Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Surprise! Busalacchi caught up in dubious doings again

Once again, Secretary of Transportation Frank Busalacchi is making his boss, Gov. Jim Doyle, look bad.

This time, as WKOW reported first and the JS followed today, Busalacchi intervened in out-of-state tax dispute involving indicted Doyle donor Dennis Troha. WisDOT's level of intervention was unprecedented, but hey, really, Troha's donations had nothing to do with it. If I had a tax dispute with another state, Frank would treat me the same way and send a top departmental lawyer to Pennsylvania, on the state's dime, to intervene on my behalf.

It must be true, because a Doyle guy says it is.

"It is completely appropriate for the Department of Transportation to help settle disputes on behalf of other states, and that's what happened here," said Matt Canter, a spokesman for the Democratic governor.

Mr. Canter, no one out here believes you, so could you cite some other examples?

Doyle, though, likely will stand by his man, continuing to enable Frank's lapses of judgment. History bears it out:

When WisDOT spent $685,000 on a web site constructed by major campaign donor HNTB (it was a no-bid deal), Doyle's office said that was just fine. As the Marquette Interchange design contracts were amended more than 100 imes, putting more and more and more money into the pockets of HNTB and CH2M Hill, Doyle remained silent. Maybe he believed Frank when Busalacchi insisted that open-ended contracts save the state money, he just couldn't prove it. When Frank's road-building cronies, who were negotiating a multi-million dollar highway design deal with DOT at the time, kicked in cash at a Doyle fundraiser held by a top DOT official , Doyle gladly took the money.

All in a day's work.

All for the benefit of Wisconsin taxpayers.

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