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Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

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Corruption Chronicles

Wisconsin Governor’s Questionable Ethics

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle may have launched an extensive ethics proposal to clean up the way politicians raise funds, but a second federal indictment has been issued involving contributors to his very own campaigns.

This week a millionaire casino developer was charged with illegally funneling $100,000 in contributions through his children to Doyle’s campaign and lying about it to federal investigators. State law caps an individual’s donations to a gubernatorial candidate at $10,000 per campaign.

The developer, Dennis Troha, had proposed a huge Indian casino that could have earned him an $88 million profit. As governor Doyle has unilateral veto power over any off-reservation casino so Troha has held fundraisers for the governor and helped him raise lots of money.

Now the multi-millionaire, who made his fortune in trucking, could go to jail for up to 25 years and pay a $500,000 fine. Last year, a former state purchasing employee, Georgia Thompson, was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being convicted of steering a travel contact to a company whose executives had given Doyle large campaign contributions.

Ironically, the second-term Democratic Governor proposed a highly publicized ethics package last year in an effort to ensure citizens’ confidence in government by, among other things, restricting lobbying and addressing fundraising. He proposed the initiatives because, throughout his career in law enforcement and government, one of his strongest beliefs has been in the “importance of strengthening the ethics system in government.”


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