Thursday, June 15, 2006

Could This Be Called Paul Ryan's Pay for Play?

In today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Spivak and Bice reveal that Congressman Paul Ryan has been leaning on bureaucrats regarding the proposed casino in Kenosha. This from today's column:
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, as we earlier reported, dialed up the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Minneapolis late last year to lean on the bureaucrats about the $808 million casino being proposed at the Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha. Big-shot businessman Dennis Troha, the driving force behind the off-reservation casino, and his friends and family donated more than $31,000 to the Janesville Republican's campaign in 2005.

But now we learn that Ryan was in the face of top federal officials in February to find out what was taking them so long with the casino application.

"Jim Cason and I met with Congressman Ryan yesterday afternoon," George Skibine, director of the Office of Indian Gaming Management, wrote in a March 1 e-mail. Cason is the associate deputy secretary at the U.S. Interior Department.

"He (Ryan) asked us for a time frame to get a decision on this application. He was also really annoyed with Maria Wiseman for missing her self-imposed deadlines for reviewing the draft (environmental impact statement)."
This is not the first time that Spivak and Bice have told us about the money given to Ryan from the Kenosha Casino interests. It's just the first time that they've shown us what this kind of money gets a donor.

So let's review. Advocates for the casino give Ryan more than $31,000 in one year, and then Ryan gets in the face of the folks at the Bureau of Indian Affairs because they are not moving fast enough for his benefactors. If we switch the name Ryan to Doyle, wouldn't most on the right start talking about a "pay for play" scandal? I've asked this question before, but what's the diff? Where are the press releases? Where is the consistency? Where is the outrage from Republicans? Nowhere to be found, only double standards.

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