Caucus Scandal Redux

The Capitol Caucus scandal is in the news again, not the illegal campaigning done by the Walker campaign, the one run by convicted felon Scooter Jensen. This time Dane Count DA Ismael Ozanne has decided to bring bring Sherry Schultz to trial again.

Then there’s Sherry Schultz.

She’s the forgotten caucus staffer.

The ex-Assembly aide charged with a felony as part of the 2002 caucus investigation is just now gearing up for trial.

That’s right – Schultz is scheduled for a two-week trial in late November for misconduct in office, a charge originally brought against her nine years ago.

This would be her second trial on the same charge.

Making the situation even more bizarre is that Schultz has already served four months’ house arrest for that felony, which was later reversed on appeal.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne is preparing to take the case to trial.

“We always look to settle cases – that’s what we typically do,” Ozanne said last week. “But that doesn’t mean you can resolve anything if people don’t want to resolve them.”

Schultz’s attorney, Stephen Morgan, declined to comment. Schultz couldn’t be reached. Friends say the former legislative aide is now working part time at a custard stand in Madison.

That’s quite a change for the 59-year-old Madison resident.

At the time of the caucus scandal, she was riding high.

A former chief of staff for then-Lt. Gov. Scott McCallum, Schultz took a job as a top aide to Foti and then with the now-defunct Assembly Republican Caucus, making $65,000 a year. She worked for Assembly Republicans from 1998 to 2001 before becoming the state Republican Party’s top fundraiser.

In 2002, prosecutors charged a number of lawmakers and staffers as part of their investigation into state employees illegally campaigning on taxpayers’ time. Authorities concluded that the partisan legislative caucuses were glorified campaign machines for their respective parties.

Prosecutors accused Jensen of putting Schultz on the public payroll to work full-time raising money for GOP candidates. In 2006, both Jensen and Schultz were convicted – he was hit with three felonies and a misdemeanor and she one felony – after a widely publicized trial.

While Schulz has only been able to find a part time gig selling custard(It appears that is all the majority of republican staffers appear to be qualified for), her bosses are living large.

Former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen has a gig with a national school choice group. Former Assembly Majority Leader Steve Foti, another Republican, is lobbying his old buddies in the Capitol. And ex-Senate Majority Leader Brian Burke, a Democrat, has taken a job as a public defender.

While I am glad that the DA reopened this case, I hope Sherry Schultz gets the punishment she deserves(I dont think anyone involved has so far). I do however think she should not have to serve more time than her boss. I would love to see Scooter scooping custard also, instead of making hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to end public education. I also think its a travesty that Foti(and Scooter) are allowed in the Capitol at all, much less to lobby.

That all being said, the moral of this story is not don’t abuse your government position. The moral of this story is for the republican staffers at the Capitol. You can sell your soul for the republican legislators, but when you get caught – you are on your own! You will either end up making millions lobbying like scooter the felon or broke and scooping custard like Schultz.

Before you agree to do illegal or unethical things, maybe you should stop and think which one will you be if you get caught!


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