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As I See It

Backroom deals between candidates should be illegal



It is the kind of thing that should be illegal. But apparently it is not in Wisconsin. It seems that when running for public offices, it is ok to make a backroom deal with your opponent. It is even ok to promise your opponent a cushy state job if he were simply to bow out of the race. That is what happened in the race for the position of Wisconsin’s top educator, the post of Superintendent of Public Instruction. There were three candidates on the ballot in the recent election. Incumbent Tony Evers, and challengers John Humphries and Lowell Holtz. AT some point during the campaign, Holtz offered to buy Humphries out of the running. He proposed that if Humphries dropped out, and Holtz won, he would reward Humphries with a job in the education office. A $150,000 a year job, at taxpayer expense. As you can imagine, some are crying foul, alleging election bribery. But it turns out offering our money to a political candidate to take a powder isn’t illegal in Wisconsin. That could change. One state lawmaker is planning to introduce legislation making it illegal for one candidate to make a deal with another. It shouldn’t take a law to ensure people do what’s right when running for office, but this case proves it does.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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