The Wisconsin Club for Growth has discovered a pattern in the governor's schedule:
This week, Doyle announced he would be heading to Ireland and the UK, leaving budget negotiations behind. This will be Doyle's sixth "trade mission" since 2003, but the only thing Doyle is likely to "trade" is a budget headache for a nice cold pint of Guiness. The state revenue generated by Doyle's previous trade missions seems to have gotten lost somwhere in the couch cushions at the Governor's mansion.
Our illustrious Governor has a knack for fleeing the country when he sees trouble brewing. When Doyle Administration staffer Georgia Thompson was indicted for allegedly rigging a state travel contract to benefit one of Doyle's biggest contributors, Doyle sought refuge in Baghdad. Apparently he thought it would easier to dodge suicide bombers than members of the Capitol press corps.
Last September when the state budget was months overdue and a deadline for setting state aid to local school districts was looming, Doyle fled the country, this time taking his entourage on a 12 day trade mission to China and Japan. Before abandoning budget negotiations at home to down saki with Japanese officials, he threatened a government shutdown if legislators didn't come to an agreement. The impact of Doyle's Asia trip is still unknown.
Perhaps the timing of Doyle's upcoming trip to Ireland can be explained by the ongoing trial of racketeer and Doyle pal, Tony Rezko. Doyle and Rezko dined together before sharing a luxury box at a Packers-Bears game at Soldier field. Last week, testimony in the Rezko trial turned to Wisconsin and the man who introduced Doyle to Rezko. It is unclear whether Doyle is leaving town to escape the budget mess he created or to elude embarrassing questions about his ties to Tony Rezko. The one thing we know for sure is when the going gets tough, Governor Doyle skips town.
I bet Ireland is lovely this time of year.