The Lazich Recall

Elections, Events, State, community

Hundreds of people turned out for a rally in New Berlin on Saturday, April 9 to drum up support for the recall effort against Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) and other Republican senators, and to raise concerns about the vote-counting problems in Waukesha County, according to the Journal Sentinel. 

The rally was held outside New Berlin City Hall. The CBS 58 News Website has a video of it. .The Wisconsin State AFL-CIO describes the rally as the   “ largest demonstration of its kind in New Berlin history”.  It displays a picture of  the rally event on its Website.

Senator Lazich’s support of Governor Walker’s “ budget repair” bill and assault on collective bargaining sure has many people fired up.

Numerous other actions by Sen. Lazich  have also generated criticism and disapproval.  

A recent (April 14, 2011) Journal Sentinel Editorial dissed Lazich for being among the politicians who “like to say” they support local control and governments that are closest to the people—but who actually  “do” the opposite. The Editorial Board conveyed that Lazich should drop her misguided effort to reopen golf courses at the former Rainbow Springs resort.  They argued that a plan to restore the land to its natural state offers a far better use. The editorial summed up the situation quite well:  “The town doesn’t want the golf courses, and golfers say they don’t need them. And the failure of private ventures to make a success of the former resort would seem to back that up.”

James Rowen’s The Political Environment blog took issue with Sen. Lazich’s contradictory stance on stimulus aid:   “But let’s note that the New Berlin Republican first said she didn’t like the federal stimulus plan because it might “hurt Wisconsin” by making us too dependent on guvmint aid-- this posting –but then complained that the money Wisconsin is getting is, unfairly, too little - - this posting.”

After Gov. Walker got “punked” by a guy pretending to be campaign donor/billionaire David Koch, Sen. Lazich proposed criminalizing prank calls--- an action that got her mocked by the Colbert Show.

Lazich has been on the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters (WLCV) “Conservation Dishonor List”. WLCV, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that champions conservation policies that effectively protect Wisconsin’s public health and natural resources,  publishes a Conservation Scorecard of our legislators’ votes on key conservation issues. Shamefully, Lazich had the lowest score of the Wisconsin State Senators on the 2008 published Conservation Scorecard. I posted a blog about it.  A check of the WLCV’s most recently published Scorecard for the Wisconsin Legislature (2009-2010) State Senators finds Lazich and Sen. Alan Lassee each with a 33% score---a tie for last place .      Lazich was on Milwaukee Magazine’s list of Worst Legislators.  

The CRG Network (an outgrowth of Citizens for Responsible Government PAC), which touts holding politicians accountable, accused Sen. Lazich of dishonesty. Their Web site states, “ Lazich lied to constituents when asked whether she voted for the pro-taxpayer majority leader. CRG Network did an investigational poll that revealed at least one senator lied about their vote and Lazich was forced to confess to her lie when CRG pushed for a re-vote. She subsequently resigned the leadership post she was promised in return for her vote under continued CRG Network pressure.” 

The Badger Herald also reported Sen. Lazich eventually admitting she'd voted for Sen. Dale Schultz instead of Sen. Scott Fitzgerald to succeed Mary Panzer as Senate Majority Leader-- and had lied about her vote. The conservative blog Boots and Sabers said Lazich had been caught "red-handed lying to constituents and the rest of the public about her vote."  That blog contended she should be ashamed of herself and the public furious with her.  The conservative Badger Blogger stated  " Mary ‘The Lier’ Lazich has stepped down from her leadership role in the Wisconsin State Senate. She of course got this position because of her back-stabbing of Scott Fitzgerald, then lied to Citizens for Responsible Government and many constituents about her vote."

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a non-partisan political watchdog group dedicated to clean government and tracking money in state politics, featured  Lazich on its “Public Enemies” list—its category for legislators who regularly stood with the special interests and worked to defeat reforms that would restore power to the general public”. Speaking of fund raising for politicians, did you catch Dan Bice’s column in the Journal Sentinel disclosing Gov Walker’s “quiet” trip to Florida/ effort to drum up support for the 8 GOP Wisconsin Senators targeted for recall?  

I recently got a letter from Sen. Lazich, which began with “Dear Friend: I am desperately in need of your help”.   Turns out what she wanted was some quick cash.    She was frankly begging for a donation—asking me to contribute $1,000, $500, $100, $50, $25 or whatever I could “afford” to help her “survive” the recall challenge. Her message was packed with inflammatory rhetoric.   She characterized her opposition as “liberals” or angry employees seeking their “revenge”.   Um, is that how she dismisses the citizens who disagree with her and disapprove of her performance?   Indeed, the words “angry” and “liberals” appear multiple times in her letter.  Directly beneath her letter is a disclaimer stating the mailing was authorized and paid for by Citizens for Lazich. Hmm. Sounds like her own personal campaign committee. Glenn Lazich is listed as Treasurer. 

Think Concerned Citizens of New Berlin  (CCNB) will object to  Lazich’s letter, which was sent out during a group’s recall attempt? Will  CCNB  be asking the District Attorney to investigate whether any public funds were spent on the Lazich mailing?  Their silence regarding Lazich’s letter is in contrast to the public ruckus CCNB raised over a letter concerning the history of the City Center that Mayor Chiovatero sent out to community residents during CCNB’s unsuccessful recall attempt of him and Ald. Bill Moore.  Chiovatero’s letter carried a disclaimer statement conveying his mailing was paid for by him, but CCNB contacted the Waukesha County District Attorney anyway.   The DA investigated and cleared the mayor of any wrongdoing.

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