a corporation making independent expenditures in state legislative races. This reincarnation of the Republican front group All Children Matter also is sponsoring undisclosed phony issue ads. Word is the group intends to dump something on the order of $100,000 into each of a dozen or so key Assembly races in the final days before the November 2 general election.”

This year, Jensen’s pet project is the election of John Lautz to the 94th Assembly District.  Lautz has been a staunch defender of Scott Walker and the Fitzgerald Brothers’ radical and divisive legislative agenda, despite the overwhelming public outcry against policies that strip collective bargaining rights from thousands of hard-working teachers, nurses and public safety workers, and endanger health care funding for millions of seniors, working families, small business owners and farmers.  Lautz has even defended Scott Walker’s plan to take away the rights of workers in the Coulee Region, declaring at the March 23, 2011 La Crosse County Republican Party meeting that he applauded the governor for his decisions, and that he was “100% behind the Governor and the legislators." 

“John Lautz is clearly being rewarded for siding time and time again with Scott Walker and his extreme agenda against working families in the Coulee Region,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Wednesday.  “Lautz is willing to stand idly by while someone like Scott Jensen spends undisclosed campaign cash on his behalf, but the citizens of the 94th deserve better in their state representative and in their elections. Unfortunately, once Scott Jensen comes to town, there will be no stopping his ugly, partisan attempts to buy another assembly district for Scott Walker and the Fitzgerald Brothers.”

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