Republicans in Wisconsin were granted one of their most important wishes yesterday. Georgia Thompson, purchasing division supervisor for the state Department of Administration, was indicted in federal court. The indictment was the result of an investigation into the awarding of a state travel contract to Adelman Travel, whose executives donated to the Doyle Campaign. How ironic that the very same people that insisted on Tom Delay being “innocent till proven guilty” are now (and for some time) convicting Thompson and even Governor Doyle (who has not been implicated in the indictment). Obviously, that does not stop the GOP from promoting their conspiracy theories. Republican hypocrisy will be once again laid bare when more from their ranks are indicted in connection with the Abramoff and Plame scandals. I have a funny feeling that we will not see such a rush to judgment from them at that time.
After reading the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s report on this indictment, there are several details that are important to remember. First, the indictment, “does not allege a pay-to-play scheme in which the contract was awarded in exchange for the money.” Second, Georgia Thompson was actually hired by the Republican McCallum Administration. Even if one is inclined to believe the right wing conspiracy theories, it would be very difficult to accept that a Republican hire was at the center of a grand Democratic plot. Really now, just think about it. If you are going to plan such an elaborate scheme, why would you make the main player a person that your last opponent hired?
If early media reports are any indication, it seems that they will be perfectly happy spreading Republican gossip regarding this case. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker not only single handedly convicted Georgia Thompson, on WTMJ News, but convicted Gov. Doyle even though he has not been implicated. Did the crack Journal Communications reporters challenge Walker’s politically motivated accusations? Certainly not! Remember they are the same people the refused to report at all on Walker’s own contract scandal. If we are seeking fair and balanced reporting on this indictment, we better look elsewhere. Equally, if we care about the facts of this matter, we should pay no mind to Republican pronouncements of guilt.