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April 18, 2007


Semi-related, but Conyers just announced he'd delay the vote on immunity for Goodling until next week, at the request of the GOPpers on the Judiciary Committee.

Looks like Rove placed a few calls to drag this one out at least until after AG AG's appearance. Though it may turn out advantageous.

Off topic, but there's an interesting bit at tpmmuckraker.com about the ninety second deliberation before firing Nevada's Daniel Bogden. This is weird, but it supposedly hinged on the fact that he was a fifty year-old single man without a family to support. I couldn't help thinking this is conservative code for the possibility he was gay.


Akin Gump (any relation to Forrest Gump?) is going to have to start hiring for their new public corruption defense division.

ew, I'm having trouble opening the "gives big chunks" link.

John Casper -- try this: go to http://query.nictusa.com/fecimg/norindsea.html, then enter Troha, Dennis in the fields.

I note, however, at least using OpenSecrets.org, that Troha gave 25K on two separate occasions during the last election cycle alone to the NRCC. (Hardly bi-partisan, that.) Want to bet there were subsequent donations to key WI candidates from the NRCC? In my experience looking through PAC and party campaign finance reporting, this is often how the money is "laundered"; believe that's what DeLay and Abramoff both did with monies, asked donors to contribute to PACs/Party then asked the PAC/Party to redonate money to the intended campaign or issue.

Does anybody know if Steve Biskupic is related to Joan Biskupic--legal reporter for USA Today?

Joan is the sister of Steve.

Weird, couldn't get the FEC site to respond; when I did, had to use a bunch more filters to get it to pull data. All data for Dennis Troha at Kenosha WI 53144 in FEC site came to $126,800 - yet OpenSecrets.org, pulling data from FEC, pull up $134,300 total.

Of that, $63,300 was donated in 2005-2006; something very important must have been worth donating nearly as much in that single election cycle as all other donations combined. Interesting; who knew that saddlemount truck combos were such a big deal? (or not...)

The amounts given to Dems, whether PACs or candidates, is substantially less compared to the amounts that Troha gave Repubs; there's also the necessity of proving a qui pro quo. Is it wrong to give to a Senator of one's own state without a qui pro quo? No.

qui should have been quid. Think I need a nap...


Akin Gump= Ken Melman's firm.

Yep, former GOP chair Melman.

A $25,000 retainer with no specific work load, non refundable "just in case money"?

Uh, guys? When I was doing mafia work, we called this "protection money"

Keep diggin'!

Don Lhp is right about this.

Here's the description of the indictment as found in The Capital Times on Monday, March 19, 2007:

>Troha was indicted March 1 on charges of illegally funneling more than $100,000 in campaign donations to Doyle and the federal account of the state Democratic Party.

>The indictment alleges Troha concealed the nature of the transactions in his attempt to obtain approval for a casino in Kenosha and lied to the FBI about it.

>Troha, the former owner of a major trucking firm now at the center of a multistate tax dispute, has pleaded not guilty.

>The FBI is investigating help Troha received from the state Department of Transportation while his trucking firms were attempting to resolve more than $1 million in disputed fuel tax payments owed to other states."

My comment: So Troha's contributions were "illegally funneled" (other stories say that he violated state campaign donation limits) to the Dems -- were they made legally to the Republicans? Emptywheel seems to indicate that the answer is no.

There was also a good article on the Bush donations in the Wisconsin State Journal on Thursday, March 22, 2007, where they point out that Doyle had to approve the Kenosha casino, but Bush did too. Was Biskupic investigating the Bush donations?

>"Michelle Jacobs, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic in Milwaukee, wouldn't comment on whether authorities are looking at the Bush donations.
"We've tried to make clear that the investigation from our end continues, but we are not going to comment on each and every specific thing that's raised with us," she said."

My comment: Indeed, after Thompson was freed, he might suddenly choose to pursue cases against Republicans! But for all those people that wondered if Biskupic was simply fooled (and the liberal Capital Times has been careful not to assume too much), if it is true that Republican contributions were also illegally funneled through family members, and Biskupic chose just to talk about the Democrats, then they can stop wondering.

Thanks Rayne.

First Rule

All Politicians are dirty.

Second and other Rules

Refer in all matters to First Rule

Jodi, you are such a good little minder. How much do they pay you, I wonder? By the day, by the comment? Obviously not by the content.

On Bogden, "fifty year-old single man without a family to support" might also be an allusion to his having no additional loyalties or responsibilities which would keep him in line, maybe he was about to go after some RNCers.

Rule 1: Ignore all of Tokyo Jodi's comments.
Rule 2: When in doubt, refer back to rule 1.

There Casper, now yer gettin it!


When you're looking at Troha's donations, you have to look at the entire family. And remember, this is just those with Troha as the last name--he has at least one married daughter who should be in there as well.

I don't know if the Republican donations were legal or not--frankly, a TON of people max out through their families (there's a retired guy in my neighborhood who, given his age, must have paid 5 figures for his house, and he regualrly maxes out to the Republican party. His last name is Koch, which is probably why he's giving more than he apparently makes). So I don't know how strong his case is against Troha on the Dem giving. But there sure does seem to be a quid attached to all that quo.

FBI raids Doolittle's home. I guess they should've fired the VA USA too.

My impression is that this is playing out as a bipartisan problem here. The Milwaukee Journal seems to be taking the opinion that Troha's contributions to Doyle were the known quantity, but the unknown was how much he gave to Republicans. Last I heard, they'd figured out it was a lot more than to Dems.

EW -- yeah, I hear you about the entire family; we've seen it numerous times in other races. A certain family in IN, for example, each gave Lieberman their legal limit in the last minutes before CT's primary, for example; if memory serves, 4 or 5 kids under the age of 25 all decided simultaneously to make limit-out donations at the same time as mom and dad. Hmm. In this case, though, all the family member shared the same last name and address of report. In the Troha Tribe situation, there will be multiple names and likely numerous addresses.

But my scan of the donations on Dennis Troha alone told me there needs to be a check by date of NRCC donations outbound to WI candidates within days of Troha's donations; how did he just happen to hit near or on end of quarter twice with his 25K donations? Did he have a good quarter himself at JTC, or did he get instructions to make his donations at a particular time? The next question is whether the family members also made donations in sync with his -- not unlike the ones that family from IN made to Lieberman that are now part of the 300K of iffy campaign funds that FEC and DOJ should now be looking through carefully.

I won't get to the family members until after I get through the NRCC donations; the size of the file I'm trying to pull down has choked and crashed my desktop 5 times today, working on pulling it down now on my laptop. Will use the file to look for the trends in donations from NRCC to WI and then backtrack NRCC contributors from WI to see if I have a match.

As for the donations to Dem candidates/incumbents: they look pretty innocuous. Enough to get attention but not much considering Troha by himself has dumped 50K to Repubs in one election cycle alone. He either couldn't game the system and stuck to traditional campaign donations, or he didn't have peeps in place to support what he wanted to do, all a matter of timing. What I don't understand is why this guy simply didn't go the route of becoming a Bush Pioneer and ask the Bushies to railroad what he needed through the system; goodness knows it's worked reliably for a lot of other Pioneers. Democratic governor? Feh. Change legislation as a work around. You know they probably tried it in neighboring states with Repub majorities in state legislature.

In case anybody else wants to poke around in FEC records, here are some names with which to start:

Troha, Dennis M.
Kenosha 53144

Troha, Natalie K.
Kenosha 53144

Troha, Jennifer
Kenosha 53142

Troha, Bradley M.
Kenosha 53144

Troha, Cynthia A.
Pleasant Prairie 53158

Troha, Jim
Kenosha 53144

Troha, Leslie A.
Kenosha 53140

Troha, Lynn M.
Kenosha 53144

Troha, Matthew T.
Kenosha 53142

Troha, Nicole
Kenosha 53143

Troha, Patty
Kenosha 53144

Troha, Todd A
Kenosha 53142

I do not have confirmation that these folks are all family members, nor do I have ID's of family members with surname other than Troha. But the majority of these folks list the same employers or are students, housewives.

From opensecrets.org:

National Republican Congressional Cmte

Milwaukee Journal Snetinel columnists Spivak and Bice have an article that shows that Congressman Ryan was in to see the Bureau of Indian Affairs on Feb. 28, 2006 to hammer them for approval of the Kenosha casino, three weeks before this donation was given: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=436051

The article also points out that Troha and his family had already maxed out to Ryan in ’05 at around $31,000, so they could not have given Ryan any more.

Congressman Ryan was in leadership, after they maxed out to him, would this have been where he would have directed the contributions? He would have had a set amount to raise.

Then their is Troha's donation to the RNC

Republican National Cmte

Almost two weeks later, the RNC transfers $25,000.91 to the Republican Party of Wisconsin. Coincidence?

Nice work, Jessica. $0.91? What the heck is that, an earmark code? or a way to hide from a search for a 25K donation?

If that is an earmark code, there should be other donations/transfers ending in that amount. That ought to be searchable... and interesting.

Trucking? Any connection to the NAFTA Superhighway? It has a leg from Chicago through Wisconsin, then up to Canada. "NASCO’s lobbying efforts have helped secure more than $500 million in transportation project funding to date."


The route is designed to bring cheap goods from China to Mexico, and then run them by truck up through the heartland... avoiding unionized docks, inspections, security regulations, quarantine times... and both coasts of the US.

Trucking companies with access to that route ought to make a mint. Contractors building something 10 lanes wide and hundreds of miles long ought to make a mint, too.

Conservatives are pretty upset about it (they fear that the US will lose some sovereignty). But I would expect more liberals to be upset... if they knew about it. Like Bush's signing statements, this agreement isn't publicized.

Steven Biskupic has a brother Vince who was a WI County DA (Outagamie) who ran for AG in the state of Wisconsin. Failed to win that post, in part, due to his version of "pay to play". Or, contribute to my causes and walk. A sister, Joan, is a well-known reporter at the national level.

Their father, Vince, was a long-time WI practicing in Sheboygan.

This law passed for mr. troha. Was turned down by federal highway administration 3 times from 1996 to 2002. Then after donations to various congressmen began.The law was passed around the FHWA.

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