Why does the Abramoff scandal matter in Wisconsin? What possible effect can Tom DeLay have had here? Why bother? I've heard it often enough.
It's a tangled story and one that does not translate well in the days of soundbite newscasts. It can't be summarized in a single sentence on a crawler or wedged easily between commercials for cruise vacations and little purple pills.
We are seeing the effects of big-money, Abramoff/DeLay influence right now on our kitchen tables.
Tom DeLay funneled money illegally through TRMPAC to Republican candidates. Abramoff used money skimmed of from his shell charitable foundations to support and elect others. The Texas gerrymandering is being investigated now but the effects on us are being felt by the most vulnerable of us.
The Medicare Part D reform package is proving itself to be a debacle on the order of FEMA. Bad legislation, written at the behest of big pharmaceutical companies is causing havoc in pharmacies across Wisconsin and the nation. Twelve states have declared health care emergencies to make sure that patients can get the medicine they require.
When this piece of horrendous legislation was being forced through the chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was threatened with dismissal for sharing the true costs of the bill. Retiring Rep Nick Smith has told of being offered a bribe on the floor for hi support. In the meantime former Rep Billy Tauzin, who authored the bill for Big Pharma, has cashed in his chips and taken a job as chief of The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
As shameless as the shilling is, as hard as it hits our seniors and the poor, perhaps the worst effect of this legislation is the dumping of the costs into the laps of the states. The Senators and Reps who voted for this outrage, knowing of its flaws, as a sop to the neo-cons in Washington are culpable and should be held accountable by the voters.
When you finish helping your mother get her medicine from the pharmacy after 10 days, when you've walked your grandfather through the maze of plans that may or may not offer what he needs, when you decide that government of big Pharma is not what Lincoln had in mind, then it's time to remember who brought this mess to your house.
Send a letter to thank Mark Green for this mess. Tell Paul Ryan that you think this is unacceptable. Give F Jim Sensenbrenner that you've had enough of his alliance with the business-as-usual crowd and against the people of Wisconsin. Hold them accountable and vote them out.