John Gard, former Assembly Speaker and the Republican candidate running against incumbent Rep. Steve Kagen in the Eighth Congressional District, has come under scrutiny for his ties to the Gard Business Group, a consulting company that paid Gard $12,307 from January through mid-April 2008 for his work there, according to the financial disclosure report he was required to file as a candidate for Congress. (Source: Green Bay Press Gazette, 6.17.08) The issue with the Gard Business Group is that little to nothing is known about the company itself. The Gard Business Group doesn’t have a web site (at least not according to Google), it’s not listed in the online Yellow Pages, and it doesn’t have a phone number or an e-mail address listed for potential clients who wish to access Gard’s consulting services. What’s more, a quick search using the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ Corporate Records Search listed no results for “Gard Consulting” or “John Gard.”
Asked a direct question about the Gard Business Group by a reporter from the Appleton Post-Crescent on his business dealings and clientele, Gard avoided giving a direct answer to the question. According to today’s Post-Crescent, “The former speaker is guarded about who his clients are, except to say that they are based in Northeastern Wisconsin.”
Joe Wineke, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, would like to know more details about John Gard’s shady consulting company, asking, “Why won’t John Gard reveal any details about his shady consulting operation? Is John Gard representing dirty special interests that he doesn’t want us to know about? Is he using his business to launder campaign money? Or is Gard simply using his company to trick voters into thinking he’s not a career politician?” Wineke also issued a challenge to any reporter in Wisconsin to find out more information about Gard Business Group, its clients or any other sources of income that Gard may have had since he started running for Congress.
Over at Blue Revolution USA, a commenter took time to contact the Gard for Congress campaign, and here’s the response he got:
Thank you for your inquiry about the Gard Business Group. The Gard Business Group is a private company that assists businesses in growing their customer base and streamlining costs. If you would like more information about John and his capabilities, please visit www.gardforcongress.com.
Gard for Congress
Now maybe I’m crazy, but that’s not much of an answer, nor does it clear up anything about what the Gard Business Group does or exactly who the GBG counts among its clients, details that would certainly be relevant in a Congressional election. Who’s been paying John Gard thousands of dollars through his mystery company? Who stands to benefit if he’s elected to Congress? Why are John Gard and his handlers being so evasive in answering questions about the Gard Business Group?
I don’t know about you, but something sure seems fishy about this situation.