Jeff Plale and Scott Jensen, sitting in a tree….

Former Republican Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, who once upon a time was convicted of abusing his office for political gain, has resurfaced in Wisconsin politics, and he’s apparently chosen the 7th State Senate District as the focus of his efforts. Earlier this year, Jensen became a senior adviser for government affairs for the American Federation of Children, an organization that advocates using tax dollars for school choice programs. State Sen. Jeff Plale (“D” – South Milwaukee) has been a proponent of school choice programs, so it’s being speculated Jensen and the AFC will be focusing a good deal of their time and money on Plale’s reelection bid:

Sources in Madison have said Jensen is raising money for the choice group so it can help out Plale, a moderate being challenged in the Democratic primary by Milwaukee County Supervisor Chris Larson, a liberal.

“He is going to be doing the pro-Plale independent (expenditures) in the primary through the school choice vehicle,” said one well-connected politico. “That appears to be where the money is being directed.”

Since 2004, Plale has received more than $17,000 in donations from those tied to school choice organizations. He also had Katy Venskus as one of his legislative aides for several years. After leaving his staff, Venskus went to work for School Choice Wisconsin and, more recently, Education Reform Now Advocacy, which supports charter schools and the mayoral takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools.

As James Rowen of The Political Environment notes, while the introduction of bucket loads of money into the race by the AFC will be a boon to Sen. Plale, the involvement of Scott Jensen and the AFC could serve as a powerful motivator for Chris Larson, Plale’s primary opponent, and Larson’s supporters.

Obviously I’ve made it clear which candidate I prefer in the 7th Senate District, but the fact that Sen. Plale is being supported by a group advised by ultra-partisan Republican Scott Jensen should give any Democratic (or independent) voters in the 7th Senate District a strong reason to consider casting their votes for Chris Larson in the Democratic primary on September 14th.

Forward Lookout has more on this story.


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29 thoughts on “Jeff Plale and Scott Jensen, sitting in a tree….

  1. Ridiculous. Jensen is not acting as a Republican politician on a broad set of issues, but as a single-issue advocate on behalf of a group. Why WOULDN’T he support a politician who also supports the position of that group? Is your problem with who is employed by the group or the issue of school choice itself? I’d also like to hear why Chris Larson isn’t PRO-CHOICE like Plale is.

      1. Ha, quite honestly I don’t give a hoot about Plale, but these arguments you guys are making against him are getting crazy. It’s great to see you eat your own.

        By the way, “formerly” is the key word there. Isn’t it under appeal? But what about that other convicted felon Chuch Chvala. I’m sure he has no absolutely no input these days on Democrat campaigns.

          1. I don’t know what you mean, but I’d still like to know if Larson supports a parent’s right to choose.

            1. You’ll have to ask him.

              In MPS, currently parents do have the ability to apply for many schools within the district. But I believe that you’re referring to the voucher program, yes?

        1. I’d expect to see a comment like that from a conservative trying to tear Larson down, not from a fellow Democrat.



    forgotmyscreenname – are you sitting at a bar with Jeff and Sinicki drinking as you type? Chris is an OUTSPOKEN supporter of reproductive rights, PRO-CHOICE legislation, and opening up health care access to women. He also fought hard for LGBTQ rights, attempting to give County workers domestic partner benefits. Before you paint the internet with your ignorance, please don’t muddy the waters between a corporate lobbyist dream-boat, pro-life, pro-gun, anti-public school conservative Dem, and a proven progressive moderate Dem like Chris.

    Call Pro-Life Wisconsin, who has been in bed w/ Jeff for years, and get a quote about Plale’s support of their cause. He only received a good Planned Parenthood and NARAL rating recently because WI has only passed domestic violence and other similar measures that NO ONE can vote against, no matter how CRAZY pro-life they are (such as Jeff Plale).

    John – good one… starving college student takes food from Pick ‘n Save; much worse than corporate-sponsored fake-Dem who started at Strong Investments as a investment banker Plale… to then get caught up w/ best buddies Tommy Thompson & Alberta Darling in the LARGEST S.E.C. FINE ever, as Plale’s ex-boss and original supporter Richard Strong (uber uber-Republican) had to pay…

    Plale’s insane crimes:

    OH, you might say, HE WAS NEVER CONVICTED OR ACCUSED! But it paints a clear picture of who he is, best friend to Honadel & Darling (fellow Republicans), and still only looking out for fat cat investors. Look up his contributions from Strong, besides the army of Republican billionaires out of state bank-rolling Plale, he’s got some Republicans millionaires in-state to boot… YOU silly jerk John

    1. No, no, no, Eastside, you have it backwards. Plale is the one who is for a parent’s right to choose.

      1. Oh wait, of course! I should have assumed the only “choice” you’re thinking about is the one that sucks on the skull of a living human fetus. Funny how liberals on the east or any side of town never want to allow choices for much else.

        No, I’m talking about being pro-choice for parents on where to send their kids to school. Plale definitely appears to be pro-choice in that regard.

        I don’t care much about Mr. Larson’s shoplifting being relevant to the campaign, but it’s very telling that you excuse that illegal behavior as not being worse than Plale, who is just someone you disagree with but hasn’t broken the law. But then, liberals don’t care much about the word ILLEGAL anymore. Maybe you can call Larson an undocumented customer.

        Can’t say as I’ve had a beer with Plale and Sinicki, but that might be interesting to say the least. lol

          1. Um, what? Out of my entire statement that’s what you come up with? Who am I supposed to give a second chance? My statement wasn’t critical of what Larson did, but it was more in response to the Eastside guy saying that shoplifting isn’t as bad as what Plale does, even though he hasn’t committed a crime. So I took from that comment that Plale not following the preferred Blue line is more serious a “crime” than a truly illegal activity.

        1. You can send your child to any district you want in the state. Its called school choice, you just have to apply. So we have had “pro-choice” for years.

          1. Sure, unless it’s not an union-monopoly, government-approved public school. If I want to send my kid to a parochial school I get to send my property taxes to a public school my kid will never use while paying tuition to the school we do use. On top of that, the public school gets to reap all the aid benefits of having that kid counted in the district, but doesn’t have to worry about that cost burden of actually educating that child. Sure seems fair doesn’t it?

            Maybe all those parochial schools should close their doors for a year and drop all those students on the public school steps and see what happens. They’d probably have to build a new school and hire a bunch more teachers, and your property taxes go up. Do you guys ever think about that? Maybe you should be thanking those parochial school parents once in a while.

            1. I believe public school systems only get credit for students actually in attendance in their schools…so your parochial school students don’t help and with the vouchers it actually hurts.

              And you have always had a choice…you just had to decide if you wanted to pay parochial school tuition…that would mean be responsible for yourself. And with all of your other private vs. public positions, why is this the only one that’s unfair?

              btw: it’s not like the parochial schools haven’t been folding left and right since their hey days in the 50’s and 60’s.

              1. So in other words, once again I should just shut up and pay my taxes to schools my family would never use. The schools get the tax money and don’t have to educate those kids. Sounds like they’ve got a win-win to me.

                1. No, just make up your mind…should government take care of your decision to not use public schools or are you going to make your own choices, be self sufficient and continue to want government out of your life. I went to a parochial school and my parents paid their taxes and they paid my tuition. It was the choice they made and accepted.

                  And don’t think you get nothing from school taxes. An educated population is certainly a requirement to maintain our communities…not a direct benefit but a benefit nonetheless.

                  1. I’m not denying that an educated population is good for society, so why can’t you admit that a kid “off the grid” so to speak who is enrolled in parochial school is a double bonus for the public system? I just think there ought to be a tax break or something for parents who do that to offset the burden.

                    Would you charge the gas tax to people who only ride their bikes? You could say that bike rider benefits from the goods and services that travel across those roads, even if the bike rider doesn’t drive a car on those roads himself. (plus it would give Doyle more to rob from the fund).

                    1. Republicans are perpetually looking at what is right in front of them and never the big picture. Try and sell your house if your local schools suck. An educated populace is mandatory to not be a third world country and everyone benefits.

                      As for the tax break for parents who CHOOSE to go to a parochial school. That’s great but if your going to use tax dollars VIA tax break or vouchers, then I want a say in what is happening in the school. Will the school take everyone regardless or race, creed, religion, intelligence, wealth etc…? what standards will they live up to? what courses are they teaching? how prepared are they when they graduate?

                    2. Proud, it wouldn’t be a tax break. It would just offset a portion of the taxes they are aleady paying. Heaven forbid anyone get some tax fairness without you sticking your nose in and dictating how it is spent. Parochial schools already have to meet state standards or they wouldn’t be legal now.

                      Not sure what you mean about selling a house if local schools suck. Try telling that to inner city kids stuck in decaying schools. I do believe in an educated populace, but if progressives, liberals, and WEAC really believed in that they would be advocating changes and competition instead of protecting a poor system and pretending it is wonderful.

                    3. Having that kid enrolled in a parochial school isn’t a bonus of any kind for the local school. The public school doesn’t get state aid for students that don’t attend the public school. And although they aren’t taxing the rest of the populace to educate the parochial school population in most cases they are also losing the property tax revenue for the parochial school property itself.

                      I’d prefer not paying for religious education with tax dollars.

                      The bike rider pays those fuel taxes in the cost of the goods and services he/she enjoys.

                    4. I am not sure what regulations parochial schools currently have to meet…back in my day teachers didn’t need education degrees and some never graduated from college.

                    5. Not a bonus for the school district? How many times do I have to explain it?

                      A. Homeowner w/ child pays school tax.
                      B. Child exists in a district that is obligated to teach said child.
                      C. Child does not enroll with district, but with a parochial school instead.
                      D. District collects school tax, passes go, and does not have to educate said child.

                      Enter into the equation:
                      A. Parochial school closes.
                      B. Child formerly off the books has to enroll with public school district.
                      C. District collects same amount from property tax payers but now has an additional child to educate.

  3. Politicians who break the law sicken me. I think they should of put scooter in a cell with chvala and thrown away the key!

    1. Chvala did his time long ago. Jensen’s seeking to evade justice by getting the trial moved to his home county.

      As for Larson’s arrest, it was for a stupid move he made when he was about 18. You’re holding it over him like he was a murderer, or worse. And you’re certainly overlooking the fashion in which he’s redeemed himself, be it as a manager at a retail store where theft is an issue, or as the one person who led a successful referendum to create funding for the parks and transit.

    2. And send away every politician before them too, Proud Progressive?

      Haas, since when is appealing to a higher court evading justice? Is that not a legitimate recourse in our legal system or just when it’s someone you don’t like?

  4. Yes forgot Every politician who has broken the law. I think that all punishments should be doubled when lawmakers break the law. I also think they should NOT be allowed anywhere near government again when they do serve their time. Chuck and Scooter sicken me, at least chuckie served his time. Scooter is crying with the defense that everyone did it so its ok.

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