Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Jeff Wood, practically a saint

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State Representative Jeff Wood countered the efforts to oust him from the state assembly with an amendment to the expulsion resolution that listed the arrests of every state legislator since the birth of the republic, pointing out none of them were expelled.

Wood actually drafted a wildly entertaining 12-page amendment to Nass’ resolution, in which he basically states his case to stay in the Assembly. Wood goes through virtually every case in the last 50 years in which a legislator had a run-in with the law, and points out that none of them were sanctioned by the Assembly. (He fails to point out, however, that none of them are currently serving, and many of them were out of office shortly thereafter. Also, if you read through the offenses, none posed a threat to human safety in the same way as three OWIs did.)

On the second to last page, he cites a poll done by his local newspaper that says 57 percent of respondents believe no action should be taken against him, then he attacks Steve Nass, and finishes with this:

Resolved by the assembly, That Representative Jeffrey Wood not be held to a different standard than partisan legislators within this institution and based on the facts of this controversy the assembly takes no further action and the special committee on ethics and standards of conduct is hereby disbanded.

I understand the brewery workers in Chippewa Falls might be reluctant to see a regular customer punished, but the state does have an obligation to expect a higher level of conduct from their state legislators. Just because the legislature did not live up to its obligations in the past does not excuse Wood’s behavior now. And, oh by the way, we’re not exactly talking about The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. We’re talking about a five-time OWI loser who is lucky he didn’t kill anyone.

Which makes the behavior of Representative Steve Nass even more inexplicable today.

Rep. Mary Hubler today delayed scheduling an exec on a resolution seeking to expel Jeff Wood from the Assembly until after the committee she chairs can first hear from Rep. Steve Nass, who proposed kicking him out.

Nass, R-Whitewater, did not attend today’s hearing, instead sending the committee overseeing the expulsion resolution a memo on Tuesday dismissing some of Wood’s defenses against being expelled.

Hubler, D-Rice Lake, and Rep. Tony Staskunas, D-West Allis, expressed their disappointment that Nass chose not to show up for the hearing, saying they wanted to ask him questions about his expulsion resolution.

Nass aide Mike Mikalsen attended today’s hearing and said afterward that Nass did not show up because of what he called a “circus atmosphere” in which Wood was allowed to cross examine anyone who chose to testify in favor of the expulsion resolution. Assembly rules grant anyone targeted in an expulsion resolution that opportunity, treating the hearing somewhat like a trial.

What did Nass think was going to happen when he authored the resolution? Is Nass serious about seeing this through or not?

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