wisconsin capitol
Press Release
November 14, 2014

One Wisconsin Now to Assembly Speaker ‘Boss Vos’: It’s Not Mischief, It’s Illegal

Top Assembly Republican Tries to Brush Aside Complaint to Authorities Over His Televised Shakedown of State Business

MADISON, Wis. — Following Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’s attempts to downplay his coercion of owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross renewed calls for Racine and Milwaukee County District Attorneys to formally investigate Vos for violating state law.

“Boss Vos’s public shakedown of Wisconsin businesses is not only reprehensible behavior for an elected official, it is against the law. Despite his attempt to dodge accountability for his actions, there is no question that Vos’s conduct crossed the line and warrants investigation,” Ross said.

During an appearance on UpFront with Mike Gousha, Vos said Bucks owner Marc Lasry greeting the President of the United States was “probably not the wisest thing to do” and added that the new owners need to be “a lot smarter in their technique.” Vos added that Lasry’s past support for Democratic candidates would make any legislation providing state assistance for a new arena “a hard sell.”

Wisconsin state statute 19.45(13) prohibits tying political campaign contributions to legislative action or inaction. One Wisconsin Now formally requested the District Attorneys of Milwaukee and Racine Counties to investigate the matter. A violation of this state statute is a Class I felony.

When asked about his comments by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Vos tried to brush off the matter, claiming the One Wisconsin Now complaint was “political mischief.” Meanwhile in the Wisconsin State Journal a Vos spokesperson, “did not explain why Vos tied political affiliation to the likelihood of state funding.” Neither Vos nor a spokesperson was quoted in coverage of his comments in the Capital Times.

Ross concluded, “Robin Vos went on television and sent a message not only to the owners of the Bucks but businesses and others with interest in legislation in the State Capitol – ‘pay up or else’. Boss Vos can try to dodge the issue, but his comments were blatantly unethical. This isn’t mischief, it’s blowing the whistle on illegal activity.”

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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