Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Another Sad Plea Bargain

Former state Rep Bonnie Ladwig has just pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of using her position for personal financial gain. She blamed the culture of a "permanent campaign" in Madison. The 66 year old faces up to a year in prison for the offense but the Dane County DA has recommended only a $4,500 fine plus restitution.

In return for her plea bargain Ladwig agreed to testify if called as a witness in the felony trials of former compatriots Scott Jensen and Steve Foti.

After watching the blogosphere wet itself over the downfall of Chuck Chvala and Brian Burke I have been surprised at the relative quiet surrounding Ladwig. Granted, one misdemeanor is small potatoes compared to the two Dems but there has been little blood in the water surrounding the fast-approaching trials of Foti and Jensen. Is that because one side has more restraint than the other? I doubt it. Is it simply burnout on the whole story? Scott Jensen hopes so. He's asked for a change of venue thinking an outstate jury will be tired of the story.

I hope it's not because we've come to expect no better. It's just disheartening to see so many leaders on trial. It's time to stop rolling in the mud of the trials and to make substantive change to the way campaigns are funded and run.

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